Teaching Wholly-Connecting with Students


Teaching Wholly-Connecting with Students

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April 19, 2010: Student Teaching – Learning the Ropes


April 19, 2010: Student Teaching – Learning the Ropes

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To Budget or not?? That is the Question


Our class sizes are increasing, our budgets are shrinking, our teachers are being layed off, our sports and creative programs are diminishing, and the upper echelon of our educational system seem to be getting fat. What is going on?

This twisted, senseless, convoluted game of pass the buck needs to come to a screeching halt; and we need to attend to the importance of education-Our Students.  Our main purpose for becoming educators is to affectively teach, and scaffold upon knowledge, to enhance our students’ ability to achieve, and to build upon their dreams, and ambitions. What was once a system  that excelled beyond expectations with enthusiasm for the future;  has now become  shadowed with shame.

A greedy  attitude seems to have replaced the essence of what education truly means for our students-Learning, accomplishing, and their right as individuals to attain enduring understanding through differenting instruction in how they best learn. I am not merely talking about a greed in terms money-That’s simnple; I am also focusing on the greed for recognition of our school districts, concerning student academic test scores for national achievement; which leave so many of our students stranded, and fallen between the cracks due to their lack of understanding and skills or challenges with absorbing subject matter.

This is how it works..Teachers have now evoloved to become the tools for processing students to get them through school-they come in herds and they’re moved through in the same fashion. They are not focused on the positive outcomes of their students- A reflection of how they might affectively be teaching to make meaningful connections, but whether they are meeting the standards. Personally, I think that the ancient philosophers and great teachers of history’s past would be unamuzed.  Don’t get me wrong…I do believe in having some standards as “guides” for attaining objectives, when teaching our students, but not as a totalitarian type of law for students to meet those standards. The Standards can be good and serve well, to a point, but have gone too far. The Standards have become a twisted checklist to measure the success or failure of our young students; as well as a type of stringent archaic measure to check that as we teach those students we attend to those standards. It all boils down to those Standards and teachers, and school districts are measured in their success, by the fact that students are scoring well on their state exams…Crazy, right?

The problem is that nobody learns in the same manner, some students learn visually, some auditorally, some are verbal learners, some through kinesthic and experiential activities, some logically and intersting combinations of mannerisms that engage and connect students to understanding what they are taught; but it doesn’t mean that they’re failures when they can’t do math or understand aspects of literacy, it means that education in how it is being conducted is failing its students.  So why is this happening? Why has education become the fastfood chain of learning?  At what point will it be understood that without creative balance in strategies applied toward the teaching and learning process, effective learning will not take place, and kids will continue to fall behind.

What I am emphatically stating is that we have become over-standardized to the point that teachers now must teach with the cookie-cutter approach to meet the requirements and Standards of their school districts in their states-after all each district wants to be #1 in their standardized scoring across the board. There is very little room for creativity, and very little time to implement strategies – even when education makes a few suggestions ( They talk the talk, but they cannot fathom the walk).  Many teachers fear that if they do not stay on track with their deadlines, they will lose their jobs, as educators.  Educationally, it’s like a snake eating its tail; think about it.

Okay, I get that we need to go along with the program in a team effort, but the ramifications and consequences of over focusing on the standards in order for our students to pass the state tests are hurting our students, and the results of this are that many of our students, in fact, are being left far behind (not for the lack of their intelligence, but because they don’t connect with the academic approach in how they are being taught).  While this is happening, teachers are finding loopoles to sidestep the system, leaving their students to dangle in a web of educational deceipt, and as the system discovers the loopoles they are implementing more rigid senseless rules to cover the tracks.

Ideally, standards can be useful as suggestions to form a foundation from which to teach – this makes sense; however, as they are written, and people measured agaist them, it doesn’t work at all!  There is no time left for teaching wholly when the Standards are the law with which teachers must teach to.  Hello, we’re suppose to teach to our students, not the standards. Where is the joy in learning, with that kind of pressure?… And thus the teaching and learning processes in our education system are quickly becoming clones in a completely twisted mind-game of political correctness.  And this, my friends, hurts a huge population of our students, who do not have the capacity, skills, strategies, or make-up, to fit in the educational mold as written.

So, on they move along the conveyer belt of the education system – in a sort of “move them on and push them through” fashion.  Some may slip through the cracks, never to be identified for their talents or greatness, while others continue along their paths, as they fulfill their journeys toward success or not; perhaps because they understand how to adapt to fit in the mold of this system called education.

