How do people know you are paying attention? What do you look like when paying attention? How do you feel when you pay attention? All too often, students with ADD and ADHD can’t answer these questions.
In order to really get control of their ability to devote the right amount of attention to a task at the right time, students must understand how their body looks and feels when they pay attention.
The following role playing activity can encourage students’ insights by drawing their attention to the body language that illustrates strong listening.
Have your child play the role of the speaker, reading two or three paragraphs from a book or article. The parent will take the role of the listener. As you listen to what your child is reading, talk about the behaviors that show you are listening (see below for a list), and use a digital recorder to record your observations. Read more
The F.A.C.T. mnemonic helps students organize and remember important comprehension strategies. The letters in F.A.C.T. stand for effective, research supported strategies that support comprehension: Focus, Ask questions, Connect, and Turn on the visuals.
Comprehension is only as strong as the student’s focus while reading. Encourage focus by using your child’s imagination and interests. Here’s some suggestions:
• Your child can read aloud to himself with a “cool” accent.
• Students who like to dance can think about how to choreograph the action.
• Students can summarize the material to a friend, a pet or a toy!
• Draw a picture, take notes, develop an outline or draw a concept map.
Teach your child to ask herself questions as she reads. This builds attention, focus, commitment and memory for details.
Here are examples of general questions:
• Who or what is this about?
• What is the most important thing about this who or what?
• Do I know anything about this?
• What does this remind me of?
• What will the teacher ask us on the test?
Students can also be taught to turn section headings into questions. For example, if the title of the section in the science book is “Cellular Respiration,” teach your child to turn this into a question such as, “What is cellular respiration?” or “What are the important facts about cellular respiration?”