21 Tactics for Helping Students 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 learner’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 learner leave the task and return to it at a later time when they should be more successful remaining on-task.

3. Praise the learner for staying on-task in the classroom: (a) give the learner 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 learner an informal reward (e.g., praise, handshake, smile, etc.).

4. Let the learner 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 learner alternative ways to perform a task and let the learner 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 learner when they are off-task (e.g., the person can touch the learner’s hand as a signal that they are not remaining on-task).

8. Make sure that the learner 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 learner assistance for those learning activities that they have the most difficulty paying attention to for the required amount of time.

10. Give the learner 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 learner how to manage time until the teacher is available.

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

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

14. Make sure the learner 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 learner 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 learner will require additional information, time, assistance, etc., before starting a task.

17. Take the learner 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 learners.

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

20. Give the learner earphones to wear if auditory stimuli interfere with their capacity and ability to function. As the learner 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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