Most middle school students use binders and planners, but many don’t use them effectively. Help them to choose a binder with several pockets, then designate the pockets as follows:
- one for each subject, to hold all completed assignments the teacher has returned
- one for all homework to complete, so it’s easy to see what needs to be done
- one for homework to turn in, which should be empty at the end of each day.
With planners, suggest finding one like Order out of Chaos’s academic planner shown above. A planner that includes a week-at-a glance, with blank headings for columns and rows. Designate each column as a day of the week and each row as a subject area or class. Include a row for extracurricular activities as well. This way, students can see everything they have to do on each day. If one day looks heavy and another light (no assignments in one class or no extracurricular activities, for example), help your student determine how to use time on the light day to make the heavier day less hectic.
Instruct the student to highlight completed assignments in the planner, and check them off once they’re turned in, so you can quickly scan the week for anything not completed and/or turned in.