Teaching Teamwork: ADHD in the Classroom

Children can achieve real social and academic gains through cooperative learning. These 5 tips will help your ADHD students work effectively in groups.


Filed Under: For Teachers of ADHD Children, School Behavior
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Group Strategies

Tip #1: Establish a common goal.
Make it clear that the group will be considered successful only if each member is successful individually. Remind ADHD and non-ADHD students that all team members are working toward the same goals and rewards, and that they will use the same resources to attain success. Celebrate the efforts of each group, and praise successes as they occur.

Tip #2: Stress accountability.
Let the group know that each member is responsible not only for learning the material, but also for making sure that all other members learn the material. One strategy is to assign each team member one part of the overall project. If the group is supposed to analyze poetry, let each student pick one poem to read and interpret for the rest of the group.

Breaking the assignment into smaller pieces will make it easier for ADD students to stay focused. Allowing ADDers to take on responsibilities that draw on their strengths and interests will keep them motivated.

Tip #3: Seat students so they face each other.
Students who see eye-to-eye are likely to share materials, encourage each other’s contributions, and work productively. Circulate among the groups, to observe and answer questions, and give verbal reminders and visual prompts to ADHD students. Establish a signal, such as a bell or whistle, to get everyone’s attention quickly.

Next: Tip #4: Create Diverse Groups

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