This school year has been a 100% turnaround from last year in terms of Hamslice's academic progress. He is now reading fluently, and is a little math rockstar.
Even so, we were alerted three weeks ago that he had "two out of three strikes" and was about to be suspended. Oh here we go again, it seemed. So I dug deeper, and asked Hamslice what was going on. Apparently he was having trouble during lunchtime with controlling his behavior and emotions.
Hambone and I were determined to keep his record clean and developed a plan. I started the ball rolling by "just showing up" for one lunch, and I saw kids running in circles around the tables, slapping each other and stealing lunch items. And it was SO LOUD! It was as loud as a nightclub at midnight.
I looked over at Hamslice with his hyper responsive hearing and visual perception and he was obviously miserable. Indeed, even I had a tension headache after just being in there for a few minutes. I sat with him during that entire lunch period and we read the dinosaur book that AB gave him for his birthday. Some of the other kids came over to see it too.
Then we stared a schedule: Hambone would go during lunch on Tues/Thurs and I go on M/W/F to manage lunch. Taking a page from AB's playbook, I bring about 15 books with me, and have established our table as the quiet table where people who are finished with their lunch can read. The books I bring have lots of flaps and holes and fuzzy sections so they are more like toys than books.
More kids are coming to the quiet table these days. Not all of them, but enough that the room is a little more manageable. Hamslice still hates lunch, but he's not getting in trouble anymore. This will be a long haul, but still less intense than last year. Stay tuned.