Vernier Science Education - June  2024


Forums / Elementary Science / Management of ADHD Students in the Lab

Elementary Science

Management of ADHD Students in the Lab

Author Post
Lili Zheng lili zheng 2510 Points

There is a certain risk for elementary students to complete an experiment independently , especially for ADHD students. What should teachers do in order to ensure the safety of ADHD student in the laboratory?

Betty Paulsell Betty Paulsell 48560 Points

Due to space issues students rarely work in a lab alone in public schools unless it is a special project. So I would suggest pairing up students so that a special needs students work with a "mentor" student who is willing to help the special needs student. Not every student is willing or able to do this, so it takes careful planning to accomplish this.

Lili Zheng lili zheng 2510 Points

Thank you so much, I appreciate!

Maureen Stover Maureen Stover 41070 Points

Hi Lill,

Your question is one I've also struggled with as an elementary science teacher. I really want all of my students to engage in the lessons, and encourage them to work independently. At the same time, it's important to differentiate instruction to ensure all my students meet their educational goals.

Like Arlene and Betty mentioned, using a mentor student is a great way to help students who struggle and the flip book that Arlene mentioned is a fantastic resource! Thomas Armstrong's ADD/ADHD Alternatives in the Classroom (Ch. 3) discusses several practical methods and strategies to help empower students with ADHD to succeed in school. Another great resource Accomodating with Disabilities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. This resource is targeted for middle grades to college level students, but you might find some of the ideas useful at the elementary level.


Laura Maricle Laura Maricle 1745 Points

In my 5th grade class we have collaborative student learning groups (4 in each group) and they do their labs together. Pairing the ADHD students with others is a great way to allow them the opportunity to work through the lab with their peers and I have found that they are able to make wise behavior choices. Giving the ADHD a specific job also works well.

 Nathan Spriggs 500 Points

I think peer-grouping definitely helps. As mentioned by others, make sure the groups will work. Some students are great and very patient, others are not and then you'll have more problems. I think assigning roles for a lab helps. Students work together as a team but have specific jobs to complete. When students know exactly what is expected of them for the lab, it can help them stay more focused.

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