Having Energy to Pay Attention

Automobiles require fuel in order to move down the road. Similarly, a student requires fuel (or energy) to pay attention to information, tasks, and people in a classroom. A student's mental energy controls regulate the flow of fuel to the brain. They make sure that the active part of your brain is receiving the energy it needs to get its job done.

Mental energy controls are especially important when students face tasks and situations requiring sustained effort, e.g., reading for comprehension, writing lengthy essays, solving long math problems, or studying for a test. Mental energy controls regulate attention in the following four ways:

  1. Enabling a student to tune in to information, details, and tasks
  2. Promoting periods of true sleep and full wakefulness
  3. Enabling a student to work or exert effort, especially when he/she does not feel like working on a task
  4. Ensuring a dependable and predictable flow of energy while doing tasks
Necessary SubSkillsCommon ObstaclesHelpful Tips
Student is able to remain tuned in to lectures, reading tasks, and other activities. Student has difficulty concentrating and complains of feeling tired or bored. view
Student sleeps well at night and seems to be awake during the day. Student has trouble sleeping, or does not have regular sleeping patterns. Student does not seem well rested and fully awake during the day. view
Student is able to work, even when he/she does not feel like exerting effort during a task. Student may seem bored or lazy in school, and has trouble concentrating on work that is less interesting. view
The quality and quantity of student's work is consistently acceptable. Student has inconsistent work patterns which negatively impact the quality and quantity of his/her output. view