Some students with ADHD, ADD, or other difficulties focusing and paying attention may find it beneficial to stand while working to increase their ability to focus and attend
Many students do better with a change in position and posture during longer assignments
Standing helps provide the brain with extra stimulus, which in kids with ADD/ADHD, serves to help them focus more on the task at hand
Standing is a good way to wake students up and freshen their resolve after a long day, assignment, or test
Standing can help get rid of nervous energy
Standing employees a whole body shift and change, which is beneficial to anyone after sitting for a long time and helps create a small “new start” even if in the middle of an assignment
Helps create the illusion of smaller chunks of time and effort
When should I do it:
When a student seems fidgety, gets up and sits down a lot, is hyperactive, inattentive, unfocused, sits on their knees a lot, shifts position a lot, etc
After the class has been sitting for a long time
In the middle of a long assignment, test, or quiz
When a student is required to read to the class
Toward the end of the day, after lunch, or early in the morning when students can become lethargic, sleepy, sluggish, and lose motivation and effort
When the class seems to need a change
When you want to create mental breaks or sections in a task or activity
How do I do it:
Simply provide the student an area where they can stand up and move around a little. Allow the student to use a high flat surface to do their work on, like a speaking podium.
Allow students to stand next to their desks while continuing to work
Tell students they are allowed to work at their desks standing or with one leg resting on their chair, but they must continue working
Make sure to set boundaries, for example, tell students they can stand to work at their desks, but must remain within reach of their desk or within one step
Student do not need to use their desk top to work on, for example, if they are reading they can hold their book, but make sure to enforce a distance boundary like above to prevent wandering
To allow for additional movement, try having students do a problem, item, or question while standing at their desk, then give a signal to have students walk to a new desk to do the next problem or item. Continue to do this throughout the assignment to keep students moving, alert, and focused
Have students align their desks in a large circle. Students stand to work at their desk, and like above, when the teacher gives an indication or signal, students sidestep to the desk next to them to do the next problem. Rather than signaling to start a new problem at the next desk, the teacher can also signal every predetermined amount of time, like every 5 minutes for example.
With students that have ADHD or are hyperactive, don’t be too strict with regard to their level of movement and activity while they work next to their desk. For example, if the student paces a few steps back and forth near their desk in between completing problems or hops a little while working, this is okay and probably helping the student to focus better.