Students Inattentive? Try The Flashlight Technique #EF

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Students Inattentive? Try The Flashlight Technique #EF

Every student needs to learn about his “Attention Engine.” Find the printable images to use with your clients and students in Musical Thinking, Immediate download here.

A teacher who attended our 6 hour Bloom BrainSmarts Training asked, “How do I teach the flashlight technique” for re-directing attention in a “super easy way”.  So I clipped some content from our NEW book 70 Play Activities and Musical Thinking. Here are some simple thoughts. 

As always, we begin with collaboration.

Talk with the child 1:1 in a kind and collaborative manner and tell him that you have been noticing he has difficulty keeping his attention focused on the work in class, ask him if he has noticed as well. Then have the “cognitive conversation” bringing to light an idea that might help.  

Tell him that you once had a student named Max who taught you about imaginary flashlights. Max said that when his mind was drifting in class and he would catch himself, he would switch on an imaginary flashlight and point it where he needed to be focusing.

Ask the child if he thinks this might be helpful and talk with him about how you can help with questions and cueing prompts in class. Agree to the prompts, so that he feels helped and supported not humiliated in class.  That’s it, super simple. A kind conversation, a social narrative story, and a plan, the two of you develop together, to help him learn how to alert, focus and sustain his attention.

Have The Cognitive Conversation

Teaching a child to use his flashlight is done in three steps:

Teaching the child to notice he is off-task.

Q: Where is your flashlight pointing?

Helping him alert his brain to salient information.

Q: Where does your flashlight need to point?

Pushing the re-engage button.

Prompt: You can use your flashlight to select what you need to focus on right now.


The Flashlight technique

Help the child to turn his flashlight on the person, topic or task, by respectfully asking him to reflect and be mindfully present regarding the current topic. Provide support, respect and encouragement to the student for his efforts.

Try The Flashlight Technique in your classroom or practice and let us know how it goes in our Facebook Community. 

Find more tools and activities here.


By | 2017-04-17T12:22:54+00:00 October 14th, 2015|70 Play Activities, Behavior, Bloom, Dr. Lynne, Education, Parenting, Preschoolers, Schoolagers, Teens|Comments Off on Students Inattentive? Try The Flashlight Technique #EF
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