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MissAgnes MissAgnes is offline
 
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Helping a disorganized kid.
Old 11-09-2017, 11:52 AM
 
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I have a student in my language arts class who is severely disorganized. He told me today he turned in an assignment to the basket (where they are supposed to turn in ALL work). Of course, it wasn't in there. But he didn't have it in his folder, and I know it didn't leave the room.
I found it in the recycle bin.
This was a rather large assignment, and it would have been hard for him to re-do since he's already behind.
I handed him back the paper, and watched him. He stared at it for a full 5 minutes, then methodically folded it up as small as he could.
I had to go over to him, unfold the paper, and explain explicity (for the 5th time) how to complete the assignment (even though explicity directions were right in front of him).
He's not ADHD, not autistic, not developmentally delayed. There's nothing WRONG with him per se. He's very bright, but lacks executive functioning skills.
I provide him with a folder for his unfinished work so that it doesn't get lost, and that helps. What else can I do?


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tctrojan tctrojan is offline
 
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Check in breaks
Old 11-09-2017, 12:46 PM
 
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More work on your part -

Can you have him show his progress as he completes certain portions. At least he would be able to get partial credit as he works through the assignment. If you have cooperative office staff send him down to get a copy of what he has completed. We have a secretary who would do that. The way he is not having to begin over again.
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Ucan Ucan is offline
 
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My Impression
Old 11-09-2017, 01:27 PM
 
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It's always difficult to suggest an action plan based on limited information (e.g. grade level). I'm guessing that the boy only completed part of the assignment, since you had to explain again how to complete it. That being said, this is how I would respond to such a student. Ask the student some additional questions that may reveal helpful information: 1) He may have misunderstood what you wanted him to do with the assignment. He may have completed as much as he could and decided to turn it in (albeit in the wrong basket). 2) He may have been totally embarrassed when you returned the paper to him. Staring at it for 5 minutes and folding it up as you described strongly suggests to me a student who was experiencing major failure in your classroom. 3) He may have been struggling with organization issues for the past several years that school personnel have (apparently) failed to adequately address.

Have the school psychologist make an observation and review his files to determine if a referral for special education services would be appropriate.
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1956BD 1956BD is online now
 
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Needs an Organized Shadow
Old 11-09-2017, 01:33 PM
 
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Think of students who are naturally organized from his class. Ask one if they would like the job of helping a classmate. Each week or so give them an area of where they should focus. Discuss briefly with the shadow student to make sure they are on the right track. They need to sit next to the boy with organization challenges and pay attention to beginning and ending times for assignments.

Ideas of focus

How and where to turn in assignments

Where to store assignments while they are a works in progress

How to organize desk storage area

How to keep supplies straight

When to sharpen pencils

How to organize backpack

How to remember homework assignments

Check in as often as you can. Reward both for their effort.
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Keltikmom Keltikmom is offline
 
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Disorganized kid
Old 11-09-2017, 07:04 PM
 
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Just a thought: do you think his parents do everything for him? If you suspect this, it's time to have a family conference and explain how to release responsibility to the child.


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Two different issues
Old 11-10-2017, 02:43 AM
 
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To me, finding a paper tossed into the recycling bin and needing additional explanation on how to complete it are two different things. The first suggests disorganization or carelessness, as you initially mentioned. He tossed it in the basket, but it fell into the bin, and he didn't pick it up. The second--staring at the paper, then folding it up--indicates some deeper issue. Not understanding the directions is the first that comes to mind, but others might be handwriting issues, lack of writing skill, little to no grasp of the knowledge required to complete the assignment, etc. It's also possible he's struggling with some non-academic issue. Depression? Discouraged due to repeated failures? I agree with the PP that you need to check with a counselor or psychologist. In the meantime, I would consider periodic check-ins on big assignments.
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