Attention! Attention! Attention! Dealing with Attention Difficulties in Young children Presented by Angela Searcy, M.S. and Lyn Sumerset Simple Solutions Educational Services www.overtherainbowsimplesolutions.com email@example.com 708-845-2343/866-660-3899
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Angela Searcy firstname.lastname@example.org 708-845-2343• Angela Searcy M.S., D.T. holds a B.A. degree in English and secondary education with teacher certification though the state of Illinois and a M.S. degree in early childhood development from Erikson Institute, with a specialization in Infant Studies and a credential in developmental therapy. Angela is a Diversifying in Higher Education in Illinois Fellow at Argosy University in the Doctor of Education Program• Angela is the owner and founder of Simple Solutions Educational Services, has over 20 years of experience in the field of education, is an approved professional development provider by the Illinois State Board of Education, and Texas ECI. She acts as an educational consultant for the Multisensory Training Institute (MTI) in Needham, MA, Lakeshore Learning, Carson CA and Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL) at Vanderbilt University. Angela is also a professor at Rasmussen College and a PDI coach with the Ounce of Prevention• A former associate at the Neuropsychology Diagnostic Center in Orland Park, Illinois, Angela has specialized training in the neurosciences and is a nationally recognized speaker with extensive experience working with professionals, young children, and their families as an early childhood teacher, child development specialist, staff developer, mental health consultant, parent educator, language arts teacher, college professor and tutor. Her expertise encompasses developing behavior modification programs from a neuropsychological perspective, and creating professional development grounded in neuroscience research related to adult learning.• She has been featured on Chicago Public Radio’s Chicago Matters, Chicago Parent and Chicago Baby Magazines and is a regular speaker for the Learning and the Brain
How do you measure attention span?• Psychologists vary on what they believe the “average” attention span of a child may be. Most agree that the child’s age plus two minutes is the average. That means most kindergarteners (most are five years old) have a five to seven- minute attention span. This means the teacher/therapist should rotate activities (not the topic) every 5-7 minutes!
This Sounds Like a Typical Young child!• It is difficult to diagnose in young children because it is normal for activity levels to increase each year until the age of three.• In order to diagnosis ADHD/ADD it must be maladaptive and inconsistent with normal child development
Caution! Caution!• The DSM-IV urges clinicians to use caution when considering an ADHD diagnosis under certain circumstances. The manual notes, for example, that it is difficult to diagnose ADHD in children who are younger than 4 or 5 years of age because the variability in normal behavior for toddlers is much greater than that of older children
Red Flags• If a genetic predisposition or siblings with ADHD/ADD• Excessive crying/difficulty maintaining homeostatsis• Difficulties to be soothed—several techniques do not consistently soothe this child /Self regulation• Hypersensitivity to sensory stimulation• Feeding problems, irregular eating• Sleep disturbances / Nocturnal enuresis/Bed-wetting
More on Bed Wetting• Children with ADHD had a 2.7 times higher incidence of bedwetting and a 4.5 times higher incidence of daytime wetting. Southern Medical Journal• A history of bedwetting is a very strong clue to the diagnosis of ADD/ADHD. (Dr. Monroe Gross, M.D., ADD Medical Treatment Center)
We have found there to be a direct correlation between… poor quality sleep and how[children] are able to functionduring the day. Often we see signs of ADD or ADHD as a result of this compromise.” International Childrens Continence Society (ICCS)
Why is movement critical for attention and learning?• Whole brain functioning• Movement activates attention in young learners• Movement stimulates the release of neurotransmitters in the brain• The cerebellum or small brain is critical for learning
Research shows, adults as well as children, tend to remember 10 percent of what we read, 20 percent of what we hear, 30 percent of what we see, 50 percent of what we hear and see, 70 percent of what we say, and 90 percent of what we say and do. Learning happens through interactive, real-life, task centered, self- directed activities Hearing words Looking at Pictures Watching a Movie Looking at an Exhibit Watching a Demonstration Seeing it Done on Location Participating in a Discussion Giving a Talk Doing a Dramatic Presentation Simulating the Real Experience Doing the Real Thing ( Authentic Assessment/Activity Centers) (Malcolm Knowles, 1990)
Remember sensory and motoractivities are the key that turn attention!
