As a teacher of elementary school students, your most important job is to create an environment that is conducive to learning. This can be hard because all students learn better in a different way. If only students were divided into classes depending on whether they do better at learning visually, auditory, or tactile, then maybe it would be easier to know how to teach.
Unfortunately, this is not possible, so the best thing you can do is find the best way that will work for your students. Did you know that statistically, each classroom will have one student with ADHD or ADD? It’s estimated that 3 to 5 percent of students suffer from this common disability which makes it hard to concentrate, learn, and focus. Since it’s likely that your class this school year will have a student with ADD/ADHD, here are some tips for setting up your classroom so it’s conducive to learning.
The first step is to create the area where you will be teaching (usually the front of the classroom) free of distractions. When students are trying to pay attention to what you’re saying, colorful posters, art projects, and other items behind you will cause students to easily become distracted. ADD students have very one-track minds. Unlike some students who can be writing or drawing and still hear what you say, ADD students can only do one activity at a time. When you are explaining a new assignment or activity, be sure these students are not doing anything else or they will not know what the instructions are.
The second thing you’ll want to do to set up your classroom is have row seating instead of cluster seating. Seat the student in the front row. Both these will help remove distractions from the other students.
As you plan your lessons, keep activities that use a lot of concentration in the morning and more active activities (such as singing, art projects, and games) in the afternoon. Children with ADD are more able to concentrate at the beginning of the day and medication is more effective earlier in the day.