Skip to content

Organization Skills for Students

September 16, 2010

If you were able to attend the Speaker Series session last year starring Carla Crutsinger from Brainworks, you know all about the importance of teaching Organizational Skills to gifted kids… kids who have so much going on in their heads, that the most simple tasks seem to fall undone. And, after a long summer break, even the good study habits of last year might have been forgotten. Need a refresher or new tips? Here are some notes from Brainworks.

Carla Crutsinger, Brainworks:

There is a neurological process that keeps us organized. It is called “executive function.” This brain function gives us the ability to organize, prioritize, and analyze to make wise decisions and plans. Children with ADHD or other neurological problems have impaired executive function skills. This is due to abnormal dopamine levels in the frontal lobe of the brain. It is very confusing to parents and teachers when they see students that are inconsistent in their ability to organize; especially, if they see a child who has handled another task in an organized way. Research has proven that punishment will not change disorganized behaviors that are related to brain pathology.

So, what is the solution: Regular communication between the parent and school is imperative!

1. If possible, have a second set of textbooks at home. Bringing home the correct textbook will then not be a daily issue.

2. Provide an assignment notebook. The child is expected to write each assignment in the notebook even if assignments are on the internet. IF there is no homework, he writes “No HMWK” in that subject’s slot. There is a reward/consequence daily based on filling in all the assignments. IF he has filled in all the assignments, he can play a special video game for 15-30 minutes when he gets home. This game is only allowed for this purpose. He never has access to it otherwise. If he has not filled in all his assignments, he misses his game for the day. If he misses his reward for 2 days in a row, contact the teachers to sign his notebook each day to document he has written the correct assignment. Do this for 3 weeks before seeing if he can remember on his own. Even gifted students may need this routine.

3. Provide a homework transportation folder with pockets. It should look differently than other folders in the backpack. It should be made of durable material that will not wrinkle and wad up. ALL homework comes home in this folder and is stored on the left side. ALL completed homework goes to school in this folder and is stored on the right side. This strategy is good through high school.

4. Projects are planned out on the day the project is assigned. If your son is to read a book and write a report in two weeks, have him read for 15 or 30 minutes. Have him determine how many pages he has to read per day at his normal speed to be finished 2-3 days before thereport is due. Have your son write in his planner what page he is to finish in his book for each day. Many students believe the project is not homework and want to procrastinate. This plan gives him time to write a quality report without being rushed.

5. Clean out the backpack EVERY Sunday night. Make sure there are no loose papers. Old papers are removed and put in a box if needed later. I recommend dividers for this box – divide old papers by subject. Every Monday he will start the week with a neat notebook and backpack.

This regular routine will take effort on the part of the parent to implement, but the rewards are worth it.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s