Using Change-Ups to Improve Student Focus

Instructor: Sharon Linde
Students can't learn if they're not paying attention. This lesson defines change-ups and gives examples of how teachers can use them to help students stay focused.

The Facts about Attention

You've likely been in a classroom with a teacher who lectured for long periods of time. How much did you remember from that class? If you're like most of us, you were only able to pay attention for about 15-20 minutes at a time right at the beginning of class. After that, your attention likely waned and you were less able to recall information. Young children have even lower attention spans; the general rule is children can focus on learning for between two and five minutes for every year. Jimmy, a five-year-old, will be able to focus for about ten to 25 minutes.

Teachers should keep this information in mind when planning instruction. If students aren't able to pay attention during instruction, they won't learn. How can teachers improve student focus? One method is to change the pacing and type of instruction often called change-ups.

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