7 Ways to Increase a Student’s Attention Span
Children frequently struggle to pay attention, and when faced with a task that they perceive to be difficult or time-consuming, they are even more inclined to quit before putting out their best effort. If you see a youngster who is losing focus during tough tasks frequently, here are some ways that may help expand that attention span while also improving the overall outcome of assignments.
1. Incorporate physical activity into your routine.
Children who have difficulty paying attention often do better if they are allowed small intervals to engage in active play. It is possible to help the attention-challenged student stay focused by giving him or her a quick stretching or jumping jacks break in the classroom, dividing up learning into chunks, and allowing him or her to participate in outside activities. Additionally, beginning a tough activity with 15 minutes of active play before beginning the task can assist a youngster in remaining more focused.
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2. Allow for “Attention Breaks.”
Teach the youngster or children what it means to “pay attention” and what it looks like when they are doing so. During the school day, students should practice attentive conduct in non-threatening and non-critical situations. Take practice focus breaks at regular intervals, and then repeat the process. Allowing for the use of a timer or an app on the phone, a signal should be activated throughout the work period, and the child should indicate if he or she was paying attention. This can assist in training a student’s brain to recognize when he or she is not paying attention and how often he or she is inclined to disengage.
3. Make adjustments to time frames.
If you discover that your students are struggling to stay on target, no matter what you do, it may be time to divide up the subject into smaller time intervals to keep them engaged. Keep in mind that youngsters can concentrate on a single task for two to five minutes every year of age on average. For example, if you have a classroom of 6-year-olds, you may expect your pupils to pay attention for 12 to 30 minutes each day.
Change the time frames for all or some of your students if you find that you need to do so. Make the pupil who is having difficulty paying attention present his or her work after a short period by setting timers for them. This breaks down the task and helps the youngster to continue working without being fully overwhelmed. Consider having the youngster come to your desk for these inspections and tests. As well as providing the physical mobility that the child requires to remain engaged, it also offers you the opportunity to monitor his or her progress.
Also, while dealing with children that have short attention spans, avoid giving long lectures. To ensure that these children remain engaged with the material, you should periodically solicit their answers to whatever you are now discussing. Even a basic question, such as one that asks for a show of hands, can be enough to keep pupils focused on the subject at hand.
4. Remove Visual Distractions from the Workspace
The presence of clutter in the classroom or on the desk might make it difficult for a youngster to focus on the job at hand when they are experiencing difficulty. Remove any superfluous clutter and visual stimuli from your workspace to improve your productivity. This reduces the number of excuses the youngster has for failing to concentrate on the subject at hand.
5. Take part in memory games
Although memory isn’t a muscle, it can be used to increase concentration. Memory games assist children to develop their ability to concentrate enjoyably so that they are better prepared to concentrate when faced with a difficult task. Organize regular memory game sessions during the usual school day, or work with kids who are having difficulty paying attention outside of normal class time to play concentration games. Memory games should be included in the classroom’s electronic equipment to encourage this type of play during free time.
Memory games do not have to be hard to be entertaining. Even a basic game such as red-light-green-light, I-Spy, or Simon Says compels a youngster to concentrate on what is being played. Increased attention can also be achieved through the use of memory matching cards or the game Concentration.
6. Give tasks a rating (and make changes to them)
Ask your child to rate the level of challenge found in the activity on a scale of 1 to 10 if you observe that he or she is frequently avoiding work or appears to be overly distracted. If the youngster responds that the activity is an eight or above, inquire as to what could be done to reduce the work to a two or three on the difficulty scale. Occasionally, you will gain valuable insight into what you can do to assist the student in reducing his or her level of frustration by asking the right questions.
7. Break Tasks into Pieces
If none of these strategies work, take a closer look at the task itself. Is it possible to break it down into smaller chunks? Have the child focus long enough to perform part of the task, then take a break, coming back to the project to finish. Children with attention issues may do the specified activity faster with this method than if they simply tried to finish it all in one sitting.
Some kids are going to struggle with attention more than others. As a teacher, you can take actions to aid enhance concentration for your students. All it takes is a little additional thought and dedication on your part to produce a tremendous change for your pupils.