Children with learning differences are often eligible for classroom accommodations in order to promote academic success. These accommodations can occur in but the most common are known as 504 plans and Individualized Education Plans or IEPs. Children with ADHD generally qualify for a 504 plan, which allows for changes to the classroom environment or other services. Just as no child is the same, no 504 plan is the same either. Some children may need more frequent prompts, while others need special seating.
While all 504 plans are designed specifically for each child, parents and therapists often request similar accommodations to be provided by the teachers. For example:
Providing scheduled breaks for that will allow the child to move around. This may help the child stay seated longer during class time. Breaks can be simple, such as getting a drink of water, sharpening classroom pencils, or taking a note to the principles office.
Having the child seat close to your desk or to the board so that you can easily monitor their attention and behavior throughout the school day. This is often referred to as "preferential seating." As teachers, it often feels natural to move more disruptive kids to the back of the room where they won't interfere with other kid's learning. However, by providing preferential seating you can improve classroom behavior, decrease disruptive behavior, and improve academic performance.
Increasing the immediacy of consequences for both appropriate and inappropriate behavior in the classroom. Child with ADHD should be provided with frequent, specific feedback about their positive behaviors, and providing corrective feedback for problematic behaviors
Providing classroom material to children with ADHD in multiple formats, such as a printed copy of slides, a guide for note taking, or a recording of the lesson.
Develop a “private signal” (i.e., tapping child’s desk twice) with the child as a cue to remain on task in the classroom. The signal should be as simple and non-intrusive, as to not attract the attention of other kids and allowing you to give it while continuing to
Proving multiple prompts and reminders to the child when starting or changing tasks. Children with ADHD frequently have difficulty following multi-step directions, so breaking instructions down into more frequent, manageable steps can improve compliance.
Providing the child with shortened classroom and homework assignments by reducing repetitive “busywork” as much as possible; this will give him or her a better chance of completing the assignment in the allotted time, and will also help reduce frustration. For example, if a math worksheet has 20 problems, 10 addition and 10 subtraction, giving 5 of each type can be much more manageable while still providing sufficient practice.
On tests, quizzes, and exams that cannot be shortened, the child should be provided with extra time to complete the assignment. It is often recommended that children received 1.5 time the normal amount of time given per assignment.
To improve concentration during tests, quizzes, and exams, teachers should provide a quiet, distraction-free area for the child to take the test.
At the appropriate age, teachers should monitor the use of a planner for noting daily assignments.
Increasing the amount of communication between parents and teachers. On suggested method is the use of a Daily Report Card, or DRC. More on the DRC can be found here.