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First of all. Short attention spans are part of a normal learning process for young children and students.

At home, parents can help teach students how to stay focused by keeping kids engaged and avoiding learning distractions. And there is a lot that teachers can do, too. In this article, you can learn ways to teach students how to stay focused.

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Concentration and the curriculum

Successful students are learning to improve attention and increase concentration skills as part of the academic curriculum. Teachers use attention-driven modeling lesson plans to help students learn to focus, concentrate, and retain what’s being taught. The teaching strategies are both interactive and enjoyable.

For example, technology has added another dimension to attention distractions and is an effective method of holding a child’s attention at any age.

How? Give a child an electronic game device that keeps their attention for hours. Why? They enjoy the interactive activities. At the same time, they are also building cognitive skills – motor, memory, concentration, and perception. Teachers are using similar learning processes in the classroom to continue developing these same skills.

Let’s be clear on this example. During the early years of education, kids and students learn through classroom activities, including games. The purpose is to teach a child the skills of focus and concentration to do a task. Students learn why these skills are necessary for studying the next step. Teachers also explain why paying attention will make a difference in a student’s learning. As easy as the words are said, the skills themselves take time to learn and require students to practice before they become a lifelong learning routine.

For this reason, teachers break down the lessons so students can learn how to focus consistently on any school subject or classroom topic. Listed below are ideas, learning processes, and classroom activities that can help shape students’ minds and thinking processes of learning to focus.

Attention-getting classroom configurations

Classroom organization is essential. Each year classrooms fill with individual students who are curious and hesitant about learning something new. Each student has a different learning skillfulness from the student sitting next to them. To focus on how to increase attention span, teachers minimize classroom distractions. Teachers also implement classroom rules to enforce the non-use of internal classroom distractions such as students’ cell phones or other electronic devices.

Notable classroom distractions:

  • Arranged seating to fit the classroom lessons.
  • Dimming the lights to remove reflections or glare.
  • Closing the doors to eliminate the outside noise.
  • Shutting off all electronic devices.
  • Avoid behaviors that distract others.

Another classroom aspect is ensuring each student has a clear view of the teacher. It’s been proven that students in these seating positions achieve better grades. How? Teachers have direct eye contact and can monitor classroom work.

The goal of seating placements is to keep the students’ attention on the instructional area and the teacher:

  • Horseshoes or circles work for most classroom groups and allow student interactions.
  • Traditional sets of rows or smaller group pods facing forward works for individual work activities.

Active minds do wander. It’s a natural characteristic. Most teachers are not surprised to see a student’s eyes wander from the lesson. The best method to keep all eyes focused is to capture and hold the student’s attention with interesting conversations. When teachers and students engage in fun and exciting classroom activities, wandering-eyed students refocus and return to class.

Brain boosting activities

Teaching strategies and practice methods help guide students to focus better. They also inspire specific refocusing approaches to stretch a student’s concentration ability. Stretching a student’s concentration can be done by breaking the task into smaller pieces (sequencing). The student works through the process – one step at a time to complete the task. The lesson’s objective reinforces how to concentrate on what students are doing at the moment.

One class activity is to make a list. Students can create a visual list of what needs to be done. It helps to relieve brain strain and diminishes the feeling of urgency or stress.

The result is a smile of accomplishment when completed:

  • Set the priority for each list item.
  • Set a completion date.
  • Take on one task at a time.
  • Check-off each item at completion.
  • Enjoy the accomplishment.

There are times when students are preoccupied for different reasons or have difficulty with the lesson. When it happens, they tend to lose focus and concentration. For most, dealing with an overwhelming feeling of frustration or defeat does not help. The best remedy is to take a break. It is a solution that works wonders in or out of the classroom. As students learn to refocus, they advance their learning success.

Refocusing activities include:

  • Get up and move.
  • Do something different for a few minutes.
  • Practice slow breathing or quiet meditation.

For younger children, sitting still for one hour is difficult. Teachers usually start the morning lessons with action activities. It helps to reduce the urge to fiddle and warms up the brain so students can focus on learning.

