5 Tools that Help Give Students Better Habits

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I know as an ADD/ ADHD student that I really struggled staying motivated and organized. I was not dumb, just unmotivated. I think I was lacking some basic systems that would have truly helped me in dealing with the enormity of school. I also think that just because something works for you does not necessarily mean it works for me. As teachers, we need to be flexible and willing to make adjustments to things we re
commend that are based more on the students needs than anything else.

Here are 5 things that can really make a difference in the lives of our students.

  1. Learn to manage their paper – How much paper do we get as teachers everyday? I get so much paper that I disdain touching a piece of paper more than once. After I have touched it / graded it, I do not want to see that piece of paper again. Our students have similar needs as they really need to learn how to manage their paper. Do they have an in box or outbox for things that are due and things that are coming home? After they get something back what happens to it? Can they just put it in a box at home and save it until the end of the semester? Of course they can, but how many actually do it. I like the idea that once the semester is over the students may get rid of their paper.
  2. Learn to manage their backpack – What is inside our students
    backpacks? Is it a place to store food? Is it folders? Plastic folders? How is it organized? These are the things I really want to know as this once over looked item is the keeper of all things that will be done and turned in. I like the idea of paper folders or an accordion binder as some students don’t like the 3 ring binders. I personally do not care as long as there is a place for the work that is done in my class. It is really up to the students how they organize themselves.
  3. How are they going to stay organized- Another hot topic would be the use of some sort of planner/organizer. I have a calendar that I use for the next 3 months and I also have my daily goals of things that I want to get done for that day. Students also need to be planned out for things that are coming up and learn to be organized to deal with the many tasks that are given to them on a daily basis.
  4. How often should they monitor their grade– This is an important topic as many of us teachers have had the student who never checks their grade and then comes and sees us on the last week/day of the semester. I think students need to regularly check their grades ( weekly) and teachers need to stay within a week or 2 on the inputting of those grades.
  5. How often should they talk to the teacher – Self advocacy is one of the most important things students need to learn. I am ok with giving credit to students who have taken upon themselves to go and argue against answers in a respectful way. I want them to talk to me and bring up questions that I may or may not have the answers to. That is part of the point of school is to LEARN! Hopefully this is something that is encouraged as students need to learn how to do this via email and in person.

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