The beginning of the new school year is an exciting time for teachers and students. Although it’s hard to give up those lazy days of summer, most kids are eager to see their friends, meet their new teacher, and show off their new school clothes. Children with ADHD often have difficulty getting back into the swing of things. Teachers can make the transition easier for their students with ADHD by following some simple tips to help kids with ADHD and other learning challenges. ADHD in the classroom can be managed. Here are a few helpful ideas for teachers as the new school year begins.
Make Sure Expectations are Clearly Defined
Classroom chaos is easy to avoid if expectations are explained and understood. Set your classroom up for success. Post classroom rules conspicuously. A colorful poster that outlines the classroom instructions should be posted where everyone can see it. Go over each rule with the class and ask for input and participation as you discuss classroom protocol. You can ask students for their input, and let them help establish positive ways to interact with each other. Make sure your students with ADHD have a clear picture of what is expected of each student in the classroom.
Seating Arrangements are Important
When planning your seating arrangement, be sure to keep the students with ADHD in mind. Try not to seat them by the door, the window, or busy areas in the classroom, such as the pencil sharpener, bathroom or classroom sink. It may be a good idea for the student with ADHD to be seated near the teacher’s desk to help him focus and maintain self-control. Most children with ADHD seem to do better when desks are arranged in rows, rather than circular seating patterns.
Set Up a Quiet Area
A quiet corner is a great little spot in any classroom. Make it a cozy place where students can go to calm down or regain control. Soft pillows and a piece of carpet on the floor can offset the quiet area from the rest of the classroom. Some books on a low bookcase can act as a divider to provide privacy for the student who needs a few minutes to regain his composure.
Help Your Students Stay Organized
All kids need coaching to stay organized, but for kids with ADHD it is imperative. Allow a few minutes each morning and afternoon for students to straighten up their desk or work area, gather the items that need to go into their backpacks, check the coat rack for jackets, hats and other items, and turn in permission slips, lunch money and anything that parents have signed, such as daily reports, test papers or report cards. Children with ADHD will benefit from those few minutes of organization time.
Post a Calendar
A classroom calendar that has the month’s assignment deadlines, special events and school schedules will help students keep up with upcoming important dates. Review the calendar each week to assure students are aware of the week’s activities. Post reminders on the board about assignments that are due or upcoming special events.
Promote Positive Attitudes in the Classroom
Encourage teamwork and cooperation by having students work together on projects and assignments. Children with ADHD often feel isolated and lonely. Encourage classmates to listen to each other, and embrace new ideas and suggestions. Assign team projects that are challenging and fun for each student.
Computer Games Can be an Asset in the Classroom
C8 Sciences ACTIVATE™ program is an innovative software program designed to help students enhance their executive function skills such as memory building, sustained attention, cognitive flexibility, and response inhibition. Students work independently on strategically designed lessons and activities that allow them to progress according to their own interests and abilities. ADHD in the classroom can be a challenge for teachers. Studies have shown that all children benefit when enrolled in the ACTIVATE™ program. Teachers report that their students with ADHD show marked improvement in areas such as maintaining self-control, sustained attention, and cognitive flexibility within weeks of the implementation of the ACTIVATE™ program.
Communicate with Parents
Make sure you set up a good line of communication with parents. Behavior problems in the classroom can be minimized if everyone is on the same page. Parents want their child to be successful. If you notice a potential problem, or if your student with ADHD seems to be struggling, involve the parent and ask for his input.
Have a Great Year
The 2015-16 school year is here. Students across the nation and the globe are ready to get back to school and meet the challenges of the approaching school year. Teachers are the mentors, role models and educators of the new generation of children who will be the adults of tomorrow. Thank you, teachers, for your ongoing desire to help the children you teach achieve their goals and become the best adults they can be.