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How to work with ADHD students in the classroom

Nowadays the number of students that present ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) has been increasing in the last years. That’s why specialist has been focused much attention to this disorder. They want to know how to work with ADHD children when they are attending a class and the different characteristics they present. In the same way specialists want to know which learning problems ADHD students can develop in their learning process. In addition there is a lot of information in order to make the work easier for the child and for the teacher. Additionally it is known that different teaching and learning strategies are pretty efficient when they are applied in the classroom to make the ADHD child learn. Furthermore the use of teaching methods is another alternative to work with ADHD pupils; with the objective to make them have a successful learning inside the classroom.

The learning of ADHD students is given in general schools, that means that they are studying with normative students. General schools can have different disadvantages; first of all it is almost impossible for the teacher who is in charge of the group to pay attention during the whole class to the ADHD student. Then the lack of teachers’ knowledge regarding ADHD students is sometimes an enormous and real deal. Teachers need to know how the disorder works and how it can be addressed. They also need to apply different teaching-learning strategies and teaching methods in order to manage ADHD students properly in the classroom. The focus of the paper is to detail how to make ADHD students learn successfully and to know how teachers can address ADHD children correctly. Additionally it contains helpful teaching strategies and useful teaching methods that can make easier the work for teachers and for ADHD students.

Characteristics of ADHD students in the class

Children with ADHD present a variety of traits in the classroom. First of all when a child presents inattention in the class it does not mean that he always present difficulties to pay attention to the teacher. According to Smith and Segal (2011), when ADHD students are doing something they enjoy or hearing about topics in which they are interested, they have no problems on focus their attention. However when they are bored or something is repetitive they easily tend to get distracted. It is essential that ADHD students have in the classroom a quiet environment in order to stay focused on what the teacher asks. Inattention can be proved because of different factors the child presents, for example; he often does not pay attention to details, he has difficulty following instructions, he has problems learning new things and he frequently loses books or other items. All the mentioned signs of inattention are part of ADHD but the most obvious symptom of ADHD is the hyperactivity.

When the student presents hyperactivity the child is naturally quiet active because he is always moving and he presents a lot of energy. Hyperactivity makes the student does several things at once in the classroom. The student is always moving around or running, and at the same time it is hard for him to be quietly in the classroom. Moreover when the teacher asks the child to sit down, the child is still moving their foot, their legs or even their fingers. That is why it is not easy for ADHD children to be quiet and stay in calm inside the classroom. The child can talk excessively and he can be restless. It is vital to mention that the symptom of hyperactivity and the symptom of impulsivity are much related when the child presents ADHD.

The pupil has impulsivity due to the fact that he interrupts conversations and others due to he cannot wait for his turn. Furthermore when he is attending a class he tends to ask irrelevant questions and he acts without thinking. Also he is not able to wait his turn and think, in order to have a correct answer, he only guesses and this can cause distraction of other students in the classroom. Moreover they tend to be moody and sometimes others view the child as a disrespectful child. People do not take into consideration that the child has and present a different behavior than the others because of their disorder.

According to Gridley, (n.d.) children have trouble controlling their behavior because it is like students have many radio stations playing inside their head all at the same moment which makes it hard to just only listen to one. That is why they tend to answer in a negative way to the teacher because the child cannot handle any more stress and he presents academic problems in the class. Moreover they also present learning difficulties due to the fact that they frequently do not follow instructions and they are easily distracted by external factors like noises of other classrooms, practiced of festivals including music and to see children playing. According to Block & Smith (2010), when ADHD pupils are in the classroom they may seem to be listening to the teacher, but something happens and they get distracted easily and quickly. In addition, other characteristics affect their level of distraction, they tend to be disorganized because they cannot focus their attention on one activity and they often forget things.

Additionally ADHD infants can have different reactions when they are following directions asked by the teacher and in most of the cases they are not able to do what has been asked. According to DuPaul, G. and Stoner, G. (2003), ADHD children can have troubles in class work because of a lack of attention they have when receiving instructions. It is essential to mention that academic problems are considered a big problem in the learning process of the child. An academic problem they present is the deficient of study skills and the lack of attention to teachers’ explanation during the class. The good news is that a teacher can take action to manage ADHD children appropriately in the classroom applying different teaching methods.

