5 Tips for Increasing Work Production of Kids with ADHD by Sandra Rief

July 2, 2012

I was recently asked on Blogtalk radio what teachers can do to help children with ADHD be productive and get their work done in the classroom. This is a major problem area for students with ADHD, that affects their academic performance and school success. Here is what I suggest:
1. Make sure they know the directions. After giving instructions to the whole class, the teacher may have the student(s) repeat or restate the directions to someone (e.g., their partners), or have a few students in class restate the directions for everyone to hear.
2. Provide a checklist or visual reminder of what is to be accomplished, in addition to the verbal directions.
3. Redirect the student back to task discretely if not working productively. When walking around the room, using a private signal or placing a post-it note message on the student’s desk, can be a helpful reminder.
4. Add an incentive. In the classroom, teachers who use rewards such as class money or other ‘currency’ that can be cashed in or redeemed for prizes and privileges, can use to motivate work production. A lot of students with ADHD are on behavioral incentive systems, such as Daily Report Cards. Make ‘on task’, ‘completing assignments on time’, or other such behaviors target goals for the student, with rewards earned when demonstrating those target behaviors.
 5. Try ‘Beat the Clock’ techniques. This is one incentive strategy for being on-task and completing a reasonable amount of work within a given time frame. If, for example, students are given a 20 minute period to be independently working on an assignment, set a timer in two 10-minute sessions, or four 5-minute sessions. Tell the student that if he/she accomplishes a specified amount of work by the time the timer goes off (e.g., writes 2 sentences, completes 5 math problems), the child will earn a smiley face or stamp on his/her chart, a point on card, or other token. When the student’s work production chart or card has been filled up, or a certain number of smiley faces, points, or other tokens have been earned, the student cashes in for a privilege or other reward.
 Note: Although these strategies are geared for the classroom, many of the same suggestions are recommended for parents to help get through homework time.

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