ADHD Classroom Strategies: What’s Essential to Know

One of the biggest hurdles educators must get past today is effectively dealing with children with ADHD in the classroom. As we have covered before, a major response to this issue lies in encouraging administrative figures to implement and study cognitive training – C8 Sciences has been effectively providing a tool for this task through its innovative ACTIVATE™ program, which effectively and somewhat uniquely fuses computer and physical exercises to combat ADHD in children. But what’s first and foremost to understand is that Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is one of the most common of the childhood behavior disorders…and perhaps making things a bit more alarming is the fact that along with the core elements of impulsivity, hyperactivity and inattention are a plethora of disruptive classroom behaviors.

Part I: Identifying the Classroom Behaviors That are Disruptive and Dealing with Them

Amongst the more routine of disruptive behaviors exhibited by ADHD students in the classroom are:

  • Calling out
  • Constantly leaving his or her seat
  • Interrupting activities

As of late, a special emphasis on “environmental modifications” has been implemented with regard to recommended ADHD classroom strategies – but what exactly does this mean? When we speak of “environmental” and instructional considerations and how it relates to combating ADHD in the classroom, the following factors are important to examine:

  • Task duration
  • Direct instruction
  • Peer tutoring
  • Scheduling
  • Novelty
  • Structure
  • Organization
  • Rule reminders and visual cues
  • Auditory cues
  • Pacing of work
  • Instructions
  • Productive physical movement
  • Active vs. passive involvement
  • Distractions
  • Anticipation
  • Contingency management/encouraging appropriate behavior
  • Powerful external reinforcement
  • Token economy systems
  • Response-cost programs
  • Time outs

Let’s take a closer look at the elements that relate more closely to “environmental modifications” for addressing classroom ADHD problems:


This relates to the presentation of novel, interested, highly motivational material to improve attention; for example, adding stimulation through color, shape or texture of things.

Structure and Organization

Students with ADHD perform better with memory tasks when material is meaningfully structured for them; an example would be providing a lecture outline to help with note-taking to increase memory of main ideas.

Rule Reminders and Visual Cues

Well-defined rules with clear consequences are essential to dealing with students with ADHD; just relying on the student’s memory of rules is not sufficient here.

Auditory Cues

Stimulating students with ADHD through the use of auditory cues that prompt appropriate classroom behavior is helpful; for example, using a recording of tones placed at irregular intervals to remind students to monitor their on-task behavior, which has been proven to improve arithmetic productivity.

Part II: ACTIVATE and the Cognitive Training Factor

Kids in Classroom using ACTIVATE™Without question, C8 Sciences’ ACTIVATE™ Education protocol is the most advanced brain training program for ADHD in the classroom, providing teachers with real-time progress reporting for each and every student. Implementing highly-specialized games and physical exercises, ACTIVATE™:

  • Helps students with ADHD measure and improve executive function skills
  • Measures and improves the brain’s core cognitive capacities
  • Delivers real-time data to teachers and professionals
  • Helps students focus and have fun learning again

Part III: How ACTIVATE™ Education Works

ACTIVATE™ Education LogoThrough a three-pronged approach, ACTIVATE™ directly strengthens key systems in the brain that contribute to student attention. When a student appears to exhibit attention deficit, often the real culprit lies in a “cognitive weakness” – the program responds by finding, measuring and improving these specific cognitive functions known as the Eight Core Cognitive Capacities (the “C8” in our name).

This is accomplished by:

  1. Improving student attention
  2. Enhancing academic skills
  3. Creating a faster track to inclusion for IEP students (those with disabilities)

Part IV: In Conclusion

As students with ADHD are known as a “heterogeneous” group, there does not exist one intervention – or set of interventions – that will improve the classroom functioning of all these students. To that end, it has been suggested by many professionals that classroom modifications be tailored to the unique needs of each student; in developing these modifications, organizations such as C8 Sciences have found that it’s perhaps best to begin by examining how the classroom environment can be altered, so to speak, so that the student with ADHD can achieve success.

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