Sit the child in a position of least distraction and where they have a clear visual line to you, this will encourage them to ask for help or use a “secret nod” when they need help. It is very important that any seating changes are NOT directed at the child to ensure they do not feel that they are being punished or that unnecessary attention is being drawn to them.
A fidgeting ADHD child is a listening child; the focus needed to remain still, sitting upright, making direct eye contact will overload their brains – and what storage their working memory had is now spilling over trying to be still, look at me, put that pen/ruler down. It is always better to find a non-disruptive way for the child to receive input, e.g. pushing hands together (tightly), giving the child a job (clean off the board if they would) with “please & thank you” or get them to hand out/collect text books.
If the child has a tangle or other fidget toy encourage the use of this to help them learn to regulate, if not often a ball of blu tack works just as well.
Provide students with ADHD with private, discrete cues to stay on task and advance warning that they will be called upon shortly.
Avoid bringing attention to differences between ADHD students and their classmates.
At all times avoid the use of sarcasm and criticism.
Use a variety of audio-visual materials to present academic lessons.
Probe for the correct answer after allowing a child sufficient time to work out the answer to a question and ask follow up questions that give the child an opportunity to demonstrate what he/she knows.
Remind students that they should check their calculations in maths problems and reiterate how they can do that
After giving directions to the class as a whole, provide additional oral directions for a child with ADHD.
Provide follow-up directions in writing. For example, write the page number for an assignment on the board and remind the child to look at the board if he or she forgets the assignment.
Break down assignments into smaller, less complex tasks. For example, allow students to complete five maths problems before presenting them with the remaining five problems.
Highlight keywords in the instructions of worksheets to help the child. Additionally, provide the child with a print out of the work being read and allow them to highlight as you go
Allow students with ADHD more time to complete quizzes and tests in order to eliminate “test anxiety” and provide them with other opportunities, methods, or test formats to allow them to demonstrate their knowledge.
Use strategies such as Think-Pair-Share – teachers ask students to think about a topic, pair with a partner to discuss it and share ideas with the group. (Try to be aware of any external social issues between the children and pair accordingly)
ADHD children, in particular, can benefit from the use of ICT technology, which makes instruction more visual and allows students to participate actively.
Give advance warning that the lesson is soon to end, and instruct students of what is on the menu for the next lesson. Try to check the child’s work at regular points to ensure they are not falling behind. If any key areas are missing, incorporating a recap into the next lesson may be beneficial and give the child a discreet way of catching up. Also, provide a print out of any missing chunks.
Ensure Instructions are clear; try to maintain a structured routine. Come in, hang coats, get equipment, be seated -a visual timer and or map for this is also useful.
Assign the pupil a Mentor or TA – Allow the pupil to meet with this mentor on a regular basis (e.g. Monday morning) to plan and organise for the week and to review progress and problems from the past week.
Homework – letters and notes home should be, where possible, followed up with a duplicate in an email to the parent/carers.
Colour code lesson textbooks with the planned timetable. It is often easier and quicker to associate and match colours than it is to read a planner then read the front of every book in the bag (children with ADHD are often found with a week’s worth of books in their school bag or none at all)
Charts, lists, pie graphs and diagrams should be situated throughout the classroom to remind students of the subject material being learned.
Teach a child how to adapt instructional worksheets. For example, help a child fold his or her reading worksheet to reveal only one question at a time.
Clear away unnecessary books or other materials from their desk before beginning work.