Teaching Students About Distractions

The last few posts have talked about controlling the environment and presenting information to students in specific ways to build their attentiveness.  I think it is also important to directly teach students about HOW to build attention.  I always do multiple lessons with my therapy and tutoring students that focuses on teaching them how to recognize when and how to pay attention.  This involves a great deal of meta-cognition, requiring students to think about how they think.

I love this illustration showing INSIDE the brain distracters and OUTSIDE of the brain distracters….


Taken from: http://jillkuzma.wordpress.com/2012/12/27/teaching-kids-about-distractions/

The author suggests using Ned’s Head as a prompt….

Taken From: http://jillkuzma.wordpress.com/2012/12/27/teaching-kids-about-distractions/

It would be great to list specific things that can be distracting to students in their classroom and then classify those as “inside” or “outside” distracters. Then once you work together to determine what is distracting the students you can work together to come up with solutions.  The author of the referenced blog post calls these “Distracter Blasters” and uses a cute rocket ship image as a visual.

Taken From: http://jillkuzma.wordpress.com/2012/12/27/teaching-kids-about-distractions/

When students are involved in identifying and creating solutions for the challenges, they are much more likely to be self-motivated to monitor their attention and behavior in the classroom.

Kandi McMahan, M.A., CCC-SLP


KANDI MCMAHAN, M.A. CCC-SLP IS A KNOXVILLE, TN BASED SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST SPECIALIZING IN ACADEMIC-BASED INSTRUCTION IN LANGUAGE, READING, AND WRITTEN EXPRESSION. Kandi holds both state certification, and national recognition by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. She graduated from the University of Tennessee with a masters degree in Speech-Language Pathology and a concentration in Aural Rehabilitation. She has had extensive experience working with a wide variety of academically challenged students including those with ADD/ADHD, Dyslexia, Auditory Processing Disorder, Learning Disability, Disorder of Written Expression, Speech-Language Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and many others. She has a passion for helping “gray area” students achieve academic and college success on par with their intellectual potential. She shares her spare time with her artistic husband and energetic young daughter. Kandi is also an avid photographer and lover of all things art and design inspired.

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