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BOREDOM BUSTERS. Breaking the Bonds of Boredom. Everyone is bored… Sometime Boredom is….. boring. Boredom is…. The place where we begin to hate the sameness of our lives. Everything becomes tasteless . Nothing satisfies . Avram Davis. Boredom is….

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Boredom busters


Breaking the Bonds

of Boredom

Everyone is bored sometime boredom is boring

Everyone is bored…SometimeBoredom is…..boring

Boredom is

Boredom is…

The place where we begin to hatethe sameness of our lives.

Everythingbecomes tasteless. Nothing satisfies.

Avram Davis

Boredom is1

Boredom is….

When we must do what we don’twant to do


don’t want to do what we must.

Linda Deal

Research says


Some people are more prone

to boredom

than others

(Farmer & Sundberg, 1986, Eysenck & Zuckerman, 1978, Sundberg & Bisno, 1983)

Adolescents Males

Seniors Extroverts

Take the boredom proness evaluation


Research says1


Boredom leads to other problems

(The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University)

Drug AbuseSchool attendance

School dropouts Overeating


Research says2

Boredom occurs in and out of school (Larson & Richards, 1991)

Boredom can be situational or dispositional (Farmer & Sundberg, 1986)


Boredom and gifted research

Boredom and Gifted Research

  • A student does not have to be gifted to be bored in school (Feldhusen & Kroll, 1991; Gallagher, Harradine & Coleman, 1997; Larson & Richards, 1991)

  • A lack of challenge is the most commonly identified cause for classroom boredom. (Gentry, Gable & Springer, 2000).

  • Gifted children spend at least one-fourth to one-half of the regular classroom time waiting for others to catch up. Boredom is rampant because of the age tracking in our public schools. Webb, Meckstroth and Tolan, 1982; Winner, 2000

  • 871 gifted students cited lack of challenge with boredom when they stated their opinions of their schooling. (Gallagher, Harradine, and Coleman,1997)

  • Boredom occurs when teachers expect too little"

    Csikszentmihalyi, Rathunde, and Whalen (1993)



Not enough physical activity

Does not feel in control

Basic needs are not fulfilled

Does not have coping options

Physical activity

Physical Activity

  • Gifted children have psychomotor intensities.

    • Talk fast and often

    • Always fidgeting

    • Nervous habits

    • Compulsively doing something

    • Marked enthusiasm

Feelings of control

Feelings of Control

  • Gifted children have sensual/intellectual intensities

    • Pressure for action

    • Compulsive organizing

    • Detailed planning

    • Internal locus of control

Basic needs fulfilled

Basic Needs Fulfilled

Gifted children have many needs

  • Need for competition

  • Need to be in the

  • Need for positive feelings of self worth

  • Need to have fears and anxieties

  • Need for others to understand them in relationships

  • Need for emotional ties and attachments

  • Need to have feelings of inadequacy and inferiority allayed




Coping options

Coping Options

Because many gifted children

are creative and intelligent,

they may have a

range of possible coping skills.


Ask your students are you really bored or

Ask your students:Are you really bored?OR……

Do you fully understand the assignment and what is expected

Do you fully understand the assignment and what is expected?

Are you afraid you will not perform well

Are you afraid you will not perform well?

Are you simply disinterested in completing the work

Are you simply disinterested in completing the work?

Do you know why it is important to complete this work

Do you know why it is important to complete this work?

Does this work remind you of something you had to complete in the past that you did not like

Does this work remind you of something you had to complete in the past that you did not like?

Do you think if you wait long enough you will not have to complete the work

Do you think if you wait long enough, you will not have to complete the work?

Do you believe you have any choices

Do you believe you have any choices?

Have you worked on this activity too long

Have you worked on this activity too long?

How can you tell that a student is bored


When we are bored we

Tired, apathetic, listless

Impatient, trapped

Helpless, confused, conflicted

Sad, displeased,

Annoyed, angry, frustrated

Dull, disinterested


When we are bored we ….


