In need of some strategies to increase your (kindergarten – elementary) students’ attention spans? Continue reading for some suggestions!
1. Get physical. Keeping the attention of a young student can be difficult, but if they’re struggling, some kind of physical activity can change that. And, starting with a few minutes of active play can before a challenging task can help a child stay more engaged. Suggestions: jumping jacks, outdoor play, and stretching.
2. Attention breaks. Show students what paying attention looks like and what it means. “Practice attentive behavior in non-threatening, non-crucial times during the school day. Then, at periodic intervals, have practice attention breaks. Using a timer or an app on the phone, have a signal go off during the work period, and have the child mark whether he/she was paying attention.”
3. Remove visual distractions. Clutter surrounded a student can make it impossible for a student to focus. Removing those distractions will allow the student to focus better.
4. Break tasks into pieces. If a task is too hard and challenging for a student, break it up. With enough focus, the first part of the task can be completed, they can take a break, and then return to the next part of the task. Children with attention struggles may actually perform the requested task faster with this strategy than if they simply tried to finish it all in one sitting.