Traditionally, schools are places where kids learn to sit still, listen, follow instructions, pay attention. But ADD students won’t be able to fulfill such requirements as their brains work in the opposite way. So how can tutors help students with ADD? Here we give you 5 tools you can use to engage these unique kids:
1. It’s all about the chairs
There are several options you have when it comes to “sitting” ADD students:
- Thera-bands: Wrap these bands around the feet of the chair. ADD students can fidget with it while working on a task.
- Balance balls: Originally designed for physical therapy, balance balls are proving to be of great help for students with ADD. This is because balance balls require kids to be constantly moving so as to not lose their balance. So their physical energy is redirected into something positive. Gaiam.com offers a great example of a second grade teacher who got a few balance balls for her classroom. She immediately saw a change for the better with of some of the ADD students’ behaviour.
- Chair-free classroom: The idea here is to redesign the entire classroom so ADD students have multiple choices when it comes to sitting while doing a task. They can sit on the floor, stand by the desks, lay down on floor mats, and other options. This encourages physical movement and allows students with ADD to learn however they feel most comfortable at any given time.
2. Incorporate quick physical games during lessons
Get up and move activities can help kids who can’t sit still for too long. So take 2 minutes a few times out of your lesson and play a game! Jumpbunch.com has a great list of simple games you can play with your students. Some of them include Simon Says, Wall to Wall, and Duck, Duck, Goose.
3. Use individual timers to help students with ADD concentrate
Starrstrangledplanner.com suggests giving students their own timer if you need them to stay focused at a given task. This visual reminder may help students to be less distracted when doing an activity. But still, with ADD students, try to keep tasks short enough so their attention span lasts an appropriate length. Say, giving them 5-10 minutes for one task and then taking a quick movement break. This may be easier to achieve for ADD students.
4. Give them something to chew on
Theinspiredtreehouse.com says that “certain smells, tastes, and textures have been associated with more attentive behaviour in children.” So give them a chewable tool like y-chews, chewable pencil toppers, or a chewable necklace.
ADD students can still learn!
Finally, remember that, although you can help students with ADD, they are quite capable of learning. They just learn in a different way. And each individual ADD student will be different from another. So the above tips may offer general help for teachers struggling with ADD students. If you need more specific tips for helping ADD students, check out the following articles:
- Teaching students with ADD/ADHD
- Suggested classroom interventions for children with ADD & learning disabilities
Also, check out our articles on similar topics for further information: