Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Why challenge ADHD students?

When teachers see ADHD on an IEP we often have misconceptions or predetermined ideas of what thses children are capable of. The fact of the matter is that most children with ADHD are very bright, they mostly need guidance and challenge. In the classroom I see the most discipline issues with my ADHDers when they are bored or are being made to work on learning skills that they have already mastered. The best way I have found to counteract this is to 1. Make my whole group lessons highly challenging 2. Make my small group lessons challenging for the particular set of children and 3. differentiate instruction to meet the needs of all in my classroom. Of course this is easier said than done, especially with our ADHDers. When we are working with group 1 what is group 2 doing? Chances are your ADHDers are bouncing around the room and causing issues. Give them a challenge, and I don't just mean a worksheet, this can come in many forms and should be something that interests our ADHDers. I have used yoga balls to bounce on while reading challenging text, playing a computer game while lying on the floor, completing a challenging worksheet upside down (taped to the bottom of the desk), doing jumping jacks etc. while reciting multiplication facts. All of these can be used with the entire class as well. Notice they all involve kinesthetic (movement) learning. I believe this is the key to teaching our ADHDers and not underestimating their intelligence. Till next time, Christine

Thursday, June 7, 2012

ADHD and summer vacation: don't fall into the summer slide

So, it is summer vacation and motivating my ADHD son to do anything but sit around and watch tv is difficult. I have given him a week with no work to do but now it is time to start making sure we don't fall into the summer slide. I find that a schedule is the best way to keep my child in line with the summer expectations. Here is our plan for the summer weekdays:

Summer workbooks for reading and math, 2 pages of each after breakfast.
Computer time: Lakeshore Learning Software and Earobics software
Outside Play
Blog Entry and quiet journaling time
TV time
Reading for 1/2 hour-his choice
1/2 hour cleanup time

The best part of this summer schedule has to be the blog. My son has a bearded dragon that he loves to write about, so we started a blog where he could share his thoughts about his lizard with others. He has started by sharing with family but is starting to get interest from others, this is keeping him excited about it.

This schedule has more purpose than doing homework. My son knows that he will have a great summer where he is ready for the next year and will go in confident and ahead of the game.This also keeps him on a proper sleep schedule which is important for all children, even more important for ADHDers. The schedule is predictable, he knows what comes next and he knows the expectations. This cuts down on the fights, frustrations and struggles that often comes along with these kiddos.

My son is generally very compliant but I know not all ADHDers are so when we hit those walls I give him a break, have him read or offer him a reward for finishing if he is just frustrated. I also give him special rewards "just because" to help keep him going throughout the summer. For example and unexpected day off from work, a trip to the zoo or splashpark etc.

 I hope this helps your summer go well with your children!

Till next time, Christine

p.s. If you want to show my sons blog to your little ones here it is:
It is free and easy!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Free classroom bin labels!

Hello Everyone,

I have just redone my kids playroom! I love summer! The room now includes organizational labels to help them stay organized and to make cleanup easier. I am so happy with how these turned out that I intend on using them in my classroom next year as well. You can download this set of 25 labels by clicking the following link:


Enjoy! Please join my blog and follow me on TpT for more freebies and educational ideas!

***these are the labels I have now replaced address labels with that I had mentioned in my last post. A picture and the word will be sure to help my 4 year old as well as my ADHD 9 year old!****

Saturday, June 2, 2012

You know it is summer when.....

Your mind can wander and you don't have to worry about what you are supposed to be paying attention to!

My ADHD brain needs a break from the hustle and bustle of school. Thank the Lord for summer vacation. Have fun joining this linky partyy over at:

Have a wonderful, relaxing summer!

Till next tine, Christine

Friday, June 1, 2012

You know you are ADHD when.....

O.k. so the school year has ended and my classroom is all closed out but do you think everything was organized and ready for next year.....no way! My worst offenses are putting things where they don't belong and filing! If I could do away with the filing I would be a happy camper. So with the way my ADHD brain works the projects in my classroom seem overwhelming, I can't just focus on a small part or one piece to the puzzle. I have to worry about it all at once. I know my son feels the same so I have put plans into place at home to help. As an adult I have learned coping mechanisms over the years and here is what I am using to help my ADHD child and I stay organized (by no means are we even close to perfect!)

1. Everything has a home and stays there unless being used, must be returned before bedtime.
2. Every home has a label with a picture and the name of what belongs, a list for bins that are home to more than one object.
3. Half an hour of cleanup before bedtime routine.
4. We try to keep each other accountable by setting a timer for cleanup time, encouraging and helping the other. On days when Mommy is exausted he is so sweet and helps as much as he can. On days when he is depleted I either help him or give him a "pass." I let him earn cleanup passes each week that he cleans up as expected. I then allow him to use them on days when he has sleepovers, late activities or he is tired. Of course this means double the cleanup the next day!
5. Weekly/Daily Job chart: Not only for my son but for me as well. I break down my weekly cleaning by day and make sure to get it done as much as possible to set a good example for my boys. For example each of us has a laundry day. Tuesday is my sons laundry day so after school he starts his wash before doing his homework, changes it to the dryer right before dinner and I help him fold and put it away after dinner. (He is awesome about routine, I am the worst offender in our house when it comes to cleaning!)
6. Praise and rewards for a job well done, a happy family too!

