Return to Headlines

Staying Focused During Distance Learning

Student works on her Chromebook at home.

Photo courtesy of Ashley Mendoza


Staying Focused During Distance Learning

By: Emerald Papke, 8th Grade


A good start is to have all your devices put away or at least turn on do not disturb to prevent unnecessary pinging and distractions. When using the Chromebook, don’t have a million tabs open. Try and keep only a few open like Google Classroom, Email, Spotify (or whatever you use, if you want to listen to music at appropriate times), Clever, or whatever is necessary for the class you are currently in. A good idea is to bookmark sites you use often, like Skyward, Clever, Classroom, or Docs. Don’t have off-topic tabs open, don’t be playing or while you're supposed to be working, check your email often, delete old emails, and don’t allow it to build up.

My Spotify Playlist: --PoPcoRn-- by kitten

If you have any pets make sure that they aren't distracting you, but do make sure you still care for them as you would normally just don't be playing fetch with your dog halfway through a Meet. If you have to take your dog out, see if a family member can do it for you, or tell your teacher; I’m sure they’ll understand.

If you have a small pet: rat, mouse, hamster, gerbil, ect., I know they can get very loud especially when they're running on their wheel that's squeaking really loudly. A good idea is to use some cooking oil and grease it up, or just remove it. Another good idea is to move them to a different room.

Birds: I've never had a bird, but I know they can be noisy and distracting. Try and keep them in a different room than you work in, but if that's something you can't do, place a towel or blanket over their home, or make a wall that makes it so they can't see you and you can see them.

Cats/dogs: Make sure they have fresh food and water before you start your school. Take your dog on a quick walk a few times during breaks. If you think you might be late be sure to notify your next class. Make sure they have a spot to sleep, and they're not constantly whining to sit in your lap all day. Put away their noisy squeaky toys, and toy mouses with bells, but be sure they still have some toys so they don't get bored; that might make them whine.

Make sure you’re actually doing work and not just skimming over some stuff then staring blankly at nothing. If it bores you, try and think of a way to make the assessment a little interesting. 

Let's say this is your question:
Bob bought 4 bags of candy corn. He had $50, now he has $36 left. How much was each bag of candy corn?

Think of making it into something funny:
Bob the Builder bought 4 bags of candy corn. He had $50, now he has $36 left. How much money did each bag of candy corn yeet from his wallet?

Or think of the question as something you would use the problem with. Replace the candy corn with something you would buy.

If you have missing work, try to get some done. Start with the most important and assessments from the class you have the lowest grade. Be sure to check Skyward often.

Try using Text-to-Speech -
Copy and paste an assignment that you want read to you.

Try Duolingo
If you to study Spanish for an elective or just want to learn a new language.

Try Spotify
Just to calm or pass the time.