ADHD I: How to craft your lesson for a child with ADHD

Teaching techniques for students with ADD/ADHD

Teaching techniques that help students with ADD/ADHD focus and maintain their concentration
on your lesson and their work can be beneficial to the entire class.

Starting a lesson

  • Signal the start of a lesson with an aural cue, such as an egg timer, a cowbell or a horn.
    (You can use subsequent cues to show much time remains in a lesson.)
  • List the activities of the lesson on the board.
  • In opening the lesson, tell students what they’re going to learn and what your
    expectations are. Tell students exactly what materials they’ll need.
  • Establish eye contact with any student who has ADD/ADHD.

Conducting the lesson

  • Keep instructions simple and structured.
  • Vary the pace and include different kinds of activities. Many students with ADD do well
    with competitive games or other activities that are rapid and intense.
  • Use props, charts, and other visual aids.
  • Have an unobtrusive cue set up with the student who has ADD/ADHD, such as a touch
    on the shoulder or placing a sticky note on the student’s desk, to remind the student to
    stay on task.
  • Allow a student with ADD/ADHD frequent breaks.
  • Let the student with ADHD squeeze a Koosh ball or tap something that doesn’t make
    noise as a physical outlet.
  • Try not to ask a student with ADD/ADHD perform a task or answer a question publicly
    that might be too difficult.

Ending the lesson

  • Summarize key points.
  • If you give an assignment, have three different students repeat it, then have the class say
    it in unison, and put it on the board.
  • Be specific about what to take home.


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