As you all know, I’ve been talking to lots of kids about Togetherness. Whether I’m learning from these young men in Memphis, my own daughter, or a bunch of high school students, I’m really intrigued by how teachers and families define and teach executive functioning. This remote learning era has also given me additional insight into how my own kids keep it Together, as I now see their workspaces, backpacks, and Chrome tabs front and center every day.
Recently, I spoke to my friend Nella’s daughter, MJ, about how she’s keeping it Together right now. MJ is a fourth grader in Houston, with a little brother and two parents who work very full time. And because I don’t want to make you wait any longer, you may as well just watch her video right now.
As a former fourth grade teacher, I was literally moved to tears by this video of MJ sharing her love of dance, her Google calendar (!), and her to-do list. And just FYI, MJ’s favorite color is teal, she is bilingual, and her biggest distraction is her little brother!
Let’s look at a few aspects of MJ’s Together Student-ness!
MJ’s To-Do List
Flair pens for the win! MJ says she creates this list to keep track of her daily school, dance, and home responsibilities.
What motivates MJ to make such list? “It helps me keep organized. One day I kept forgetting my water bottle for dance, so I needed a list to be perfectly great!”
MJ’s Google Calendar
I’m not going to lie. When MJ accepted my Zoom invite HERSELF, I almost fell out of my chair.
MJ uses her calendar to keep track of assignments. “If an assignment is due on Friday, I turn it in on Thursday. I always do it one day earlier. ‘The day it is due it is late to me.’“ Can you tell this kid’s mom is a teacher? She taught MJ how to use the calendar to keep track of family and extracurricular obligations.
Like many, MJ is learning at home right now. Here’s her desk set up, complete with water bottle, chargers, and a nice task lamp.
As I keep talking to students, I’m seeing a few themes emerge around self-awareness, pursuit of other leisure activities, and physical space set up. Hmmmm. . .
Okay, people, think of your most Together students and see if they will talk to me! Write me here if you have an excellent student or child who would be willing to email me pictures, send video, and/or speak to me on the phone or by Zoom!