16 Practical Ideas for students with ADD

Hello my friends!

Thank you very much for your kind emails!!! After twenty years in education (with students who experience dyslexia, reading, spelling, handwriting difficulties, ADD) and counselling, I know that teachers and other educators are VERY BUSY people with many responsibilities. Many teachers emphasized the need for practical ideas easy to implement in the classroom and not overly time consuming.

These practical ideas are for students who have attention disorder difficulties that interfere with their ability to learn:

Discuss the issues involved with your colleagues and ensure that in general you have got their support for the approach to ADD that you are adopting.

Seat the student away from windows and put the student right in front of your desk.

Develop an two-way agreement in the form of a Contract. A two-way agreement specifies precisely how a student will behave or what task the student will accomplish. It also specifies what support a teacher or administrator will provide in order to assist the student in meeting his/her goals. Ask the student to select a reinforcer that he or she would like to earn if the criterion of the agreement is met. Once the student meets the criterion immediately provide the reinforcer. Each week this Contract need to be reviewed. It may be necessary to modify the requirements made in the Contract.

Some students with ADD may need school accommodations. Some accommodations include extended time on tests, shortened assignments, note taking. Provide worksheets with fewer questions and problems. Break long assignments into smaller chunks and do not grade for neatness.

Use timers or verbal cues to show how much time the student has remaining for an activity.

Students with ADD can learn better by listening. You can provide help for students by reading aloud to them or letting them work with partners or in a group.

Keep your instructions simple.

Do everything possible to avoid background noise while working on language activities. Do everything possible to avoid interrupting. Listen intently and show that you have heard and understood. Encourage your student to complete the task and give lots of praise.

Allow student frequent physical breaks to move around, to hand out or collect materials, run errands to the office, erase the board, etc.

Always begin the question with a student’s name. This focuses the student’s attention before you ask the question and keeps him or her “with you”.

Ask both open-ended and specific types of questions.

When a student makes a correct statement students say “Good job.” If the answer is incorrect, someone says “Good try! or Nice try! or You can do it!”

Use a token system to make sure everyone takes a turn answering your questions and no one monopolizes the conversation.

Students with ADD often have poor short-term memories. Strategies can be taught to improve short-term memory and increase concentration span for example, self-discovery techniques or memory aid systems for remembering specific items.

Teach students to organize their materials. Have students color code by choosing one color per subject. Or suggest that students buy Post It flags in each subject color. Graphic organizers can help all students take a step-by-step approach to solving problems and memorizing information. These organizers can be used to solve math problems, arrange historical events in chronological order or complete any sequence of important facts.

It is very helpful if you can give the attention deficit student some responsibilities which that student will manage to achieve. It helps the child improve self-esteem and gain greater understanding of the sequences of cause and effect.

ADD is unrelated to intelligence.

When these strategies are applied more regularly in the classroom, they will benefit not only students with ADD but the entire learning environment.

Love always,

Vassiliki xxxx