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CDS Family & Education Series Oct. 25, 2011 H ELP ! M Y C HILD I S S O D ISORGANIZED ! Kerri-Anne Nolan, PhD Middle School Principal.

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Presentation on theme: "CDS Family & Education Series Oct. 25, 2011 H ELP ! M Y C HILD I S S O D ISORGANIZED ! Kerri-Anne Nolan, PhD Middle School Principal."— Presentation transcript:

1 CDS Family & Education Series Oct. 25, 2011 H ELP ! M Y C HILD I S S O D ISORGANIZED ! Kerri-Anne Nolan, PhD Middle School Principal

2 ? E SSENTIAL Q UESTIONS Who is an organized student? Who is a disorganized student? What factors contribute to disorganization? Which factors contribute to organization? Who can help teens and preteens become organized? How can children learn to manage space and time?

3 W HO I S AN O RGANIZED S TUDENT ? Doesnt carry everything he owns in his backpack. Can identify and bring home the books and materials needed to complete homework. Can locate his finished homework in class and turn it in on time. Can study efficiently because he know when tests are coming and has the information needed to study. Goldberg, Donna, The Organized Student, 2005

4 W HO I S A D ISORGANIZED S TUDENT ? His backpack weighs more than he does. He frequently loses things. He doesnt hand assignments in on time or at all. His locker and backpack are full of crumpled papers. He cant manage time well, leaving everything for the last minute. His home life is disrupted with frantic searches and last minute anxiety-ridden meltdowns. Goldberg, Donna, The Organized Student, 2005

5 M ORE ON O RGANIZATION Organization is the ability to create and maintain systems to keep track of information or materials. Organization is closely related to planning, setting priorities, and initiating tasks. Children may understand the value of organization, but are unable to discover ways to keep track of things. Negative consequences for disorganization, i.e. low grades, scolding, dont motivate disorganized children to become organized, unless they are taught how. facts/executive-skills-and-your-child-with-ld

6 T HE B OTTOM L INE I S... An organized student can find what he needs when he needs it. Goldberg, Donna, The Organized Student, 2005

7 T YPES OF D ISORGANIZED S TUDENTS The Over-Scheduled Procrastinator The Scattered Charmer The Tech Master The Seriously Struggling Student The Creative Wonder The Intellectual Conversationalist The Sincere Slacker The Seemingly Satisfied Underachiever Homayoun, Ana. That Crumpled Paper Was Due Last Week, 2010

8 A RE CDS S TUDENTS D ISORGANIZED ? You be the judge. Take a look at the middle school lost and found after one quarter.

9 W HAT F ACTORS C ONTRIBUTE TO D ISORGANIZATION ? Middle and high school are not like elementary school Teen brains have limited executive functions Todays world is loaded with distractions Technology is changing the way the brain thinks

10 M IDDLE AND H IGH S CHOOL A RE NOT LIKE E LEMENTARY S CHOOL Students have many different teachers Students have many different classrooms Schedules are different every day as well Teachers expect students to be responsible and being organized is part of being responsible

11 T EEN B RAINS H AVE L IMITED E XECUTIVE F UNCTIONS Executive functions are the processes the brain uses to create, organize, and follow plans. We use them to Make plans Keep track of time and finish work on time Keep track of more than one thing at once Evaluate ideas Reflect on our work Change our minds and make corrections while thinking, reading, and writing Ask for help or seek more information when we need it Engage in group work Wait to speak until called on

12 S TUDENTS WITH P OOR E XECUTIVE F UNCTIONS M AY S TRUGGLE WITH Planning projects Comprehending how much time a project will take to complete Telling stories (verbally or in writing) Struggling to communicate details in an organized, sequential manner Memorizing and retrieving information from memory Initiating activities or tasks, or generating ideas independently Retaining information while doing something with it, for example, remembering a phone number while dialing

13 E XECUTIVE S KILLS AND ADHD All children with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) need help with executive skills. Researchers now believe that ADHD is primarily a disorder of executive skills, rather than of attention. Children with this condition arent able to regulate themselves well enough to be able to plan, control impulses, or organize. Its important to remember that not all children with weak executive skills have ADHD. facts/executive-skills-and-your-child-with-ld


15 A CCORDING TO N EUROSCIENTIST J AY G IEDD... I think that this part of the brain that is helping organization, planning and strategizing is not done being built yet... [It's] not that the teens are stupid or incapable. It's sort of unfair to expect them to have adult levels of organizational skills or decision making before their brain is finished being built...

16 H ERE S THE B AD N EWS The prefrontal cortex is not fully developed until a person is in the mid-20s, with men taking a little longer than women!

17 T ODAY S W ORLD IS L OADED WITH D ISTRACTIONS Your childs bedroom may be full of objects that werent even invented when you were in school Many of these objects are designed to entertain, communicate, or just plain waste time They also keep children from staying focused on school work

18 A CCORDING TO A R ECENT S TUDY... Today, 8-18 year-olds devote an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes (7:38) to using entertainment media daily (over 53 hours weekly). By multitasking they actually pack a total of 10 hours and 45 minutes (10:45) worth of media content into those 7½ hours.

19 Top online activities include social networking (:22 a day), playing games (:17), and visiting video sites such as YouTube (:15). Three-quarters (74%) of all 7-12 graders say they have a profile on a social networking site.

20 The study focuses on recreational use of media: for example, time spent using the computer or reading for school is not included in calculations of media use.

