Using Games in Inclusive Classrooms to Improve the Behavior and Academic Performance of Students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

This paper details the positive effects of classroom games on students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in inclusive classrooms. Key research includes a 1973 DeVries and Edwards study that demonstrated improved peer-relationships between students who played classroom games. Studies by DuPaul and Stoner (2003) and Fabiano et al. (2007) endorsed classroom games as a strategy for improving student behavior. Geurtz, Luman, and van Meel (2008) focused on the reasons why children with ADHD are motivated by games, and how motivation results in improved academic performance. These findings are important in a climate where many general education teachers have expressed resistance towards inclusion. For example, a study by Van Reusen, Shoho, and Barker (2007) revealed that many general education teachers are reluctant to include special education students in their classrooms. Specifically, these teachers fear increased problems in student behavior. This project provides a website for kindergarten through fifth grade teachers who would like to learn about using classroom games to improve peer-relationships and student behavior, motivation, and academic performance. It is designed to address the academic, social, and behavioral needs of all students in inclusive classrooms. While it provides a preliminary way to align games with the new California Common Core State Standards, additional research will be needed once teachers begin to incorporate the Standards into their lesson plans. Keywords: games, ADHD, inclusive classrooms, inclusion, behavior, motivation, academic performance, peer-relationships