Calendar and Planner Recommendations
I'm returning to my executive function series and this week I'd like to talk about calendars and planners.
First, I'll recommend the 360 Thinking Academic Planner from Cognitive Connections. I particularly like this planner because it is much more robust than the planners you'll find at an office supply store. There is the traditional section for writing down appointments, but there is also an entire section for listing homework assignments that also includes prompts for what they might need to complete the assignment, an estimate for how long they think it will take to do the assignment, and what they need to do to turn in the assignment. You can see a sample page and explanation here.
Another item that may benefit your student is a large wall calendar. You could buy a paper one or a white board with the squares already printed on it, or even a large white board that the student can draw a calendar on. This is helpful for long-term planning of essays, projects, and study time.
I recommend something that can either be easily erased, like a white board, or that could be used with sticky notes. That way, when deadlines change or the task priority shifts, they can easily move things around on the calendar. Using pencil and erasing gets messy, and pen is even worse.
I also recommend getting restickable glue. This way, students could draw pictures of what needs to get done (a piece of paper and a pencil could represent an essay, a microscope could represent a science project) and utilize their visual working memory, as I mentioned in my last post.
They could use these items in the following way:
1. Writing down assignments in the planner while in class or while looking at Google Classroom or their school's portal.
2. At study hall, or when they get home, filling in their planner page with when they are going to do each homework assignment (e.g. math at 7 pm, read novel at 8 pm, study for history test on 9/25 and 9/26).
3. Either at this point, or another time soon, plan out how much time long-term projects or essays assigned will take and transferring that information to the wall calendar.
I'm happy to help my students set up a system like this, and the beginning of the school year is a great time to do so! Please let me know if this kind of support is something you'd like for your child.