The Teacher’s Note Book: Article Review–Sticky Notes and Highlighters for Students with ADHD

Increasing Academic Success for Children with ADHD Using Sticky Notes and Highlighters

As the Melissa Stormont (2008) opens her article, “Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) represent about 3% – 5% of the school age population and are most often educated in the general education classroom” (p. 305). While those number may seem to represent a relatively small portion of the school population, educators in the field know that this relatively small population of students can have a significant impact on the educational experience of the greater population. Stormont’s article shares some effective methods of accommodating students with ADHD and helping them cope with the disorder by developing strategies of learning that meet their needs.

The author focuses on two readily available and inexpensive resources. Sticky notes, most are familiar with those adhesive backed little squares that show up all over the classroom by the time June rolls around. Utilizing these tools the author shares 20 strategies that help to address the four characteristics of children with ADHD, which are; selective attention problems, sustained attention problems, impulsivity; and high levels of verbal and motor activity. The benefits of using these simple tools and strategies include, availability of the resource, low cost of the tools, and the portability of the tools making this a resource that can go home with the student.

If a reader of this article has experience with ADHD with either themselves or a close family member then some, perhaps many, of the strategies Stormont expounds upon will resonate. Utilizing the sticky notes to create sequences of activities to complete assignments systematically, covering all or part of the spelling words to practice spelling, or math problems to follow systematic solution practices can help keep the student focused. Using highlighters of varied colors to represent different priorities in assignments and what to attend to in order, noting completed tasks on a list, marking sections of a story read, and highlighting misspelled letters in words will help the student attend to the tasks and recognize both mistakes and progress made.

This article was practical, interesting, and beneficial. Providing teachers with these simple, inexpensive, and effective strategies that may aid in the education of students with ADHD adds to the pre-service teacher’s toolbox. In addition, while the primary focus is the benefit derived by students with ADHD, these ideas might also prove helpful to students and teachers who need help organizing thoughts, tasks, and practicing systematic learning. As this student/teacher has discovered in his experience, any tools that help organize one’s thoughts and design logical steps to learning are an asset.


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