School Strategies for Students with ADHD

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Ezyschooling Correspondent
3 months ago
School Strategies for Students with ADHD

Are you working with some students with ADHD? Classroom strategies can be a bit different for teachers with ADHD students since they have needs that are unique from their peers. You may feel challenged at times, especially since these kids have trouble focusing and are easily overwhelmed. 

Remember that as a teacher, you have a huge impact on helping an ADHD student succeed. To meet their learning needs and promote positive behaviours, it’s vital to understand ADHD and how it manifests in their lives. 

Also Read | Discover the Importance of Experiential Learning for Students


What is ADHD?


ADHD stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It’s a medical condition affecting approximately 5% of children and adolescents worldwide, as shown by research. Young people who are diagnosed with this condition usually cannot sit still, are easily distracted, and act without thinking first (like saying things they’ll later regret or jumping from one activity to another). 

It’s interesting to note that while ADHD signs and symptoms start at an early age, around 5 or 6 years old, they become more obvious as these kids go to school. It’s a time when kids meet expectations, follow rules, and build harmonious relationships with others — and ADHD students may struggle with these areas. 

Additionally, it should be emphasized that ADHD itself is not a learning disability, although it can look like one. 

Kids with ADHD have their own strengths too, such as their increased curiosity and energy. But when used in the wrong situations, these can also negatively affect their learning and progress in school. For example, refusing to start or finish an assignment because they’re too distracted by something else. 


What Does ADHD Look Like in the Classroom?

3 kids in classroom

Common behaviours suggesting ADHD in the classroom include the following:

  • Doesn’t seem to listen when spoken to.
  • Struggling with meeting school deadlines. 
  • Is easily sidetracked by other things, such as noise, movements, and even their own thoughts.
  • Has difficulty waiting for their turn. They cannot stay calm while waiting. 
  • A tendency to interrupt conversations if they believe they have something important to say. 
  • Difficulty completing assignments and remembering things during tests. 
  • Routinely forgetting things, and even losing things. 
  • A lack of attention to detail — e.g. not reading the full instructions of an assignment.
  • Tends to provoke others to make them feel stimulated. 

Keep in mind that some behaviours may look like ADHD, but in reality, they result from other issues like anxiety or trauma. 

For students with an ADHD diagnosis, their symptoms can vary depending on the type of ADHD that’s affecting them. It can be the inattentive type, hyperactive-impulsive type, or the combined type. 


How Teachers Can Help Children With ADHD

Teacher with student

The classroom setting and tasks that teachers provide should be modified for students with ADHD. The good news is that these strategies are also beneficial for other students. 

Before going through the tips below, we recommend checking out these ADHD worksheets. They include helpful resources that show educators and parents different coping skills for kids and teens with ADHD, as well as techniques to stimulate their brains. 

1. Seat them in an area with minimal distractions

You might notice an ADHD student unable to filter out distractions, such as people walking down a corridor and loud noises. Little things that other students do not notice are highly noticeable for ADHD kids.

A good recommendation is to seat them in the front row — not by the window or by the door where different noises and sights come from. Seating them near the teacher’s table will also make it easier for you to observe them. 

Some would recommend seating an ADHD student in the back as this gives the student opportunities to take breaks by standing and moving around without distracting others. 

2. Incorporate mindfulness exercises

Mindfulness exercises are effective for slowing down their racing thoughts. While they don’t cure ADHD, they reduce its symptoms. A 2019 systematic review found that 100% of the studies using mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) showed an improvement in ADHD symptoms. 

Including mindfulness in the classroom can also help other students by reducing their stress and anxiety levels. 

Deep breathing is a simple exercise to get started with. Any student can do it! Try this: Let them do the “Eagle Breathe” in which they slowly walk around the classroom and bring their wings up and down like an eagle. As they inhale, they bring their wings up. When they exhale, they bring their wings down. Do this for 10 minutes. 

Art therapy projects are also great for mindfulness. They can make a collage from recycled materials or draw how they feel. Through art therapy, they’re given a safe space to express their thoughts and emotions without adhering to rules. 

3. Reward good behaviour

Catch your ADHD student doing the right things in the classroom. Whether it’s finishing their assignments on time, behaving and not acting out, or helping their classmate — it deserves positive feedback. You can tell them, “Matthew, you did such an awesome job completing your assignment on time!” 

You can tell them directly or announce it to the whole class depending on the child’s personality trait. (Some ADHD kids can be extroverts while others are introverts.) 

Other fun rewards include allowing them to sing and dance to their favourite song, giving them playground time, and reward bracelets with encouraging words like “Outstanding Effort,” “Excellent,” “Star Student,” and “Way to Go!” 

4. Confirm that they understand what is required from an assignment

ADHD students learn best when they know what is expected of them. When giving assignments, approach them and ask if there is anything they don’t understand. Simplify your instructions and provide additional guidance when necessary. 

You will also need to remind the student how much time is required for the assignment to be completed. Since kids with ADHD are different in their ability to process information, your approach needs to be individualized to their needs. 

5. Keep your classroom clutter-free

Maintaining a clutter-free environment is especially important for students with ADHD. 

Visual clutter includes everything from a messy bookshelf to papers and chalk crayons everywhere, and too many ceiling decorations from their art projects. A messy classroom draws an ADHD student’s attention away from your lessons. Furthermore, it can create anxiety for teachers and other students. 

Throw away anything that’s out of date. Recycle or donate the rest! Storage bins, paper trays, and art carts are useful for storing relevant items. 

6. Work with their parents

Supporting kids with ADHD leads to better outcomes when teachers and parents collaborate. Parents know how caring for ADHD kids is a complex and demanding task, and this is where a teacher’s help is highly appreciated. 

Together, parents and teachers can openly express their concerns and unique perspectives, and set realistic goals for the child. Make sure to let parents know when their child is doing well. Communicate their achievements, no matter how small they are! 


Final Thoughts

Man holding a bulb

Implementing these techniques regularly will make a world of difference to a child’s school experiences. Teachers should also be careful to not ignore the needs of other students without ADHD. Collaborating with parents and other faculty members is essential to help your ADHD students thrive without wearing yourself out in the process. 

Remember that as teachers and caregivers, we can do a lot in helping these kids manage their symptoms. 

Check Out: What is it in Supervised Learning that Helps Boost Academic Performance?

This article has been reviewed by our panel. The points, views and suggestions put forth in this article have been expressed keeping the best interests of fellow parents in mind. We hope you found the article beneficial.
• adhd
• learning strategy
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