4 Steps to Help Kids Focus
How often do we tell children to pay attention or get on task? Focus is needed to improve learning, but do we teach them how to do this? The webster dictionary defines focus as a point of concentration. Children practice focus when they are playing a sport by keeping their eyes on the ball and tuning out their surroundings. But how do we teach children to tune out distractions in the classroom?
Here are 4 simple steps you can practice with your students to improve focus.
1. Self-Awareness - Brainstorm with children types of distractions they have while doing homework or learning. They will give you honest feedback while discovering what takes them out of the moment while learning. Noises, thoughts, friends, hunger, electronics, pets, and siblings are just a few of the most common distractions. Children begin to understand their inner self in order to make changes.
2. Deep Breathing - Breathing and focusing on the breath takes children away from thoughts and into the moment. Click here for assistance.
3. Balancing Stretches - Put your classroom mascot or stuffed animal/puppet in the front of your room. Train children to keep their eyes focused on the stuffed animal while balancing on one foot. Eyes need to stay focused on the mascot and not wander to other objects. Take 3-5 calming breaths while balancing. This activity engages both sides of the brain while improving focus and concentration. It is also a good time for the teacher to model distracting activities like tapping a pencil, talking out loud, or moving wildly around the classroom. It is oddly enjoyable to annoy your students while they are trying to focus. Learn more breathing and stretching here.
4. Positive Self-Talk. Learn a catchy classroom phrase like "I get in the zone" to remind students to get back to the moment. They should say this quietly in their head when they get off task.
Zoned-In Zeb from Powerful You struggles with paying attention in school but has learned some tips to help him "get in the zone." What helps you focus?