Skill of the Week: Planning & Prioritizing

The most recent unit of our Executive Functioning Skills is Planning and Prioritizing. This is a long unit as this involves multiple tasks which are not always easy to understand and implement.  

Some of the lessons that comprise this unit entail

  • How to follow a rubric

  • Breaking down large tasks into smaller assignments

  • How to estimate how much time your homework requires

  • How to plan schedule time for homework and activities

  • How to prioritize assignments by importance and date due.

Here are 2 simple and specific strategies for Planning:

Planning your Weekly Schedule and To-Do List:

The skill of planning ahead and making a “to-do list” while taking into consideration other commitments is one that will be utilized throughout our entire lives, from elementary school through adulthood, for school, for  work, and for fun.   

You can help your student to  “break down” long term assignments into shorter pieces, and create a simple and clear-cut schedule for completing each piece.  For example, 7th grade math students are assigned “Mountain Math” every other week.  This consists of 20 math problems and is due roughly 2 weeks after it is first assigned.  Your child could break it into 4 pieces of 5 problems each, and plan to complete 5 each of the days.   Perhaps the schedule could look like this:

Mountain Math:  Due  1/27/2017


Problems to complete



1, 2, 3, 4,5



       6, 7, 8, 9, 10



    11, 12, 13, 14, 15


16, 17,18,18,29

The days do not have to be consecutive, perhaps they can skip working on math over the weekend, or on the nights that they have hockey practice.  It is important that you and your student make such "to-do lists" frequently and consistently so that it becomes an easy habit for your student. Do it every week, if possible.

A “techie” version of this is the Todoist chrome extension  (   This is a free extension that can be used to create reminders and a schedule of upcoming assignments