Student Planner

mom with daughter

One of the most important skills that your student will develop is the ability to manage his/her time. The student planner is the first step to learning to manage their time. Please encourage your student to use his or her planner every day. The planner can be used in the following ways:

  • Keep track of the daily assignments.
  • Provide feedback to parents from teachers.
  • Improve communication between parent and student.
  • Maintain an accurate record of completed assignments.
  • Help students organize weekly schedules to include time for large projects and upcoming tests.

While there are many ways to use the planner effectively, there are two points that need to be addressed.

  1. The student needs to accurately write down the daily assignments and due dates for large projects and tests.
  2. The parent needs to communicate with the student to help them follow through with homework assignments and prepare for projects and tests.

Parent involvement is critical.

  • The majority of students will not understand how or why they are doing this, initially.
  • Take time to communicate with them and help them understand the benefits of managing their time.
  • Then, as they begin to use their planner, check-in with them each day.
  • Review the information that they have provided, and provide them with time and place to complete any unfinished assignments.


  • Planner lists each week
  • Each day is also noted
  • Student can arrange their planner by subject or period (i.e. 1st period, 2nd period, etc.)
  • Student should write the daily assignment for each class
  • An indication of finished or not finished might be helpful information
  • Student can also include deadlines and due dates
  • On-going projects may be listed as well.

As your student utilizes their planner, their grades will improve, they will gain independence, and they will increase their self-confidence in their ability to “do” school.

Combine the use of the planner with checking GradeBook progress to make the experience even more effective and meaningful.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Study Tips for Parents

dad and daughter

Why is studying important?

  • Doing homework is one of a child’s first major responsibilities in time management. It teaches children to depend on themselves.
  • Improve study skills. With practice, children are able to work more quickly and effectively.
  • Communicate with teachers. Homework shows teachers whether students understand lessons.
  • School: It helps students develop independence and confidence. These traits are essential as children grow older and studying affects their grades more and more.
  • When children study they also:
  • Increase understanding: Working at home allows them to learn and review at their own pace. Children who study also remember material better.
  • Become self-disciplined. Studying well requires motivation, planning.
  • Develop perseverance. When kids finish assignments, they see that hard work leads to pride and success.
  • Build research skills. Finding information at the library and elsewhere teaches kids how to research school subjects and their own interests.
  • Connect home and school. Studying gives children and parents the chance to discuss school, work through problems, and celebrate success.

Homework has Four Purposes.

Studying in general has lots of useful benefits. But when teachers give a specific assignment it’s usually for one of four reasons. Understanding these goals helps parents and kids find study time more rewarding.

  • Preparation: Some assignments get children ready for upcoming topics. If the teacher plans a lesson about the Revolutionary War for instance, students will need the chapter of events that preceded it beforehand. Preparation homework often requires reading or research.
  • Practice: Doing the same kind of work repeatedly helps students learn skills–for example, writing down spelling words, reciting multiplication tables, or solving practice problems. This can be tedious, but it is necessary.
  • Demonstration: It’s challenging for kids to use different skills to show what they’ve learned. Projects such as preparing an oral report, building a model, writing a paper or putting on a play, encourage creativity and demonstrate thorough understanding of concepts.
  • Extension: This involves applying knowledge to a new situation. For example, children might be asked to compare two historic events, do a science experiment, or solve a real-life problem.  

Teach your child to organize. The most important way for parents to help with homework is to encourage good study habits. Organization should be at the top of the list. Without organization; it’s hard to study effectively–if at all.

