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ADHD in School: Room Set-Up

- With ADHD students a good rule is "the fewer distractions the better."

- We want ADHD students to be able to pay attention to the right thing and the right time.

- Here are several ideas to help you, and your students with Attention Deficit Disorder.




Setting Up Your Classroom to Help ADHD Children

Right from day one, make clear rules and post them, with logical consequences and with rewards.

Move your ADD ADHD student's desk to where there are fewer distractions, close to the teacher to monitor and encourage, or near a well-focused child.

Privacy boards can work well, but should never embarrass a child.

Students with attentional problems do better in classrooms with four walls than in an "open pod" arrangement. Open pods allow too many visual and auditory distracters throughout the day.

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It is usually better to use rows for seating arrangement and to try to avoid tables with groups of students. Often the groups are too distracting for the ADHD child. In the ideal setting, provide tables for specific group projects, and traditional rows for independent work. Of course, we are rarely in an ideal setting.

Every once in a while, try arranging desks in a horseshoe shape to allow for appropriate discussion while permitting independent work.

Your ADD ADHD student's desk should be near the teacher (for prompting and redirection), away from other challenging students, and not touching others' desks. However, if you notice that your attention deficit student looks around a lot to see where noises are coming from, because he is very auditorily distractible, he may benefit from being seated near the rear of the classroom. Experiment with seat location in the front of the classroom (near the board) and instructional area if your student is more visually distracted.

It is important for the teacher to be able to move about the entire room and to have access to all students. Practice "Management By Walking Around" in the classroom. The more personal interaction, the better.

Have all of the distractable ADD ADHD students seated nearest to place in the class where you will give directions or lectures. At least as close as possible without being punitive.

To minimize distractions, seat the ADD ADHD student away from both the hallway and windows.

Keep a portion of the room free of obvious visual and auditory distractions. Have at least a part of the room free from bright, loud, or distracting objects.

Use desk dividers and/or study carrels carefully. Make sure they are used as a "study area option" rather than as a punishment.

Your attention deficit student will do better when he is able to anticipate times requiring increased concentration. Make a copy of the day's schedule and post it for your students.

If your ADD ADHD student tends to lose focus, and his activity-level increases during the day, schedule the most demanding attentional tasks in the morning.

In our desire to provide an engaging classroom for students, try to be aware of the auditory and visual distractions present. Attempt to place your ADD ADHD student where these would have the least effect.

Seat those really smart and quiet girls next to the ADHD child.

Stand near the attention deficit student when giving directions or presenting the lesson.

Use the ADD ADHD student's worksheet as an example.

We know that teachers are neither God to control the weather, nor the janitors to control the thermostats. But as best as you can, provide comfortable lighting and room temperature.

Use individual headphones to play white noise or soft music to block out other auditory distractions. Be sure the music is not too interesting so that it becomes a distraction.

It has become somewhat fashionable to play classical music, or baroque music, quietly in the background while students are working. This may, in fact, actually work.

Provide a quiet, carpeted space in the room as a special study section for independent reading.

Many students often bring their own distractions (toys) from home. Try to make a classroom rule about appropriate time/place to share them with classmates and limit their appearance in the classroom and on the desks.

ADDinSchool.com

 

   
 

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Information is presented by ADDinSchool.com and the ADD ADHD Information Library's family of web sites. The information presented is for educational purposes only, and is not meant to replace appropriate medical advice. Always consult your physician or health care provider.

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