Over Thanksgiving I went shopping for bikes at a Performance Bike shop and noticed different forms of literacy being thrown at us from everywhere – there were physical tags on bikes with prices, we looked on the online website with one of the salesmen, the salesman looked up a record to see how much a bike would be on Black Friday, and then a manager looked at another webpage to see if they would be able to ship a bike to a chain in Pittsburgh for me – all in less than 15 minutes!

At the bike shop I almost felt like there was too much going on, and so my dad and I ended up leaving the store with two completely different understandings of what the salesmen had told us. Perhaps this was a sign that neither of us had the hyper attention skills needed to take in information from different sources all at once.

While having hyper attention skills might have helped us understand information in a situation where someone’s pushing a product at you, is it a good idea to promote hyper attention activities in a classroom like we did in class?

I don’t think it really is.  I think it’s important to start from a basis where a child can focus in depth on one activity or concept before developing hyper attention skills.  It’s sort of like the idea of “close reading.”  In a lot of my lit classes we’ve had to do a short analysis on a paragraph out of a whole novel before we got to a paper with a larger argument.

What I’m thinking is that if activities like the one we did in class promote hyper attentive “disorders” in children, then it would be a bad idea to introduce this scattered sort of activities until maybe later in highshcool.


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One Response to Superhyperliteracyexpyaladotious!

  1. danigirl says:

    I agree with your statement. I don’t think hyper-attentive activities should be heavily promoted in the classroom until children have already learned how to concentrate well on one task. However, children are very hyper to begin with just because they’re kids, and oftentimes, they find it hard to sit still for long periods of time focusing on one task. Therefore, I do think it’s necessary to promote some hyper-attentive activities in the classroom, but in small doses. Looking back on my own school memories, I know some of my teachers tried relieving her restless kids of their excitement by allowing us short recess breaks outside. I remember that the thought of a 20 minute recess break in the middle of our morning always made me concentrate harder on the task at hand. I wanted to do well and finish my work so that the teacher would see I was being good and allow me to go play outside. Reward systems are very effective in early elementary settings.

    Bottom line, I think it’s important to have variety in the classroom. So many students have different learning habits and different abilities. Teachers need to realize this and try to cater to as many of them as possible. Learning disabilities should also not be forgotten, and differentiated lessons that don’t all focus on visual learning should be implemented. It’s impossible to cater to all students’ needs perfectly (students also need to learn to adapt to their environments and crawl out of their comfort zones), but having differentiated lessons would prove beneficial to all.

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