17 Ways to Help Students With ADHD Concentrate
Researchers have discovered that allowing kids who suffer from attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to fidget helps them concentrate more effectively. But what if this ends up being a source of distraction for the rest of the students? The following are some of the best ideas we received after asking our readers about this issue on Facebook. We received hundreds of comments from teachers, parents, and children who all had excellent suggestions for allowing pupils to quietly fidget.
1. SQUEEZE BALLS
Stress balls, koosh balls, hand exercisers, and a plethora of other devices that may be squeezed discreetly are available. Teacher tip: Make sure that students place them under their desks so that they are not a distraction to other students. Fill balloons with various objects (seeds, Play-Doh, flour, etc.) and smash them together for a fun activity.
2. FIDDLES AND OTHER THINGS
Fidgets are little objects that are used to keep pupils’ hands engaged while they are studying. You may purchase these on Amazon, or you can make your own using items such as beaded bracelets or Rubik’s Cubes. Tip from the teacher: Avoid using distracting gadgets such as fidget spinners, which can cause other pupils to become distracted.
3. SILLY PUTTY IS A JOKE
Silly Putty, Play-Doh, and Sticky Tack are some activities that help keep students’ hands busy.
4. VELCRO is a type of fastener.
Attach a strip of Velcro with the rough side facing the bottom of the student’s desk. It provides them with something tangible to hold on to. Many other items, such as emery boards or straws, can be used in the same way.
5. Earrings made with a gum or chewable necklaces
Some ADHD students find that chewing gum can help them stay focused. Necklaces containing chewable parts can also be used in classrooms where the gum is not permitted. Students can also chew on aircraft tubing or rubber bands that have been wrapped around the ends of pencils.
6. DOODLING is number six on the list.
Doodling can aid in the concentration of many kids, not only those who have ADHD. Some pupils will benefit from the opportunity to doodle during storytime or a lesson as well.
7. Noise/music in the background
Some kids find it beneficial to have a fan in the rear of the room to help them concentrate. Allowing kids to wear headphones and listen to music (as long as it does not interfere with what is going on in class) can also be beneficial. In one classroom, an aquarium in the rear of the room proved to be a success because pupils enjoyed hearing the calming swish of the water.
8. CHAIR LEG BANDS,
Tie a large rubber band (or yoga band) across both of the chair’s front legs so that students can push or pull on it with their legs as they sit.
9. BOUNCY BALLS
Yoga balls, stability balls, and exercise balls are all terms used to describe these balls. These have the potential to be beneficial for all pupils, not just those with ADHD.
10. SWIVEL CHAIRS
Children are capable of a small amount of twisting from side to side. A rocking chair can also be used.
11. Chairs with a swaying motion
These chairs, which are similar to swivel chairs or disc seats, allow students to rock back and forth within their seats. Tip for teachers: Don’t let children wobble too much or they may tumble off.
12. DISK SEAT OPTIONS
These attach to the back of a chair and allow students to rock in their seats, which is less risky than rocking the chair as a whole. Cushions can also be used in this situation.
13. Standing Desks
This is an excellent tool for all students, not just those that need to fidget. The article “Using Stand Up Tables in the Classroom” provides an overview of how students implemented standing desks in their classrooms. Treadmill workstations can also be used if they are within your financial reach.
14. DESKS WITH SWINGING FOOTRESTS
The use of a built-in footrest can help to lessen the amount of noise produced by foot tapping.
15. BIKES FOR STATIONARY USE
Having a stationary bicycle at the back of the classroom is an excellent approach to encourage pupils to be more physically active.
16. ROOM FOR MOVING AROUND IN THE CLASSROOM
Allow pupils to stand, stretch, dance, pace, or twirl in an area at the side or back of the room that has been designated for them.
17. WORK LOCATIONS THAT ARE FLEXIBLE
Instead of working at their desks, students can work on the windowsills or walk from one workstation to another, depending on their learning style. Having diverse learning stations for different types of pupils can be beneficial to all of them. Check out “7 Learning Zones Every Classroom Must Have” for some inspiration on how to organize your classroom.
Thank you to all of our Facebook commentators who contributed to this list, which includes:
Angela L. Garcia, Angela Peery, Bonnie Reeves, Brian Gagnon, Cherish A Eagen, Crissy Fleetwood, Don Myers, Dot McGee, Fin Scott, Helen Zukauskas, Holly Zuidema, Hollyann Moriarty Pierce, Jana Colvin, Jane Reed, Jennifer Preuss Schmidt, John N Kelly Sefcik, Judith Anderson, Katharine Healey