When we think about school accommodations, we tend to consider academics and other things classroom-related -- seating, extra time, homework, organization, one-on-one help, reading, writing, 'rithmetic. Yet one of the biggest factors in messing our kids up on any particular day is the unstructured times between lessons. The half hour spent loitering in the gym between the bus drop-off and the first bell. The transitions from homeroom to specials to gym. The one-two punch of lunch and recess. Those loose, less-supervised parts of the day may be prime times for misbehavior, or merely light the fuse for an explosion that will occur later, in the classroom, when nobody can figure out why.
When you're doing your back-to-school prep this year, include those no-man's-land spots in the day among your worries and strategizing and teacher-packet-preparing. I've written about five school trouble spots to keep on top of, and my articles on learning more about your child's school environment and bus routine may be helpful in learning what's really going on. I'm also pleased to be able to share an excerpt from The Behavior Code -- a book I blogged about on Tuesday -- about alternative lunch and recess groups that can provide some structure and reduce some overstimulating chaos at those tricky times of the day.