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

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