We really need to re-think the decisions we make in solving the problems of this system called education.  At this point of the game, one of the most important aspects of life – learning through education, and school- is turning it into a chaotic non-productive, self absorbed, egotistical greedy non-proactive power-hungry mess. Why? Because of decisions made to cut back on important programs, Suck out the academia that provides students with the ability to be innovative, depleat creativity, decrease teacher’s salaries, lay off teachers, increase class sizes, alleviate help and resources for struggling or challanged students…The list goes on. While at the top, the pockets of administrators are getting fat, and egos enlarged.  This is not the way to educate.  We need to transform education, increase funding to include our athletic, and arts, and music programs, increase creativity, and innovativeness in academia, and connect our students with enduring understanding.  We need to enhance education to draw our students into the joy of learning and becoming enriched, decrease the stern rigidness of the bylaws that govern the Standards which dictate the success and failure of our children/students, because as they are written and measured against, are very destructive to many student populations. Think about it.

A Math Teacher A-Part From Most


If any teacher’s name is worth mentioning, this one’s is; However, as a respect to his privacy, I will call him Mr. M.

Mr. M is a highly energetic middle school teacher, who seems dedicated to making math fun, for his students, by utilizing an interactive white board, and a great sense of humor.

Not too long ago, I was told about Mr. M’s math class, by my daughter.  “He’s great Mom. You have to see.” I contacted him via email, and asked if I could come into his class to observe it.  I always look forward to meeting teachers who positively engage their students through the use of innovative and appealing methodologies, and a great sense of humor. This teacher matched my criteria.

As I approached his class, he was there waiting to greet his students, as they entered the classroom. With his expectations set high for his students, he greeted them in a jovial manner, “Hello precious.” If they didn’t greet him with a good attitude, he had them start again.  I walked up to
him and introduced myself.  From the introduction, I could tell that this was not going to be an average observation.   His humor was set on high
volume, and as we entered the class he told me that I could sit at his desk, “Temporarily”.  Broadway Show tune melodies were playing through his classroom speakers, and I thought that it seemed like a great way to kick off a math class. His students entered quietly, and amongst them was my daughter.
They all sat at their seats and followed procedural routine of setting up, and getting to work until Mr. M began his lecture.

Mr. M’s personality was vivacious and he was definitely charismatic.  He had his expectations set high for his students and expected them to perform their best, as well as participate. That’s exactly what they did.  They were drawn to their teacher, and seemed to have high regard for him.  As his students settled down, and prepared to begin class, Mr. M turned off the music.  He grabbed an interactive white board and he began to write computations on the board.  He joked jovially, but with a very serious undertone, as he jotted down fractions in algebraic equations. He spent some time explaining the equation and then had his students jot down and solve the problems. As they solved the problems, he circulated around the classroom, all the while he told funny jokes and made sarcastic-tongue in cheek remarks.  For the most part I thought he was really quite funny.  However, it was his students’ reactions that caught my eye.  As I glanced around the class, I noticed that every student was focused on solving the problems that were jotted on the white board.  I took note that everyone was participating, and all of them wanted to prove that they could do it; they wanted to show their teacher their best effort.  He wanted his students to work out the problems—find the solutions before being told.  When they finished solving problems, the students would all shine their results toward their teacher-holding up their whiteboards to show the work.  Mr. M would take the time to acknowledge everyone’s result, as he circulated around the class.  He pointed to each student and said, “excellent, or close, or good job”.  He positively reinforced his students, and as he did he would make jokes with them.  He also told them to think out of the box-nice to hear.

After his lecture, he allowed the students to work on their homework, quietly.  He told me that he does not like to overwhelm them with homework.  While they worked quietly, he circulated around the room, answering any questions or concerns they may have had regarding their work.  I took a moment to
observe the classroom.  I laughed to myself when I looked around.  The entire class was decorated in a variety of t-shirts, in a variety of colors, including
tie-dye.  Each t-shirt had either a mathematical equation on it, or a saying having to do with math.

Mr. M is a great teacher.  He, himself, is an “out of the box” thinker, and presents math with humor. He is extremely aware of what is going on around him at all times.  If one of his students gets off track, he quickly makes a joke, or quick witted remark in response; and he is open to their reciprocation. He has an excellent rapport with his students, and because Mr. M has high expectations for his students, for their participation and etiquette,
they shine for him.

As his students finished their homework, they quietly cleaned up and waited patiently for others around them to finish.  When the bell rang, he wished them, “well and safety.” With that they collected their items, greeted him, and left.  As they left, the next group entered.  He was ready and set up to go again.

