MyTutor Tips & Features

Tips on how to make your lessons ADHD and ADD friendly

This is a guest blog written by Isabella Heis, an English, Classical Civilisations and French Tutor on MyTutor.

In recent years, as a result of TikTok and learning in the pandemic, ADHD has become a really popular topic amongst young people. Currently, according to ADHD UK, 5% of people globally are estimated to have ADHD. Pupils with ADHD can find learning in traditional classroom settings challenging and isolating, as those affected by the disorder often struggle to stay focused for extended periods of time, and organise tasks and schoolwork. As a result of working with ADHD pupils, and my own research, here is my list of tips for making your lessons fun, educational, and, most importantly, stress-free for ADHD pupils.

1. Organise your lessons into 10-15 minute tasks or games⏱

This means that pupils don’t have to focus for long periods of time, and makes it easier for them to remember what they’ve learned after the lesson. Of course, the depth and complexity of the task should differ depending on the age of your pupil. I’ve also found this approach is a huge hit with group lessons, as it makes lessons fun and varied!

2. Have a break for a few minutes after you’ve finished a task🧠

Giving regular breaks not only helps pupils have time in the lesson where they don’t need to work hard on staying focused, but also means they have time to reflect on what they’ve learned. I’ve found this method results in far more questions from pupils, and that they’re more likely to realise where they weren’t sure about something, so we can revisit it. Give pupils a choice of things to do in the break, such as taking a ‘brain break’, asking you questions on the previous task or topic, or else answering a few simple rapid recall questions on the topic. I’ve found that in breaks, most pupils do the recall questions by choice!

3. Write down any new information on the whiteboard, and encourage your pupils to save it after the lesson📝

Having information visually present is really helpful to make sure that your pupils absorb information. Keeping it as a source to remind themselves of the topic after the lesson also really helps with revision!

4. Regularly ask your pupils to score their understanding between 1 and 10🙋

By doing this, you can quickly identify what your pupils don’t understand, and you can clarify anything you may need to revisit or do more work on! With any low confidence scores, check in with your pupils and ask why they feel this way, as well as what you can do to help.

5. Give lots of encouragement and praise!👏

All pupils deserve praise for taking part in lessons and learning, but this should be especially so if you know your pupils struggle to maintain focus, or find the content challenging. Something small such as ‘You’ve worked really hard today: I’m really impressed with your progress!’ or ‘I really admired your focus today. It makes me really happy seeing how much you want to learn!’ can make a HUGE difference! If you’re not setting homework, asking pupils to spend half an hour doing something they enjoy this week, instead of homework, is a great reward for hard work and focus in lessons!

And lastly, but most importantly….

6. Talk to your pupils (and listen to what they say!)👂

ADHD and ADD affect everyone differently, and your pupils are the experts on their own learning. Asking how you can make lessons easy and enjoyable for them will really help their confidence, and is also great for maintaining a good tutor/pupil relationship. It’s really important that your pupil knows that their learning is something you work on together, as a team, rather than something you must push them into!

For more learning resources on ADHD and ADD, check out:

ADHD UK

ADHD overview on NHS page

HelpGuide’s Teaching Studens with ADHD blog

As always, if you have any questions or feedback, we’d love to hear from you. You can reach us on tutors@mytutor.co.uk or 0203 773 6024.

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