Kagen points out that people are pleasure seekers and that change in stimulation is a source of pleasure. When things become too routine, the child forms what Kagen calls a schema. This schema, once formed no longer is capable of holding the child’s attention because it can be predicted. Kagen believes that there should be a mismatch between actual events and the schema to hold the child’s attention and make learning more pleasurable. What usually passes for distractibility in the classroom can often be the behavioral manifestations of boredom. Kagen concludes that these are actually attempts at self stimulation (daydreaming, nail biting, etc.) due to the lack of environmental stimulation. In general, inattentive children can be helped by:

  1. Inhibiting daydreaming by focusing attention on physical activities (playtime periods, role playing, singing, drama, etc.).

  2. Providing clear and explicit directions.
  3. Employing highly structured routines and materials.
  4. Providing and improvised booth that the child is allowed to use as a reward for accomplishments. The booth will serve to shield the child from distractions.

  5. Employing routine assignments but breaking tasks into clearly understood component parts.

  6. Establish a calm, non-distracting environment.
  7. Providing extra rest and nutrition periods.
  8. Removing distracting stimuli from the area. Moving the child may also be necessary.

  9. Reward behavior that shows a child is paying attention.
  10. Making the more tedious aspects of the curriculum more interesting.
  11. Giving the child time limits to finish a problem.