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Tips for Keeping ADHD Students on Track in Class

Thursday, January 19, 2017 | 12:00 AM

Teaching students with ADHD can be challenging for even the most experienced educators. Students who exhibit ADHD symptoms — such as inability to concentrate, hyperactivity and impulsive behavior — may have a harder time succeeding in traditional educational settings. As a teacher, it is important to understand how to facilitate meaningful learning opportunities for each student.

For students with ADHD, positive learning experiences most commonly originate with flexible teachers who are willing to alter teaching methods, make accommodations for struggling students and monitor disruptive behavior with strength-based intervention techniques. Students in an online Master of Education in Special Education degree can expect to study various ways to help ADHD students maintain focus.

Utilize Appropriate Seating Arrangements

ADHD students have difficulty concentrating; simple movements or commotion often distract them. Therefore, it is best to keep students with ADHD seated away from doors, windows and loud or distracting classmates. Teachers may decide to seat ADHD students closer to the teacher’s desk, in order to intervene more easily if behavior becomes an issue.

Remain Organized and Communicative

If you are teaching students with ADHD, you might find it helpful to be as organized and communicative as possible. Students with ADHD may be more comfortable with color-coded schedules; a detailed list of the day’s lessons; and clearly organized binders that include expectations, homework schedules and reading assignments.

Embrace Fun in the Classroom

Students with ADHD thrive when teachers permit them to move their bodies and explore their physical spaces. If possible, try not to restrict the students to their desks for the entire class. Instead, you might consider using competitive games, oral quizzes or other fun exercises to engage the students and keep them focused on the lesson.

Use Appropriate and Respectful Interventions

If you must correct a student’s disruptive behavior, it can be helpful to involve the student in creating intervention strategies. Together, student and teacher can decide on specific nonverbal cues — such as a hand signal — to communicate when certain behavior is inappropriate. If you do need to discuss behavior with the student, it is best to talk privately to avoid embarrassing the child.

Teachers completing an online master’s degree in special education can expect to study various methods to support students with ADHD in the classroom. As ADHD continues to challenge student populations, it is important to make sure educators are engaging this community of students and providing meaningful learning experiences for all types of learners.

Learn about University of Texas Rio Grande Valley online M.Ed. in Special Educational program.


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