Here are some organization tips to give your child:

  • Write down assignments. Give your child an assignment notebook. He should clearly record each assignment and when it’s due.
  • Use self-stick notes. Your child can attach them to books he needs for studying. After school, everything with a note on it goes home.
  • Plan ahead. Break long-term assignments into small parts. Write each part’s deadline on a calendar.
  • Make to-do lists. Everyday your child should list tasks to complete during study time. Crossing them off will provide a sense of accomplishment.
  • File papers. Divide a large binder into sections for each subject. Include folders for saving loose papers.
  • Put books by the door. If your child’s schoolwork is by the front door in the morning, he won’t have to look for it in the morning.
  • Hint: Even organized kids forget to write down assignments once in a while. Suggest that your child exchange phone numbers with classmates. Then occasional forgetfulness shouldn’t cause a problem.
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fifteen Quick Anger Busters

taking charge of anger

  1. Count colors. Instead of counting to ten, try counting colors. See if you can find at least twelve different colors.
  2. Growl. Find somewhere to be alone. Growl like a bear. Make it a long, loud growl.
  3. Have a piece of gum. Always keep sugarless gum handy. Chew away your anger.
  4. Thought stopping. When you start to get angry, yell at yourself, “Stop!”
  5. Go west by sailing east. When you are angry at someone, don’t take the most direct route towards him. Take the long way. Walk around the block, go to your room and back, or go to the restroom for a cool down, then approach him.
  6. Create a therapeutic ritual. When you are stressed and anger is on the way, use a ritual such as pulling on your right ear three times, open and close your fist five times, or whistle a tune.
  7. Make a vow of silence. Promise yourself to be quiet until the anger passes.
  8. Chant a personal mantra. Repeat a favorite saying several times. For instance, “Tomorrow will be a better day,” or “I know I’m a good person.”
  9. Forgive others. When you forgive others for their mistakes, you eventually feel better.
  10. Write in your Gratitude journal. When things aren’t going well, write something positive in a journal. Think of things for which you are grateful.
  11. Look in the mirror. You will not like the looks of your “angry face.”
  12. Are you 100% sure? Always ask yourself this question before reacting.
  13. Try ‘tube breathing.’ Make a tube shape with your tongue, breathe deeply through mouth, hold for five seconds, and exhale through nose. Do this three times.
  14. Where’s that photo? Keep a photo of someone you love and respect, such as a grandparent. When you are upset, look at the photo and ask, “What would he/ she want me to do?”
  15. Pressure point. Take your thumb and middle finger and squeeze together tightly for five to ten seconds. Do this before saying or doing anything else.

These strategies came from the book 141 Creative Strategies for Teaching Adolescents with Anger Problems.

Posted in anger, Strategies, Student Tips, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Angry Adolescents

steam out of ears

Parents must avoid the Four Cardinal Sins when dealing with their adolescent:

1. Nagging

2. Spontaneous discussions about problems

3. Insight transplants (lectures)

4. Arguing

~Thomas Phelan, Surviving your Adolescents

Adolescents? Sounds like something you’d only touch with a pair of tweezers.

~ Alex Parker, Bringing Up Parents

Adolescence is a period of time when young people start to challenge authority and strive for independence. Even the best behaved ten-year-old can become an obnoxious, defiant, back-talking, disrespectful, fifteen year-year old. How parents and teachers address these changes is crucial. It is important to remain calm, not over react, stick to their values, be consistent, continue to love unconditionally, and have tough skin because adolescents can be rude and hurtful. In his book, Unhappy Teenagers, Dr. William Glasser suggests numerous do’s and dont’s for parents when dealing with their teens. His ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ must be avoided; they won’t help in changing teen’s behaviors. They include: crticizing, blaming, complaining, nagging, threatening, punishing, and rewarding to control. Glasser encourages adults to use his ‘Seven Connecting Habits’ instead: caring, trusting, listening, supporting, negotiation, befriending, and encouraging.

Parents and teachers are advised not to argue with the angry adolescent and not to try to get in the last word. In fact, it is impossible to get in the last word. I often tell teachers that there has never been a documented case in the history of education where a teacher got the final word in with an adolescent! Don’t argue or play “volleyball”. Walk away if possible. Let’s consider the wisdom and advice from discipline expert Fred Jones. He reminds us, “It takes one fool to backtalk, but two fools to make a conversation out of it. Backtalk is a melodrama written and produced by the student. If you take your speaking part the show goes on. If you keep your mouth shut – the show bombs.”

