La Fuerza de Voluntad – Focus!

Good focus, for students in CI classrooms, is key to their successful acquisition of their new language. Not only is it a challenge for students to focus, it is a challenge for the teacher to help them focus without constantly nagging. What are good strategies to keep students focused on a language that is not always 100% comprehensible to them? How do we help them develop that exquisite attention they need to make the language gains we desire?

The mind naturally wanders–often. As an adult, I have enough awareness and mental discipline to regulate my attention toward things I judge important–bringing my attention back over and over to what it is I want to know. Kids, with poor attention regulation, don’t have that. What can we do?

An excellent psychology teacher from Stanford, *Dr. Kelly McGonigal, has written an article about children and focus. She has a simple idea we might try in our own classrooms with our students.  Do you agree that this could help?

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-science-willpower/201112/the-magic-word-helps-kids-in-school

When are times in a reading class where we might use this strategy? How could we keep it from becoming just another nag?

Mr. Willpower/Sr. Fuerza de Voluntad

*Kelly McGonigal, PhD, is the author of The Willpower Instinct (Penguin 2011) and Yoga for Pain Relief (New Harbinger 2009), a psychology lecturer at Stanford University, and a senior teacher for the Stanford Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education.

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