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“Focus”. - (W-634). Ages 5 – 18 (Grades: 1 – 12) with 2-5 players
Research has shown conclusively that the two treatments that are most effective in improving attention spans for children diagnosed as ADD or ADHD are medication and behaviour modification. A combination of both treatments usually works better than either one alone. Focus™ is essentially a behaviour modification program in a box.
Focus™ is a game that children have fun playing. It is structured to encompass the essential elements of behaviour modification and designed to have the greatest positive impact on attention. In behaviour modification children receive specific positive reinforcement for accomplishing a task within an appropriate time frame and without being distracted.
The rewards are usually in the form of tokens. This game provides two ways for players to win tokens – with or without a distraction.
The game has 3 sets of task cards that describe tasks that the players have to complete in order to earn their tokens.
Each task requires concentration and continuing attention and includes:
• Categories: Players have to list things that belong in a specific category, such as listing five fruits that have one large pit in the middle.
• Forward and Back: Players have to recite things forward and/or backwards, such as reciting the alphabet forwards and backwards from A to F.
• Problem Solving: The game comes with various cut out shapes and cut out words. Using shapes, the players have to create a specific design, like a triangle similar to the pattern on the card, using the shapes provided.
• Using words the players have to create a sentence, like a sentence in which someone throws something to someone else.
A player can elect to perform the task without distraction and win one token or with distraction and win two tokens. The distraction is optional. The distractions are provided by one of the other players, who pick a Distraction card. This card may ask the distracting player to hum “Happy Birthday” or tap fingers on the table while the other player is trying to accomplish the task. Players can earn more tokens when they attempt a task while distracting events are taking place.
Distractions are the most common reason people lose focus on the task at hand. This game gives players much needed practice that improves their ability to stay focused on tasks, even with distractions.
There are both competitive and cooperative versions for grades 1-12. There are three decks of Task cards with varied levels of difficulty: easier, regular, and challenge. The key is for the players to be able to complete the task most of the time if they concentrate and are not distracted. Difficulty of the tasks can also be varied by imposing a time limit and permitting the use of paper and pencil for certain tasks.
Learning Objectives - Players:
1. Improve their ability to stay focused on tasks until they are completed;
2. Learn to do a better job handling frustrations;
3. Learn to anticipate distractions and create strategies to overcome them;
4. Learn the benefits and rewards of focusing;
5. Learn to tune out distractions and keep focused.
Grades 1-12 (three sets of cards: Easier – Grades 1-5, Regular - Grades 6-8, and Challenge – Grades 9-adult)
Ages 5 – 18 (Grades: 1 – 12) with 2-5 players Time required: Flexible 25 to 50 minutes