September 9, 2017 at 3:41 PM #28799Karla Martin@karlamartin
I would like to have ideas on how to help my adhd child function in the classroom. What are some things that have worked for you?
September 10, 2017 at 4:01 PM #28808Becky Bollinger@beckybollinger
Here are some suggestions for you! There are different types of ADHD and the needs of each student and situation vary, but this is a starting place. And by the way, these things can help all students, not just those with ADHD. 🙂
- Give the child a list of the tasks that he needs to accomplish each day and teach him to use it as a reference point/reminder when he forgets what to do next. Teach him to cross each thing off as it is completed. I have used this for both morning routine and seatwork/class assignments. If the child is not reading yet, you could use pictures!
- Break large assignments into smaller chunks that look more manageable.
- Keep rules and procedures simple, clear, and consistent. Follow the same routine every day.
- Try short-term positive reinforcement. Long-term goals/rewards do not usually mean nearly as much as immediate feedback.
- If the issues seem abundant and overwhelming, pick 1 specific thing to work on during 1 specific period of time. Try to track his progress- this will help you know if he is doing better or not! For example, if you choose to focus on raising his hand vs. calling out, you could keep a tally of the number of times he does it incorrectly or correctly in math class. Reward him for improvement (can be just verbal!), even if his behavior is not where you wish it would be. And then if he consistently is doing better with this one thing, you can start focusing on something else!
- Try a “wobble-seat!” They help some students sit better because they can wiggle a little bit without being noticeable and it takes more energy to sit on them because they have to balance themselves. 🙂 Some students love them and others do not. I have a few in my classroom that students may use if they wish. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007LX6MPG/ref=oh_aui_bia_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
- Communicate with parents!! Tell them what you’re noticing at school and what you’re working on. Ask how he does with those kinds of things at home and if there are things that they have tried that have helped! Build a relationship early on. Parents have an incredible amount of insight to offer.
I wish you the best! 🙂
September 16, 2017 at 3:15 PM #29271Carolyn Martin@carolynmartin
I echo what Becky said, especially about the short-term positive reinforcement and communication with the parents. Goals need to be achievable by the student. Without a measure of success they will give up. Parents do need to be informed about what is happening in your class, both the good and the bad. Another person to keep informed is your school principal or administrator.
One thing to consider is seating arrangement. I have found that for me to give the proper attention to a “needy” child, they must sit close to me. Otherwise, they don’t ping my radar as easily. Front row seats are usually best for the child who has difficulty paying attention. There is less to distract him and you notice when he gets lost quicker. However, sometimes a child becomes the distraction in the front row and needs a back corner instead. If this is the case, sometimes you need to teach from the back of the room.
I have heard of classrooms with a mini trampoline in a back corner. This could be used as a reward for positive actions or as an energy release.
Learn to know your student. I once had a student who never looked like he was with me. He could be staring out the window or watching a fly buzz overhead. Yet he usually knew what we were talking about. However, most of the time you will know if they are engaged or not.
Appreciate your student for who he is. That young man who finds it so difficult to sit still and focus on his school work may be his dad’s best helper at home. That doesn’t mean you don’t look for ways to help him be successful in school also but if you realize that he has potential it can help your frustration level.
September 29, 2017 at 6:30 AM #36512Arlene Birt@arlene-b
Some of these are about the same as those already shared, but this is what I first think of:
- Give advance notice – in 2 minutes Break will be over; you have about a minute yet… so they are not blindsided by all at once having to end an activity or be ready for something else.
- “Pick your battles.” Let this go for now, decide what to focus on at this time. (ex. My students are to keep their pencils in their desks when they’re not being used. Sometimes the ADD/ADHD child needs to hold something. I told him he may have his pencil out if it is quiet.)
- Give directions one a time. Be prepared to repeat that one thing!
- Give him some space. He may need a spot for a time-out to just be alone. Have his desk apart from the group if needed.
- Plan the seating arrangement strategically! This child does not sit in the middle of a group. There are certain other children that this child will not sit near.
- Be consistent. She’s going to push those boundaries and needs to find that they are still there and didn’t move. 🙂
October 7, 2017 at 6:43 PM #37904Crista@cris
Velcro under the student’s desk to touch during class or a small ball to squeeze can be helpful for some students. Visual (picture) schedules can also assist students with ADD/ADHD in remembering tasks and instructions.
Providing immediate and frequent positive reinforcement when the student is paying attention or when the student completes what you have asked them to do after the first instruction can be a powerful motivator. This can be through specific verbal praise (“Great looking at me when I gave instructions!” or “Wow, thank-you for getting out your math book when I gave the direction to the class!”) or maybe through a tangible reward such as a sticker. Sometimes, especially our very active students, end up hearing a lot of what they are not supposed to do at school and not enough reinforcement for what they are doing well at school.
October 8, 2017 at 3:06 PM #37908Hilary B Martin@vwbeetlegirl
I would echo what has already been shared. A couple of things that I would highlight as successful are: 1) A checklist for morning & afternoon procedures as well as seatwork. 2) A wobble seat like Becky mentioned, check out her link!
December 6, 2017 at 2:42 PM #28809
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