I greeted and thanked Mr. M for his time and energy in allowing me to hang out with them.  I enjoyed my observation.  I wish more teachers taught children with the same enthusiasm and vigor that Mr. M has.  He sets the right attitude for appealing and engaging his students.

8th Grade Graduation Blues


It’s that time of the year again…

Schools are preparing for the big day-Graduation or Promotion, as it is sometimes called; and while there’s a buzz of excitement from most students, as they complete this part of their educational journey and embark on a new one; there is a feeling of withering hopelessness for many who are regretfully not invited to participate in their graduation ceremony-to walk before their parents, family members, and friends; and receive the honor of having their name called before
the members of the audience as part of the graduating class of 2011.

Yes, most students will receive this long awaited honor, but what happens to those who don’t achieve the grades?  Well I will tell you…NOTHING; but a nothing that is cruel, and I believe without positive results attained in the long-run  They will be out-casted to sit in their classrooms, or in the school cafeteria and wait while their peers, are given their diploma and best wishes for a wonderful future. These students will not have the opportunity to experience that feeling of joy and accomplishment. Why? It’s because they did not achieve the grade point average that they should have. These students did not meet their benchmarks.

No, I am not talking about high school graduates, nor am I talking about college graduates; I am talking about 13 and 14 year old kids who are being completely ostracized from their middle school promotion ceremony for not achieving a GPA of 2.0 or higher.

Oh, but wait, there is more. They are moving on to high school. Perhaps, I should say shuffled on to high school, as forgotten members of their school community, and according to this middle school, they are graduating. However, this school watched their struggling students from the sidelines, and they ignored the obvious, which was to intervene and offer them resources; and as a result those students academically drowned.  Yes, we are talking about a sweeping of struggling students under the carpet. So, while those young students sit and wait, and contemplate their emotionally cruel punishment; and wonder where they went wrong, their peers will excitedly participate in the graduation ceremony.

To you, my young unaware friends and weary parents, I say this. It may not only be about your lack of effort or motivation, but a failed school system whose politically canned responses to parents,  policies, procedures and legalities, are stack through the roof of omittance-omittance that they failed to offer the resources that you should have been entitled to..  It may be the administration of individuals that seem to say, “Phew.. Another parent out of my hair, and another group of students out of the way,” as they make their way clear of budgetary expenses needed to attend to their academically challenged students. Yes, of course, we should mention; that group of people we voted for, known as the school board, who decided on this life altering decision for your child.

What can be said about a school whose extremely strong and gripping “No Tolerance” policy is emphatically in place, (in fact, so strong that a student can receive a 3 day suspension for placing a thumb on a sprinkler head and squirting a friend with water); but when it comes to its students who struggle academically, has a very lax and meager Response to Intervention System in place, if any at all.

Who will come to the aid and assist those struggling students, so that they can grow and acquire the skills that they have needed for so long, in order to meet their academic goals? Who is suppose to intervene to help those learners?  It seems that some schools don’t know what Response to Intervention is at all; otherwise, why was it not put into place when it was necessary, so that these young academically challenged students could have the opportunity to gain the skills so that they could achieve.

What can be said about a school whose response to a plea from parents for help for their child, is to turn its back, tell the parents that their child is borderline in having needs, but does not qualify for services; and due to budget cuts, doesn’t have the Resources to help its borderline struggling students. Its business as usual and so they continue on, teaching as they always do, and following curriculum in order to meet their deadlines; and while they do, struggling students are being left behind as their peers soar forward.  They lag further and sink deeper, as teachers tell them to keep trying, to keep up; until these students feel that they can’t go any further, and give up trying.

This is a school whose protocol is to tell its parents, “We can’t help each student, individually. We have too many students to attend to.” Then with those
patronizing looks of concern, they thumb their noses and turn their backs on those students, our beloved children, who need the extra help.  All the while students and parents become anxiously caught in the whirlwind of bureaucratic policies, and the political correctness of the education system, and so academically challenged students continue to fail without receiving the guiding hand of help that they need from those professionals, whom they have relied on to educate them.

Someone recently told me, “Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results.” This my friends is what is taking place for our academically
challenged students at Silverado Middle School, and perhaps other schools, as well. While there is a strong focus of energy on “No Tolerance for disorderly
behavior, there seems too much tolerance where academic struggles in literacy exist, and these are eminent issues that impact students’ ability to achieve academic goals and achieve in life.

