Question: Is there anything new for the more disruptive student? | Edutopia
Edutopia on Facebook
Edutopia on Twitter
Edutopia on Google+
Edutopia on Pinterest Follow Me on Pinterest
WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Question: Is there anything new for the more disruptive student?

Question: Is there anything new for the more disruptive student?

Related Tags: Classroom Management
More Related Discussions
21 5789 Views
Given my years of experience. I was wondering if there was anything new for what appears to be more and more ADD type of children in the classrooms.

This post was created by a member of Edutopia's community. If you have your own #eduawesome tips, strategies, and ideas for improving education, share them with us.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Share

Comments (21)Sign in or register to postSubscribe to comments via RSS

Hubert V. Yee's picture
Hubert V. Yee
social media and marketing manager of startup

Hi Lindsay,

Are you part of the Twitter chat #elemchat? They are a great source of information on ES students. Give them a try on Twitter. And of course thanks for sharing your wisdom and knowledge on classroom management.

Muriel Rand's picture
Muriel Rand
Professor of Early Childhood Education & Classroom Management Specialist

Here are a few ideas I recommend for children with ADHD:

1. Impulse Control Strategies

-Use a timer to keep the child on task for very short stretches of time. After the timer goes off, the child gets a quick break, then back to work. Gradually help the child extend the time in between breaks. Teach the child how to take appropriate breaks.
-Instead of asking individual children to respond to questions, use Think-Pair-Share so that more children are involved rather than just sitting and waiting to speak (all children will benefit!)
-Devise a special, private hand signal to let him know he's just starting to go off track
-Use self-talk cards with short positive sayings: "I can finish my work" "I can wait for a break"
-Provide fidget items to keep the child's hand busy. These can be calming sensory items like a blanket, squeeze ball, wax sticks, playdo, or silly putty. Tell the other children that the child needs these to stay focused, just like some children need glasses. Not everyone gets them because not everyone needs them.
-Give the child something to hold with both hands while walking in the hallway - like a folder or ribbon.
-Use individual white boards during group time to reduce time that children sit and listen and to increase engagement (all children will benefit!)

Self-Regulation Strategies
-Break down tasks into smaller chunks
-Transition the child a few minutes before the other children and provide plenty of advance warnings about changes
-Teach the child how to track the speaker with his eyes to help increase attention
-Use Self-Monitoring Charts
-Teach child how to calm down
- Have children regulate other children's behaviors. Children who have trouble regulating their own behaviors can learn how to do this by first regulating others. Put this child in charge of finding out who is not on task, or who is not keeping their desk clean, or who is not walking quietly in the hall. They can move from regulating others to eventually observing their own behavior.
-Provide a visual marker (tape or carpet square) for personal space on carpet during group time

Memory Strategies
-Play memory games & mnemonics
-Give directions slowly and repeat them. Ask the child to repeat them back to you.

Planning and Organization Strategies

-Simplify directions
-Make cleaning out and organizing the desks a frequent part of your class schedule
-Prepare an individual daily schedule card that the child can keep at her desk
-Remove distractions - place desk in calm area
-Use checklists for assignments to make sure all parts are completed

General Strategies

-Use visual reminders such as pictures of the daily schedule, pictures of what a clean desk should look like, pictures of how to stand in line
-Review behavior expectations before activities
-Keep a consistent schedule and routines
-Brain exercises - look for computer games and video games that stress focus, attention, and control
-Maintain a positive, close relationship
-Allow wiggling, standing by desk, etc if it doesn't interfere with working

Most important of all: Provide FREQUENT positive feedback. This should be at least four times as many positive comments as corrections. Children who are struggling with ADHD in the classroom needs lots of support to know when they are doing the right thing. Even if you catch the child doing something positive for a half a minute - give positive feedback!

I hope some of these might work for you!

