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My Student Has a Short Attention Span… What Do I Do?


“Focus!”, “Are you paying attention?”, “Did you hear what I said?”

I am sure as tutors, these are some common phrases used in your classes. Especially if your student has a shorter attention span than most.

It can be tricky to make your student focus for hours on end. But it is essential to engage your students to learn the necessary materials taught during your lessons.

Here I have consolidated a few ways for you to make lessons more engaging and help your student focus better.

Break Up Your Lessons


Breaking up your lesson into mini segments is exceptionally beneficial to keeping your student focused.

Students tend to not pay attention when there is an overload of tasks and things to learn. So, when you split up your lesson and assignments, your student concentrates on one thing at a time without feeling overwhelmed.

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This helps them to absorb information better and complete the task faster!

Give Your Student Breaks


We all need breaks and so do your students! Sometimes, your lessons might have a time constraint, and you need to finish teaching the materials by the end of class.

But, studies show that letting your students have regular, short 10 to 15-minute breaks during your lessons helps them focus better, be more productive, and reduce their stress.

So once in a while, allow your student a short break to reboot, especially if they seem like they can’t pay attention any longer.

Let Them Move


Sitting in the chair during the whole 2-hour tuition session can be unbearable. So, allow your student to take active breaks – breaks for them to get up, move, and do a bit of stretching.

Studies show that active breaks improve your students’ concentration. It also encourages sustained attention and selective attention.

Over time, your students focus better and are less distracted during your lessons.

Use Unique and Exciting Teaching Methods


Another way to help your students focus on your lessons is to incorporate unique and interesting methods, to engage them!

When you engage your students, they become more interested in learning and want to actively participate in your lessons. Increasing their attention span.

Here are some ways to engage your student!

Play games

Playing games is a fun way to engage your students while still helping them learn. Games like “Kahoot” are a great way to test their knowledge and allow them to retain information while still keeping them focused on lessons.

Play videos

Sometimes, using short educational videos helps to retain your students’ attention. By having a short animation or visual and auditory scene in front of them, your student can easily understand the content instead of just reading their notes or listening to lectures.

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Here are YouTube channels that you should let your students watch

1. Ted-Ed videos
2. Ted-Talk videos
3. Oversimplified
4. National Geographic
5. Crash Course

Share stories and life experiences

Sometimes, the topics you have to cover are dry and a little dull for your student, making it hard for them to pay attention. Try talking about experiences that are relevant to the topic instead.

Telling stories and sharing life experiences is a great way to engage your students and connect with them too!


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It can be frustrating when your student cannot focus or concentrate, and you don’t know how to help them. By engaging them, we make lessons easier to pay attention to and it is more enjoyable and fruitful for them.

We hope that this article helps you to improve your students’ attention span in classes.

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Rum Tan

Rum Tan is the founder of SmileTutor and he believes that every child deserves a smile. Motivated by this belief and passion, he works hard day & night with his team to maintain the most trustworthy source of home tutors in Singapore. In his free time, he writes articles hoping to educate, enlighten, and empower parents, students, and tutors. You may try out his free home tutoring services via or by calling 6266 4475 directly today.