Organizing Work Load in Middle School

One of the great things about being in Middle School is getting to be more responsible for your own work load! Every student is different, and every student will handle this task in their own way. Some of them might already be competently balancing the more complex work and due dates. Others may have a slew of missing assignments and have no idea they are missing (despite many teacher warnings!) The majority will fall somewhere in between.

To develop this responsibility–and keep up with the work load, we are asking the students to develop the following daily habit:

Every afternoon or night, they should log into google classroom, go to their “TO-DO” list, and ask themselves three questions:

  1. Am I missing anything?
  2. Is anything due tomorrow?
  3. What’s coming up that I might need to think about or prepare for?

Schoolwork is always about more than the subject matter; it’s a preparation for life, and developing these skills is a big part of that. Certainly as an adult, I’m more prepared for the week when I look at my calendar for the next day and ask myself similar questions to these. Most of the work you will see on in the google classroom will be activities we are working on in class. But some assignments will require more work at home and in the future, there may be some assignments that are entirely done as homework.

Students will come home today with these instructions on paper. I suggest they keep this paper near the computer or in another place they will check as a reminder to ask these questions every night!

Of course, like anything, each student has different needs. Some students will need to check every night this year and keep doing some form of this for the rest of their lives–it’s a very reasonable strategy for taking responsibility! Some students may adapt to a weekly check, or to checking when they aren’t sure about something. Ultimately, this will be an individualized process, but to start, it makes sense to try it as a daily habit.

Students check the classroom in the following way:

Login to google classroom with your sk email and password

Choose 5-6 when you see this screen:

Click on the three parallel lines in the top left of the home page. You will see this menu and you choose “to-do”.

This is what the “To-Do” list will look like. It’s individualized for each student. Any missing work will be at the top, followed by work that is due soon, and then work due in the future after that.

If you like, instead of viewing as a list, you can choose “calendar” and you will see a weekly layout of what is due.

Another way to view the work that is due is to look at the home page. If you scroll through the posts, you will see all the work, but not in the most meaningful way. If you look at the box on the left that says “topics”, you can choose to see all the assignments within that topic. For example, if you want to see all the reading pages for our current book, you would click on the title of the book, A SNICKER OF MAGIC.

I hope this helps both students and parents keep on top on everything! As always, let me know if you have any questions!

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