When reviewing the schedule, point to and name the pictures in order e.
Neurologist, author, and middle school teacher-consultant Judy Willis devised a strategy to reproduce what learning feels like for those with attention disorders.
Does this read as if it could have been written by one of your students challenged with a different way of relating to his or her world? I wrote it in response to a prompt in a workshop. The task was made easier with the instruction to write it as a run-on sentence.
From this point on, I will not be distinguishing between the various attention disorders. I will refer to them all as ADHD. They each have their distinct differences, but from the standpoint of a classroom teacher, the strategies I will suggest are generalized enough to be appropriate for almost any condition where focusing and maintaining attention is problematic for students.
For fifteen years I practiced adult and child neurology with PET scan neuroimaging and brain mapping as part of my diagnostic tools. When I returned to the university to obtain my teaching credential and Master of Education degree, these neuroimaging tools had become available to researchers in the field of education.
The information is now here so teachers can build on professional skills in the art of teaching by incorporating strategies confirmed as beneficial through neuroimaging of the brain during the process of attending and learning. The technique I used benefits students with ADHD because their classmates experience and come to understand their challenges.
This enhances their positive attitudes and lowers their affective filters. When that happens, information passes more successfully through the emotion centers of their brains into the processing and memory storage regions. In other words, when students with ADHD feel comfortable, they are more successful learners.
When they learn more effectively and are engaged in the lesson, their defensive, distracting behaviors are reduced and the whole class benefits. Writing the paragraph reproduced at the start of this article increased my empathy toward students with ADHD.
With modifications, a similar exercise was successful in raising the empathy of my students for their classmates with ADHD. The activity begins by simulating what it feels like to try to focus when one has an attention deficit.
The brain must sort out the input, determine its value, and selectively focus attention on the sensory information it determines to be most important at the moment or for future use. Children with ADHD often have difficulty distinguishing which pieces of sensory input from their environment are the ones to which they should attend.
Another way to think about this is to consider what attention deficit really means. It is not truly inattention, but rather attention in many different places simultaneously. Students with ADHD are not lazy, zoned out, or "empty-headed. It may be wandering, but it is not oblivious. To reproduce a similar brain state, I brought multiple sensory stimuli to my middle school classroom.
There were two radios tuned to different stations. A tape recorder played sounds of street construction and the playground at recess. Candles were lit in several places; I periodically turned the lights on and off; and a bird in a cage was brought in right at the beginning of the exercise.
The students were excited and even agitated with the changes in the classroom. They were not anxious because there was a sense of community and safety already established during the first months of school and they had previously experienced my strategies of using novelty and surprise to start some lessons.
After one minute I gave them the signal to sit quietly turning a rainstick and they did quiet down enough to hear my instructions.
I explained that they were to do their best to ignore these distractions and focus their attention on the math class I was about to teach. I then taught the class a new lesson about a math concept they had never studied that was not in their textbooks.
It was an activity that demonstrated what happens when a number is raised to the zero power. I first reviewed what they knew about exponents such as 3 squared or 2 cubed to the third power. I taught the new-to-most information that any number to the power of 1 equals the number itself.
For example, 12 to the first power remains 12 and 6 to the first power remains 6 because you are starting with only one of that number and not multiplying it by itself at all.
The new-to-all information was that any integer with the exponent of zero equals one. The lesson included showing them the mathematical proof and also a hands-on demonstration where they see how many times they can fold a piece of paper. They see that each fold increases the number of divided sections exponentially, but when they unfold it so it is folded zero times, there is only one single paper.
Thus, no matter how many folds there are to begin with how big the original integer is when you raise it to the zero power no folds you have one paper.
The lesson needs to be one where the students are on even ground, so they cannot use previous knowledge to comprehend the material. Instead of math, the lesson could be about words and phrases in a language none of the students know, or a page from an unfamiliar book could be read aloud and students asked to write as much of it from memory as they could.
At the conclusion of the lesson, with the distractions still present, I asked my students to write a summary of what they had learned. They were to put in their own words how the paper-folding activity demonstrated that any integer with the exponent of zero equals one.The free anger management activities you will find on this site just might include some just like you heal their anger and their relationships.
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