Monday, January 11, 2010

Did you get your lunch?

Many students with learning differences have trouble keeping up with their “stuff.” They wind up in the school office calling home to ask for their bookbag, lunch, homework they left on the printer, or their uniform for the basketball game after school. Or, they do without these things and suffer because they are seen as “not responsible enough” or “don’t care enough” or “don’t try hard enough.”

For some students, a checklist in a prominent place can help. The checklist can hang beside the front door at home or stay on the shelf nearby. It would look something like this:

___ bookbag
___ books
___ lunch money
___ homework papers
___ paper
___ pencils
___ gym clothes
___ basketball uniform

Another checklist can reside in the front of their main notebook at school. It will look different, of course:

___ assignment sheet
___ bookbag
___ books I need for homework
___ dirty gym clothes
___ basketball uniform
___ notes from teachers
___ permission forms

They might not need everything on the list, but anything that they need often should be there—just in case. That way, they give it some thought before leaving to or from school.

The trick at this point is to establish the habit of looking at the checklist just before leaving for school (parents can help in the beginning) and before heading home in the afternoon (a caring teacher might help if you ask). Once the habit is established, they will be one step in the right direction toward becoming organized.

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