Advanced Strategies for Teaching Students with ADHD

Teaching Strategies for students with ADHD

Strategies for teaching kids with ADHD

Teaching is an art, but when you’re teaching students with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), that art transforms into a unique blend of challenges and triumphs.

In this blog, we’ll explore effective strategies for teaching kids with ADHD, ensuring they thrive in your classroom, as well as a number of activities that can be incorporated into your lesson plans. However, it is important to understand that there are different types of ADHD in adolescence, which can manifest in a variety of different ways. The strategies outlined aim to foster a nurturing learning environment for children that may not yet understand how to manage their own hyperactivity.

Understanding ADHD in preschoolers

ADHD in preschoolers often manifests as difficulty in paying attention, hyperactivity and impulsiveness. These behaviors can be challenging, but remember, each child with ADHD is uniquely gifted and capable.

When we talk about ADHD in young children, it’s important to understand this condition affects their learning and social interactions differently from older children. Preschoolers with ADHD may struggle more with sitting still, following instructions and transitioning from one activity to another. They might also interrupt story time or have difficulty waiting for their turn during activities.

In addressing these challenges, communication is vital. When teaching kids with ADHD, it’s essential to communicate in a way that’s clear, consistent and compassionate. Clear communication helps in setting understandable and achievable goals. Consistency in instructions and routines provides a sense of security and predictability, which is beneficial for children with ADHD. And above all, compassionate communication demonstrates your support and understanding, creating a safe and nurturing learning environment. Remember, how you communicate can significantly influence their learning experience and leave a lasting positive impact on their educational journey.

Moreover, patience and persistence are indispensable virtues. Teaching preschoolers with ADHD requires an understanding that progress might not always be swift. Celebrate the small victories and milestones, as these are monumental for a child with ADHD. Emphasize the importance of steady, gradual progress and understand each child will have their own learning and developmental pace.

It’s also beneficial to integrate a variety of teaching methods tailored to engage children with ADHD effectively. This might include incorporating more physical movement in lessons, using visual aids and hands-on activities or breaking down tasks into smaller, more manageable steps. By diversifying your teaching strategies, you can cater to the unique learning styles and needs of children with ADHD.

Activities for ADHD students  

Incorporating play is a dynamic and effective way of engaging preschoolers, especially those with ADHD. Play-based learning capitalizes on children’s natural curiosity and enthusiasm, turning their energy and interests into valuable learning experiences. This is particularly beneficial for kids with ADHD, as it allows for more movement, interactive engagement and hands-on activities, which are key to maintaining their attention and focus.

Below are 12 activities, each tailored to nurture and support learning in children with ADHD:

Colorful sorting game: This game involves sorting objects by color. It’s beneficial for kids with ADHD as it demands focus while also teaching them about categorization and organization.

Storytime yoga: Combining storytelling with basic yoga poses, this activity is excellent for channeling excess energy in a structured way. It enhances concentration and body awareness, providing a calm and focused environment for children with ADHD. The physical movement helps in maintaining their interest and attention.

Rhythm and beats: Using music to teach rhythm integrates auditory processing with physical coordination. This activity is great for children with ADHD since it’s a multisensory experience, enhancing their listening skills while they participate in a fun, rhythmic activity.

Nature treasure hunt: An outdoor activity like a nature treasure hunt encourages exploration and focus. Being in nature can have a calming effect on children with ADHD, and the search aspect of the treasure hunt keeps them engaged and motivated to pay attention to details.

Sensory bins: Filling bins with different textures and materials provides a tactile experience that’s vital for sensory development. For children with ADHD, sensory play can be particularly grounding, helping them focus their attention and explore in a calm, controlled setting.

Emotion charades: This game helps children with ADHD learn to identify and express different emotions. Understanding and expressing emotions can be challenging for these children, so this activity not only enhances empathy and self-awareness but also aids in developing their emotional intelligence.

Puzzle time: Working on puzzles is excellent for developing problem-solving skills and patience. For a child with ADHD, completing a puzzle can be a rewarding experience that boosts their confidence and focus, as it requires sustained attention and cognitive engagement.

Flashcard fun: Utilizing flashcards for short, engaging bursts of learning is effective for children with ADHD. This method caters to their shorter attention spans, offering a quick and interactive way to learn new concepts and reinforce existing ones.

Hopscotch math: The physical movement involved in hopscotch helps in maintaining focus on the math problem-solving aspect of the game.

Memory games: A memory game, where children try to remember and recall items, is excellent for boosting attention skills.

Quiet corner: Having a designated quiet space is crucial for self-regulation. Children with ADHD often benefit from having an area where they can relax and regroup, especially after activities that are high in sensory stimulation.

Animal movements: Mimicking animal movements in a structured game format is not only fun but also beneficial for motor skill development. For kids with ADHD, such activities are engaging and provide an outlet for their energy.

Each of these is designed to engage children with ADHD in a way that’s both educational and enjoyable, catering to their unique learning needs. By incorporating these into your lesson plans, you can create a supportive, inclusive and dynamic learning environment for all preschoolers.

Want to learn more about teaching children with ADHD? CCEI has you covered with its two-hour beginner level course Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, which presents basic facts, including recommended classroom accommodations.

Click here to learn more about this course, as well as CCEI’s entire catalog of professional development offerings.