I have a student, 7, who is constantly looking for attention. His eyes roam the whole time looking to see who is looking at him. Anyone got any good ideas for what works.....parents have had an assesment and he is not ADD or ADHD. Thanks in advance
Is he bored? How about setting up a time when he can be the center of attention... but tell him in order to earn it he has to focus on what he's doing and get work done? Have you talked to him about why he's looking around? Does he do other things to get attention? Act out, shout out etc? What did his parents have to say? Are they concerned as well? Is it affecting his work? I know I have a lot of questions but I'm just trying to figure out what might motivate this child to focus and stop looking all around trying to get attention.
Yes...he does all of those things. Shouts out, calls out, is the class policeman....hitting, kicking kids who he thinks has done the wrong thing. His mum and dad work hard with him....trying to give him lots of positive attention at home. They make excuses for him....I think he is desperate for friends but everything he does makes him enemies. If we gave him his own attention time, what we would do? He would really need the whole class to be focussed on him. Now I am the one with the questions....thanks for your interest!
I have a student much like yours (he's a first grader though) and I've just learned to ignore the negative behaviors as much as I can. If he's calling out I just ignore him. If he's crying and there's no reason for him to be crying (ex: he's not hurt) then I just let him cry and continue on with what we're doing. The other kids follow suit and ignore it too. I've also had a private conference with mine to let him know that the way he's trying to gain friends isn't good. I remind him gently that people don't want to be friends with tattletales or cry babies (I don't use those exact words but you get the picture). I also tell him that when he acts in those ways children don't want to be around him because they are worried they'll either get into trouble or they don't want to get hurt. My principal is very supportive and has told me that if a child is too distracting and causing too many problems to where I can't continue teaching the right way that I can refer him to the office but I try not to do that if at all possible. One time he was physically violent and screaming during a test and I had to call the office to come get him. I know it sounds harsh but sometimes they have to hear the truth. I've talked to the guidance counselor and she put him in a friendship group and a self control/anger management group. These helped him figure out 1) appropriate ways to make friends, 2) appropriate ways to control impulsive behavior and 3) what his responsibilities are at school... not being policeman but getting his work done and doing his very best.
As for giving him his own attention time, you could brainstorm with him when you have the mini conference. Maybe he has a talent he'd like to share with the class? (does he enjoy singing? juggling? balancing? folding paper?) Maybe he'd like to read a story to the class? One he's written? Or maybe he just wants to share a joke or personal story (pre-approved by you of course!) Maybe you could even check with a teacher in a lower grade (his teacher last year perhaps?!) and see if she would mind if he came to HER room and read a story or whatever.
Basically you have to find what works for you. If I think of anything else I do with my own attention seeker I'll let you know. And definitely if you have any questions don't hesistate to ask! I'll try my best. Good luck!!!
When I have had students like this in the past, it can be exhausting. What worked for me were these things....
During your lessons, give him lots of attention but in a way that doesn't reward his negative behavior or let the rest of the class realize what you are doing...
use his name as you teach,,, like "Last week, John, we were learning about the solar system...."
Make LOTS and LOTS of eye contact with him during your lessons and nod or smile at him when he's doing the right thing
Stand by him A LOT as you are teaching..
Steal little moments with him and compliment him on his good behavior that day.. like when you are dropping the kids off at art or music, pull him over quickly and have a word with him... I'm proud of you for......
Instead of looking to his friends for attention, a lot of times they begin to look for that positive attention from you. This is a lot of work, but the above things have worked for me in the past.
What do the parents think about their child's behavior? Do the parents support your actions or are they opposed to what you do in class. You mentioned that they make up excuses so do they acknowledge a problem?
I have a student in grade two like that and she is working on a behavior chart. For each forty minute period that she shows appropriate behavior, she gets a sticker. At the end of the month, she gets a prize if she has 80% of her chart filled. When we first started, she was able to earn weekly prizes. Her mother has continued with the behavior chart at home. We had a meeting with the child and child's mother when we decided to continue the chart at home. Yes, I ignore the bad behavior as long it does not endanger anyone. It has taken us 4 months to get to this point but it has been worth it.