to School Planners, Agendas and Assignment Books (for ADHD et
Dr Kathie Nunley, 2017
"School Planners" are very popular with schools here in the
United States (particularly in the middle school grades). These
books may be known by a variety of names - planners, agenda
books, assignment books, school planning binder, etc. With the
best of intentions, schools spend a substantial amount of money
on these, and generally pass them out to all students on the
first day of each school year. The thinking is that these daily
assignment books will help students stay organized in their
assignments, making their academic year more successful.
these school "agenda" books can be overwhelming to some students,
particularly those whom are so in desperate need of organizational
skills. This population includes students with Attention Deficit,
students on the Autism spectrum and students with Anxiety disorders.
they may present problems to some types of learners is the due
to the enormous amount of extraneous information that often
comes in these books. There is often a section of school policies
at the front, followed by page after page of identical pages
indicating the weeks or months of the school year, and frequently
end with small to medium size sections of reference. Things
such as periodic tables, metric conversion, global maps or math
facts can be found in these reference sections. Oftentimes the
individual pages may also include extraneous information such
as "fun fact of the day" or "on this day in history".
If you are
a person who is easily distracted by stimuli, these books can
be absolutely overwhelming. For many students, digging past
all the school policies and references to find a place to write
is difficult enough, let alone the fact that they have to find
the right date, in the right week, in the right month!
truth is that these Day Planners, or Agenda Books tend to be
good organizational tools for students who are already somewhat
organized. By that, I mean students who are already fairly good
at establishing priorities, ignoring distracting and irrelevant
information, and are efficient in their tasks.
requiring all students to use a school-wide day planner, offer
options for students who may find simpler systems work best
for them. Here are several alternatives for students who are
overwhelmed by a planning book.