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planning, time management, executive functioning skills

9 Ways to Model Planning

Posted In Teaching On July 20, 2023

Planning is an executive function that describes the ability to create and follow steps to reach a goal within a scheduled amount of time.  Students who struggle with planning often fail to finish work on time because they start at the last minute and inaccurately estimate how much time they’ll need to complete their work.  They also have a difficult time remembering assignments and due dates.  These challenges make it especially difficult for students to manage their schoolwork, and they often appear to be lazy or unmotivated.  By modeling how to estimate time, plan ahead, and keep track of priorities, students can begin to develop the time management skills they need to be successful learners.  Some planning behaviors to model can include:

  • Explain to your students how you estimate the time you need to finish various tasks.
  • Show your process for keeping track of tasks and due dates by writing them down for students to see.
  • Before leaving for the day, show your students the steps you use to make sure you have everything you need.
  • Show students how you use a planning system to keep track of your tasks, appointments, and important events.
  • For an upcoming project, explain to students how you write short-term goals for the tasks to complete.
  • Share a time you did not complete a task before it was due and explain how you developed a solution for next time.
  • Show your students a long-term goal you have written that is specific, measurable, attainable, relatable, and timely.
  • Share a habit you would like to change and explain the steps you will take to create a new habit and reach your goal.
  • For a large project, show students how to estimate the time you need for each step and why that is important to know.


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