Helping Students Focus

Ask students to look around them and memorize everything red that they can see. Give them about 15 seconds to complete this task. Then, ask students to close their eyes and shout out everything brown that is around them. Ask them to open their eyes. Why was it difficult to name the brown things around them? (Because they were focused on something else).

Ask students to memorize everything brown for another 15 seconds. Ask students to close their eyes and shout out the brown things around them. Why was it easier to name the brown things this time? (Because they were focused on the question/task at hand).

Energy follows focus. If we are focused on the right things at the right time, it is easier to direct our energy in that direction and be present. When we are focused on other tasks, it is hard to be present.

Next, discuss/acknowledge the distractions that are taking your focus away from where it should be this today, this week, this year, etc. Which of those obstacles are within your control, and which ones are outside your control? How will you direct your energy and focus on those things you can control? What rituals can help you control your focus and be present? Develop a plan to deal with these distractions and keep your focus on the things that you can control.

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