Management Tips• Directions: Tell when before what, and demonstrate• Identify safety concerns• Use body control rules• Enforce boundaries• Think about how this activity would work best( large or small group?) ( how would you adapt to fit your space?)
Add Touch• Velcro• Sand paper• Salt• Sand• Water• Contact paper stick side up• Window work• Felt/fabric• Wood
Let children Discover new things at Center Time
Add A Sensory• Sand /Dirt/Water/Finger Paint/Foam/Whip Cream/Shaving Cream/Sand Paper• Make Letters with Wood chips or scraps• Make letters with light bright or overhead projector• Do Centers Outside!• Ice letters, numbers, shapes• Use manipulates to make sentences—squares are nouns, circles are verbs, triangles are adjectives.
Materials to Add!Story blocksWord blocksBall tossBubble wrapjumpSound jumpLetter Jump
ABC PATHWAYS MAT Make your letters by moving your fingers around the pathways Move objects (like Matchbox cars) around the “racetrack” and create letters Copyrighted and sold by Jean Blaydes-Madigan Walk around the mat to at create letters www.actionlearning.com
JUMP ROPE LETTERS Make the shape of the letter with your jump rope on the floor Add a jump rope to help create the letter Create a word with multiple jump ropes Add a partner to help! Perform a locomotor movement around the jump rope
MOVE CUBES Fill in the slots with words, letters, exercises, verbs, adjectives, parts of speech, body parts, movements, word chunks, expression…anything! Roll the cube. Do whatever the cube landed on. Combine more than one cube. Use for story starters, math operations, poems, images, etc.
More Ideas!• Bass Toss Q and A• Sensory webs• Musical chairs Q and A• Syllable “Duck Duck Goose”• Syllable “Mother May I”• Story Blocks• Story Maps• Red, Yellow and Green light Q and A• Hula Hoop/Tangle toys Q and A• Shape sentences!• Obstacle course Q and A
Circle Time Simplify the ActivityFrom: www.headstartinclusion.org
3 Before Me 1. Think to myself 2. Check the direction chart. 3. Ask a Classmate If you still need help clip your name to the chart for teacher help.In order to minimize interruptions during small group guided reading, children will need to know what to do if they need help. This technique is something I learned at an inservice I attended and it has worked well. Not only does it allow me time to work with my small groups, but it also makes students accountable for their learning.
Choosing the Right Text•• When teaching young readers how to visualize, it is important to choose the right text. There are many incredible authors out there who have the art of creating pictures in a reader’s mind down to a science. Be sure to choose a text that is full of descriptive language.• Inspired by the season and the calming mood that is created by this story, I chose to use Cynthia Rylant’s Scarecrow to teach a diverse group of 4th graders how to visualize. It is important to prepare for possible "bumps in the road" before reading any book with your students. When planning out your lesson, read over the text beforehand and be prepared to pause at certain places to provide the appropriate scaffolding to meet the diverse needs of your students.
• Try using a blank piece of drawing paper and encourage your students to organize their thinking in their own unique way. Youll find that some students may create one large illustration and add details as they go while others will divide the paper into sections, creating new scenes as they listen to the details in the book. It is interesting to see how each student organizes the pictures created in their mind in their own special way.
Directions:• Listen as I read ___________________.• Write about what you see as you hear the story.• Use illustrations, words, phrases, or sentences — or combine them all!• Draw and write as YOU see it in your mind. There are no right or wrong answers. Just fill up the paper as you visualize the story.
How to do this…• You’ll want to pause and give students enough time to get their visualizations down on paper.• Stop at planned points to clarify difficult vocabulary and check for understanding. In addition, there may be parts of the text you need to reread to the students, giving them time to develop a clearer sense of what the author is encouraging them to picture in their minds.• Remember — during this first reading of the story, refrain from showing your students any of the beautiful illustrations that may grace the pages. You want students to create their own mental images without any bias.
