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MsBTexas's Message:

Soooo, my school decided to purchase planners for every student this year (6th, 7th, and 8th grade). They (admin) said they wanted us to use the planners in class, but have never really followed up or checked to see that we are using them.


Anyway, I have been making my kids write down their homework every single day so that we are writing in it every day (even if it's to write "no homework"). Since I teach reading and journalism, I teach all three grades. I feel like it's pulling teeth to get my 6th graders to do it every day even now (13 weeks in!), and I constantly have to tell them to do it at the beginning of class (they always skip this step even though it's on our projected to-do list that I post EVERY day so they know what to do as soon as they come in). I don't know. At this point, I'm not sure if it's even worth the battle anymore. My journalism 7th/8th grade kiddos take it more seriously because I've given them a couple pop quizzes over the planner and stuff we've written in it (so that they would take it more seriously). However, I want to stop using so many minutes for this. Would you just give up on making them write in it if you were me?! What has been your experience?



As a side note-- when I look at their planners, almost ALL of them have no other teachers who require them to write in it (some kids do it on their own accord for other classes because they are just awesome kids!).

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Discussion Review (newest messages first)
Lilbitkm 11-12-2019 01:42 PM

I require my 3rd graders to write their homework in their planner every morning. Their homework is not digital nor do I post it digitally. If they donít write the homework down and they canít complete their assignments that night itís on them.

They get dojo points each Friday for homework completion so they are more motivated to write their work in each day.

sbslab 11-12-2019 01:39 PM

Our school buys them as well. I expect students to use them..."we spent money on them, you use them." We are required to post assignments on our grading program as well. I tell them it's a life skill. Very few adults don't write important information somewhere...paper, calendar, phone, computer...somewhere. To me, the skill is writing it in order to be able to do it. How/where that happens might change as they age but for now the school bought planners, planners they should use. I'd have said the same thing if the school went 1:1 with Chromebooks/iPads.

lisa53 11-12-2019 05:49 AM

Please keep teaching this.

And maybe it is worth bringing up at a faculty or team meeting, as in, can we all be consistent in using the planners? Why is it important and useful? Wha strategies can we all use to teach this important skill to kids?

(Or maybe as a faculty you will all decide to save $$$ next year and not buy them...)

You need to not be the only one....

Lakeside 11-12-2019 04:26 AM

Keep trying!

Not only is it a good organizational skill (even if it's a back-up to tech) but it's good for them to practice handwriting, since so much now is typed. (Maybe even give bonus points for practicing in cursive?)

If your kids are Harry Potter fans, I remember seeing a craft where you make "quills" out of cheap pens and craft store feathers. You could make a couple and let them take turns using them. - When their name is drawn, they have to show you this week's planner page to prove that they've been writing consistently, and if they have been, they get to use a quill for class that day.

(If they're not HP fans, you could use any fun novelty pens you buy.)

Munchkins 11-12-2019 03:41 AM

I love the quizzes. Maybe you can add some short quotes a few times a week (or a one liner every day.) That could be part of the quiz- credit given only if HW was also written on the day you quiz them about.

You are doing the right thing. I would set a time limit. Make random checks figure into their grade somehow...

seenthelight 11-11-2019 07:11 PM

I use Google Classroom, but I still make them write things down. No excuses. Technology absolves us all of too much responsibility which is fine if youíre an adult that has those skills to fall back on. The power goes out and these kids lose their minds. Google Classroom is me as the teacher uploading assignments and depending on their settings, their device says this is due, get on it. I want my kids to take ownership. You donít know how many times a day I hear, ďBut my mom forgot... But you didnít... But the WiFi was down... But I was out of battery and couldnít find my charger... But... But... But...Ē. Itís everyone and everything but them. I take just as much pride in creating responsible, accountable citizens as I do academics.

Iíll get off my soap box now.

applesaucencr 11-11-2019 06:35 PM

Just my opinion, but I fund planners outdated. My own kids have work posted on Google classrroom. As a teacher, I use more of a syllabus style approach and tell them it is important to learn to budget their time since they have after school activities. The only reason I don't use Google classroom is because not all my students have reliable access to computers or working internet at home. I haven't use a paper planner in at least 4 years.

seenthelight 11-11-2019 06:17 PM

This is a battle to pick. It is a life long organizational skill. Iíd do random checks and rewards. Make the rewards high value to your class. You know them best and are the one who will be able to come up with the best motivation. Iíve also reward swiftness. Iím setting a timer for five minutes. Everyone who has their planner filled out and pencil down before the timer gets the reward. Iíve also done class rewards to use peer pressure. Every time the entire class beats the timer the class gets a point. 5 points gets a reward, then 10. I make it a little harder each time, and before you know it, itís just habit to write down the homework/test dates. My students are still in elementary. Sixth graders can definitely do it.

happygal 11-11-2019 05:29 PM

And i think it is worth the effort because you are teaching them how to be a student.

I have seen planners work very effectively in many settings over many years of working in schools.

Love the random checks AND quizzes on what was in the planner!

klarabelle 11-11-2019 04:44 PM

I would continue to use them. Its good to get use to them for the future being organized.

tctrojan 11-11-2019 04:21 PM

If students have them filled out give them a small reward. A piece of candy, extra credit point or extra computer time for example.

MsBTexas 11-11-2019 04:11 PM

Soooo, my school decided to purchase planners for every student this year (6th, 7th, and 8th grade). They (admin) said they wanted us to use the planners in class, but have never really followed up or checked to see that we are using them.


Anyway, I have been making my kids write down their homework every single day so that we are writing in it every day (even if it's to write "no homework"). Since I teach reading and journalism, I teach all three grades. I feel like it's pulling teeth to get my 6th graders to do it every day even now (13 weeks in!), and I constantly have to tell them to do it at the beginning of class (they always skip this step even though it's on our projected to-do list that I post EVERY day so they know what to do as soon as they come in). I don't know. At this point, I'm not sure if it's even worth the battle anymore. My journalism 7th/8th grade kiddos take it more seriously because I've given them a couple pop quizzes over the planner and stuff we've written in it (so that they would take it more seriously). However, I want to stop using so many minutes for this. Would you just give up on making them write in it if you were me?! What has been your experience?



As a side note-- when I look at their planners, almost ALL of them have no other teachers who require them to write in it (some kids do it on their own accord for other classes because they are just awesome kids!).




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