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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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3.4 Keeping Students On Task during Seatwork

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Students with ADHD often have significant difficulty remaining focused and productive during independent seatwork activities because of inattention, distractibility, and poor impulse control. Weaknesses in working memory and self-monitoring also interfere with successful completion of independent classwork assignments. The following strategies are beneficial for all students but are particularly important for those with ADHD:

  • Provide sufficient guided practice before having students work independently on seatwork activities.
  • Be aware that if the student was not paying attention when you taught something necessary for understanding the seatwork assignment, he or she won't be able to do the work without being retaught or getting assistance.
  • Check for clarity. Make sure your directions are clear and students understand them before beginning their seatwork.
  • Give students a manageable amount of work that they are capable of doing independently.
  • Make sure necessary supplies are available so students can work during independent time without excuses. Have extra (but less desirable) materials available for unprepared students. For example, rather than providing new pencils, have a can of old pencils or golf pencils they may borrow from.
  • Keeping a small plastic pencil sharpener at their desk eliminates the excuse for students to get up and sharpen ...

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