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The ADHD Book of Lists: A Practical Guide for Helping Children and Teens with Attention Deficit Disorders, 2nd Edition by Sandra F. Rief

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2.12 Strategies for Attention, Focus, and On-Task Behaviors

What Teachers Can Do to Help

Environmental Factors and Accommodations

  • Provide preferential seating: up front, within cueing distance of the teacher, near well-focused classmates, and away from as many distractions as possible, such as doors, windows, and high-traffic areas of the room.
  • Provide options for a less distracting work area through the use of study carrels, office areas, partitions, and privacy boards. These should not be used if they are viewed by the students in the class as punitive measures or as accommodations for students with special needs only.
  • Be aware of and reduce environmental distractions, such as unnecessary writing on the board, clutter on tables, squeaky table and chair legs, buzzing fluorescent lights.
  • Allow the use of earphones or earplugs for distractible students at certain times of the day, for example, during seatwork time. Keep a few sets available for students to access as well as requiring the use of headsets when working on classroom computers or listening centers.
  • See List 2.3 for many more environmental strategies and accommodations.

Management Factors and Accommodations

  • Use clear auditory and visual cues to gain attention of all students, such as flashing lights, ringing chimes, or another distinctive sound maker that alerts the class to stop, look, and listen.
  • Train students to respond to a verbal cue, such as Whole Brain Teaching's call and response of “Class! Yes!” and variations ...

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