Teaching strategies for students with ADHD

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can be a tremendous hurdle for students to tackle.  Regardless of whether you’re a teacher guiding a learning pod, a Science instructor offering a STEAMED summer camp lesson or a parent raising a child with ADHD, you know that childhood ADHD sometimes takes a toll on everyday life. We want to discuss some teaching strategies that will help children with ADHD succeed in school & reach for the stars.

What are some teaching strategies for students with ADHD?​

Structure your lessons to provide consistency for your students with ADHD

One of the best approaches to support a student with ADHD is to provide structure. This means providing a predictable and consistent routine that will help the student feel more comfortable and allow them to narrow their focus without worrying about impending tasks. Please start each lesson with a brief review of the material covered in the previous lesson to achieve this.

For example, you can say something like, “No two Zebras have the same two stripes, can anyone else remember a fact we learned about zebras?” You want to help refresh the student’s memory and give them a better foundation for understanding the new material by revisiting the past lesson first.

zebra questions

Next, you’ll provide a clear overview of what will be covered in the current lesson. For example, “today, we are going to explore antelopes.” Once again, The goal is to help the student know what to expect and help them focus their attention. Finally, at the end of each lesson, please summarize what you just taught them in that lesson. For example, “we have said antelopes are herbivores like zebras; they eat grass and wild animals.” Doing this will help solidify the material in the student’s minds and give them a sense of accomplishment.

Reduce the number of distractions & stimulations for children with ADHD

A common challenge for students with ADHD is that they are easily distracted. For example, a passing airplane or the sounds of chirping birds can drag their attention away from the teacher. This can be a massive problem in the traditional classroom setting, where we have a lot of visual and auditory stimuli & neurotypical children are not bothered. To help reduce distractions, please consider relocating the learner from the back of the room or near the windows to the front & closer to you. You want to reduce the number of distractions and allow the student to focus better on the guidance. Try limiting them to bright light exposure, such as sitting right below the bulb.

children with ADHD

The use of positive reinforcement as encouragement and motivation

Another well-spoken of strategy for managing with childhood ADHD in the learning and home environment is to use of positive reinforcement. This approach means rewarding students when they display desired behavior. For example, you can give them a sticker or small prize when they sit still and pay attention during a lesson. This will stiffen the student’s resolve to be more positive on the rewarded behavior. If you’re clueless about starting with this strategy, start with verbal praise to reinforce desired behavior. For example, “Great job paying attention!” or “I’m so proud of you for staying on task!” Positive reinforcement will undoubtedly encourage any student to succeed in the classroom.

positive reinforcement

Provide frequent breaks throughout long lessons

Another strategy that can prove helpful for students with ADHD is to provide frequent breaks. Don’t burn them out. For example, if you are teaching an extended lesson on history or art, try to break it up into smaller chunks with breaks in between. The breaks could be a few minutes of free time to go outside & run as they want or play games. This will protect the students from over stimulation, which happens when they try to process too much and eventually get overwhelmed, leading to body restlessness.

Incorporate visuals within your teaching strategies for students with ADHD

ADHD students often benefit from visual aids. You’ll need materials such as flashcards, posters Montessori or STEAMED materials to help students remember important information. You can also use video clips or pictures to help engage the student and make the material more interesting. If you are teaching a lesson on divisions, you could show a video clip of someone slicing a cake and explain how the fractions work as they measure out the different pieces of cake

childhood ADHD

So these are just a few tidbits of ideas that can help make your lessons more effective for children with ADHD. We hope that they will be helpful for you and your students. Happy teaching!

Seeking resources for your child with ADHD? We can help!

Quantum Montessori School is excited to partner with KCKS Literacy Program as part of our schoolwide mission to drive literacy to students outside of our institution who may be in need of some extra guidance. We cultivate, strengthen, and invest in the most impactful methods and strategies to enhance learning, interest, and comprehension in our students’ reading and writing.

Don’t tackle this hurdle alone, give us a call at +1 (855) 515-6465 or connect with us below to learn more! Thank you for reading.

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