A student who interrupts staff or peers can be extremely frustrating and disruptive. Causes are vast and varied from poor impulse control, attention seeking or behavioural choices. Effective management can assist in meeting the needs of the student and those around them.
Include writing space for students to write questions throughout the lessons.
Use a consistent format to reduce frustration and improve clarity.
Match cognitive demand to ability.
Divide handouts into smaller sections that can be submitted as they are completed.
Give students classroom responsibilities to satisfy their need for recognition or status.
Incorporate opportunities for students to contribute verbally during the lesson.
Maintain the flow of the lesson by ignoring interruptions if possible- minimise with pre-rehearsed visual cues.
Incorporate personal checklist to maintain focus. Reward task completion.
Factor in lesson segments which require total silence and concentration.
Allow students to record their answers or read them to a peer or SLSO to allow for appropriate talking.
Never respond to calling out and irrelevant distraction. Use hand signals or eye contact.
Teach from beside an interrupting student to allow for body language to deflect their interruptions eg. turn away, deny eye contact.
Reward students for asking questions or speaking appropriately.
Counsel students privately about social norms of conversation.
Use a negotiated cue to tally interruptions (eg. an abacus).
Seat student in close proximity to teacher so that visual and physical monitoring of student behaviour can be done by the teacher.
Develop hand signals to stifle interruptions without having to give a verbal cue.
Establish firm procedures and classroom rules.
Answer student questions promptly. Leaving students to wait for too long may leave to calling out.
Cooperative Learning Groups allow students to refine appropriate speech.
Encourage peers to ignore interruptions to discourage inappropriate behaviour.
Ask peers to role play ‘interrupting’ behaviour.
Issued materials prior to the lesson for student to preview?
Provided assistive technologies?
Provided a quiet study area within the classroom?
Established a peer mentoring program or provided SLSO assistance?
Developed a Behaviour Plan in consultation with the Learning Support Team?