Teaching methods to work with ADHD children

Some EFL (English Foreign Language) teaching methods are more appropriate to work with ADHD children and TPR (Total Physical Response) is a useful method for applying with them. The TPR method was introduced by James Asher; the method is useful to work with ADHD children because its purpose is to make students enjoy their classes as much they can, in order for them to have a successful learning. Asher defines this process as “a body-language conversation” when a teacher speaks and a student “answers with a physical response such as looking, smiling, laughing, turning, walking, reaching, grasping, holding, sitting, running and so forth” (Cook, 2001). In TPR students can achieve their learning goal because they communicate effectively due to they listen and respond to the spoken English language commands of their teacher. According to Turketi (2010), when a student is focusing on an action, the learner unconsciously focuses on the learning goal as well. Moreover ADHD pupils learn English with this method because the TPR method incorporates movements into learning process. It is proved that ADHD children learn in a dynamic and active way, also in a relaxing environment.

The Suggestopedia method is focused on reduce the stress of children by creating an unwind environment inside the classroom. According to Lozanov ( n,d.), the Suggestopedia method helps students to eliminate the feeling that they cannot learn English. The method lets pupils with ADHD to learn in a relaxed and comfortable environment. The Suggestopedia method makes the process of learning faster and efficient because students can learn from the environment, all they have and look around them. In order to make that an ADHD child learn the English language, the classroom must have a colorful and attractive environment for the students. According to Armstrong, T. (1999), when there are ADHD students in the English classroom the use of the Suggestopedia method is an alternative because ADHD children are good visual learners, due to the fact that visually attractive material immediately gets their attention. Furthermore they also learn with the use of different exercises due to they involve students in the class and they activate the students’ mind.

Finally the Brain Gym method is a method of teaching that applies physical movements which works well with ADHD students. Exercising before a class is very useful for ADHD students because they need to enhance their brain development in their learning process. According to Denison (2007), developmental body movements performed by children with ADHD are necessary for brain development due to the fact that it links brain integration and balance between the human body and brain. The Brain Gym is supposed to have a positive impact on young students with ADHD because it lets students to support concentration, memory and learning skills and at the same time the method is useful to achieve a significant learning. By using the Brain Gym method students will be more attentive and in this way a teacher can take advantage of it and he can apply appropriate teaching and learning strategies.

Efficient strategies to make ADHD pupils learn

To know how to give instructions and how to obtain the attention of the students is vital to help the teacher to work with ADHD students in the classroom. First of all the instructions must be explicit and plain to see. According to Parker, D. (1992), a teacher has to give instructions clear and short, use frequent repetition if it is necessary and make sure that instructions are direct to the point. Then another useful strategy is that when a teacher is explaining a new topic it is necessary to provide reach contextual clues including gestures, body movements, realia and images in order to get the ADHD students ‘attention. The use of attractive material in the classroom is another useful strategy. The student has to be interested on what you are explaining in order to him/ her to pay attention to the class and to the tasks.

ADHD students need more time in doing their assignments and more attention by the teacher than the others. According to Parker, D (1992), to give the students extra time with assignments and exams is necessary in order to make the student finish a task. When a teacher has problems with the students’ homework reduce the amount of it and try to give him as much attention as possible. Talking about the planning of the class, plan activities well and think in advance what the child is going to learn with your activity. When the child does something right, use the appropriate praise, for example: "I see you followed instructions perfectly". According to McIntyre (2004), to develop good rapport with the students is very useful because they respond to emotional connections. Additionally to ignore as much of negative behavior as possible is a helpful strategy to work with ADHD students to make them feel the support of the teacher.

To get information about the disorder and to apply an appropriate knowledge in the classroom of ADHD students is a helpful strategy to aid ADHD children to learn. Diverse aspects need to be considered in order for the teacher to understand the ADHD child. Sometimes the teacher feels depressed because he does not know how to address the ADHD student. That’s why that is essential to know what ADHD students wish their teachers knew. According to Gridley (n,d.), first of all remember that the child has problems with his/her cognitive management system in the brain. That’s why learning is hard for him because some skills like organization, focusing attention to tasks and utilizing working memory do not work well with the child and so they need the teachers help. Secondly, the brain of ADHD students is different than regular students’ brain; one day the ADHD student can do something very well but the next day he can’t. That does not mean that the student is lazy, crazy, bad or stupid. Finally do not forget that there is an ADHD student in the classroom.