Responses to boredom

Responses to Boredom

Believes work is too easy, too difficult or just acts disinterested

Procrastinates because

it requires too much effort to begin

Responses to boredom1

Responses to Boredom

Act inappropriately

  • Talk back

  • Challenges authority

  • Disregard the rules

  • Shows hostility

  • Damages property

  • Truancy

Track it boredom log

TRACK IT! Boredom Log

Track it the boredom log

Track It!...The Boredom Log


Time of day?

Check for physical reasons

Track it the boredom log1

Track It!...The Boredom Log


Type of Activity?

Plan ways to remain engaged to hold interest

Track it the boredom log2

Track It!...The Boredom Log


Content Area?


Content? teaching style?

learning style?

Track it the boredom log3

Track It!...The Boredom Log



(light, heat, noise, distractions)

Address learning style

Track it the boredom log4

Track It!...The Boredom Log



Confusion, lack of direction

What s a teacher to do

What’s a Teacher to do?

  • Take a break during class

    Change physical

    position in the room

  • Stand up instead of raising hand

    Move desks mid class

  • Do some quick easy movements

What s a teacher to do1

What’s a teacher to do?

Offer multiple-intelligence type

choices for students

Create tiered assignments

Offer choice of products

and assessment

Brainstorm a class list of things to combat boredom

What s a teacher to do2

What’s a teacher to do?

Help students recognize their

feelings of boredom so they

know how to initiate coping


Give class directions in a way emphasizing fun/enjoyment to reduce stress

What s a teacher to do3

What’s a teacher to do?

Help students know the relevance of the studies.

Pretest and skip

Use a variety of presentations and activities to learn material

Assess your class

Assess Your Class

  • Ask your students:

    • What was boring and what was interesting

    • Sound an alarm and have students write down what was on their mind at that minute. Keep track of the time and topic

    • Give a rating scale of things covered in class

Be enthusiastic

Be Enthusiastic

Even when giving directions

Change the assignment to

become more exciting

Change the


Change the

Use graphic organizers and

PowerPoint's instead of wordy


Your lesson

your Lesson


Talk less. Let students provide the information while you fill in the outline.

Role play. Let students become

the teacher, designing worksheets,

activities, presentation

Your lesson1

your Lesson


Fishbowl. Divide into groups and let each group present a different chapter or topic

Use games. Let students

create games, designing

questions, rules etc.

Use “fat” questions. Use Bloom’s higher level


Develop boredom awareness

Develop Boredom Awareness

Help students become self aware Brainstorm boredom behaviors

Brainstorm a list of

coping strategies

Develop boredom awareness1

Develop Boredom Awareness

Help students have an

internal file of alternatives.

Tips for battling boredom

Tips for Battling Boredom

Use different color notebook paper

Use sticky notes to collect good ideas

you have when you’re supposed to be

thinking of something else.

Use another part of your brain.

Turn the class into a movie set.

Imagine how it would look from different

camera angles. Imagine the scenery,

costumes, maybe a different place…the moon?

Tips for battling boredom1

Tips for Battling Boredom

Ask fun questions to yourself about the topic.

How would a clown, a movie star, or how would I use this information in ten years?

How would I explain it to my dog?

Tips for battling boredom2

Tips for Battling Boredom

Make lists of everything….

gifts to buy, ideas for projects,

places you want to go,

slogans for campaigns,

favorite meals or songs.

Sit in a different chair

Tips for battling boredom3

Tips for Battling Boredom

Play games with opposites:

similar to, different from,

its opposite. Comedy

like/unlike drama. Girls like/unlike boys

Think about how inanimate objects feel: Would three rather be a five? How a noun feels about being a noun?

Tips for battling boredom4

Tips for Battling Boredom


Students need to keep their imagination

going while staying connected to the

material that is being taught!

Boredom busters


What are you willing to do to become a




Deal, Linda. (2003). THE BOREDOM SOLUTION: Understanding and Dealing with Boredom. California: Dandy Lion.

Delisle, J & Galbraith, J. 2002. WHEN GIFTED KIDS DON’T HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS: How to Meet Their Social and Emotional Needs. Minnesota: Free Spirit Publishing.

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