I spent the last six years in first grade. This year is my first year in fifth grade. While it has been a nice transition, there is little difference in students taking responsibility with what work they need to finish. I feel like I am consumed with managing work that is finished vs. unfinished. Shouldn't it be the student's responsibility to manage his/her assignments?
Wunderlist: My Solution
I sent home permission forms to parents about having their child create a Wunderlist account. Since we are a GAFE school, each student already has an email address they could use to register for Wunderlist. All the parents were on board with their child using this tool.
Having students create the accounts went very fast. Once they had created their free account, I had them create a new list with their initials and our class code (5f). This list was to be their "Virtual Planner." After their new list was created, they shared the list with me.
One of the coolest things from doing this was when students started adding other daily jobs to their lists. Some students put baseball, basketball or other after school practices that they had. I even began seeing students add chores that they had to do at home.
At the end of the day when it is time to record homework, many students no longer use their paper planner, but use Wunderlist instead.
It took some time initially for them to develop the habit of adding their assignments to Wunderlist. However, it has been worth the time of teaching them how to use this tool effectively. I no longer stress and have to keep my whiteboard filled with student names and their incomplete work.
Using Wunderlist is teaching them responsibility and accountability for not only this school year, but their entire life. Time management is such a critical life skill and providing them with some structure and strategies for managing their time is something that Common Core does little to teach or assess.
What do you think? What tools have you used for students to manage their work?