I hope you can use some of these ideas with your children ADHD or not. Thanks for visiting, please join my blog for more ADHD posts to come.

Till next time,

Monday, May 14, 2012

How do ADHD kids learn?

I was recently asked by a parent how do kids like hers learn? You might have guessed already, her kids are ADHD. Here is what I told her:

ADHD kids learn through three facets: visual,auditory and kinesthetics, a combination of the three will give teachers a better chance of solidifying concepts in ADHD children.

Why is this any different from "typical" children? Becasue ADHDers need ALL THREE FOR EVERYTHING! (Sorry I know the caps but I have to get this point across) Most children can learn through noe facet, they can take in information auditorally, store it in the right part of the brain and recall it when needed. ADHDers cannot do this. Not only can they not store information properly but reacll is an entirely other issue.

So, how do we teach ADHDers, we engage them visually, engage them with sound/voice and engage them in movement. Whether that movement is manipulating toys for the lesson or allowing a child to move about the room is up to you.

****The point is as an ADHDer myself I could pace a room, wiggle my feet or chew my pencil looking as if in a daydream but I could answer a teachers question without pause. Those little guys are still listening even if it seems they are not!****

So, give them a visual memory, an auditory memory and a kinesthetic memory and watch the learning that takes place, this is good for all children not just ADHDers.

Till next time,

Monday, April 30, 2012

ADHD and ABC Order! Tips and Tricks to help!

My nine year old 3rd grade son has been struggling with ABC order for as long as I can remember. Each time he has his list in front of him he has to go through the entire alphabet out load to figure out which first letter he is looking ofr next. It is excrusiating as a parent and teacher to watch. I have come up with a few ideas that have helped him tremendously. As an added benefit his spelling grade has gone up, I believe as a result to his being able to manipulate the words instead of only writing them.

Here is my plan of attack:

1. I start by writing each word on a lined sheet of paper (this eliminates the other distractions on the workbook pages.)
2. I then give my son 4 small post it notes and have him place them under each word that starts the same. He can then concentrate on only those words. I have him cross out the first letter then look for the next letter and so on. If you were looking to order the words anywhere, anytime and anyhow you would place the post it under each, cross out the "any" and look at the fourth letter to decide which word came first.

I use this next activity as a prep for an ABC order quiz and as a starting point for spelling lists with more than 4 words with the same beginning letter.

 1. I write all 30 words on a seperate small post it note and attach randomly to a blank sheet of paper.
 2. I then divide 2 pieces of notebook paper sitting side by side into 4 columns.
3. I instruct my son to find all of the letter "a" words and place them in the first row. ( I also label each row from beginning sound to #4)
After he has all of the letter "a" words we then examine them to see if any have the same second letter. In this case we are dealing with i,l and n. Since i and l appear only once both move to colunm 2. Since there are three words with n second we look to the third letter and they are all y. We move all three of these words to column 3 since we are examining the third letter.

We determine that the colunm 2 words must be first and second in order since we are only going to the 2nd letter.

We still have to figure out what letter we are going to use to determine the order of these three words. Looks like the 4th letter will help us out.

From the third row we can decifer that the fourth letter will determine the ABC order for these three words. We label them with numbers and copy them to our homework sheet.

Continue this same routine until all of your words are in order. At first learning how to do this was a struggle and took some practice however it was well worth the time. My son not only cut his homework time in half using this system but also has improved his spelling grades. I hope you find the same success with this approach to ABC order and spelling!
Till next Time,

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Welcome to the ADHD Teacher!

Welcome to my new blog, The ADHD Teacher, I have started this blog as a way to reach parents and teachers with my experiences as an ADHD person and full time Pre-K teacher. I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was 12 years old and struggling in school. My brother who was 6 at the time had also been diagnosed ADHD, my mother decided to have us all tested.

My Mother described me as busy and dramatic, emotional and distracted. I was all of these things and then some. I had tranference issues, low mental energy, mood swings (major), inability to focus, inability to sit still, excessive talking and fidgeting. All of the things you would expect from an ADHD girl and I was truly annoying to everyone, my freinds, my teachers and my parents. I think my Mom just thought I was a normal child until my brother came along.

My brother was uncontrollable from toddler to today, hyperactive, always in trouble and horrible in school. The teachers truly did not know what to do with him. It wasn't until he was diagnosed with ADHD at six and placed on ritalin that he calmed down, but still not enough to make him successful in school. I have often wondered why he is this way, what the teachers could have done differently, what could have helped him to be better.

I blamed the teachers for a long time for his and my failure to do well in school. I often felt misunderstood and picked on by adults because we weren't your typical children. I have come to learn that it is not the teachers, the parents or the kids that determine the success of ADHDers but a combination of the three.

So, on this blog I hope to:

 Encourage teachers to find best practices and teaching strategies to reach these children.

 Encourage parents to hang in there, fight for their children and know there are teachers and administrators who are willing to work hard for the success of all children.


Encourage children with ADD/ADHD that they can be successful!

With any luck you will be visiting this sight often for insight and strategies and find yourself encouraged by my words and those who choose to post comments. Please join me on this journey!
Many Blessings,