View Full Version : Out of control class

04-25-06, 12:16 AM
I work at an after school program with a group of 20 third graders. Just like a regular classroom, we are expected to give enrichment and activities as if we were actually trained teachers, when in reality I just started college. Then I just found out that I have three, maybe four children with ADD/ADHD and I am struggling myself with a diagnosis and trying to get medication. I have read about tips on managing a classroom with children with ADD, but how can I manage three of them if I can't manage myself? Any advice?

04-25-06, 10:35 PM
Maybe you will have an advantage in having ADD in that you might be able to relate to them easier than others will be able to.

Is it not being able to control them that worries you the most?

Are you working on your own or do you have collegues who work when you do?

04-26-06, 10:13 AM
A way vI read about is having ADDers and ADHDers write or draw (even both if you want) every success they have (all the time... and it can be anything like I ate my egg-salad sandwich today, wow!) That helps them see the are capable of achieving things and helps them build good self confidence and a good self image. You can also do it for yourself... But this has to be done on regular bases... try not to forget moments.

04-26-06, 10:15 AM
I went to a conference on ADD and ADHD recently and something the conference guy made us do (and suggest teachers to do in class as well) is a little game he called "The secret code" game. Basically, the game consists (I hope I express it well because it is not easy for me to read my notes that are in French, think both in French and English and translate everything at athe same time... And I'm sparing you that I have to use my dictionnary to help me with some translation sometimes... Multitasking is not one of strength... Anyways!) The game consists in making up a code which is very visual for the kids... What he did was: When I raise my right hand, you guys clap once, when I raise my left hand, you guys clap twice... When I raise both of my hands, you do absolutely nothing. It was very easy at first but you start easy and you make it harder as it goes... You have to speed it up a bit. That helps ADDer and ADHDer (but mostly ADHDer, because of the impulsive factor) learn to restrain themselves from doing something... and it is a game. It helps ADDers and ADHDers (and anyone for that matter) see they can live succeses ad are good at things to. They learn to stop actions meanwhile and they don't see it that way (it's just a game to them... and it takes about 10-15 minutes -- maybe 30 if everyone likes it so much they don't want to stop, then again that is the point of the game, learning to stop... -- anyways, it doesn't take up that much of class time). Afterwards, right after finishing the game you come back and ask the students how they managed to refrain from clapping when both hands were raised... And that's the beauty of it all... You learn trick you can feed them back when other moments during the day are hard... That will be there own ways because they told you... "Well, you know, when I see you raising both your hands, I cross my fingers together and it helps me not clap" or When you raise both your hand I see this big X and that teels me not to clap..." So those things you can reuse to help them be more "studious" if I can put it this way. You can draw amazing paralleles with this. Say things like "Do you remember when we did the clapping game, you were pretty good at it, I saw you... You were able not to clap when my 2 hands were in the air. Wow! And I see you now, and I think you're having a bit of difficulty, what were your tricks, not to clap... How about we try it here right now..." You don't have to put it this way but, it reminds the student about this succesful thing he did and sees he is capable to do it. This implies that you do it more than once (but once a day is enough... maybe start your day with it or something).

Another game we did is "the instructions" game. I found it was a bit like "Simon sais", but there is a twist. You give out instructions like: "Everybody, touch your nose, stand on your left foot, and turn around" and they do as you say (good, your the teacher... That helps! :p ) But here is the twist: all actions and mouvements are independant from each other... meaning they have to do them seperatly: the best example I can give here is "Raise your hand" and "Talk" to things completly seperate from each other (you can't do them simultaneously, one after the other). What the conference guy said is that "when I knock on the table you do the action" So "Touch your nose." KNOCK. (stop touching your nose because we are going to do something else) "Stand on your left foot." KNOCK (stand on your 2 feet because we are going to do something else) "Turn around." KNOCK (stop turning and wait for my next instruction). It took me a while before understanding the fact that I had to stop doing the first action before doing the second one and so on... (Btw, I think I was the only ADHDer there because, everyone else got it and I don't think the conference was desinged for ADHDers per say...) Once again you have to start easy and complexify as you go... And it works once again for anything. It helps break instructions as small as you can so everyone follows. "Class, open your desks, please take out your mathbooks and turn to page 118..." So it goes "Class open your desks." KNOCK "Please take out your mathbooks." KNOCK "And turn to page 118." KNOCK And everyone is ready at the same time.

We did another game (I'm talking about this one last because I found it a bit more complexe and it sort of mixes both of the first ones [we didn't do them in that order... but it is easier to state in this order] ) The game, as he called it, was "The Parrot" game... As you must have guessed he said numbers (letters could work too...) and we had to repeat the exact numbers he had just said. That was real easy. But as I said from easy to hard... So when that is too easy, you add the knock component... So it would go "1, 2, 3, 4" and the students answer: KNOCK "1." KNOCK "2." KNOCK "3." KNOCK "4." They answer after the knock. The students, adults, kids (whoever) have to learn to wait for the knock to answer or to do the action demanded. And if this is too easy still :eyebrow: you can add harder factors like speaking in between the last answer and the next knock... Like... "1." and you start rambling about anything you want... let's say about your weekend and about how sunny it is outside and... KNOCK "2..." And bla, bla, bla, bla... KNOCK "... 3..." and Oh that is a beautyful butterfly... and say other numbers, so you guys forget what numbers you have to say and bla bla bla bla.... KNOCK ... question "Was it 5 or 3or maybe 10... or 1 000 324 546 896 570..." :eek:
I think you get the picture (Btw, by that time he had lost me for the game... I was running for thje door! lol, not really but still... you now see the importance of graduating the game and keeping track of the level of concentration all your students are at...) Also, you can ask the students afterwards how they managed to remember all those numbers without getting distracted by anything else... Once again the give you tips on how to help them during later and hard times for them. And they are personal tricks that THEY made up not you not anybody else... (And from my experience about myself, I always functionnated better when I found the solutions to MY problems by MYSELF... I think everybody's a bit like that...)

I haven't finished the Attentix books yet... I'm only started... Nevertheless, the conference was given by the author of the books, so I think that mamy of what I heard during the conference is also in the books (and actually I think both the books are really similar, the only difference I can see so far is that one is adapted for school and the other for parents at home). Alain Caron is also one of the founders of the website ( which I gave you as a reference.

Other books on ADD and ADHD I like are (also in French) Mon cerveau a besoin de lunettes (about ADD and ADHD kids) and Mon cerveau a encore besoin de lunettes (about ADD and ADHD adults). Both of these books are written by Annick Vincent M.D. . My psychiatrist also recommanded a book (in English this time) called "Driven to distraction, Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood through Adulthood" (Edward M. Hallowell, M.D. and John J. Ratey, M.D.). I haven't sunk in Driven to distractions that much... I find it a bore... Not enough pictures and color if you want my opinion (none, if you really want to know)... So I'm not even tempted to read it even though I bought it to read and get tips... Anyways, if one of you read it or has read it, you are welcome to try convincing me to read it... which might not happen but you can try nevertheless...

That being said I hope I have been a little help to you... And sorry for the length of this post... I hope it wasn't to hard to read...:confused: