Recording assignments and turning in the finished product may seem like a “no brainer” for many teachers, but did you know that executive functioning, a key cognitive component in planning and organizing, is not fully developed until many reach their early 20s?
What’s more, many young students are not allowed to use modern technologies, such as smart phones and Ipads while at school to help them with this process. Furthermore, many students are overwhelmed by the countless distractions in a busy classroom and miss what appear to be clear directives.
So, what can we do to help students remember to record as well as turn in assignments?
Create a Structured, Reliable Classroom Routine:
1) Plan assignments for the whole week. This will save a lot of time and trouble for everyone.
2) Post assignments and reminders at the beginning of class in a location that is easy to see.
3) Review new assignments as well as those that are due, verbally, once everyone is settled down.
4) Make sure that all the students record assignments and check agendas for accuracy.
5) Print assignments out onto labels that students can place into their assignment pads. This is great for students that have graphomotor weaknesses.
6) Make a document or take a picture of written assignments and email it to the students and students’ parents with a simple email list.
7) When students hand in their assignments, give them a sticker of a hand to place into their assignment pad. This way they will know that they turned it in.
8) To make sure everyone turned in their assignments say, “Raise your hand if you turned in your assignment.” Be specific about which assignment and hold up a sample for all the students to see.
Offer a Consistent and Planned Approach for Missed Class Work and Assignments:
1) Post assignments on the internet. However, do not use this approach unless the site is reliable and you can always post the assignments before the end of the school day.
2) Require that each of your students share their contact information with at least 5 other students (Study Buddies). This way students can contact one another as needed.
3) Suggest a plan for how and when students can make up the work.
4) Email assignments to students and their parents.
5) Allow students to email you finished assignments when they are not able to attend class.
6) Communicate all missed work with students, parents and any service providers.
If you are looking for structured ways to help your students with planning, organizing and time management, consider purchasing Planning, Time Management and Organization for Success. It offers over 100 pages of graphic organizers and handouts that can help your students with reading, writing, test prep, planning for long term assignments, memory, active learning, motivation and more. Click here or on the image to learn more.
Cheers, Dr. Erica Warren
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