A Blog post
Planning, Stage 1: Planning to plan
- May 23, 2018
- Jared Wells
- In Uncategorized
- 0 Comments
We know planning is important...why don’t students do it? They don’t PLAN to plan! One of the biggest reasons that our students see improvement, no matter what they are coming in for support for, is that the session creates a time and space for the student to pause, and take a moment to take stock of the big picture of what is going on in their classes. The rest of the week may be nothing more than reacting to crises, but in the session, our instructors ask, “So, what is your grade in the class right now?” and “Do you have any homework or projects due this week?” and “Do you have any test or quizzes coming up?” This is the beginning of creating a plan. Often, when students leave their sessions feeling positive, a big part of it is that they’ve had a chance to organize the chaos of their classes, and they’ve got a clear plan of how they are going to get done what they are going to get done. That can be an immense relief! But planning 1 or 2 times a week (while better than 0 times) is not enough! Circumstances change from day to day (sometimes from hour to hour). This means that our plans should be adjusted from day to day. But in order for that (like anything) to happen on a regular, consistent basis, we need to plan to plan! So how can we help our students get into the planning habit? -Planning is the keystone habit. Treat it that way! For students that need this level of support, set an expectation that you will check their planner each afternoon/evening at a specific time. Not check that the homework is complete, but that they have their plan for that afternoon written out (and that it has been followed). Make this the one thing you check every day, and they'll start to get how important it is! -Set a time for the student to write out the plan for that day Best time is right when the student gets home from school, before breaks, snacks anything. Give your son/daughter as much freedom as they can handle when it comes to how they use the rest of the day (as long as it is planned out!), but planning time is rock solid/set in stone/does not change. -Be generous with free time on weekdays, provided that the free time is scheduled in their planner! Do they want to play video games in the evening? Fine, as long as video game time was scheduled in their planner when they get home in the afternoon (and of course, the converse...no video games unless the planner has been filled out for the afternoon!) Set the expectation that, as long as they’ve planned their time out, and are following their plan, that they’ll be free to take care of their responsibilities in the order of their choosing. -Reward planning behaviors first. Many parents have agreements with their kids that they get some kind of privilege if they get all homework assignment turned in that week. Strike at the root. Homework gets done as a result of good organization and planning, so make the first and most important agreement about consistently using a planner and how and when the planner is used. Next post, we'll talk about best planning practices for students, and in particular, for students who struggle with planning.
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