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Volume 29, Number 5
September/October 2013

Attention, Class!

As ADHD diagnoses rise, teachers find strategies that can help all students


When it comes to getting his students’ attention, Kartal Jaquette relies on his go-to stunt: Toss a magic marker into the air—and try to catch it in his shirt pocket.

He never succeeds, but the routine works. “You use 10 seconds of being silly and then you have the kids’ attention again,” says Jaquette, a third-grade teacher at the Denver Green School in Colorado.

Diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as an eighth-grader, Jaquette is particularly attuned to signs of student inattention—the eyes go down, the head dips to the desk, or they stare right through him.

He is also particularly committed to responding. “I am the one who is in control of balancing attention spans in my class,” he says. Whether or not someone has a formal diagnosis, says Jaquette, “I view ADHD as a tendency we can all have.”

This is an excerpt from the Harvard Education Letter. Subscribers can click here to continue reading this article.


For Further Information

For Further Information

W. J. Barbaresi et al. “Mortality, ADHD, and Psychosocial Adversity in Adults with Childhood ADHD.” Pediatrics 131, no. 4 (April 2013): 22.

T. E. Brown. A New Understanding of ADHD in Children and Adults: Executive Function Impairments. London: Routledge, 2013.

G. DuPaul and G. Storer. ADHD in the Schools: Assessment and Intervention Strategies, 2nd ed. New York: Guilford Press, 2004.

G. DuPaul and L. Kern. Young Children with ADHD: Early Identification and Intervention. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2011.

S. P. Hinshaw and R. M. Scheffler. The ADHD Explosion and Today’s Push for Performance. Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming.

National Resource Center on AD/HD:

N. A. Neef et al. “Behavioral Assessment of Impulsivity: A Comparison of Children with and without Attention Deficit Hyper­activity Disorder.” Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis 38, no. 1 (Spring 2005): 23–37.