Tracking Student Behavior and Goal Setting
Positive praise. This strategy is obvious and well-known to teachers of all age-groups. Countless amounts of past and present research shows that positive praise is more effective than negativity or punishment. So what exactly does that mean? Do teachers need to give verbal positive praise every 3 minutes to encourage a child to keep making progress? Is this even realistic? You may have noticed that all of my posts in this series described how some children with ADHD view classroom activities and tasks, and it wasn’t always positive. Children with attention issues dislike many classroom tasks because they struggle to complete them. The process of changing this negative view of school should be on-going and purposeful. Reminders of what they have been successful at are helpful in moving in a positive direction. One way to keep track of these successes is by documenting goals and tracking improvements.
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Visuals are necessary in modifying the behavior of a child with attention problems. It’s not just about stating everything the child does in a positive way. "Great job! You’re sitting in your seat! Great Job! You’re using your pencil appropriately!” is not enough for them. Seeing actual progress is great encouragement for these students and it doesn’t require you to give verbal positive praise every minute. Students feel more accomplished when they feel success for themselves, as opposed to teachers telling them they’ve achieved success. Like magic, these little humans are intrinsically motivated by their own progress to do better.
This concludes the 5 blog post series on interventions for young children with characteristics of ADHD. What are some of the ways you handle students with attention problems in your classroom? Have you tried any of these interventions? Were they helpful? I love learning new strategies for working with students with ADHD. Feel free to leave them below!