To make the student feel that you are his or her coach help the student feel comfortable in the class. It is very difficult that ADHD students control their behavior adequately; they have a lot of noise and interruptions in their mind. Teachers must pretend that the teacher is the coach of the child; this is very attractive for the child, give them praise and encourage them always. Repeat the rules all the times that are necessary, the student needs to practice them in order to follow them correctly. It is very important to do not take away recess as punishment; the child needs physical activity to work off the excess energy in order to avoid misbehavior in the class. Remember that the child always needs the teachers’ help and support.


In this paper it could be shown how does a teacher can work efficiently with an ADHD infant and how to deal with an ADHD student in the classroom effectively. Also it contains useful and helpful information for teachers who are in charge of a group which counts with ADHD students. It could be noticed that the information that is presented in this literature is very advantageous for the teacher and for ADHD students due to the paper details aspects to consider of the child. As it was mentioned before when a student presents the disorder he or she can have different characteristics that make him/ her unique and make him/ her learn with the help of certain aspects and in a lot of ways. An ADHD student needs that a teacher pays attention to him/ her whenever is necessary in order to make him/ her to do tasks in the class; this would be a little bit difficult for the teacher because he is in charge of more students. That is why this paper showed diverse strategies that a professor can apply in the classroom in order to work with the whole group including ADHD students easily. Furthermore the useful strategies that are mentioned have the objective to focus on the child in order to make him/ her have a better concentration during the class.

It is essential to say that all the presented information has the purpose of knowing how an ADHD student performed himself or herself during the classes. Additionally to know the variety teaching methods that can be applied in the classroom are necessary in order to promote the learning experience to ADHD students and to make it significant for them. In general when a teacher has ADHD students in the classroom it is necessary for the professor to have the enough and the appropriate knowledge of knowing how to work with ADHD students inside the classroom. All the information presented in this paper has the objective to know how a teacher can addresses ADHD students in order to prepare students with the appropriate learning.


Armstrong, T. (1999). ADD/ADHD Alternatives in the classroom. USA: ASCD

Block, J and Smith, M. (2010). ADD/ADHD in children. Retrieved from

Cook, S.B, (2001). What is TPR? Retrieved from

DuPaul, G. And Stoner, G. (2003). ADHD in the schools. New York: Guilford

Gridley, L. (n.d.). What ADHD students wish their teachers knew. Retrieved from

Maguire, T. (2001. Brain Gym. The weekly column, 59.

McIntyre, T. (2004).What Strategies for tecahing youth with ADD and ADHD. Retrieved from

Parker, H. (1992). The ADD hyperactivity handbook for schools. Plantation, FL: Impact Publications.

Smith, M. (2011). ADD/ADHD in children. Retrieved from

Turketi, N. (2010). Teaching English to children with ADHD.SIT Graduate Institute, 1(1), 1-60.

Annotated Bibliographies

Armstrong, T. (1999). ADD/ADHD Alternatives in the classroom. USA: ASCD

In this book Armstrong, T. Shows a guide with alternatives that can be useful for the teacher and for the ADHD student to work in the classroom. The guide contains helpful information for my literature paper because it is designed with different parts and each one with useful tips. I will use this book due to it counts with clear information and it is easy to read and to understand. The material it presents is adequate for my paper. Furthermore it counts with different suggestions to work with ADHD children, these suggestions can be advantageous for what I am looking for.

Block, J and Smith, M. (2010). ADD/ADHD in children. Retrieved from

In this website is shown different strategies that a teacher can apply in the classroom to work with ADHD children efficiently. The material this page presents is easy to understand because it explains properly different strategies. This website is reliable due to the fact it counts with information with and adequate explanation. The information presented on this page will be useful to write my literature paper about how to work with ADHD students in the classroom. It also counts with tips to achieve school success for the child.

Cook, S.B, (2001). What is TPR? Retrieved from

This website shows and explains the TPR (Total Physical Response) method; it is very useful because it contains different characteristics that this method presents. The material it contains is very understandable due to it explains different details of the method and this page also give examples on how to work with the TPR method. The information this website has is very comprehensible because of the way the information is explained. The site is going to be helpful to write my literature paper because it shows theory that explains how this method works and its advantages.

DuPaul, G. And Stoner, G. (2003). ADHD in the schools. New York: Guilford

In this book DuPaul et al. provide information that teachers need to know about ADHD students. Children with ADHD often disrupt classroom activities and thus disrupt the learning of their classmates. ADHD students present academic problems including deficient study skills, disorganized notebooks and lack of attention to the teacher. The authors use data that shows that up to 80% of children with this disorder show academic performance problems. Furthermore between 20% of children are classified as learning disabled. The book is useful to my research topic because it counts with information that shows special issues in the schools. The book will be useful because it contains significant information for my research.

