LAKEWOOD, OH – If you’re a third or fourth grader just about every minute of your six-hour day is accounted for.
But after a few hours of reading, writing and arithmetic, if you’re eight or nine, all you can probably think of is riding away.
The 25 students in Alison Marzof’s third grade class and Sonja Kreps’ fourth grade class at Lincoln Elementary in Lakewood are peddling in their seats instead of fidgeting.
They’re using $20 exercise pedals that you find in physical therapy and rehab centers.
While the teachers teach, the students pedal and it occupies their bodies and their minds.
Student Erica Frischauf says her mind needs a lot of occupying.
“Sometimes I’ll just be sitting here and really anxious while I’m sitting here so I’ll be just bouncing my feet and kicking the floor and it makes me bounce and distracts everyone else because it’s making noise,” she said.
Finding releases for all that energy is hard because the school is in a temporary building until the new Lincoln Elementary opens next year.
There’s not much playground space in the temporary site and if it rains or snows no one goes outside. So the teachers hope this will help the students burn off that energy and pay attention to classwork instead of dreaming about running and playing outside.
And so far it seems to be working.
Teachers say children are paying more attention, and seem to be less distracted despite the fact there are 25 pedaling children in one room.
“There’s some clanking here and there and adjusting the pedals, sometimes when they switch, they’ll carry it from side to side. They’re not, it’s not a bother because I know they’re not doing it to cause a distraction; it’s like sharpening a pencil,” teacher Allison Kreps said.
And less distracted children are children that are learning.
“It gives you more exercise and sometimes it doesn’t make you that stressed out,” fourth grader Rowen Brown said.
“It’s like I’m thinking here and there’s a really hard question and so I start peddling faster and thoughts are flowing in and it just helps you think better,” Frischauf said.
Kreps told Fox 8 that they started off with five of the pedal sets and the parents helped buy more until everyone in the class had one.
She says they would like to raise funds to buy more so other classes can use them.