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.

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Group Strategies

Tip #4: Create diverse groups.
Not all students — and particularly those with ADHD — come to school possessing the skills and social confidence needed to work collaboratively. Teachers must teach teamwork as carefully as they teach academic skills.

Each group should be made up of strong students and those who need extra help. When possible, children with ADHD should be placed in groups with students who can be role models. Designate jobs for each child (reader, materials handler, and so on). See that each student gets a chance to play each role.

Tip #5: Encourage them to talk.
Students should periodically discuss how they are working together and whether they are on track. After a group session, encourage members to ask: “What did we do well as a group?” and “What could we do better?” Weigh in with your own appraisal of their efforts.

Setting Specific Goals
Set a “mastery level” for each member of the group, and reward the group with bonus points for meeting each member’s goal. For example: “If all members of your group score 90 percent or better on the test, each of you will receive five bonus points.”

Adapted with permission from sandrarief.com and How to Reach and Teach Children with ADD/ADHD, Second Edition (Jossey Bass) by Sandra F. Rief.

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