Pay attention! 5 ways to improve your students’ attention spans

Paying attention sounds easy. But is it really? How many times have we reprimanded students for not paying attention?

Attention is the ability to focus on information and tasks while ignoring distractions. We know that fluent reading requires sustained and focused attention, yet attention spans are declining. A 2015 study by Microsoft reported that, since the year 2000, the average attention span dropped from 12 seconds to eight seconds. Researchers theorize that a weaker attention span may be a side effect of the mobile revolution and an increasingly digitized lifestyle. Many of these distractions begin long before adulthood. Consider these statistics about smartphones:

  • The average age for a child to get a smartphone is 12.
  • More than half of children under the age of 12 have a smartphone.
  • 21 percent of children under the age of eight use smartphones.

How does this impact students as they come to school? How do they feel when they have to turn off their phones and other electronic devices and pay attention for 40, 50, or 60 minutes at a time?…Read More