Jamie Schwantes's picture

This past summer, I attended a week long workshop (Responsive Classroom 1) and it was amazing. I have been trying implement the ideas of RC in my classroom for the past 4 years and after attending the workshop I knew that I was on the right path (for me) for creating a positive classroom environment. Here is a link you can use to do some of your own exploring...
Good luck on your journey :)

Muriel Rand's picture
Muriel Rand
Professor of Early Childhood Education & Classroom Management Specialist

Jamie - I totally agree. The Responsive Classroom materials and principles are excellent. They also have a wonderful blog:

I use their video sets and books in my teacher education program. I highly recommend all of them!

Jordan Johnson's picture
Jordan Johnson
4th grade teacher from Ada, MN

I am in my seventh year teaching fourth grade and I am having a problem with one of my students who is ADD. We can discuss appropriate classroom behaviors and the next minute he is doing exactly the opposite of what we discussed. I really appreciate the strategies that were posted for working with ADHD students and will also check out the responsive classroom blog.

Allen490's picture

Thanks for the advice. Will a teacher ever stop experimenting with new ideas?

Michael Griffin's picture
Michael Griffin
Music educator and professional development trainer based in Hampshire, UK.

One of the most useful and under-estimated forms of classroom control is the appropriate and judicious use of background music. You need to know when and how to use it, and most importantly, how to choose it. This also means NEVER letting the students choose the music. I've studied this a great deal. I invite you to read my article 'Background Music in the Classroom' here

Susan's picture
middle school music teacher, Texas

I'm about to take over for a middle school music teacher, choir. I'm hoping since it's an elective that most of the students will be there because they want to be; however, I'm a realist. Last year I taught music in an elementary school where students threw chairs, hit and kicked their teachers, and ran around the school. Only 2 teachers had complete control over their students and they were both 1st grade teachers. I'd never experienced that before and didn't know what to do and had no support. What advice can someone give me on handling middle school kids in a positive and assertive way? What kinds of rewards can I use? I'd like to keep kids in my classroom and out of ISS. How do you handle kids that are so out of control that the police have to be called? I don't expect to have problems that serious in Middle School, but since it's happened once it can happen again and I'd like to know what I can do to prevent that from happening again. Thanks :)

Muriel Rand's picture
Muriel Rand
Professor of Early Childhood Education & Classroom Management Specialist

Hi Susan,
I have three suggestions:
1. Teach the students the exact procedures you want them to use (when entering the room, getting settled, stopping singing, etc.) Have a signal to quiet them and teach all of these is a non-judgmental, calm, matter-of-fact way.
2. Give LOTS of positive feedback to the students who are behaving appropriately. The biggest mistake I see in classrooms is when teachers spend all their time correcting students. Instead of correcting - draw attention to the students who are behaving well. Remember that WHAT YOU PAY ATTENTION TO YOU WILL GET MORE OF.
3. Develop a sense of community within the group. This is easier to do with a choir because by design they must collaborate. Think of developing team spirit. Help them get to know each other, build relationships and feel united.

Even if all these take some time away from rehearsals and class in the beginning - you will more than make up for it in the end by having a positive, smooth-running class.

Good luck!

Heather's picture
Elementary Teacher, Maryland

There are wonderful ideas that have been shared. I have several ADD, ADHD and autistic students in my classroom. Most of my activities are in groups and we rotate every 15-20 minutes to keep them engages and active. I also use parent volunteers to assist with groups to help monitor student behaviors so that the group activities are meaningful.

I use white boards in both Math and Language Arts to help keep my students engaged as well as a timer with a two minute warning signal so that students can prepare themselves to rotate.

I also use communication cards that are laminated at the end of the day and they have to write to their parents telling them about their day. It creates positivity and keeps the students accountable for their actions through out the day.

Best of luck!

Discussion Teacher Talk Examples

Last comment 1 week 1 day ago in Classroom Management

Discussion What's Your Special Moment?

Last comment 1 week 8 hours ago in Classroom Management

Discussion Consequences are Necessary

Last comment 5 days 1 hour ago in Classroom Management

blog Teachers Are in Control: Myth-Busting DI, Part 4

Last comment 1 week 1 day ago in Differentiated Instruction

blog How to Keep Classroom Sleepers Awake

Last comment 1 week 1 hour ago in Health and Wellness

Sign in to comment. Not a member? Register.