Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Help Students to Develop Focus, Listening, & Attention Skills

Top 10 Ways to Help Students Develop Academic Focus, Active Listening, & Mindful Attention

  • Focusing strategies for ADD/ADHD students 
  • Strategies to help ALL students stay on task 
  • Focus and listening activities for all students 
  • Attention strategies for stressed and struggling students 

1. Cultivate mindfulness (remember to be present, authentic, nonjudgmental, and focused) in yourself as a teacher. Students and teachers need a toolbox full of focusing strategies that include somatic quitting, focused meditation, and cognitive brain retraining. Everyone needs daily practice, focusing their thoughts and changing distracted mindless behaviors.

2. Keep lectures very short, one minute of micro lecturing per grade level is the rule. Chunk ideas, directions, concepts into small units that gives students time to think about and reflect on. Use multimodal tools when lecturing, have students stand during short lectures, share ideas with shoulder partners, ask questions, summarize ideas, chant, praise, and use engagement strategies like Thumb-O-Meters to rate lectures and ideas.

3. Use brain breaks and recces hourly. The numb mind/butt theory, we evolved to think, talk, and problem-solve on our feet, while we are walking. So what do we do as teachers, plant our kids in chairs and tell them to stop talking and pay attention.

4. Play cognitive listening and disciplined attention 
games. I tell my students that I am going to make intentional mistakes during my lessons, their job is to be mindful and catch me when I use "distractors." When I read and review my weekly vocabulary list I will add silly distractors to see check who is really listening. 

5. Use Socratic inquiry to help students reflect on attentive moments, discuss what highly focused attention looks like and the benefits of nonjudgmental focus. Cultivate a classroom environment that is high energy, student interest lead, and promotes and ongoing dialectic around mindful focus. “At what moment did you hear/learn/discover this fact, opinion, idea, belief, or thought about....?”, “ What did you discover about your...”

6. Use think alouds "metacognition" to demonstrate to students how teachers and adults bring their attention back to a lesson or the class.

7. Stop being so boring, stop reading and presenting tedious, tiresome, and unmemorable lessons! This is hard in schools that use mass-market publisher curriculum! Capturing a student's attention is a real art as is teaching. Practice your teaching craft and learn to be a more compelling, authentic, humorous, and a more emotional speaker. Our minds are distraction machines that do not pay attention to uninteresting stimuli!

8. Take classes on the cognitive neuroscience of learning, mindfulness (focus & attention on the moment), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (Techniques for Brain Re-Training), and Positive Behavior Support.

9. Learn to cultivate academic focus, active listening, & mindful attention by identifying strengths and weakness in yourself and your students. Building a highly focused classroom is a collaborative effort with endless chances to improve.

10. Practice mindful meditation, somatic quitting, and make your own happiness, motivation, and mindfulness in your own classroom a priority. 


Helping Students Develop the Skills to Focus | Edutopia
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15 Strategies for Managing Attention Problems | Reading Rockets
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Teaching Students with ADHD to F.O.C.U.S.: A Learning Strategy
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[PDF]Focusing on success : teaching students with Attention Deficit ...
Focusing on success : teaching students with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, grades 1–12. ... A PDF version of this resource is available on the ... The development of this resource was a collaborative project between Calgary ... use to help students with AD/HD manage learning so that school is a.

Teaching Students with ADHD to F.O.C.U.S.: A Learning Strategy
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[PDF]Teaching Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ...
difficulty focusing their attention on assigned tasks. However, the following practices can help children with ADHD improve their organization of homework and ...

[PDF]Intervention and Strategies for Students - North Branford Public Schools
Intervention and Strategies for Students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. 2 ... Develop a class routine that will structure the student's day and provide predictability. • Assign a buddy to help organize assignments and homework.

[PDF]Classroom Interventions for Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder ...
This packet focuses on classroom intervention strategies to enhance the learning environment for students with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder for students may increase his need for additional academic and behavioral supports. ... o Color-Coded Folders: Provide the student with color-coded folders to help organize ...

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Attention? Space can help improve student attention, engagement and learning outcomes .... equate sitting still with greater attention and focus. On the contrary ...

[PDF]Increasing Attention in the Classroom - Super Duper Publications
Attention plays a very important role in students' success in the classroom. Attention allows students to ... use to increase focus in their classrooms: Structure the ...

[PDF]Using Active Learning Instructional Strategies to Create Excitement ...
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[PDF]Fun Ways to Increase Children's Attention Span - Arkansas Tech ...
May 3, 2007 - Fun Ways to Increase Children's Attention Span. By ... is to provide fun activities that allow the child to focus for extended amounts of time. ... examples/handouts of fun activities that are useful in helping to increase the child's.

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