Sweet Tuesdays: Teaching A Student Who’s Easily Distracted

Our oldest struggles with staying on task.  She is super duper smart (yup, I said super duper) and I find that I get super duper frustrated when she is looking around, getting out of her seat, talking to her 3 siblings, and the list goes on [but who really wants to hear about the whole list right?].  So I pulled out some of my handy dandy public school teacher tricks (that I used many moons ago).

Say hello to THE STRESS BALL a.k.a our Wacky Sack (balloon filled with playdough) from my son’s Busy Bags.

Back in my [public school] teaching days, as a special education teacher, we used stress balls with the students who had ADD/ADHD.  The theory was that their brain was attending to two tasks simultaneously and a distracted brains was already being distracted; therefore not interested in getting itself distracted any further. We also used gum! -same theory- The use of gum was fairly covert with the fact that it wasn’t exactly acceptable in the classroom… but it too worked wonders. Our oldest only used the stress ball but we know there are options out there!

I don’t have a link to the the study  we based our strategy on, but the proof for me is in the results. (and if you google “stress balls with ADHD students” you’ll get loads of websites/links to read)


She used the stress ball and finished her work productively and relatively on task.  I’m certainly not saying it’s a cure all but it made a huge improvement for her today.  You might say it’s just novel.  We shall see.  She’ll be using it tomorrow.

It was a “Sweet Tuesday” to be sure!




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