Strategies for Attention and Listening

  • Before giving an instruction , perform an action to show the child that he  needs to listen.
  • Say child’s name before giving an instruction.
  • Make sure the child is looking at you when you give an instruction.
  • Break up complex instructions in smaller parts.
  • Focus the child by giving key points to listen for.
  • Reduce  background noise/distractions including the potentially distracting behaviour of other children .
  • Make sure tasks are intrinsically rewarding.
  • Use simple physical, visual or verbal prompts to help a child focus on a task.
  • Present information in a range of ways to use all modalities and cater for individual learning style.
  • Check for listening by asking the child to repeat an instruction.
  • Choose  the child’s position in the class with care taking account of proximity to
          teacher
          board/equipment
          peers
  • Negotiate and agree the length of an  activity.
  • Use some tangible measure to show an activity is finished eg a finished box.
  • Use timer to gradually increase the length of time the child is expected to give to an activity.
  • Use visual or verbal prompts to reinforce good listening.
  • Ask the child to self monitor and check whether he has listened well.
  • Use other children in the class to model good attention and listening behaviours.
  • Before starting an activity, check or get the child to check that he has what he heeds for the activity.
  • Keep classroom equipment in consistent places and well labelled.
  • Teach good listening behaviours, such as sitting still, turn taking, not calling out.

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Last updated: 21 October 2015

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