The new school year is in full swing, and kids are settling into the classroom routine. As teachers get to know their students, personalities are emerging. They have identified the shy student, who needs a little boost to participate in class. They’ve recognized the friendships that are forming among the students in the classroom and on the playground. They have acknowledged the usual suspects who might have the potential to bully, or cause disruption in the classroom and have set classroom rules in place.
Teachers are well equipped to manage most of the behaviors and quirks that children display at school, but when asked to define their most challenging dilemmas, majorities of teachers agree. One of the most perplexing problems they face in the classroom is creating an optimal learning environment for students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Six Tips for Helping Kids with ADHD Focus and Maintain Attention
- Check Your Curriculum –
Children have varied learning styles. Traditional teaching methods can lack the spark it takes to ignite a passion for learning. C8 Schools is happy to introduce ACTIVATE™, our innovative brain-training program. ACTIVATE™ combines a kid-friendly cognitive training software program with a robust physical exercise program. This cross-training course is a part of the curriculum in school districts across the country, and around the world. Teachers are reporting unlimited success stories for their students with ADHD who are enrolled in the ACTIVATE™ program.
- Access ACTIVATE™ for Your Students, Especially Those with ADHD –
ACTIVATE™ is designed to help children develop and maintain the skills necessary to succeed in the classroom, and in life. Each lesson builds skills such as sustained attention, developing working memory, increased self-regulation, and enhanced cognitive flexibility. Kids work their way through a series of exercises and activities that excite and delight the learner. The cast of animated software characters encourage students to become engaged in each lesson and to look forward to the next one with enthusiasm. There are no mundane lectures, or repetitive memorization lists. Skills are developed through computer games carefully designed to enrich the learning process. The physical exercise component gives students the opportunity to get out of their seats, and participate in whole body exercise and team games. Kids love video games, so why not give them what they love? ACTIVATE™ your classroom with our program and watch your students flourish.
- Please Be Seated –
Seating arrangements can eliminate classroom chaos. If you have children with ADHD in your class, the placement of student desks and tables is important. Studies have shown that kids with ADHD are more likely to sustain attention if desks are placed in rows. Circular seating patterns increase the likelihood of distractions. Children get busy watching each other and lose interest in their work. Try to seat children with ADHD away from busy areas of the classroom, such as the pencil sharpeners, doors, coat closets, or restrooms. Placing the child with ADHD close to your desk will help him remain focused.
- The Role of Rules –
Classroom rules are usually discussed on the first day of school. If rules are to be effective, they should be reviewed regularly, especially if students seem unaware of them as the school year progresses. Make posters or other attention-grabbing visual aids that clearly define classroom rules and expectations. Students should be aware of consequences that might result for failure to abide by classroom rules. Be sure students understand your expectations, and help them to achieve them.
- Calendars, Charts and Chalkboards –
How many times have you heard a student say that he didn’t know the science project was due today, or that the field trip money had to be turned in by Friday? The use of visual aids will help kids with ADHD keep up with assignments, deadlines and class activities. Post large calendars on the wall with pertinent information. A full month calendar will give visual learners a reference for all monthly events. Charts that identify classroom helpers, class chores, and things such as reading groups, science partners, spelling words, bus groups, or lists of required reading materials are helpful for students. If you still have a chalkboard in your room, use it to post daily reminders.
- Make Time for Free Time –
No one likes to sit still for too long. Children with ADHD begin to fidget, disrupt others, hum, tap pencils or create any other diversion they can if they have been still for too long. Make sure you allow frequent breaks during the day, even if only for 5 minutes. Have the class stand up and stretch. Play a quick interactive game, such as musical chairs, or 7-Up. If the weather permits, you may want to take an outdoor walk around the school when the class seems restless. Some kids with ADHD simply can’t sit still. You may ask the student with ADHD if he would like to stand for a while, or provide a place in the back of the classroom where he can get out of his seat for a moment.
A few creative modifications to the classroom, and the use of cognitive cross-training programs such as ACTIVATE™ will help you maintain peace and harmony in your classroom. The modern world of technology has changed the face of the teaching profession. If you keep up with the latest technology and meet today’s kids where they are, you can be assured of a productive and professionally gratifying school year for yourself, and an enjoyable and successful one for the students in your care.