Research has shown that noise cancelling ear muffs improve the development of on-task focus and work production during independent work. This is because ear muffs have several benefits. For the wearer, they mute background noise and conversation that contribute to student distraction. They also provide deep pressure sensory input that calms students. In addition, they act as a self-reinforcing signal indicating that it is time for quiet seat work. When students see others wearing the ear muffs they take it as a signal to not disturb the wearer. Ear muffs are especially beneficial to students with learning disabilities and/or attention issues (See links below).
This grant is based on previous grants written for Glenshire Elementary School, Truckee Elementary School and Kings Beach Elementary School. Students who had access to the ear muffs and who had been having successful independent work periods, no longer have access to this support once they arrive at Alder Creek Middle School. It would be extremely valuable for increased student learning to have ear muffs available to all students once they arrive in middle school. In addition, since the middle-schooler is especially sensitive to fitting in and not being singled out, the grant is being written to provide equal access across classrooms and grade levels. This permits students to envision access to ear muffs as an established norm within the Alder Creek culture, and not as something that would establish differences in the students utilizing this support.