November Tips For Tutors

Tips for Tutors (November 2011)

I have been asked a number of times in trainings about ADHD.  The most recent copy of California Educator (October 2011 Volume16, Issue 2) , has an article with some great information I would like to share.  First, some facts about ADD/ADHD:

  • every classroom teacher is likely to have at least one student with ADD/ADHD every year
  • nearly 10% of children between 4 and 17 have some form of this condition
  • ADD/ADHD is a neurobiological disorder that runs in families
  • there is no cure
  • there are three types: those with difficulty with concentration, those with problems with hyperactivity and impulsivity, and those with both sets of symptoms
  • children with ADD/ADHD may be very bright and even gifted

The article gives these five tips:

    1. “Break up instruction to include activities with movement and talking.”
    2. “Structure larger assignments by dividing them into short, manageable increments.”
    3. “Provide visual cues and reminders on cards or pictures in strategic locations.”
    4. “Provide more frequent monitoring, feedback on performance and reinforcement.”
    5. “Anticipate issues from lack of structure, unclear expectations or environmental triggers.”

What this all means:

The good news is that you will generally be working with these students one on one which is how they work best.  They have your attention and are not competing with other students, classroom noise or other distractions.  If you are working in a classroom or other area where there are distractions, you will need to be much more tuned in to these kids.  Give a lot of real praise, because these students have had plenty of reprimands in their lives.  Take frequent breaks.  Keep good relationships going by taking a few minutes for conversation at each meeting.  Break assignments down into small parts.  Remember that these students are not trying to be defiant.  Patiently keep them moving forward so that they can learn.

*Information taken from, “What Educators Should Know About ADD”, Sherry Posnick-Goodwin

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About Experience Corps Bay Area

Experience Corps Bay Area recruits and trains adults 50+ to tutor and mentor elementary school children, with a focus on K-3 literacy.
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