Tips for Managing ADHD in the Classroom | Education Elephant Siteground

The following shortlists illustrate specific ways to manage ADHD behaviour in school. The lists are based around four main areas of focus when handling ADHD:

  • Improving self-awareness,
  • Making rules and time obvious and in physical form,
  • Increasing incentives in the classroom, and
  • Some possible discipline methods.

These four categories most effectively help ADHD students by targeting their common struggles and starting to design an appropriate behaviour plan to manage them.


Improving Self-Awareness

To help with low self-management skills, improve self-awareness by:

  • Having student record productivity on a daily chart on public display so they can see their behaviour over time
  • Having a student use a daily conduct card to rate his/her behaviour and then meet with the teacher about it. This card might have categories such as class participation, follows class rules, gets along with classmates, and others.
  • Deciding on a cue word that has the student stop and monitor the situation and what he/she should be doing
  • For teens, use nonverbal cues to call them to attention (ex. dropping a paper clip by the student’s desk)


Visualising Time and Rules

To give information more visually, make rules and time obvious and in physical form by:

  • time management adhdDisplaying rules on posters for each work period
  • Giving students laminated, color-coded card sets with rules on them for each subject
  • Having student restate rules before each new activity
  • Giving the student a recording of encouraging words and reminders of classroom rules – the student can listen to this with headphones
  • Using timers or taped time signals to show how much time is left on an assignment. In general, do this as a way to visualize time during the school day.


Increasing Incentives for children with ADHD

To maintain an effective behaviour plan, increase incentives by:

  • Increasing praise, approval, and appreciation of student’s good behaviour and work performance
  • Using a token or point system to organize privileges and their prices
  • Trying team-based or group rewards to incorporate some competition
  • Having parents donate old games/toys to have more fun activities… even consider having an old video game as a reward


Appropriate Discipline Methods

To refine your behaviour plan, consider some of these appropriate discipline methods:

  • Gentle, private, direct reprimands – personalize it by going directly to the child with brief corrective statement
  • Act fast! Immediacy is key for the punishment to truly work
  • Try the “Do a Task” procedure. When a student misbehaves, explain what they did wrong and give them a number. This number might mean, for example, the child will do that number of worksheets. Put a separate desk in the back for this purpose, and when the student finishes, he/she will place the work on your desk and return to normal seat.
  • Make a quiet place in the room for the student to regain emotional control
  • Use time-outs in classroom or private room (hallway time-outs don’t work)