Gridley, L. (n.d.). What ADHD students wish their teachers knew. Retrieved from

This web site shows about how a teacher must behave when having ADHD ((Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity) students in the classroom. It counts with the information of a researcher who found classroom characteristics to promote success for students with ADHD. The information is helpful and useful for me because it counts with strategies to manage the behavior of students with ADHD. All the different strategies the web site shows are going to be carry out by me in my classes to do my research. Also the different tips it has are going to be taken into consideration. What is also helpful and meaningful for my research is to know what modifications a teacher should do to the classroom environment in order to promote the success of the child.

Maguire, T. (2001. Brain Gym. The weekly column, 59

In this article Maguire explains the benefits of working with the Brain Gym method. It also presents the advantages this method has when applying it to children. It shows different characteristics that children can present when they are asked to do brain gym movements with their body. This article shows different aspects of the brain gym method and its benefits; in order to work with ADHD children in the classroom. This article will be useful for my paper due to the information it presents.

McIntyre, T. (2004).What Strategies for teaching youth with ADD and ADHD. Retrieved from

This web page shows the different symptoms that children with ADHD (Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity) present. The site explains in detail how children with ADHD are and how they behave. What is really useful of this page is that it is focused on ADHD children and it has the necessary information to understand the disorder and to comprehend how to work with students tat present it. This page will be practical to do my research because it counts with the information that makes me understand the different types of ADHD in order to know and comprehend better their behaviors in my classes.

Parker, H. (1992). The ADD hyperactivity handbook for schools. Plantation, FL: Impact Publications.

In this book Parker shows specific information for teachers of ADHD students. It counts with different strategies that will help the ADHD students in the classroom. The material it contains will be very helpful for my paper because of the way the information is explained and the type of information it has. This book counts with information that will help me to understand what i am going to write and why. The strategies shown in this book are good for teacher in order to work efficiently with ADHD students. That’s why this book will be helpful for my paper.

Smith, M. (2011). ADD/ADHD in children. Retrieved from

The web page shows a general description of ADHD (Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity). The site uses a help guide in order to know the main characteristics of this disorder. It also contains different highlights which talk about different fields related to ADHD disorder. What is meaningful and helpful for my research is that this page has interesting and useful information to carry out my research. It also contains tips for helping children with ADHD succeed at school. Furthermore it shows tips for working with ADHD students at the classroom, thus it counts with tests to identify ADHD students. This web site is really useful for my research because it shows what you need to know about having ADHD students at the classroom.

Turketi, N. (2010). Teaching English to children with ADHD.SIT Graduate Institute, 1(1), 1-60.

In this article Tuketi, focuses her research on the ESL teaching process and making the foreign language learning manageable to every student. The author uses data gained through statistics and through significant theory. Her aim is to show that every student can learn English as a second language. Her research focuses on applying effectively different methodologies that will make the foreign language learning process effective. The article is useful to my research topic because as Turketi considers the process of second language acquisition for children with ADHD in terms of input and output speech. Furthermore motivation is a challenge for the teacher. Finally a teacher must be open to a variety of teaching styles and experiment with them. This article will be useful, significant information for my research will be used and applied in my classes.


  • Word count 2,010 - you need about 2,500 words. Check Adriana and Tere's headings in their literature reviews and add yours.  If you are not sure how to do this, come by my office.  You need to add your three headings that link directly to your thesis statement.  Within each of the three sections, you will have three-to-five paragraphs, plus probably two paragraphs for your introduction and two for your conclusion.  You will have approximately 16 paragraphs for your entire literature review.  Work on your introduction, making sure that you state a problem in the first paragraph and that you include a thesis statement in your second paragraph that links to your problem.  The reasons section of your thesis statement will be your topics you cover in each of the three sections of your literature review.  Click here to see some helpful videos.  Link your conclusion to your thesis statement and summarize the main points that you've previously discussed. Remember not to include any new information in your conclusion. Also, discuss future implications and ideas for further research related to your topic.  --Bnleez 16:19, 7 December 2011 (UTC)
  • See comments above. --Bnleez 03:21, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Alphabetize references and remove reference type sections: books, articles, and web pages. --Bnleez 13:05, 19 October 2011 (UTC)