Parent of student at Cypress Ranch High School,
Some students are apt to drift off into their own thoughts, stare into their smartphones, or talk with classmates in the middle of your lecture. Not only do they miss out on what you’re saying, they often disrupt the students around them as well. Tips to manage this behavior: Because students may get distracted if they’re too challenged or not challenged enough, McKeachie and Svinicki encourage instructors to consider whether or not they’re presenting the manner that is proving either too difficult or too simple. If neither is the case, then they recommend implementing some strategies that encourage interaction and lessen the likelihood of disengagement, such as closely monitored group activities. You might also assign “minute papers” and then ask several students—including the inattentive ones—to share their answers. Other strategies include requiring students to rotate seats on a regular basis (and moving those easily distracted back-row students to the front row). Again, if a particular student’s inattentive behavior persists, you may want to speak one-on-one with that individual and ask about their lack of attention in a considerate and concerned manner. These type of students should not be allowed.