21 T ECHNOLOGY I S C HANGING THE W AY THE B RAIN T HINKS While technology is of great educational benefit, it has its downside. Sites such as Facebook and Twitter are said to shorten attention spans, encourage instant gratification and make young people more self-centered. Repeated exposure could effectively 'rewire' the brain. brains-Chilling-warning-parents-neuroscientist.html

22 A CCORDING TO N EUROSCIENTIST S USAN G REENFIELD "My fear is that these technologies are infantilising the brain into the state of small children who are attracted by buzzing noises and bright lights, who have a small attention span and who live for the moment. childrens-brains-Chilling-warning-parents-neuroscientist.html

23 W HICH F ACTORS C ONTRIBUTE TO O RGANIZATION ? Learning to be organized is a process that must be taught. An organized person is able to understand and manage time. An organized person is able to keep track of stuff! An organized student has good study skills.

24 W HO CAN H ELP T EENS AND P RETEENS B ECOME O RGANIZED ? Teachers Parents Tutors (maybe) Professionals (maybe) The children themselves (with training)

25 H OW DO C HILDREN L EARN TO M ANAGE S PACE AND T IME ? We need to understand that organization involves three components: The home The school And time Goldberg, Donna, The Organized Student, 2005

26 T HE H OME : M ANAGING S PACE The student needs a good study area that provides lots of storage, desk area and supplies. This could be in the bedroom, but sometimes a more public place such as the kitchen or dining room is better for supervision. The student needs a binder or folder system to keep track of work that must go to school. The student needs a filing system for work that is graded or finished, but should not yet be recycled.

27 T HE H OME : M ANAGING T IME A structured homework time – the same time every day! Avoid multitasking which just serves to distract the student from doing homework -- no TV, music, video games, or social networking. Strict control over computer -- homework first!

28 T HE S CHOOL : M ANAGING S PACE Students have two places in which to keep all belongings: their locker and backpack. They are expected to keep the locker clean and to empty the backpack into the locker. Middle school students have a locker outside of their advisory class. In middle school, backpacks are not taken inside classrooms; they are hung on hooks attached to the hallway railings. Items not inside lockers or backpacks are taken to the lost and found.



31 T HE S CHOOL : M ANAGING T IME Get to school early and use the time to get organized. The middle school uses a block schedule with six short periods on Mondays and three long periods (80 min.) the rest of the week. The high school has a seven day rotating schedule with five periods each day (57 min.). Students have 4 minutes to get to class after a break. Most grade level classrooms are near each other, so limited travel time is needed.

32 T HE S CHOOL : S TUDY S KILLS Check edline daily. Practice listening skills. Practice following directions. Learn to take notes. Learn to set goals. Learn how to break down big projects into manageable steps. Learn how to study for a quiz or test.

33 T HE P ORTABLE O FFICE Think of the backpack as a portable office. It transports items between the home and school. It should NOT become a black hole where everything disappears! Ideally, the backpack should be completely emptied and tidied up once a week. Contents should be removed and placed in the locker daily.



36 M RS. O RGANIZED Ana Homayoun

37 A CCORDING TO A NA H OMAYOUN The three most important ways for parents to help their children/students: Distraction Free Study Space Two-Hour Study Time Weekly Planning Meeting

38 S TEP BY S TEP Step ONE: a conversation (not a lecture!) at home about organization. Topics to bring up include: Executive functions Setting goals Time management and the use of a planner or agenda Organizing the backpack, study area, and locker Creating a portable office system

39 S TEP BY S TEP Step TWO: Get to know your childs stuff. Backpack Desk at home Locker at school Portable office (if one exists)

40 S TEP BY S TEP Step THREE: Use the PACK system. Purge Accessorize Categorize Keep It Up! Goldberg, Donna, The Organized Student, 2005

41 P URGE Empty the locker and bring everything home (best done on a Friday) Empty the backpack Empty the desk drawers Throw out the trash Remove items not needed for school Set aside what needs to be put back

42 A CCESSORIZE Find out what your child needs access to such as school supplies, PE and sports items, materials for the portable office and home study area Outfit the locker with the accessories your child needs such as an extra shelf, copy of schedule, extra school supplies Follow up to find out if anything else is needed

43 C ATEGORIZE Separate the contents of the locker and backpack into categories such as what is needed for classes vs. needed for PE, music, or after school activities Have your child sort through loose papers and recycle or keep the ones no longer needed at school in a home file Have your child organize all still needed papers in a binder, accordion file, or a system for transporting them between the home and school

44 K EEP I T U P ! This is not a one time thing! Explain to your child that even adults must periodically clean out their purses, briefcases, and kitchen cabinets Explain to your child that the desk, locker, and backpack will get messy again, so regular upkeep is necessary Find a fixed time each week, either one set evening or on the weekend, to do a general clean up of the desk and backpack

45 K EEP THE E ND IN M IND Would you tell me please which way I ought to walk from here? That depends a good deal on where you want to get to, said the Cat. I dont much care where – said Alice. Then it doesnt matter which way to walk, said the Cat. From Alices Adventures in Wonderland as quoted in Covey, Sean. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, 1998

46 R ESOURCES Covey, Sean. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, New York: Fireside, 1998. Finder, Allan. Giving Disorganized Boys the Tools for Success. The New York Times. Jan. 1, 2008. Goldberg, Donna. The Organized Student, New York: Fireside, 2005. Goldsmith, Bonnie. Executive Skills and Your Child with Learning Disabilities. Sept. 8, 2010. functioning/basic-ef-facts/executive-skills-and-your-child-with-ld functioning/basic-ef-facts/executive-skills-and-your-child-with-ld Homayoun, Ana. That Crumpled Paper Was Due Last Week, New York: Penguin Group, 2010. The Kaiser Family Foundation. Daily Media Use among Children and Teens Up Dramatically from Five Years Ago. Jan. 20, 2010.

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