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Stepping Away from Sitting Still:

Effective teaching Strategies for Students with ADHD

David Peterson
Dominican University of California
Liberal Studies

- Background
- Purpose & Research Question
- Review of Literature
- Findings & Connections
- Questions
ADHD- an ongoing pattern of inattention and/or
hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or

- National Institute of Mental Health, 2016.

- 10.3% of school-age children are said to Kids have the right to be kids!

be diagnosed with ADHD (CDC, 2016)

- Many teachers do not have enough tools/
pedagogy to help these students
- Children with ADHD are often prescribed
methamphetamine stimulants to
moderate their ADHD behaviors
- Drug companies lie about retention
rates -Peterson, 2016.
- Negative stigma surrounds ADHD

The purpose of my research was to find an

array of alternative teaching strategies,
pedagogies and practices that effectively help
the ADHD child reach their greatest academic
Research Question

What strategies do teachers use to accommodate students

with ADHD?
Review of Literature
Integrated Dynamic Representation (IDR)
Gonzalez-Castro, Cueli, Cabeza, Alvarez-Garcia, & Rodriguez, 2014.

Fragmented comprehension Fragmented representation Integration

Key concepts are Key concepts are Representations of

identified, either then grouped into numerical data and
with a visual mark union-intersection known information
(highlight) or topics, specify are sewn together
drawing to numerical to form a holistic
represent known representations. representation of
information the equation.
*the fourth step in IDR asks the student to re-formulate the problem statement without referencing the
original problem, enforcing knowledge further.
Interest ≠ Attention
Wang, Tsai, & Yang, 2013.

- Students show increased span of interest when introduced to more

involved models and materials. However, their attention span -the time in
which they concentrate on that item or task- stays relatively the same
without any significant change.
- This observational research looked exclusively at the effectiveness of the
objects, themselves, in maintaining student interest and attention span.
They did not take into account how the materials were used; not
considering teacher ability to make that object interesting/engaging.
Positive Intervention in the classroom
Zentall & Lee, 2012.
Implementation Effect

1. Find truth in every answer (Yes, 5 and 5 1. Allows students to recognize their mistakes
would be 10 if we were doing addition, but without being criticised for incorrectly
we’re looking for the product!) interpreting information.
2. Never speak ill of students in or out of the 2. Focusing on positive student qualities results
classroom in more positive behavior.
3. Give students undivided attention (with lots 3. Students reciprocate those listening
of eye contact!) behaviors when it is the teacher’s turn to talk
4. Constructive feedback as opposed to 4. Students achieve more when told what they
deconstructive criticism. did right
5. Facilitate a safe learning environment where 5. Students become more comfortable with
failing, success and attempt are all held to themselves and with each other.
the same caliber
Timing is everything
for ADHD students.
Shankman, 2017.
Pink, 2018.

Children with ADHD can be introduced to a variety

of time-management techniques to be used for
better organization.

- Productivity zones
- Recognizing the need for “brain breaks”

Simply knowing when to do certain activities/rituals

improves productivity and work ethic immensely.
Research Methods
Application for
Children need agency in
their learning; they should
be able to pick their
preferred listening style, not
be expected to sit quietly all
the time.
Application for
Intervention is key! Children
with ADHD need help
facilitating, monitoring and
scheduling until they get
into a routine.
Application for Teachers
Medicating students should not be the only implement to help ADHD children. Medication should be
used as a supplement for classroom pedagogies and intervention.

*ASH is an
acronym for
“I’ve never had a student with
ADHD, but somehow they all got
diagnosed after they graduated
my class.”

-Elementary school teacher

The purpose of my research was to find an
array of alternative teaching strategies,
pedagogies and practices that effectively help
the ADHD child reach their greatest academic
- Teachers implement all sorts of interventions for ADHD children.
- There is endless literature on the topic of helping ADHD children manage,
organize and accel with their own brains.
- Medication should not be the only resource for ADHD children.

*What does this all mean for you, DJ?*

Children with ADHD are not
broken, they are not lost causes,
and they deserve all the learning
they can get.