Accommodations generally take place when teachers recognize that a student is having difficulties, and then together they work to find academic approaches for solutions, to help these students succeed and achieve short term goals or benchmarks. However, at my last SST meeting, when I questioned the type of accommodations that were set in place and utilized to assist with my son’s academic challenges with literacy; their response to me was their website, a planner, their homework and grade check site, and a calendar.  As they spoke these words to me, I felt a patronizing chill of anger and reality, the rude awakening, that they would not support my son.

An (SST) is a meeting where the students in question, parents, counselors, teachers, Special Educators, and administrators meet to come up with a solution for the struggling student-HOGWASH- in my case. I have been to six SST meetings without resolutions for my son; a lot of air, but not a substansial plan of action for intervention.  Inasmuch, as students continue to fail, or have issues with subject matter, this school has done nothing or very little to help, except for classes in shadow math, or Accelerated Reader-of which I have read does little to resolve this type of student need, at this grade level.

Attention needs to be given to the core of academic problems, such as literacy issues, by school professionals to  attain positive results with intended objectives for  students who have difficulties in subject areas. In my case there was very little, if any, follow through or follow-up.

A lack of literacy comprehension is one of the root-stems of all educational problems in any subject. Without the ability to read comprehensively, all students including brilliant students, will meet with educational disaster, and many functional deficits throughout their lives. LITERACY COMPREHENSION has been a struggle for many students, and without intervention children cannot flourish acedemically.  A child who does not learn skills or strategies to help him/her gain prerequisite knowledge, in the ability to scaffold upon and understand what they are reading, cannot achieve academically.

In my case, there was never overseeing to help my child acquire strategies he was lacking, to overcome his deficit.  But in fact, he was ignored for so long and left on his own, as many other students who are struggling, and expected to show enough maturity and tenacity to rise to the occasion to initiate the need for help, while in fact  he was drowning and flailing academically, and giving up on his beliefs that he was able to succeed. He needed to be given the appropriate resources, and it never happened.

Without a flinch, or care about what happens to their struggling students; without ever giving them the help that they needed to learn the skills and strategies to keep in step academically, this Middle School has now passed the ball to the next school. As seems customary, their academically challenged students are being ditched, and now this school turns its back on these young academically challenged students, as they dwindle away
and slip through the cracks, a sad fate for many; they will be constantly reminded of their middle school, a school who failed to come through for them. Now, these students will go on to the next school, high school; with the dreams and hope that at the next school they will pick up the pieces and do academically better.

F.A.P.E: An acronym that stands for a Free and Appropriate Public Education, a Federal Law that stems from the IDEA act of 1974 (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act).  Did you know that a child who attends a public school in the United States is entitled to a free and appropriate education to meet his or her needs? It’s not only for those who qualify for an IEP (individualized Education Plan), or who have disabilities, nor only for those who have a 504 Plan; it’s for ALL STUDENTS in public elementary through high school.  Each student is entitled to an education that is free and appropriate for them, and those who are having struggles but do not “qualify” as being disabled are also entitled to services such as; differentiated instruction to help them learn in how they learn best, and Response to Intervention to prevent or remediate their academic challenges.

My friends, I placed one of the most valuable and priceless treasures of my life in the hands of this School. I trusted them to educationally guide my child, to nourish his mind and help him learn, and to watch over him so that he could academically succeed in meeting his goals through guidance and a supportive environment; and this school failed my son, and so has failed me and my trust in them.

I received a letter of regret from school on Saturday May 28, 2011,  five days before his promotion, stating that my son will not be eligible to participate in the promotion ceremony, nor his promotion dance.  It was one of several letters that I received from them regarding my son.  Now, my son will not have the honor to walk through the procession along with his peers from the Graduating Class 2011, nor receive the blessings for a better future, by the Principle, and Vice Principle; though, he is being promoted on to high school. I will not get to see my son graduate, from middle school, as much as it would be an honor to see him proudly walk through the procession. Instead, graduation day will be filled with painful regret, and sadness for the close of one door, as he steps through the next.

Wrong doing is being done to many students, like my son, who have not done wrong, but are being punished for the failures bestowed upon them by not providing them with services and resources to help them overcome their struggles, achieve, and so succeed.

Solutions are needed to help our students who are having academic challenges in school, so that they can attain positive outcomes, and succeed in their own right; so that they have the opportunity to become positive and effective contributors in society.  Services should not only be available for those who have IEPs or 504s under Federal and State Laws and policies; but should be provided for all, and each individual student who display academic challenges for any extended period of time.

