Using a student planner has many benefits.
Do you want to help your students work on their organization skills and at the same time open up communication with families? I have the answer for you…
Over the years I have always had my students use a planner, daily, and I have notice many benefits of them. These benefits only come when the use of planner is routine and predictable.
Here are my top 5 benefits (the last 2 are the BIGGEST ones) of weekly student planners.
1) Tracking Goals
A printable planner is the perfect place for students to track their goals. These goals can be directly related to academics or to do with their extracurricular lives.
Having a place to jot down the goals and to look back and see how they are doing (and make adjustments if needed) is a great life skill for students to start doing at a young age. The younger the students are the more guidance they will need.
By putting goals and progress in the planner, students will be able to share them with teachers and family members without having to remember them or write them in more than 1 place.
2) Habit Building
When teachers have students take the time to write in a planner each day they are helping students build healthy habits for future academic/work/life success.
As students move on in their education and they are having stricter due dates or more assigments, it is imperative to their success that they have some sort of planning organizational skills. Let’s start building this habit early.
3) Improves Student Responsibility
It is important that we start allowing students to take ownership for their learning and success. One of those ways is to give them the small task of taking care of their planner and using it daily.
My students are responsible for bringing it back and forth from home and school everyday. Of course, they are not perfect (who is?) and will need some help with this. No one is innately born to do these things so teaching and patience is required.
I do get those students that say “My mom forgot to put my planner in my backpack.” I then remind them that it is not their mom’s responsiblity to keep track of the planner but it is theirs.”
At the beginning of the year, I have family members help students write down important events or extra curricular activities in the planner so students can use these reminders to help them plan around. If they know they have baseball practice 3x a week, they can use that information to determine when they will have time to complete homework, get forms signed, or practice skills.
Some years, I include a reading log in the planner and it is the student’s responsiblity to fill out the entries each time they read. I don’t get parents to sign them so it is solely a student task. One more smaller task to build responsibility.
4) Building Organizational SKills
As I’ve mentioned, organization skills do not come easily to students and they need a systematic approach to learning these skills.
Every afternoon, we have the same routine of coming back from the gym and then students get out their planners to write in. At the beginning of the year, there are lots of reminders to get the planner and I tell them what to write each day.
Slowly I release that control and they take it upon themselves to decide what is important to write. This cannot be done until they have the skills to know what will help them with organization and planning.
Many studies have shown that when students write information down they are more likely to remember it. Great news for those using printable student agendas.
Now a days, students have so many commitements with school and extra curricular activities (and work when older) that staying organized is an important life skill.
5) Communication Tool
To me this is the most beneficial part of using student planners, especially in elementary school.
Parents and teachers have busy lives and do not always have the time to make a phone call or send an email.
In my planner I have a place for home-school communications where notes can be sent back and forth.
The notes usually consist of reminders of appointments, notes about stuff sent back to school, happy notes about the student, etc.
If I am using this space as a daily check in on student behaviours, those are always agreed up before hand at a phone or in-person meeting. It is important to me that the planner does not become a place of negative messages. No student is going to remember their planner book if they know it will only be filled with negativity.
Here’s the Printable Student Planner I use!
Included are yearly, monthly, and weekly calendar pages that you can use how you see fit.
If there are specific school events, holidays, etc that you know of before you print the monthly planner pages, those can all be added beforehand with the editable pages.
Academic Planner Features
An added bonus to the planner I use with my students is that it includes reference tools that student can use throughout the day or with their homework.
There are different reference pages to pick from. Primary or Intermediate Math and Canadian or American references.
Students can learn interesting facts about random stuff by looking at the bottom of the weekly planner pages. The facts include everything from planets, to different foods, to animal facts, technology facts, and so much more.
If you have your students do spelling there is a place each week to record their words and make a goal for themselves. The times I have not done spelling, I have had students use this place to record interesting, or new, words they find while reading.
Every year I have student that I taught the previous year (yay for split grades…lol) and I wanted to change things up for them so I have created multiple covers and designs to use.
These covers are editable so you can personalize with your students’ names and even add the school name if you like!
how to Assemble the Student Planner
After all the pages you want to use are printed out, you have a decision to make on how you want to bind them.
- You can laminate the covers and then spiral bind them. Your local stationary store is a great place to do this if you don’t have a binding machine.
- You can hole punch them and put them in binders. This may be pretty bulky to bring back and forth to school though.
- You can put them in a 3 prong folder. This is what I personally do.
If I have access to the plastic folder covers I will get those because they can be easily cleaned.
Inside the folder, I put a plastic sheet protector to store any notices or loose papers that are going home.
Then go in the cover, reference pages and weekly planner pages. It is beneficial to print off a term at a time so the planner is not too big.
If I student happens to lose their planner, it is very easy to just print them off a new one. No having to check to see if the office has extras. No having to collect money from the students for the more expensive planner books.
How to Get the Printable Student Planner
To get the planner or look more closely at all the features, just click the link right here.
I Almost Forgot
Oops! I almost forgot to tell you … The student planner is updated EVERY YEAR with new dates (and sometimes new cover designs)!
Purchase it once and you will have it year after year to use with your new students.
If you want to save this post for later, here is an image to pin to your Pinterest boards.
I would love to hear in the comment what benefits you have seen in your students from using planners or what features you love to have in you student planners.
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