Posted in anger, Parent Tips, Strategies, Student Tips, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Study Skills and Homework

study skills

I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework.

~ Lily Tomlin

But homework and studying also become the wellsprings for building greater mental effort capacity in all kids. Schools teach kids how to learn, and parents should teach them how to work by establishing work rules and a work ethic at home.

~ Mel Levine, A Mind at a Time, 2002

  1. Parents need to respect differences in their children’s learning styles and study habits. For instance, let’s look at noise issues when doing homework. Some children need complete silence while others need to hear what is going on around the house for a sense of comfort or safety. Other children thrive with soft music in the background. Believe it or not, a small number of children complete homework assignments quickly while watching television or listening to loud “hard rock” music.
  2. Make sure the child has good lighting while studying, not too bright or too dim. Usually a 75 watt bulb works best.
  3. Encourage the child to work at a desk with a straight, firm chair. Discourage children from studying on their beds. If they get too comfortable they may drift off to sleep.
  4. Make sure the room is not too warm. They may work quicker in a cooler setting.
  5. Limit distractions. Keep siblings separated. Tell the child to turn off his cell phone.
  6. Make sure the child’s study area has plenty of supplies. This will save time by keeping the children from having to search for pencils, paper, and other necessary items.
  7. Some children may need separate area for studying. Instead of doing homework in their rooms, they may need to work at the kitchen table.
  8. Suggest to the child to get a list of classmates’ telephone numbers in case she needs to call one for homework information.
  9. Some children may need to keep a separate set of books at home to cut down on the “Oh, I forgot my books,” excuses.
  10. Make it a house rule that even if the child doesn’t have homework, she must spend a certain amount of time studying or reading.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Making new friends

making new friends

You may feel a little lonely if you aren’t in the same classes as your old friends. Here are some ideas for getting to know people:

Be friendly.

People are more likely to say hello to a friendly face. If someone smiles at you, smile back. Say hi and introduce yourself.

Be a good listener.

When you meet someone new, show an interest in what the person likes to do. Ask questions, too.

Get involved.

It’s a great way to make friends and meet interesting people. Join a team or club, or do volunteer work. Check your school’s website for options.

Be yourself.

Trying to impress people usually backfires. Be honest about what you like to do. Remember, it’s OK to be different.

Improve your self-esteem.

Self-esteem is how you feel about yourself. You can build your self-esteem by:

  • setting goals
  • doing things you enjoy
  • taking pride in your efforts.

High self-esteem can help you feel more confident when you meet others.

Be a good friend.

Treat others the way you would like to be treated. EVERYONE deserves respect.

Don’t worry if you don’t make friends right away. Building good friendshops can take time.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Getting organized is your ticket to success.


Her are some tips to help you get started:

Make reminders:

Use a different section in your notebook for each class. On the front of each section, write the:

  • name and room number of the class
  • teacher’s name
  • time when the class meets

Or use separate notebooks. Follow the same tips listed above.

Use an assignment book/ agenda.

Use it to keep track of when things are due. Take it to every class. Write down when you have meetings or practices, too. Calendars are also helpful.

Be sure you understand your assignments.

If you have a question, ask! Other students may have the same question.

Keep your locker neat.

A messy locker can slow you down and make you late for class. Stopping to talk to at your locker can, too. Try to keep conversations brief.

Make time for homework.

Set up a special time each day. Then:

  • Find a quiet place to work. Make it has plenty of light. Get the supplies you need BEFORE you start.
  • Do not take phone calls from friends.
  • Ask family members not to disturb you.

If you have a study hall or SMART lunch, use the time wisely. If you miss an assignment or need help, your teacher’s website may have the information you need.

Break big projects into smaller ones.

It can make a heavy workload easier to manage. For example, for a research project, collect research one week, take notes the next, and begin writing the next.

Prepare the night before.

  • Check your assignment book. Make sure you finish assignments that are due the next day.
  • Pack your schoolbag after you finish your homework.
  • Get your clothes ready before you go to bed.

Getting organized takes practice. But you’ll soon see it’s worth the effort!


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment