Strategies for Teaching Children with ADHD to Finish Assignments
If you teach children with ADHD, you probably have noticed that it can be very difficult to for them to finish assignments. Luckily, it can get better with the following strategies for teaching children with ADHD to finish assignments. These tips are easy, but effective in facilitating more finished assignments. Most don't require a lot of time, but you are sure to see a lot of improvement when you implement these suggestions.
Seating for Success
If you are teaching a class with one or more students with ADHD, you might find that assigned seating works best for your class. Since children with ADHD work better with certain seating arrangements, you'll need to control where ADHD children sit in your classroom. This can be difficult in a classroom setting where the other students get to pick where they sit. Therefore, it's probably best to assign all seats.
It's a good idea to seat students with ADHD in a place where you can be available to help redirect them while working on assignments. Students with ADHD may frequently wander and daydream during seatwork, so a gentle reminder may be beneficial. Reminders shouldn't be negative, or viewed as punishment. Instead, they should be a quick redirection, aimed at refocusing the student when needed.
Choosing a seating location in the classroom that is free of distractions is a must. Keep students with ADHD away from windows and doors that lead to hallways. If your door happens to be open, they will most likely find whatever is happening in the hall much more appealing than finishing their assignment. Any other obvious classroom distractions should be avoided as well.
If you are consistently finding that your students with ADHD don't finish assignments well, you may need to reduce the assignment a little. Once the assignment is a length that the child is able to finish, start increasing the length of the assignment slightly, until the student is doing assignments of a comparable length to the rest of the classroom.
For longer assignments and projects, such as research papers, break up the project into smaller, easy to finish assignments. This method is a great way to help students finish larger projects.
Another way to help students with ADHD finish assignments is to provide a checklist that contains specific steps in completing the assignment. As the student finishes a step, he or she can check it off, and see at a glance how much more work is ahead. You might even write in a time at the middle of the checklist, telling what time it should be at midpoint in the assignment. This way, the student can see at a glance whether or not he is on schedule for finishing on time. Another great way to promote finishing assignments is to provide some type of reward for finished assignments, like a mini-sticker. Then, at the end of the week, a certain number of stickers means a trip to the treasure chest or some other fun reward.
It can be a real challenge to help kids with ADHD finish assignments on time, but with the above strategies for teaching children with ADHD, you'll find that it is not only doable, but much easier.