The Planner

September 17th, 2018

The planner.  The agenda book.  “My scheduling book”.  It has many names, but that doesn’t preclude the planner from being the most effective academic tool in your backpack.  If we can learn anything from onion-cutting goggles, the Porsche Go-Kart, or air-conditioned shoes, it’s that technology isn’t always necessary. When it comes to academics, here at the Study Hut, we’re all for useful technology in the classroom. We love tools like Quizlet, iPads, and smartboards that help kids learn in tactile, innovative ways. But in this technological era where phones are near-sentient entities and our universe fits inside our pockets, one age-old academic ally goes shamefully ignored. We’re talking, of course, about the humble planner. When it comes to tracking assignments and mapping out a study schedule, there’s no replacement for the planner.

the planner

Here’s why:

Let’s say there’s a seventh grader named Johnny. Johnny’s math teacher posts the homework on eBackpack. Johnny’s English teacher posts the homework on Canvas, another online academic resource. Johnny’s Spanish teacher is old school, and writes the homework on the board. Johnny takes a picture of this. Johnny’s social studies teacher uses Google calendar. Now, Johnny has to check multiple sources to make sure he’s up-to-date on his studies, making it easier for assignments to slip through the cracks. What’s more, he hasn’t written out a day-by-day breakdown of how he plans to knock out his homework, study for tests, and chip away at his long-term projects. Some online resources alert students via notifications, texts, or emails when an assignment or test is coming up. This passive, automated way of planning is helpful, but it requires no initiative from the student, and still leaves the student without a means of viewing all of their assignments in one place.

We at the Study Hut strongly believe students need to use their planner. Our tutors begin every session with a planner check. We make sure students are not only writing their assignments down, but creating detailed study schedules. We help our students use their planners to avoid cramming for tests last minute. We teach our students to strategize about which material they’ll study on which day, taking into account their unique schedules. We help students keep track of long-term assignments using their monthly calendar section. This section has one page dedicated to each month, which helps students keep track of how their academic year stacks up.

In conclusion, if it has a screen and a charger, it’s not as good of a planning tool as the old school agenda booklet.  Here at the Hut, we have plenty of complimentary planners on hand, and we enjoy teaching students to make the most of them!