Differentiation is something every teacher integrates into their classroom. As all teachers know, it’s not an easy job to differentiate learning; considering that there are all types of learners. Most classrooms have a unique blend of gifted learners, English Language Learners, students with special needs, and students at different reading levels to consider. Each child is a unique and an individual learner whose learning styles we must take into consideration! That being said, students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder should be given accommodations as well. Here are some easy to implement strategies for active students:
- Incorporate more problem-based and student-based learning into lesson plans. Focus less on the lecture and more on students accomplishing something! Think-Pair-Sharesand KWL charts are great too to keep students busy and engaged!
- Use music and movement into your lessons! Why not find an educational song on YouTube and boogie a little? It’s fun, and a catchy tune can sometimes help students remember important facts! I just used a song on animal adaptations in the classroom and it was stuck in my head for the rest of the week (that part wasn’t fun but I could recite at least four different adaptations from just one listen!)
- Students need a solid routine. Make sure you announce activities before they begin and give 5 minute warnings.
- Even though some teachers withhold recess as a behavior consequence (I really dislike using this method in general) don’t let this student miss out on a recess!
- REPETITON REPETITION REPETITION! In order for the routine to stick, students need to practice it over and over! Especially with younger elementary students.
- Seat students with A.D.H.D near your desk so you can redirect them if needed. They can still sit with group members but it may help with situations that come up during independent work.
- Rewards! When a student sees another being rewarded for on-task behavior, they may strive a little harder to stay focused.
- Be aware of possible distractions in your classroom. Don’t sit students who easily lose focus next to the window or door.
- BE KIND. Be patient. Try to think how tough it must be to be in their shoes. School is a challenge when you have difficulty focusing.
- Incorporate multiple intelligence strategies (Howard Gardner’s theory) into your teaching. Get the other parts of the brain working.
Here are the nine intelligences:
- Talk to his or her parents. See what works and what doesn’t. No one knows the child better than his or her parent/guardian.
- Write down directions. Repeat important directions. Make sure you have the entire class’s attention when explaining a new activity.
- Praise for things that student did correctly. Focus on the positive rather than the negative.
- Make up silly and fun acronyms, draw pictures or graphic organizers, or use other memory techniques to help them retain information.
- After students complete a mentally strenuous activity, make sure to take a brain break.