21 Tactics for Helping Learners Remain On Task

Are you looking for tactics for helping students remain on task? If so, keep reading.

1. Limit stimulation that interferes with the student’s capacity and ability to remain on-task (e.g., keep a routine (schedule) schedule of activities, schedule special learning activities for the end of the day, etc.).

2. Let the student leave the task and return to it at a later time when they should be more successful remaining on-task.

3. Praise the student for staying on-task in the classroom: (a) give the student a concrete reward (e.g., privileges such as leading the line, handing out learning materials, 10 minutes of free time, etc.) or (b) give the student an informal reward (e.g., praise, handshake, smile, etc.).

4. Let the student take assignments/tasks to other areas of the school where they are most likely to be able to demonstrate on-task behavior (e.g., library, study hall, learning center, etc.).

5. Give the student alternative ways to perform a task and let the student select the most desirable.

6. Utilize several modalities to accommodate more than one learning style (e.g., visual, auditory, tactile, etc.) when presenting instructions, explanations, and instructional content.

7. Select a peer, paraprofessional, etc., to signal the student when they are off-task (e.g., the person can touch the student’s hand as a signal that they are not remaining on-task).

8. Make sure that the student knows the relationship between unacceptable behavior and the consequences that follow (e.g., failure to remain on-task will result in unfinished tasks).

9. Give the student assistance for those learning activities that they have the most difficulty paying attention to for the required amount of time.

10. Give the student sufficient transition time between learning activities to increase on-task behavior after learning activities have begun (e.g., after break time, lunch, special learning activities , etc.).

11. Teach the student how to manage time until the teacher is available.

12. Give the student a timer to be used to increase the amount of time during which they maintain attention (e.g., have the student work on the learning experience until the timer goes off).

13. Give tasks that involve instant, short-term tasks.

14. Make sure the student knows what to do when they cannot successfully perform tasks (e.g., raise hand, ask for assistance, go to the teacher, etc.).

15. Give the student the chance to move to a quiet space in the classroom when auditory and visual distractions interfere with their capacity and ability to function successfully.

16. Assess the degree of task difficulty to ascertain whether the student will require additional information, time, assistance, etc., before starting a task.

17. Take the student away from a learning experience until they can demonstrate appropriate on-task behavior.

18. Make sure that all auditory and visual stimuli in the classroom are reduced as much as possible for all students.

19. Get the student’s cooperative work experience/ vocational education teacher to give them interventions to assist in remaining on-task at their job.

20. Give the student earphones to wear if auditory stimuli interfere with their capacity and ability to function. As the student functions more successfully in the presence of auditory stimuli, slowly lessen the amount of time the earphones are worn.

21. Consider using assistive technology designed to help students to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder to concentrate. Click here to view list of assistive technology apps that we recommend.

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