In “7 Ways to Increase a Student’s Attention Span,” by Edutopia, David Reeves gives a list of strategies for educators in regards to how they can help a child focus better on educational tasks in the classroom. Here are 5 of the strategies that I thought were the most beneficial to educators.
- Get that blood flow going! Sometimes all that learning deserves a break. Physical activity can help a child focus better. Take a break from learning and do an active, physical activity. This can help relax a student’s mind and not cluster it. Do a small activity such as stretching, throwing a ball, or 7-up.
- Take away those distractions. Students like to touch what’s in front of them. Removing unnecessary objects from their desk can help them focus more on what is placed in front of them because they wont be tempted to play with anything.
- Can you remember what you saw? Who doesn’t love a game? Memory games give students a chance to really focus in on a challenge in a fun, instructive way. A list of fun and engaging games are: Memory Match, The Coin Game, and Bop-it.
- This task is kind of hard. Sometimes what one student finds easy, another finds hard. Ask the student(s) who is struggling to rate the task on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being the easiest and 10 being the hardest. If the rate is high, try asking the student how you can make the task easier/ less overwhelming. This will give you insight on how you can accommodate your teaching methods to the students.
- Split tasks into smaller pieces. Maybe more than half the class is struggling with a given task. This may mean it’s time to break the lesson into smaller chunks. Either separate the tasks into smaller steps (if it can be done,) or simply take a break, then come back to it. Student’s who suffer with focusing are more likely to complete a task this way than trying really hard to finish it all at once.
Math Genie teachers make sure that all students are being accommodated for. They implement these types of strategies listed to ensure student success.