Great question of so many teachers of young children. For this age group, the issues are: sleep, breakfast, discipline, social skills and is there Attention Deficit Disorder. Start with a parent conference to get to know the family's rhythm better. The next step is an examination by his pediatrician and parent discussion of his behavior. Finally, a child study team may be helpful. Connors and Vanderbuilt scales of behavior are on line and may be helpful to you as the teacher.
Wayne Yankus, MD, FAAP
expert panelist: pediatrics
6 year old children want to move, run and play. Instead of sitting down and listening to lessons - make the lessons active and hands-on. For example if the children are naming the days of the week. They could stand up and do jumping jacks each time they recite the days of the week. Or you could have tossing ball games. Dice are great too. The kids can roll the dice and add up the numbers. Have them sing and dance and move to the lessons. You will see that the entire class will benefit from movement, not only your students with attentional issues. And rotate their stations every 20 minutes. After 20 minutes they are done with the place they are in and the lesson they are learning. If you believe the child might have ADHD you might suggest that the child visit a psychologist or neurologist who can diagnose that indeed the child has ADHD. They will also be able to offer expert advice and possible accomodations for the child in the classroom.
Some Symptoms of ADHD are:
• Difficulties listening (even when being directly addressed)
• Difficulties paying attention to details and avoiding careless mistakes
• Difficulties completing tasks and assignments
• Difficulties with organization
• Difficulties keeping track of possessions and materials -- toys, clothes, homework papers and school supplies
• Easily distracted
• Poor short term memory skills
• An energy level that parents and teachers consider excessive
• Squirms and fidgets even when seated
• Gets up when expected to remain seated
• Runs excessively and climbs in inappropriate situations
• Difficulties playing quietly
• Is always on the go
Children with ADHD do very well in small groups with direct instruction in a multisensory environment. They need a physical outlet at all times.