Friday, November 14, 2008


whether you believe in it or not is one thing; to actually experience it (ADHD or just hyper-activity) as a problem in your classroom is another story. i have--will have--three students in one class (two for sure, at least) who have ADHD/hyper activity. all three are extremely off-task, and have the discipline/redirection memory of a goldfish (pretty much a little more than 3 seconds (after some quick wikipedia research)). they act out to impress each other sometimes, or just act out.

my teacher has worked out a deal with one of the kids: he concentrates for 20 minutes, he can leave for 5 to get a drink of water, take a walk, whatever. he's upheld the deal for the most part. the other has a hard time since he's bullied. i think part of his acting out is that, and also his general notion that he has to be funny in class. that's what he had confessed to us, anyway, when we (i should say my teacher, because i am sometimes so in awe of her ability to care for the kids that i stand there dumb and shushed-up) (she says it's cause she's a mother) had a talk with him and his friend. the other kid is just out of this world. he put a lock in his mouth--a locker lock. i mean. i mean, really. sixth grade? kid's a space cadet. and yet, he wants a reward system to tell him that he's doing well so he'll focus! is that possible? will that happen? i wonder.

my question is: how do i deal with this triple threat? when it becomes unleashed, the wrath of hyper-hell comes upon us. when they're focused, they are on. it's a rare occasion, but it happens:

"MAKE DIRECTIONS AS EASY TO FOLLOW AS POSSIBLE. Always have the students attention before starting to introduce something new. Give students time to beging homework in class before they leave to help answer questions that could arise.

MONITOR PROGRESS. Look at the students assignment notebooks and/or folders on a regular basis to make sure they are doing what they are suppose to. Ask them to tell you about the goals they have for some of their assignments, feelings about your class, ect..

USE ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENTS TO MEASURE LEARING. Don't rely only on the traditional standardized tests where you sit for a long time and fill in bubbles. To an ADHD student that could be tourture. Try such ideas as orally giving a test, projects like discussed earlier, ect.. "

think these things work? how do i assess writing if it won't work? although, writing doesn't seem to be too much of a problem with these kids. keeping them writing might be. does it work?

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