Understand causes for lack of focus Techniques to improve focus & concentration levels in children Equip teachers and parents to support children
Choose your BIGGEST EXAMTIME FEARS! Working with the teachers in planning and organizing the exam period Performance/ Results of students Managing anxious parents and students Keeping the school distraction free
Familiar scenarios? Do you find children tired from participating in too many activities each day? Do you hear of late submissions or lack of enthusiasm to take up projects? Do the farewell parties and graduation days need to be planned strategically, so the excitement doesn’t disturb studies? Exam stress, peer pressure, parental pressure etc. causes more anxiety in students? Do you hear complaints of lethargic, bored or disinterested students ? Have you seen students munching food during classes, trying to sneak a bite behind the teacher?
Anxiety Fatigue Boredom Friends and relationships Poor diet Mobile phones Too many activities Social networking Class parties School celebrations
So what is the core issue here? The Lack of FOCUS & CONCENTRATION
L og on to www.exams.horlicks.in A dminister the Cambridge Concentration Test to all students T rack the progress of each student over time E ncourage them to maintain Focus-Concentration logwww.exams.horlicks.in To find concentration levels among students in your school
THREE STEPS THAT WOULD WORK WONDERS Face the ISSUE & build CONCENTRATION as a skill Sharpen the MIND through activities Encourage a HEALTHY BODY
STEP 1 PART A: FACING THE ISSUE The University of Notre Dame has researched and tested this process to use in their counseling sessions for their students. AWARENESS A. BODY Help students identify these traits - feeling upset, jittery, nervous, tense, panicky, hands sweaty, shoulders hunched. B. EMOTION Help students catch themselves Worry or Negative Self Talk COPING A. RELAXATION Long and slow breathing exercises. B. OPTIMISM Positive affirmations along with breathing exercises.
COPING THROUGH REFOCUSING AND ATTENTION CONTROL Strategy 1: Increase the Focusing Skill Help students train their mind to hold attention to a word or task. Strategy 2: Develop Performance Rituals Encourage students to create a physical and mental atmosphere for study, to write a paper, or take a test. Strategy 3: Thought Stopping Urge students to use a trigger word to stop the negative self-talk. Strategy 4: Use Coping Self Talk to Refocus Concentration Encourage students to practice using short phrases that focus on positives rather than negatives.
COMBINE: MENTAL REHEARSAL / RELAXATION & COPING IMAGERY Encourage students to imagine themselves taking the test and "choking." Allow them note the increase in anxiety. Next imagine themself coping and recovering from choking through deep breathing, attention control, and initiating positive coping strategies. Note the decrease in anxiety. This awareness would help them better solve the issue!
STEP 1 PART B: BUILDING THE CONCENTRATION SKILL Addition of techniques or practices, specifically aimed at developing concentration skills, to the study routine in classrooms would directly impact academic performance. Give the following a try, and see for yourself!
Demonstration 1 Find the total number of words in the paragraph.
Demonstration 2 Count backward from 100 to 1 in your mind. Let’s move to the next task before we understand these exercises.
Demonstration 3 Read the numbers backwards skipping numbers with 5 and 2
Demonstration 4 Repeat a word in your mind till your calm. You have 1 minute to do so. Now look at the fruit below for the next minute. Focus on its shape, smell, taste and the sensation it gives you when you touch it. Take a real fruit at home, and do this exercise for 5 minutes. Next, close your eyes and visualize the fruit for a minute. Again think only about the fruit… it’s shape, smell, taste, texture etc.
Demonstration 5 Look at the image below for the next minute. Think only of what you see. Now, close your eyes and visualize the same image. Focus only on the colour, shape, size etc. Draw or get your parents to draw a favourite shape at home, and do this exercise for 5 minutes.
Simple activities such as these are effective! A 10 Session Plan with such activities has been provided in the CONCENTRATION HANDBOOK, as a long term technique for you/ your teachers to engage students with. At the end of ten sessions you may encourage students to take the concentration test again to track progress. Also allot maintenance sessions periodically (every 6, 12, 24 weeks).
STEP 2: SHARPENING THE MIND While the earlier described technique would to enhance the concentration levels among your students, it wouldn’t break the monotony classes. Spice up classes with a few quick activities to sharpen the mind!
Enjoy these fun activities with students.. Tongue Twisters Strange as it sounds tongue twisters also help improve concentration. Visit www.exams.horlicks.in for sample videoswww.exams.horlicks.in
Brain Teasers Research is finally demonstrating that the brains do better in the long term if they are exposed to novel activities including brain teasers, brain games and logic puzzles. Visit www.exams.horlicks.in for sample videoswww.exams.horlicks.in
Keep these handy! Memory games It's often said that the brain is like a muscle. It needs to be exercised to be made stronger. Visit www.exams.horlicks.in for sample videoswww.exams.horlicks.in
Playing Sudoku actually exercises the brain extensively. Visit www.exams.horlicks.in for sample videoswww.exams.horlicks.in
Create, have fun or master these.. Rhythm Researchers suggest that practicing music could improve other skills, particularly reading. Visit www.exams.horlicks.in for sample videoswww.exams.horlicks.in
Solving the Rubik’s cube has been of the greatest puzzles of all time, involving functions such as significant concentration, mind -body coordination, sharpness and quick reflex. Visit www.exams.horlicks.in for sample videoswww.exams.horlicks.in
Crosswords Dart Chess Playing musical instruments These are some examples of games that improve focus and concentration. Can you name some more? Dancing Bowling Word building Scrabble
STEP 3 HEALTHY BODY HEALTHY MIND What students do during and after school affect your body & mind in ways you can never imagine! Let us look at some of the things you can implement into the daily schedule for your students to make the study process a lot less stressful!
Yoga, meditation and physical education ensure the well being of students. At least 8 hours of sleep allows the body to rejuvenate and helps brain focus better.
Organizing a Food Pyramid Week or Healthy Diet Day to understand food intake & healthy eating habits.
Encourage students to replace their junk food filled short- breaks with healthy food like nuts, health food drinks, fresh fruit juices or shakes, salads and other nutrient rich munchies that improve memory and concentration.
Did you know that these 9 brain foods specifically improve focus and concentration? Gooseberry or Amla is known to increase intelligence and memory power. A recent study suggests that milk drinkers five times more likely to succeed in memory tests. The antioxidants in papayas protects the brain from degenerative diseases. Fatty/oily fish contains omega-3 fatty acids which aid memory, mental performance and behavioral function. Dark chocolate contains magnesium, which helps you de-stress and stimulates the release of endorphins to heighten the mood.
Leafy green vegetables comprise B- vitamins which help increase memory & folic acid which improves mental clarity. Water gives the brain the electrical energy for all brain functions, including thought and memory processes. Flax seeds are high in magnesium, B- vitamins, omega- 3 fatty acids, and fiber, all of which aid with mental clarity and ultimately, focus. Nuts and seeds are good sources of the antioxidant vitamin E, which is associated with less cognitive decline as the body ages.
3. Encourage parents to maintain a Health Log of their children to keep track of the number of days the child falls ill, the food that suit the child etc. This would help them plan better. 4. Talk to parents about the importance of right diet for students, especially during the study period.
You now know how to… - Build concentration - Sharpen the mind - Encourage a healthy body to increase the academic performance. Your next steps would be to…. Collect the Concentration Handbook The presentation would be mailed to you. Conduct the workshop for teachers in your school. Administer the Cambridge Brain Sciences Concentration test to all your students Encourage students & parents to log on the website and download the Concentration Handbooks