For Teachers

In Your Seats, Working

Five tips to help active students keep their bodies and their minds poised for learning.

Two ADHD students at school.

Kids with ADHD find it hard to stay in their seats for sustained periods. Whenever possible, it is helpful to give those students a chance to get up and move around. But when they have to be seated, these ideas will increase their odds of staying put:

1) Send students to their seats with a written task card, checklist, or things-to-do sheet. Have students cross out each task as they complete it.

2) Do frequent check-ins, monitoring progress on the work assigned and redirecting the student’s attention when needed.

3) Use a timer and a “beat the clock” system to motivate kids to finish. Reward students for on-task behavior and work completed during short, designated segments.

4) Make sure directions are clear and understood before sending students back to their seats to work independently.

5) With scissors, cut assignments or work pages into smaller segments, and pass out one part at a time. This may reduce the frustration a student feels when seeing long, involved worksheets.

Adapted from How to Reach and Teach Children with ADD/ADHD, Second Edition, and The ADD/ADHD Checklist, Second Edition, by SANDRA F. RIEF, M.A.