How to Build Concentration in the Classroom

Instructor: Jennifer Carnevale

Jennifer has a dual master's in English literature/teaching and is currently a high school English teacher. She teaches college classes on the side.

With all the energy and curiosity in a classroom of children, it's amazing that teaching gets accomplished every day. In this lesson we will learn about how to build concentration including which distractions can be prevented before class begins.

Redirecting Energy into the Learning Process

There are many adults today that envy the preschool nap time that they blew off as a child. What we wouldn't give for an hour nap after lunch before heading back to that desk or office. Children are full of energy, and the thought of making them sit down and learn can be tiring, let alone the process of actually doing so in a classroom. So how can we get our students to focus on learning and not on all of the other distractions in the world?

Read on to learn about some preemptive and in-the-moment strategies that can help build concentration in the classroom and keep students on task. The majority of the suggestions are more applicable to elementary and middle school students who are learning self control and concentration, but you can use these with high school students who also find it hard to concentrate in school, due to their social life and transitioning into adulthood.

Remove Distractions

When talking about concentration, the first thing we have to do as teachers is remove possible distractions. When decorating your classroom, think simple. If there are a lot of colors, posters, or artwork on the walls, these items can become a distraction to students. While they do brighten the room, think about where the students' focus will be. Keep a few pieces up, but think about putting them on the back wall instead of the front. Leave the front of the room simple and clean for full attention to the teacher and the board. If you are going to put posters or pictures at the front of the room, make them count. Put up grammar signs, historical figures, or useful mathematical/scientific diagrams. Now if students become distracted, they are looking at a visual to help reinforce content or skill sets.

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