Prior to launching Able Mindworks, our team was conducting research to validate our idea when we came across this video. The students in the clip reflect the problem we identified and were seeking a solution for. There is more to fidgeting than just the annoying clicking and tapping, continue reading for some general positives and negatives that the subconscious behavior entails.

The negatives:

  1. Loudly clicking your pen our tapping your foot can be distracting to others.

  2. Being a distraction comes with consequences, most commonly the student is called out in front of their peers and asked to stop fidgeting or may encounter some form of discipline.

  3. When you ask a student to stop moving in class, you are keeping them from reaching their fullest potential.When you ask them to stop, it takes all of their focus to do just that, preventing them from focusing on the lesson.

The positives:

  1. Fidgeting increases your focus and some students (and adults!) need to do it to increase their ability to focus, learning ability, and productivity.

  2. When you are focused, you can achieve greater things.


For students that need to move, asking them to stop fidgeting can greatly hinder their ability to learn. Lack of focus can directly impact a student’s progress in the classroom; falling behind in class results in staying after or staying in during recess, separating them from the rest of their peers. In this instance, a student may come to feel excluded.


Able Mindworks wanted to keep students from feeling alienated from their peers which is why we addressed the problem head on with our unique design made by students for students. TOPPI was designed with the classroom in mind to be a non-disruptive and stimulating tool that attaches to pen/pencil to channel excess energy in order to enable enhanced learning and focus in the classroom. Instead of stopping fidgeting, we are aiming to channel fidgeting in ways that still help a student focus and be productive, without disrupting others. This article shares more on “harnessing the power of fidgeting.”

Caroline Pukenis