Attention is the ability to stay focused and concentrate for learning in variety of situations.

Children with good attention skills:

  • Maintain focus in group settings
  • Hold onto information necessary to complete a task
  • Follow through on completion of an activity/task
  • Filter extraneous noise/activity
  • Remember and execute daily routines

Characteristics of attention limitations include the inability to stay focused, concentrate, sustain mental effort, block out distractions, multitask, and sit still. These children also tend to have weak executive functioning skills, which leads to problems in planning, organizing, managing time, thinking flexibly, and holding information long enough to complete a task.

An important part of the kindergarten curriculum is to teach children to pay attention and organize themselves. Children who have persistent attention and executive functioning difficulties may have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). There are three common types of ADHD: Inattentive, Hyperactive/Impulsive, and Combined (a combination of the first two types). Children who are inattentive are easily distracted and have poor concentration and organizational skills. Children who are impulsive take risks and interrupt others. Children who are hyperactive are constantly on the-go, talking, fidgeting, and have difficulty staying on task.

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