Now, I will ask… What kind of punishment is the omission from promotion ceremony for a child who is graduating from 8th grade Middle School, but is struggling in an academic undertow?  If it doesn’t have a positive solution or outcome for those students, then it is a useless punishment without a crime. It is an abusive approach from the administration to advertise to other students that their fellow students were not fit to participate. It is an extension of bullying, and it is meant to embarrass those students who did not make the grades, and remind them of their so called academic failures. It is WRONG! Educators need to focus on promoting students to be enthusiastic about learning, not turn them away from it and reject struggling students.  Refocused energy and attending to the need through responsive methods is the way to redirect students and redirect them down a path of clarity.

I say this… Present students with an educational environment that is positive, rewarding, and supportive; one that creatively fosters innovation and multi-faceted thinking; and you will meet with vibrant successful student outcomes.

Student Teaching? Be Prepared


I would like to reflect back to the first day that I met my fifth grade students, for my student teaching assignment. 
The very moment that I walked into the fifth grade classroom to introduce myself, before beginning my assignment, I felt nervous, about the manner in which I would be received by everyone, including the teacher. My stomach was knotting up, and I wanted to run in the opposite direction. Those first moments in the classroom can feel agonizing, but I survived, and so will you.  I remembered what a wise old owl (my mom) once told me, some years before. “Relax, breathe deep, and take ownership of the situation.” Oh yes, and above all “don’t sweat the small stuff, and by the way; it’s all small stuff’ “. 

I scanned the classroom, and then I replaced my anxious, nervous, kind of lost in the wilderness type of facial expression with my kind, comedic empowered expression, and said, “Wow, what a beautiful bunch of children.” They laughed and one of them blurted out, “Wait..until you get to know us a little; you’ll change your mind.”  I then smiled, and glanced back-making eye contact with all of them.  My thought at that moment, that very instant, was to let them know that I acknowledged them, and respectfully identified them as unique individuals.  I wanted them to feel comfortable with me, so I sarcastically joked back.  

I introduced myself and told the kids that I would be hanging around for about nine weeks.  I was due to begin my assignment, in this class, the following week, so I wanted to take the mystery out of what I would be doing in their class.  I explained that a student teacher is just like they are-a student.  I told them, “The difference is that I am learning how to teach”.   They seemed glad to hear that I could relate in some form to them, in being a student.  

I quickly familiarized myself with the energy between the students and the teacher.  Then, I intuitively took a brief moment to understand the teacher’s emotional position.  She seemed exhausted, and had no tolerance for distractiveness, or the sounds that wriggly fifth graders can make.  The students appeared apprehensive about her as their teacher.  I felt concerned about the dynamics of the classroom, but I smiled politely as I contemplated how I would make learning fun for them, and keep them engaged.

It is important to be aware of the dynamics of a classroom, and the personal boundaries of each individual. I took note of some of the diversities of the student population, of the students who had special needs, as well as the students who spoke another language.  I realized that differentiating lessons may play an important role in this classroom experience.  I then communicated my intentions as a guest in their classroom, and briefly let them know that  positive thinking was key to learning about a subject.  

As a student teacher, it is vital to have a grasp on your position as a guest in someone elses classroom.  I kept in mind that I am a visitor, and should never overstep my supervising teacher’s teaching boundaries. Communication is the key, so my teacher and I had a brief chat to familiarize ourselves with one another. We quickly talked about our teaching strategies. Our conversation was short and light.  Through this preliminary meeting we were able to briefly exchange ideas, share methodologies and discuss classroom management in approaching teaching her students.  We even laughed a little, to smooth out any possibilities of rough edges.  From our chat, my supervising teacher gained the understanding that I am very tolerant, and even-keeled.  Together as teachers, I felt that we would create a good balance for teaching her students, but above all I knew that from her vast experience as a teacher, I could gather a lot of information about teaching. 

My introduction proved to be rewarding.  As a result, I changed my anxiety to anticipation for my term with my new students.  On the same note I put my new students, and my supervising teacher at ease, about me.  

My advice to new student teachers is to take the mystery and anxiety out of the student teaching assignment.  Preview the classroom-take a quick glance of how everything is positioned.  Meet the teacher and discuss ideas and expectations that you each have for each other.  Schedule a time to review the textbooks to be used, and lessons to be taught.  Most important, introduce yourself to the students. Communicate your intentions as a teacher, and prepare them for your visit, before you begin your assignment.  Keep in mind that you are a guest, so review your classroom etiquette as a student teacher, with your professors.  Your success as a student teacher begins with your introduction.

