How to Create an Effective Elementary School Planner

Elementary school is a key period for students to practice and strengthen self-regulation skills. By teaching students to take personal initiative in planning, organizing, setting goals, and managing their time and workload, they will develop a sense of responsibility and control over their academic success. Self-regulatory behaviors develop gradually, over time, with repeated practice. Educators can help students practice these skills by offering a customized elementary student planner that is relevant to their specific grade level and curriculum.

Home-School Communication Pages

The link between parents having an active role in their child’s education and strong performance academically has been acknowledged and accepted for many years. We understand the importance of facilitating an open relationship between parents and schools to better support learning and identify any potential areas of concern. Here are some of the ways in which the pages in our library can be used to help foster a positive home-school relationship.

Including an overview of what children are learning is a great way to help parents understand what their child is being taught across essential areas, including reading and math. By outlining learning goals, parents are able to talk to students about specific areas of the curriculum and encourage them to discuss their experiences in the classroom. Taking this a step further, you can also include a page that offers a range of activities for parents to do with their children to support their development. This can be as simple as offering prompts for parents to encourage creative thinking or providing a list of suggested reading materials for the student’s age and ability.

Adding in a page for parents to make regular notes is another way to open a channel of communication that will better support a child’s education. If, for example, a student is having difficulty picking up a certain math concept, a parent can communicate this to teachers through a planner page that outlines any issues, and teachers can react accordingly.

Academic Calendar and Schedule Pages

Despite elementary schools not having the same structure as middle and high schools, there are instances where teachers introduce a basic structure for the school day as a gentle introduction to the more rigid schedules children will encounter when they move onto middle school. This can extend to using schedule pages to lay out the school’s general times, and then broken down depending on grade level.

Including schedules in your planners can help prepare students who will need to sit through exams later on in elementary school as a means to help them better manage their time; again, something that will become more familiar once they begin middle school. Including break and lunch times for the school is another way that both students and teachers can manage their day appropriately; you can even include space for noting staff that are on lunchtime duty for a particular day or week.

Schedules also serve as a useful snapshot for parents to see what their child has been focusing on, allowing them to be more involved in their child’s education and offering them support where needed. If you are just introducing homework in the earlier grades, having an outline for a homework schedule to support students in getting used to managing study outside of school hours helps make the transition less daunting.

Rewards and Praise Pages

Students tend to take better care of their planner if it contains a record of all the rewards they have earned. We recommend that the planner, wherever possible, remains a positive record. Recording penalties in the planner can lead to pages being torn out, or a lower perceived opinion of it and the initiatives being delivered through it. However, where schools have needed to focus on behavior as a high priority, they have seen very good results by having merits on one side of a page, with penalties on the other!