It is important to implement strategies that address the needs of the individual. We recommend that you apply these strategies across home, school, and community contexts.
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- Seat the student front and center in the classroom.
- Surround the student with good role models.
- Place the student away from high traffic areas.
- Seat the student at an individual desk instead of a table.
- Put pets in another room or a corner while the student is working.
- Allow the student to move around the room at appropriate and assigned times.
- Incorporate physical movement into lessons, whenever possible.
- Write important information down, where it can easily be found and read.
- Remind the student where important information can be found.
- Divide big assignments into smaller ones.
- Randomly pick students to answer questions, so student cannot time attention.
- Provide a signal when questions will be answered.
- Use the student’s name in a question or in the subject being covered.
- Ask a simple question when the student’s attention wanders.
- Stay near the student as you are teaching.
- Decrease the length of assignments or lessons.
- Alternate between physical and seated activities.
- Have the student call on others.
- Incorporate the student’s interests into lesson plans.
- Structure in some daydreaming time.
- Give simple, concrete instructions.
- Teach and use self-monitoring strategies that indicate attention versus inattention.
- Use a soft voice to give directions.
- Make eye contact when giving directions and have the student repeat them.
- Use other students as peer tutors.
- Play soft music in the classroom.
- Use study carrels, or corners away from the group.
- Allow the student to get into a comfortable position while he / she is learning.
- Say the student's name and then pause for a few seconds to signal attention.
- Use pictures to make expectations clear, especially for young children. For example, if it's hard to get out of the house in the morning, use a sequence of pictures that can be checked off as they are completed to help keep a child organized.
- Make a space with few distractions; remove things that draw attention away from the task. Some children might respond well to a “study tent.”
- Self-monitoring techniques can be used in the school setting. Self-monitoring of attention involves signals to the student to determine how much attention is being paid to a task. This can be done using a signal such as a random beep, timer, or cue provided by the teacher. The student then records on or off-task behavior on a recording sheet. Self-monitoring techniques can be tied to rewards and accuracy checks.
- Ask the student to run an errand or do a job for you, such as sharpening pencils.
- Encourage the student to play a sport.
- Develop a procedure for the student to use a stress ball, small toy, or other object at their seat.
- Alter classroom activities to include movement.
- Make sure the student has access to recess and physical education classes.
- Read with the student rather than directing them to read alone.
- Designate clear, visually signaled areas for the student to sit (e.g colored spot in circle time, X on gym floor).
- Designate clear, visually signaled area for the student to stand (e.g. when waiting in line).
- Add shape, color, or texture to a classroom activity.
- Allow the student to do some constructive doodling.
- Schedule times for physical activity; take breaks throughout a long or tedious task.
- Make a written behavior plan with one or two goals, and place it near the student.
- Vary the type of reinforcers you apply.
- Change rewards if they are not effective in changing behavior.
- Reward more than you punish, using positive reinforcement.
- Give consequences immediately following misbehavior, and be specific in explanation.
- Give advance warning of when transition is going to take place.
- Praise good behavior and be specific with praise.
- Write a schedule for the day and cross off each item as it is completed.
- Provide as much positive attention and recognition as possible.
- Clarify and post rules and expectations within the classroom.
- Establish a signal or cue with the student to help maintain attention.
- Pause about 5 seconds before answering questions.
- Have the student repeat the question before answering.
- Choose a student to be a "question keeper."
- Have students generate questions about a topic before introducing it.
- Tell stories and assign writing tasks that have a mix of fact and fiction.
- Play attention and listening games.
- Monitor unnecessary stimulation in the classroom.
- Keep assignments short.
- Stress accuracy over speed.
- Evaluate teaching tempo.
- Using a clock or timer, tell students how long they are to work on an assignment.
- Direct student to keep a file of his / her completed work.
- Teach student self-talk strategies.
- Use lists, calendars, charts, pictures, and finished products in the classroom.
- Post a monthly calendar with assignment due dates and test dates on it.
- Count down for the last several minutes of an activity.
- Use lighting to signal an activity change.
- Have a procedure for collecting assignments.
- Allow student to have breaks about every ten to twenty minutes.
- Teach social skills to improve peer relationships and reciprocal work and play.
|Academics and Organization
- Make and model predictions - ask the student what they think might happen next.
- Act out a story (Reader’s Theater).
- Have the class orally recite a well known story as a chain story.
- Have a procedure for turning in homework folder.
- Help the student organize belongings on a daily basis.
- Keep an extra set of textbooks and other materials at home, if possible.
- Teach the student to make and use checklists, crossing items off as they are finished.
- Use color-coded folders and show the student how to use them.
- Pick a specific time and place for homework that is as free as possible of distractions.
- Use a clock and timers to monitor homework.
- Give extra time and frequent breaks for certain tasks.
- Use accommodations based on the needs of the student (e.g. a highlighter, computer use, separate setting, extended time, mark in test booklet, and preferential seating).
- Provide additional reading time, or shorten required reading time.
- Use "previewing" strategies.
- Use films, tapes, flash cards, or small group work.
- Monitor letter/number reversals and loss of place when reading.
- Use books-on-tape if possible.
- Provide students with outlines, or handouts.
- Have specific locations for all materials.
- Reduce amount of materials presented.
- Directions should be delivered verbally and visually (stated aloud and written).
- Give one-step directions, avoiding multi-step instructions.
- Use peer tutoring and cooperative learning.
- Be consistent with all daily instruction.
- Repeat instructions calmly in a positive manner.
- Provide the student with a model of what he / she should be doing.
- Use a daily notebook for homework assignment.
- Use a notebook for daily communication with parents.
- Make the student feel comfortable asking for help.
- Assign only one task at a time.
- Use modified assignments that can be less difficult, while maintaining the same/similar learning objectives.
Behavior management techniques can be used in the home, school, and community settings. Functional Behavior Assessments/Behavior Intervention Plans can be created by examining a student's specific problem behavior, identifying antecedents, understanding consequences that maintain the behavior, and developing strategies to reduce the inappropriate behavior and increase desirable behavior.
Medication can be prescribed to a student with ADD to help improve attention span and ability to focus as well as to help control impulses and other hyperactive behavior.