Teaching Tip: Promoting Student Focus

Students can lose their focus for several reasons.  They may lose their focus because they find the work they are doing boring.  They may lose their focus because of emotional distractions such as problems at home.  Or, they may lose their focus because they are trying to do too many things as once (i.e., multitasking).  If you notice that your students are losing focus, you can have your class do the following if feasible: stop working and listen to relaxing music for a few minutes; do a few minutes of exercise by their desks; or, breathe in deeply, count to five slowly, and then breathe out slowly (you can have your students do several repetitions of this breathing exercise).  A neat way to help your students refocus is to have each student visualize a reset device in their brain.   Encourage your students to identify  any time they lose their focus.  At such times, your students should self-regulate their behavior by saying to themselves, "I need to press the reset button and get back on track."
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