25 Tips for Teachers
How to Help a Child with ADHD in the Classroom
Creating the Classroom Environment.
- Keep the classroom schedule simple and post it clearly in the classroom.
- Seat the child with ADHD in the front of the class and away from other distractions like open doors, windows, air conditioners.
- Keep the classroom “rules” simple – 3-5 maximum.
- Be the role model for organization. Have distinct areas for materials and books. Label these areas clearly.
- Try to keep the daily schedule consistent and avoid too many transitions. Children with ADHD typically do not transition well from task to task, so try to avoid too many changes. Advanced warning of changes to routine or tasks is always helpful and will often alleviate undue stress.
- If the child is working independently, list the assignments clearly on the board. Give one assignment at a time. Once the child completes one assignment have them “check in” with you to receive additional instructions.
- Allow movement breaks.
- Desk/space dividers will help with focus.
- Keep a clock or timer close: www.timetimer.com. Children with ADHD struggle greatly with time management.
- When grouping students for peer collaborative work, the child with ADHD might need an assigned role within the group. Peer relationships can often be tested in these types of situations. Careful consideration of groupings will allow for a better learning environment.
Giving Instructions and Assignments.
- Maintain eye contact.
- Instructions should be concise and direct. Avoid giving too many explanations when giving instructions or the child will forget what he/she actually needs to do!
- Ask for a comprehension check before starting the activity.
- Children with ADHD often need instructions repeated. Repeat the instructions calmly, without judgment, and post them on the board.
- Encourage the child with ADHD to advocate for him/herself. Create the environment where the child can ask for help, if needed.
- Make certain accommodations when necessary or appropriate. Discover the child’s strengths and use them when testing the child ‘s knowledge. Give options for demonstrating knowledge of the subject matter.
- List homework assignments on the board – always in the same designated area.
- Maintain a website that lists homework and long-range projects.
- Help the child plan and appropriately schedule long-range projects. Partner with parents to help keep their child organized and “on track” for long-range projects that are primarily completed at home. Monitor and support progress frequently.
- Make sure that the child has written down his/her assignments and give the child ample time to do so.
Encourage and Champion!
- 21. Children with ADHD often receive a great deal of negative feedback. Provide encouragement and praise more than criticize.
- If it is necessary to discipline the child, do so calmly. State the infraction calmly. In the heat of the moment, avoid asking the child why he/she did something. Wait until the child calms down to discuss the situation.
- Administer consequences immediately. Be certain that the consequences correspond appropriately to the developmental age of the child.
- Praise positive behavior.
- Agree upon a “secret” signal with the child. Use this signal as a reminder to the child to appropriately change behavior.
Remember, children who are
less stressed, less pressured, less tired, and less frustrated
learn a lot better!
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