Monday, November 14, 2022

Dealing with Distractions

Recently on an education forum that I participate in, this question was asked:

“I am currently student teaching in a 2nd grade classroom with students who are easily distracted by any stimulus that is in or around the classroom. Adults coming into the room, students outside at recess, or noise in the hall are common distractions. I feel like I verbally redirect the students often, and depending on the day, it sometimes works and other times it does not. I am looking for non verbal cues or signals that might help redirect the students to get back on task. When the volume of the classroom is too loud from ongoing conversations, I am trying to not add to the chaos, instead find a calm manner to redirect the students.”

I have used a token economy where each student is given an index card with their name on it. Each time the students act appropriately, I would use a hole punch to mark their cards. You could also just use a pen and make a star or an initial instead. At the end of the day, students turn in their cards for a daily reward. Eventually, I would wean students off daily rewards and go to weekly rewards. This was a very effective technique and was successful with most of my students.

Another tool I use is headphones. These are available for all students. They can wear them so they don't hear a lot of noise to distract them. 

I also played a lot of soft music in the classroom while the students worked on assignments at their seats. This helped keep them from being distracted by other things happening around the room or other interruptions during class.   

What advice would you give this student teacher? Please share.

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