Middle school is where students need to draw the line and make sure they know what studying and time management are about. What good is a school agenda or calendar if you don’t use it to remember dates, deadlines, and exams?
We as educators need to help our tweens become more responsible and take on good organization, study habit skills, and time management strategies as children who are organized generally have success at school.
Parents watch out because the apple doesn’t fall from the tree, so please take note of your own time management issues before giving out advice.
1. What’s your style?
When we talk about style, we are not talking about fashion. What’s your study style? Are you a night owl, or do you prefer to get up early in the morning? Can you study for more than 30-40 minutes at a time? What kind of study environment do you need? All of these questions are crucial before we can talk about proper time management skills.
Do these fun surveys to find out what kind of a student are you!
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2. No matter what it is, put a clock on it.
If you have decided to make a quick after-school snack, clock it. “I will eat my sandwich in 20 minutes and then hit the books again”. If not procrastination sets in and you will get distracted. Social media is great but it can be addicting.
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3. Make your own timetable calendar
Put up copies of the calendar all over the house, one in each room. You need to visualize your daily activities, eating and sleeping habits, and take a “guestimate” of when these places might take place. The ultimate goal is to have guidance but do your planning your own way.
Calendars keep us on track. So we need them to survive.
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4. ABCD method – poster time.
Write yourself post-its and sticky papers.
A= must be completed today!
B= It would be nice if I had it by today
C= Can be pushed if necessary
D= I just can’t do it today, ask for an extension.
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5. Get organized in Numbers
Study groups can be quite productive if they have a leader or someone to guide them. Just putting a bunch of middle school students in a group to bounce ideas off of each other will probably not work. Hire a local teen who is graduating soon and has good grades and great study habits to lead them in their study group. It’s a win-win situation for all.
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6. 45-Minute Lesson Sessions Are The Key
Splitting your students’ lessons into 45-minute segments may be just the solution you need if you’re looking to maximize their attention spans. To do this, you’ll start off by giving them a clear introduction of the task ahead before engaging them in the main activity and then capping your 45-minute lesson off with a conclusion or recap of what they’ve just learned.
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7. Knowing how to make it all fit in the Mayo Jar
This is a jar activity and you can use any container. Fill it up with all of the things you have to do both big and small tasks (imagine each task you have to do is one ping pong ball or stone) You probably won’t be able to fit everything in right? If you try to cram it all in, the jar will break. Just like a person if you do too much, you end up being overwhelmed. So let’s put all the high-priority tasks in the jar first and then put the little ones on top and you will see that everything will fit in.
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8. 24/7 or time squared
Each student gets 3 papers with 24 squares on them, The squares represent the hours. Then the student fills in routine activities like meal times, sports, school, showering, doing chores, and then on the second paper fill in the amount of time we spend on non-productive activities like checking your phone or youtube, a tv series, playing a video game, and finally see how many hours are left to study. Now you know your real allowance to study.
Learn More: The Exceptional Skills
9. Sticker time and time management can be fun!
Spruce up your middle schoolers’ planner with these super fun Summer stickers! Invite them to stick these cool little reminders in their planners to help them stay on track with exams, projects, deadlines, and more. As they reach their goals, they can tick them off or you can leave a few kind words in the spaces provided.
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10. The Weasley’s clock
Remember in the Harry Potter Movie where you could see exactly what the Weasleys were doing and when. Yes, that might sound like an invasion of privacy. but this is what children need at the age of 8 to prepare them for when they are 11-14. Time management skills.
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11. How fast can you find the Ace of Spades?
This is a great activity to teach time and organizational management. Each student gets a Deck of cards that have been shuffled many times. Then tell them you will time it, who can find the Ace of Spades the fastest. What will they learn? Tackling the main objective of the task and doing it in the least amount of time.
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12. Solving a puzzle
If children in middle school can put together an entire 500-piece jigsaw puzzle in less than one hour, they should be able to organize 9 subjects and 9 teachers. and 9 agendas. Either we have a problem with communication or our tweens are slacking off. Give each group the same puzzle without looking at the top, so that they have no idea what they have to do. This is a good activity for time wasters and has a level of difficulty and challenge to it.
13. 86,400 seconds in a day
When we are open and honest with students they see things in a different way. Of course, they need time to be kids and they are not mini-adults, but they do need to learn how to manage their time so they are not burning the midnight oil.
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Set goals with small paths and as you get closer to them cross off the boxes to show that you are almost there. Life throws you a lot of curve balls but when you learn how to delegate and prioritize your schedule you will be reaching the goal for sure.
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15. Minimize distractions – Get your Zen on!
Don’t worry, you don’t have to move to the Sahara Desert to have some peace and quiet
The atmosphere is important, the way the room smells, the furniture, the lights. Is it too cold or too laid back.
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16. Are we throwing in the towel for our Ambitions?
If you want to be successful, you will need to have a little spark and ambition in you. Don’t worry if you have lost it, we can retrieve it easily. You won’t believe it but you need to speak for 30-90 minutes a week about your hobby. How cool does that sound? Make sure your skills are up to par, so you will be faster. Doing pastime activities is fun and necessary not a waste of time.
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17. Time Management – Self-Assessment
Goal setting is something we should teach, along with the basics. In this lesson overview, you have a complete lesson plan to help teach time management. If we can prioritize our lives and make sure we have a lifestyle that is not all work and no play we will be able to find balance .
Make sure that your teens and tweens are getting the hours of sleep they need.
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18. Make Your Own Activity Chart- Just Like You Did When You Were A Kid.
Help your kiddos stay on top of their school work, sporting commitments, chores, and other activities with this neat idea! Using poster card, colorful cardstock, glue, and assorted stickers, they can craft their very own activity chart. Week by week they can add post-its under each day of the week to detail their commitments.
Learn More: My Favorite Life
19. Need to, Would like to, Want to
With just a piece of paper make a cool list of tasks for the day of all the things that you have to accomplish, all the things you would like to, and finally, the things you want to. By planning everything even if your downtime you will be able to schedule more. Use markers to color code the tasks.
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20. Don’t Leave It To The Last Minute!
Understanding the aspects of time management is something we probably have to know first before we can teach it to others. Prep the night before, make a list of tasks and have your bag ready and the books and papers all ready to go. Having your clothes laid out the night before might give you an extra 15 minutes.
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