The Together Student

Jan 10, 2013

Working on our own Togetherness is one thing. Helping our students – the reason we all actually got into teaching – with their own is quite another.

We receive many questions about student Togetherness. These can be toughies, and we’re excited to put together more resources for you on the topic.

To get you started. . .

Spotted recently at a high school in Brooklyn: Two awesome visuals to help students record and follow-through on homework assignments.

Dan R. (a featured Together Teacher in my book), set up this system with his team to support their 9th grade students (note: there is a school-wide planner that all students use for all subjects).

Check out these great posters!

The team also added a chart to model what the student planners should look like AFTER homework was completed.

Liz H., a member of the ninth grade teaching team, explains:

“We set up this system because we learned that organization was an enormous obstacle for our current juniors. They lost planners and didn’t record homework, and we were not always explicit about where to put this information and how to keep track of assignments. As a result, homework percentages were low and so were grades in general. We wanted to do a better job of setting freshmen up for success from the beginning.”

Liz also shares how her team keeps the habit alive for students:

“What doesn’t work well is solely relying on the visual. You need to model it clearly and hold kids accountable. I walk around and physically check their planners at the start of the year during the first five minutes of class to ensure homework is copied down. I don’t specifically check planners everyday now (because I’m checking HW and other items), but if I see their desk isn’t set up right (planner isn’t open and HW isn’t copied down) I quickly rectify the situation.”

Knowing that organization and time management are areas where many students struggle when they get to college, I applaud Dan, Liz and the rest of their team for instilling great habits in their high school students.

As we know, being Together doesn’t always come naturally… having someone model and hold you accountable can go a long way!

Together Teacher Question: How do you support students in staying organized?