Attention is a set of cognitive skills, one way to build attention is to coach it. When we teach children a bit about the components of the attention cycle, we are better able to help them manage their attention engines.
When we teach children the parts of “My Attention Cycle” they become empowered thinkers. No longer is their inattention a mystery, now they know what attention is and they can monitor when they are in which component of the attention cycle to that they can appropriately direct their mental energy.
Here is an image about the attention cycle to help you talk with students about their Attention Engines to increase their cognitive awareness and energy control.
Once you have raised awareness that attention is a cognitive skill and cognitive skills can be developed, practiced and learned. Now you can begin to talk about self-coaching strategies to help students attend to what is important.
What helps you turn your attention engine on?
How do you know your attention engine is revved-up and ready to go?
What do you say to yourself to energize your brain and alert your attention?
What do you do with your body to help your brain stay alert?
How do you use your headlights to choose the proper target of your attention?
Can you show me how you direct your headlights to the person, place or thing you are to focus on now?
What do you tell yourself about selecting the proper focus of your attention?
How do you know if your headlights are off-target?
Our new “My Attention Engine” conversation and activity sets empower you to talk with students K-5th grade about attention in a way that creates interest and engagement. Using the Biggie bookmarks students can carry with them daily and sticker activity sets for the “cognitive conversation” on attention, as a teacher, school psychologist, counselor or parent you have the tools to help children become aware of when they are alert, attending or drifting in class, at home, and in play.