ADD/ADHD in the Classroom


Their thoughts do not seem to stop, and neither do their little bodies.  They  seem to keep on going, with an endless amount of energy.  Moving from one activity to another, when they can.  I am refering to children who have Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD/ADHD).  These students tend to have difficulty staying focused on anything for more than a few minutes, and they need constant attention.  They will aimlessly move around the classroom, and wiggle or squirm around in their seats when they have been sitting for too long, or aren’t directed. Why? Because it’s their nature to do so..  Talking out of turn, interrupting others, and being a disruptive distraction is not uncommon for them.  

Children with Attention Deficit Disorder have a tendency toward being disorganized, and leave trails of unfinished projects lying around.  Though they are most often, highly intelligent, have great imaginations, and leadership qualities; these bright beings tend to be their own worst enemy in school.  They’ll typically follow their whims, generate havoc, and create mischief.  Yes, these mindful, creative individuals often do get into trouble.  

Perhaps this may sound familiar to you.  Perhaps, you know of a child who has ADD/ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyper Disorder).

The thoughts of kids with ADD/ADHD are created in hyper-power mode, and at times it is difficult to stop them, once they’re on a course.  They may seem to  grasp the jest of a lesson very quickly, or so they lead you to believe; but they wade through their classwork based on their own assumptions of what  they’re suppose to do, and commonly do not complete their work.  Often they do not fully understand what they need to do to accomplish their assignment successfully.  They have difficulty following instructions, and tend to be highly disorganized, and absent minded.  I have found that when I teach these students it is important to create goals, and follow though in keeping them; I do so by first teaching them how to create micro goals. For example, take out my folder, find a pencil, take out my planner and spend 3 minutes reviewing it, locate my classwork, spend 2 minutes organizing, answer the first question, and so on.  Once they begin to understand, create, and follow through with micro goals, they will begin to feel a sense of  accomplishment.   

These students  cannot stay focused on a conversation, let alone a class lecture or class discussion.  They simply cannot sit calmly focused on one topic for too long a period. They might be the class comedians, or the class social networkers, or they may even be the silent jesters.   Having ADD/ADHD does not always mean that a child will be an extrovert.  A child with ADD/ADHD could be an introvert, who finds distraction in creating covert mischief.  Funny as it may seem, these students can be very exhausting, for the teacher.  They endlessly need to be redirected and overseen, to make sure that they stay on task.  They are easily bored with mundane academics, and require diversity in classwork.  What is the best approach for these kids? Diversify. 

Whatever the scenario may be, these children have difficulty, emotionally controlling their distracting thoughts, and so they need to be in constant motion. Engaging in activities which involve kinesthetic movement as well as diversity can be a positive approach toward helping these children stay focused.  They noticeably thrive on a balanced menu of diversification, in how they are taught.  Lesson activities should be altered every twenty minutes or so, to guide them to stay tuned in.   One of many great ways to help kids refocus is through kinesthetic activities.  By facilitating interactive games that challenge students energetically, and keep their minds busy with memorable details, distractive students are more apt to pay attention.  Create enthusiasm for what you are teaching. Rotate a lesson to a later time in the day, and teach subject matte in shorter spurts.  Doing so, may lead to productive learning results.  When teachers diversify their lessons-shake it up a bit- kids seem to stay engaged and able to maintain more focused while lessons are being taught. 

A good habit to practice is to let students know how long they need to stay on a task-a lesson’s duration; and then stick close to that time frame.  Being consistent and time conscious teaches your students to understand and develop a respect for time frames, and gives them a sense of stability.  They will develop an enhanced awareness about the importance of staying on task if they know that you will stick to the structure of your time frame.   Inadvertently, they will understand that they need to remain absorbed in their activity for that duration of time.       

I have observed that children with ADD/ADHD  have a tremendous desire for attention, and my approach for connecting with these kids is to help them feel successful. Acknowledgement should be given, when they succeed at accomplishing a goal.  Reinforce their effort by congratulating them for their accomplishment.  Their reward will be in knowing that they did it.  Guide them to attain goals that are realistic.  Give them a task with guidelines to adhere to; however, let them know that you are open to suggestions and to to their ideas.  Utilizing their ideas will positively promote them to support their potential for facilitating, and accomplishing their goals successfully, and they will come to an understanding that they can succeed.