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My class is bouncing off the walls and acting out, and making jokes about the material all the time. They can’t focus or pay attention. I just don’t think they’re mature enough for this. What should I do?
This kind of question is most frequently asked about 7th graders in an Our Whole Lives for Grades 7-9 program. Here is some of the wisdom from the OWL-L email discussion group on this topic. (Note: many of these suggestions require more than two facilitators.)
Examine your assumptions about what it looks like for a person to “pay attention.”
Some people need to focus their attention on more than one thing in order to stay engaged. Make the ground rule that participants can do what they need to do to keep them engaged, as long as they are not distracting or disturbing other participants.
Respect participants’ dignity and their right to make their own decisions:
Incorporate structures that allow participants some control over the flow of conversation:
Give more focused attention:
Attend to different learning styles and needs:
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Last updated on Monday, November 7, 2011.
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