10 Hurdles to Learning: recent publications

9 ADHD Strategies Every Teacher Should Know

Success in the classroom is a two-way street. To learn, students must show up prepared and excited for class. But teachers have to prepare as well. Understanding a student’s unique challenges will help teacher and student become a winning team.

Here are valuable strategies from a student with ADHD to clue teachers in to how students with ADHD learn best.I don’t always make eye contact, sit upright, or even sit still, but that doesn't mean I’m not listening. If you’re not sure, ask me what you just said rather than constantly asking if I’m paying attention. If I respond correctly, then I am.

If I can’t repeat the information, try to gain my attention before stating it again.It is a challenge for me to learn passively for extended periods of time. Get me as involved as possible because my brain does better with interactive learning. The more of my senses you address, the more engaged I will be.

Don’t just tell me what to do, show me how, and then have me show you I understand.[Free Download: What Every Teacher Should Know About ADHD]Sometimes I don’t pay attention because I’m distracted. Sometimes, I need a distraction. A totally still environment can cause my ears and eyes to strain to find out where distractions went.

If I have something subtle to occupy me —two quarters to rub together or a small fidget toy — I am neither distracted nor seeking out the distractions. I am relaxed and alert.Don’t take it personally if I seem bored. I have a hard time motivating myself to do tasks that are not highly interesting to me.

My brain craves stimulation, so even listening to soft background music through headphones helps keep part of my brain busy. Give me incentives, too. Small rewards help encourage me, so that I can pull my

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How to Help ADHD Brains Follow Directions the First Time
Have you ever tried to assemble an IKEA desk with a dozen screws and parts? How about filing your own federal taxes—ever attempted that? What about trying to follow someone’s verbal driving directions instead of using a GPS?These scenarios can be daunting and anxiety-provoking—and very similar to the Herculean task of following a teacher’s complex verbal instructions when you have ADHD, dyslexia, or other learning challenges.To help all of your students successfully follow your directions, use these proven teacher strategies.With independent work tasks, directions should be presented with as much visual clarity as possible to make it easy for students to decipher the main components.For elementary school students:[Download: 11 Focus Fixes for the Classroom]For middle school students:For high school students:[Read: How to Remove Hurdles to Writing for Students with ADHD]Understanding and following verbal directions requires several executive functions skills–shifting and sustaining focus, selecting what’s important, and engaging working memory, among others.For elementary school students:For middle school students:For high school students:So, the next time you’re about to give directions, recall the frustration and lost hours you experienced putting together that do-it-yourself office desk, and try to save your students from the same fate.Ezra Werb, M.Ed., is an educational therapist and author of Teach for Attention! A Tool Belt of Strategies for Engaging Students with Attention Challenges. (#CommissionsEarned)#CommissionsEarned As an Amazon Associate, ADDitude earns a commission from qualifying purchases made by ADDitude readers on the affiliate links we share.
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