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Organization Techniques for Teachers with ADHD Students

written by: Mayflor Markusic • edited by: Elizabeth Stannard Gromisch • updated: 1/5/2012

A major reason for the low school performance of ADHD students is the lack of completed assignments. The task of the teacher is to help these students complete their homework and experience step-by-step success. To accomplish this task, the teacher can benefit from these organization techniques.

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    Tips for Organizing Your ADHD Student

    Having ADHD-diagnosed students in class is a unique opportunity for teachers. The classroom teacher will have the chance to have a tangible positive impact on the lives of the students. But this special opportunity is also a challenge that can be conquered only by the teacher’s unwavering determination, limitless patience, and proven techniques. A group of proven techniques are utilized to help the ADHD students cope with their inattention and improve their organization skills. Here are some of these techniques.

    • Utilize folders and dividers on the student’s desk – The desk should remain uncluttered but there will be colorful folders and dividers that will organize the student’s homework and other tasks.
    • Post a visual aid for the schedule – The concepts of “time” and “routine” can be learned by the ADHD-diagnosed student when supported by a visual representation of the classroom’s daily schedule. With the visual aid, the student can anticipate the next task. It goes without saying that the teacher must also establish and maintain a relatively steady classroom routine.
    • Demonstrate how to organize the items on the desk – Before the ADHD-diagnosed students become independent in organizing their own things, the teacher must demonstrate an easy-to-follow method of organizing the items on the desk. Then, the teacher should consistently follow up on the students to encourage them to organize their own desks. As the students learn to organize, their efforts must be recognized by giving an extrinsic reward, such as a ribbon or a “desk fairy.”
    • Involve the help of parents by using assignment charts – The assignment chart will be taken home by the students and will require the signature of the parents. The chart may also contain due dates that will provide the parents an idea on how their child is making progress. In this manner, the probability of missing an assignment is greatly reduced. A variation of the assignment chart is the task chart. It will be used by both teacher and student to track the tasks that have been completed and the tasks that still needed attention.
    • Use colors or color codes – Colors are generally more attractive to students than simple black letters. The textbook and accompanying workbook for each subject must bear a particular color that is associated with the subject. In this manner, the student can focus on what is on the textbook and not on the question of whether he/she got the right textbook or not. It is also a recommended idea to have extra textbooks at home so that the students will not be hindered by a lack of homework resources.

    Having ADHD-diagnosed students in class will require extra effort on the part of the teacher. However, with the use of organization techniques such as these, the experience can be very rewarding.