Why Your Students Can’t Stay Seated, Organized, or Focused (And What To Do About It)

6 Ways To Teach Distracted, Disorganized Students (BayTreeBlog.com)

This week, I’m excited to share with you two different posts (written by yours truly) on websites other than Bay Tree Blog.

Today’s article is on Adrianne Meldrum’s website, The Tutor House, and features actionable strategies for supporting students with executive functioning weaknesses. The Tutor House is a beautiful site, and if you have a moment, you should check out some of Adrianne’s terrific resources there.

I’ll get you started on today’s article right here, but to finish reading this post, you’ll need to hop over to Adrianne’s blog. Please enjoy!

Why Your Students Can’t Stay Seated, Organized, or Focused (And What To Do About It)

So, your students forget to turn their homework in too?

Mine certainly do.

Maybe you also have students who can’t sit still? Who can’t follow instructions? Who’s backpacks make your recycling bin look organized?

It’s not like your students aren’t capable. They’re bright, imaginative, and kind. Heck, they even fix your pencil sharpener for you!

Despite your best efforts, your students just don’t seem to be getting anywhere.

You might be wondering, “What am I doing wrong?”

If your disorganized, distracted students aren’t making sufficient progress, chances are good they struggle with executive function deficits.

The normal tricks of the trade aren’t going to cut it. You need explicit, strength-based strategies for supporting these different learners.

To find out my “explicit, strength-based” strategy recomendations for supporting students with executive function challenges, hop over the Tutor House. Here are links to both parts (1 and 2) of this article:

PART 1 – Why Your Students Can’t Stay Seated, Organized, or Focused

PART 2 – Why Your Students Can’t Stay Seated, Organized, or Focused

Thanks, Adrianne, for helping me spread the word!


P.S. – One of my talented students is over the moon to share her very own monkey picture with everyone. You’ll have to go read the rest of the article to figure out how this is relevant!


Leave a Comment or Question

Comment Rules: Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "Life is short, but there is always time enough for courtesy." Please remember to treat others with kindness. Criticism is all right, but if you're inconsiderate, we'll delete your comment. Thank you!

Leave a Comment

  1. Lynne Baldwin

    Hi Anne-Marie,

    What a great idea the ‘Monkey Brain’ strategy is for helping students who have issues with distractibility – love the emphasis on working to students’ strengths and finding a creative outlet that acknowledges but does not put down their challenge with distractibleness.

    • Anne-Marie Morey

      Hi Lynne — Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment. You got what I was going for with the Monkey Mind Strategy! It’s all about moving away from judgement, towards observation. I know that playing to students’ strengths is one of your strengths; what else have you found helpful?

  2. Thanks for this article and the wonderful strategies you offered. I know tutors and families alike can benefit. I’m going to try the “monkey brain” strategy with my students very soon.

    • Anne-Marie Morey

      Thanks, Catherine! Let us know how it goes with your students. I know I still catch myself with my Monkey Mind wandering off 🙂

Phonemic Awareness Skills for Success: A CVC Blending Program
The Number Reversals Workbook
Free Executive Function Worksheets for Kids
Teaching Tools for Educational Specialists