Tips for High School Teachers with ADHD Students: Using Worksheets and Giving Tests

Douglas Cowan, Psy.D.
 


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Thank you to all of our professional educators who dedicate themselves to our children! We know how difficult it can be working with ADHD children, so here are your teacher tips for the week, brought to you by the ADHD Information Library and ADDinSchool.com. This is a sampling of over 500 classroom interventions for your use at http://www.ADDinSchool.com .

Here are some tips on using worksheets and ADHD students. Remember, the best interventions are the ones that will help all of your students be more successful, not just the ADHD students.

"Usability" is the design buzzword for the 21st Century. Just as web designers strive to make web sites fast, easy to navigate, and more user-friendly, teachers should strive to make their worksheets easy to understand, easy to navigate, and user friendly.

Use large type.

Make the important points easy for the student to find.

Keep page format simple. Include no extraneous pictures or visual destructors that are unrelated to the problems to be solved.

Use buff colored paper rather than white if the room's lighting creates a glare on white paper.
 
Write clear, simple directions. Underline key direction words or vocabulary or have the students underline these words as you read directions with them. Draw borders around parts of the page you want to emphasize.

Here are some tips on giving tests to ADHD students. Remember, the best interventions are the ones that will help all of your students be more successful, not just the ADHD students.

What is the point of giving a student a test? What is a teacher trying to measure? Are we measuring how well a student can take a test? Or are we measuring how well a student has learned and mastered information and/or skills? Stay focused on the goal!

Frequently give short quizzes and avoid long tests. ADD and ADHD students are well known for doing poorly on long tests or on timed tests, even when they know the material. Also provide practice tests.

Provide alternative environments with fewer distractions for test taking if necessary. Students with attention deficit will often perform much better is taking a test in a quiet environment with few distractions.

Using a tape recorder, have the student record test answers and assignments or give the student oral examinations.

Consider modifying the test environment for ADD ADHD students to accurately assess their ability/achievement on subject area and standardized tests. Individual administration in a quiet area with frequent breaks will give a more accurate assessment than group administration.

Hopefully these will help the ADHD students in your classroom to be more successful. You can learn more about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorder at the ADHD Information Library.

Douglas Cowan, Psy. D. , is a family therapist who has been working with ADHD children and their families since 1986. He is the clinical director of the ADHD Information Library's family of seven web sites, including http://www.newideas.net , helping over 350,000 parents and teachers learn more about ADHD each year. Dr. Cowan also serves on the Medical Advisory Board of VAXA International of Tampa, FL. , is President of the Board of Directors for KAXL 88.3 FM in central California, and is President of NewIdeas.net Incorporated.

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