Educator identifies and supports students who have learning challenges related to attention.
Made by Friday Institute @ NC State

About this Micro-credential

Key Method

The educator identifies specific student strengths and/or challenges related to attention then uses strategies to leverage student strengths to support a student’s attention during learning.

Method Components

What is attention?

Attention refers to our ability to focus on and actively process selected information. When discussing attention, researchers look at both sustained and selective attention. Sustained attention is the ability to maintain attention for a prolonged period of time. Selective attention is the ability to focus in on only the relevant information.

It’s also important to note that attention is not something that your students will either “have” or “not have.” All students have varying degrees of strengths and challenges related to attention, and these challenges can be most effectively addressed by focusing on your students’ strengths.

How do I know if a student has strengths related to attention?

A student who has strengths with attention may:

  • Stay on task despite potential distractions
  • Follow multi-step directions on a regular basis without difficulty
  • Repeat back, in their own words, what they’ve just been told

How do I know if a student has challenges related to attention?

A student who has a challenge related to attention might zone out, get off task easily, or have difficulty following directions (among other things). To see more, read the “What can attention problems look like?” article in the resources below.

How do I leverage a student’s strengths to address challenges related to attention?

As always, knowing your student and their strengths is critical. The following are strategies an educator might consider using:

  • Preferential seating: in the case of selective attention, put the student in a place that is removed from distractions.
  • Graphic organizers and visual aids: these tools can help students identify the most important information and focus in on it.
  • Chunk directions into smaller sections: In the case of sustained attention, giving students more manageable chunks of information can help ensure they’re able to continue to engage in a meaningful way.
  • See the resources below for more ideas

Research & Resources

Supporting Research


Submission Requirements

Submission Guidelines & Evaluation Criteria

To earn the micro-credential, you must receive a passing evaluation for Parts 1, 3, and 4 and a “Yes” for Part 2.

Part 1. Overview Questions

(250-word limit for each response)

Identify one or more students that you think exhibits strengths or needs additional support with attention. How did you identify this/these student(s) as having challenges or strengths with attention?

What strategies did you/do you plan to use to leverage the student’s/students’ strengths in order to further develop their skills related to attention?

Part 2. Work Examples / Artifacts

Please provide evidence of the strategy described in question two of Part 1. For example, if you had the artistic student draw out directions for the class, provide a video of the student drawing as you give directions, a photo of the drawing, or a video of the student explaining/sharing what she did.

Part 3. Student Reflection

(250-word limit)

Please provide a student reflection for each students (written or spoken; submitted via image, document, or audio/video file link) on the strategy/strategies used in Part 2. Have the student(s) explain what they did in class, why they used this strategy, and how it helped them. For example, in this part the artistic student might describe and/or show the graphic notes she took and explain that it helped her pay attention, which is something she usually struggles with. This will look different at different age levels, so use your knowledge about your student(s) to provide appropriate scaffolds and supports.

Part 4. Educator Reflection

(250-word limit)

How did supporting this student’s attention by leveraging their strengths work for you and your student? How will you adjust this approach in the future?

Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under:
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)


Download to access the requirements and scoring guide for this micro-credential.
Requirements for Attention
How to prepare for and earn this micro-credential - in a downloadable PDF document

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