Action activities:

  • Game review of yesterday’s lesson
  • Stretching
  • Singing

Memory is where kids and students store all the lessons learned. It also stimulates cognitive abilities. Ask a child about a favorite memory, and they will provide you with exact details. It’s a brain function that helps students to recall information about what they have seen, done, and learned.

Here’s a memory game for students of all ages:

  • Group students into small teams and form a circle.
  • Each student must share information – name, family, interests, or hobby.

After completing the full circle, the first person must state the information about the last person.

The games involve learning skills:

  • Listening
  • Attention
  • Concentration
  • Staying focused

Each one of these activities is focused on the process of developing long-term concentration skills. Although the result is important, while students are learning, their attention needs to be focused on the process and teaching strategy.

Improving attentiveness through concentration

Teaching practices on staying focused can help trigger the student’s brain-attention activity. The purpose of building focus skills is to learn how to concentrate on the moment. Once mastered, this skill is essential to a child’s development for listening, learning a language, and communication proficiency.

Concentration attributes include:

  • Get through the material faster.
  • Improves content comprehension.
  • Strengthens retention.

Some teachers use sequence lessons to teach students how to improve their attention span while learning to improve concentration. As mentioned earlier, sequencing is a learning tool and a learned skill. It enables the student to create a sense of order – a process of steps that requires focus.

To accomplish the task, students must know the following:

  • Lesson objectives.
  • Understand the goals.
  • Know how to meet those goals.

As students learn to focus, teachers see improvements in study habits, classroom work, and homework assignments. None of the learning skills reach their full potential without practice. Better attention comes from being responsive to what the teacher is teaching. Improving a student’s concentration involves understanding and being motivated to learn.

Concentration techniques:

  • Study at the same time each day – take notes.
  • Learn to remove all distractions.
  • Exercise the brain – change your thoughts for a moment.
  • Refocus – take breaks.
  • Set goals – reward yourself

Students must understand that no one is born with the ideal learning skills. Each student needs to develop and practice these skills daily. Because every student is an individual, they each develop focus and concentration skills differently. What better place to improve the skills than in the classroom?

Teachers help by:

  • Assigning the purpose and goal for each task.
  • Providing step-by-step instructions.
  • Allowing students to ask questions before starting.
  • Let students move at their own pace.

Learning to find your focus

Once students have conquered the basics of focusing, it’s time to learn how to focus better. Here’s where the model teaching strategies come into play again. Teachers encourage students to ask themselves about their study habits. The response will help the student to determine what works and what interferes with their ability to concentrate. The good news, once the student feels confident, they begin applying these lessons both in and out of the classroom.

Here are some tips for helping students to pay attention and recognize when their attention is fading:

  • Know what causes the distraction.
  • Learn how to redirect focus back quickly.
  • Improve concentration for more extended periods.

Teachers help students to refocus by explaining what they can do when they notice their focus is wandering.

Successful students have learned to use these focusing and concentration tips:

  • Quiet the mind, close your eyes, and listen.
  • Think about what’s working.
  • Reflect on what’s challenging your focus.

All teachers strive to create instructional lessons and innovative planning just as all students try to learn to keep their attention focused and meet the teacher’s learning requirements. As children improve their attention span, they also learn how to control where they place their attention.

Why lesson plans need to fit how students learn

  • Some need quiet time to focus and concentrate on the task.
  • Others have learned to shut out the distractions like noise or movements.
  • Teachers are open to what works.

For lessons to be effective, teachers need to pace teachings on how to increase attention span. Why? Some students learn faster than others.

This difference between what students know and how they learn may be responsible for the following:

  • Low attention spans.
  • Student performance achievements.
  • Struggles with learning how to improve concentration.

One method for students to demonstrate their current attention and concentration skill is participating in timed activities. Timed classroom activities require the student to apply the focus learning concepts. Teachers observe individual student performance and classwork content needed in the next learning lesson.