“Getting The Buggers To Think”

By Sue Cowley

Thinking, concentration and behaviour.
Basic Premise: “ We have to get students to concentrate

before we can develop thinking skills.....” (My words as I understood this section not the author’s.)

Barriers to concentration:
Mobile phone/mp3 etc. Lack of early training eg. Parental Special needs Lack of engagement Problems inside classroom eg personalities of students Problems outside of classroom but within wider school


Too easy to take it personally and blame ourselves!

Suggested exercises to improve concentration:
Explain and share positive expectations Rewards and informal praise depending on age of group? Focus on still picture or object..to de clutter mind. Calming activities: Statues; slow motion; set challenge: “Who can sit still

for 1 minute,2 minutes?”(not so easy for certain students) Fun hypnosis with teacher. Set challenge: “Who can count 50-0 backwards?” “ Who can spell Je m’appelle backwards?”

How is this useful for us?
Concentration and thinking skills both have

implications for developing student listening skills maybe we need to start taking more risks than we used to. Ok we might feel that we are losing some of our control but what are the alternatives?

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