Justin• Justin is four years old. He is very quiet gentle child. He sits quietly during circle time and story time. It sometimes feels as if Justin is not even in the class he can be so good! Justin’s mom says he is an angel at home –he plays alone or watches TV for hours. Justin can be “clingy” when going to sleep. His mother says he has a hard time going to sleep at home ---but his mother appears “young” to you and this is her first child. Justin is a picky eater at school and his mother says he only eats five foods at home –chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese, apple sauce, cheese and bread. You have been his teacher for the last five months and you think he needs to eat more at school –you think that at home his mother just babies him. The infant, and toddler rooms all said Justin appeared a bit “spoiled” and his mother gave him baby food until he was almost two and used to puree his food even at 18 months –.
Ask yourself…• Does Justin have a normal attention span? Why or why not?• Does Justin show any warning signs of ADD/ADHD? Why or why not?
Joanna• Joanna is 2.6 years old. She is always on the go! She goes from center to center during free play. She does sit and do an art project for about 5 minutes –but is off again soon! She sees the blocks and throws them. She then gets in the basket that the blocks are put in and goes “zoom!zoom!” The teacher tells her that is for the blocks not her—she leaves soon after. Joanna eats well and sleeps well. Joanna’s mother says she is “hyper at home” She says she won’t even watch TV –she watches TV just for a few minutes then is off to something else! She breaks her toys and takes them a part—sometimes she can piece them back together sometimes not—she is very “destructive” according to his mother. Joanna tells her she wants to see how the toys work. Joanna will play with blocks occasionally or occasionally do an art project for 4 or 5 minutes
Ask yourself…• Does Joanna have a normal attention span? Why or why not?• Does Joanna show any warning signs of ADD/ADHD? Why or why not?• What strategies would you use to help Joanna in your classroom and not wander?
Management Tips• Rule of thumb: more students on task, less behavior problems• Do not hand out equipment until directions are over, or keep equipment “hidden” until “GO”• TEACH children with stories and puppets on how to behave during activities• Use short transition times (plan ahead) Transitions should be planned –and include active engagement
Need Training or a Key Note?• We provide on-site training, consultation or teleconferences/webinars! Simple Solutions Educational Services email@example.com 708-845-2343/866-660-3899
MORE RESOURCES: “North Carolina Classroom Energizers” by Activity Promotion Laboratory & East Carolina University School of Health and Human Performance at www.beactivenc.org “Brain Gym” (1989). Paul & Gail Dennison. Ventura, CA: Edu-Kinesthetics, Inc Exercises & Materials at www.braingym.org PE Central Integrated Activities Ideas www.pecentral.org/lessonideas/classroom/ classroom.asp
“Learning with the Brain in Mind” by Eric Jensen. Go to www.jlcbrain.com “Thinking on Your Feet” by Jean Blaydes- Madigan and “Action Learning” at www.actionbasedlearning.com “Interdisciplinary Teaching Through Physical Education” by Theresa Purcell Cone. Order through www.humankinetics.com
ReferencesGardner, H., & Hatch, T. (1989). Multiple intelligences go to school:Educational implications of the theory of multiple intelligences.Educational Researcher, 18(8), 4-9.)“The Treasure at the Bottom of the Brain” by Henrietta C. Leiner andAlan L. Leiner, September 1997.Berninger, V., & Richards, T. (2002) Brain literacy for educators andpsychologists. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.Gardner, H. (1983). Frames of mid: The theory of multiple intelligences.New York: Basic Books.Sylwester, Robert. (2005) How to Explain A Brain The EducatorsHandbook of Brain Terms and Cognitive Processes CA: Corwin Press.Websiteswww.brainconnection.comwww.brainland.comwww.epuh.org/cm/home_htmhttp://cognet.mit.eduwww.neuroguide.com