Classroom Management Strategies for Students with ADHD

Dealing with children with ADHD can be difficult, and even more specifically trained special education teachers say so. However, there are a lot of activities and things that can be done in the classroom and that usually work with students of these characteristics.

Since many children with ADHD have other added learning problems, the possibility of maintaining attention and not wandering will increase if the right strategies to avoid it are not applied.


Proposals of strategies to apply with students with ADHD

  • Give a piece of plasticine or homemade salt dough to the student while giving the appropriate instructions, reading aloud, etc. Another very valid idea is to allow it to draw or color. This, although it may seem that it isolates the child with ADHD, in reality it often helps these students to concentrate better and absorb more easily everything they hear or have to do.
  • Pick up the whole class and move around every now and then. Doing simple stretches of about two minutes between classes can be very effective in balancing the energy of the students. These movements can also be done in the form of educational games.
  • Get quiet toys or those that help reduce stress, as this will be crucial at times when you want them to acquire and retain a lot of information at the same time. Children with ADHD usually need more time to process information , so they often end up dispersing and losing attention or having disruptive behaviors. These types of toys, consequently, help to occupy physical impulses, which allows the brain to function better and the student can concentrate.



  • Give your child important tasks to do, especially those that require effort or body movement. For example, “Could you take this to my office? Could you help me distribute these pages? ” It is crucial that a child with this disorder feel that they are part of a whole, as this will allow them to become angry or confused less often. This is why marked orders and clear, simple goals work very well , even as reminders or visual messages.
  • Get the rest of the teachers and families immediately involved in the process and apply, in the same way, the activities that you think work best with the student in question.
  • If your child has severe problems with movement and the need for space, you can use tape to mark his area on the floor. If you think that this differentiation could cause problems for the whole class, assign each child a color and delimit everyone’s area equally. You must explain that each color will be the work area of each one and that no one will be able to enter it.
  • Walk around the classroom or position the student with ADHD near your booth so that you can place your hand on their shoulder or on their desk when you see that they start to fidget. A sign of trust and understanding never hurts.
  • Many children with ADHD need something to touch while they learn and attend class explanations in order to concentrate, as we saw in the first point. In this sense, another positive practice can be to place a piece of velcro (with the soft part facing up) in the area under the table, so that you can rub it and control your impulses while you work.



Specific strategies for the need for movement


  • Allow the student to move from their seat, change to another, or get up from time to time. Many children with ADHD cannot remain still during an entire class , so you can always reduce the time of the class and dedicate 5 or 10 minutes to playing games or talks outdoors to disconnect, or use a delimited space for that student who needs it can get up and get a book or some educational toy. Dedicating an area at the back of the class for this will prevent the rest from losing focus.

alumnos con TDAH


  • Use sticky paper notes to place on the tables. These notes will indicate behaviors that the teacher expects to occur , generally related to behavioral norms. Each time such behaviors do not happen, the teacher must remove a note from the table. If at the end of the day there is still a note or adhesive strip on the table, the moment of the reward will have arrived: a sticker, a stamp, time to play, to read …


We hope some of these ideas will help make classroom work easier and beneficial for everyone. In any case, it will also be good to establish contact and communication with other teachers who have students diagnosed with ADHD, to be able to compare and learn new strategies to use.

The educational community must always add for the good of the little ones.

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