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Tips for students on how to use your planner: Write your name on the cover of your planner using a permanent marker. Include important information and events such as friends’ e-mail addresses and telephone numbers. Insert important dates in appropriate locations for birthdays, school activities, vacations, etc. Set goals. o Figure out what are the three most important things you would like to accomplish this school year and write them down. o Set monthly and weekly goals at the beginning of each month and week. Be realistic and specific. Set a deadline. For example: “I want to complete my “Of Mice and Men” book report by Friday.” Use your planner every day to help organize your work. o Manage your school work using the planner. o Write down every assignment. Be sure to write the subject & assignment in on the date that it is due. Do the same thing with every test, quiz, appointment, or other important event. For example: “English—Mice & Men Book report” or “Government—Quiz on chapters 1-4.” Use techniques such as color coding to identify harder and/or larger tasks. o Use a folder to transport work to and from school each day. When your teacher hands out a worksheet, record the due date in your planner and the worksheet then put the worksheet in the left side of this folder. When you have completed it, put it in the right side. Set aside 10 minutes every day to plan assignments and to transfer information between your planner and your family’s master planner or calendar (You could do this with your parents). o Break down assignments and study for tests into manageable pieces. For example: If your book report is due on Friday decide on a date to complete research for the paper and a date to complete the outline. Decide on a date to complete the rough draft and finally the date to type out the final report. Record those dates in the planner. o Review how you are doing towards your goals and plan. Update your plan and “check off” steps in your planner as they are completed. If you miss an assignment or you are out sick, don’t panic. Try checking on Edline for the information. I/M or e-mail or call a friend. If you are in school check the place where your teacher records assignments in class or talk to your teacher. Do not procrastinate. At first this will take some time getting used to but it will pay huge dividends in the end. Tips for parents on how to help students use a planner effectively: Help student find important dates, school calendar, etc. to initially set up the student planner for the school year. Discuss goal setting with student. Help the student be specific and realistic in goal setting for the year and for the first month of school. Go over the instructions for use of the planner with your student to ensure understanding. Set up a family consolidated schedule to use as a tool to help organize school and other family activities. Arrange planning times with your student at least two or three times each week to go over the student’s planner and the consolidated family calendar to make sure your student understands what must be completed. Discuss priorities and conflicts such as family activities and sports. o Use this as an opportunity to help your student understand assignments, agree on times to go to the library for research, etc. o Help your student break down large assignments into smaller pieces. Set up goals, rewards and consequences for recording all assignments in the planner and bringing required work home. If you don’t do so already, consider setting up your own planner. Share techniques such as color coding or checking off completed work etc, with your student that you use to keep track of your work and family activities. Help your student develop good study habits by: o Scheduling study time in the planner and making homework a priority. o As much as possible, set aside consistent times each day to study such as each evening from 7 to 9. o Set up a place to study, away from the television and in a central place in the home where the student and the computer being used can be monitored by you to ensure he or she stays on task. o Help your student break larger tasks into smaller ones. For example, if the student is to read “Of Mice and Men,” break down the assignment into smaller pieces such as two chapters each evening. o Teach your student to do the “hardest” assignment first. Help your student avoid procrastination. o Encourage your student to get help on something he or she doesn’t understand in an assignment or lesson. o Provide rewards such as social time on line with friends, going to a movie, etc. If your student comes home without homework recorded in the student planner, know there is something wrong. Students at Valley View should do one or two hours of homework every night. Remind your student that just because something is not due tomorrow it doesn’t mean there is no homework. A consistent system of rewards and consequences for using the student planner can help many students.
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