Self-management at the elementary grade levels refers to a child's ability to correctly assess his personal performance, keep track of successes and failures, and to use the record to improve performance in academics or behavior. Teachers might send home with your student a daily planner that you will need to sign or worksheets that your child might need to check off for activities such as reading to you 30 minutes each night.
Many schools have implemented the use of student daily planners. They record, with appropriate assistance, their assignments. They present the planner and the work to the instructor or to you, if it is homework, and you then initial the planner or worksheet showing that the task was accomplished. At the kindergarten level, teachers may give students a sheet with pictures and simple words with a box to check off when they have completed something. By the time students are 9 or 10 years of age, they are expected to record their assignments for each subject, to complete the work, and turn it in on time. You can help your child by frequently checking his planner for completed tasks.
Self Management as a Social Training Tool
In some cases, self management is effective in helping students who are disruptive in class or who exhibit problem behavior in group settings. Teachers give students a sheet of paper with the expected behavior written on it, and a series of check boxes or comment spaces. The student is asked to record at set time intervals whether or not his behavior meets the goal set. The teacher also records whether or not the behavior was met on a separate sheet of paper. The teacher uses these records when she meets with you to help you both plan activities and assessments that will help your child.
When the technology is available, the student and teacher responses supplement recordings of the student's behavior. This is sometimes done on a classroom level, such as in a special education room, or using a hand-held device that the student has beside him. According to E. Blood, in an article for "Education & Treatment of Children," students seem to respond positively to using hand-held devices, partially because these devices are considered "cool." More than that, if your child is using a tablet or smart phone, you have the ability to see exactly what he is doing and determine if it is appropriate or inappropriate.
Value of Self Management
Teaching students to track their performance tasks and to monitor their own behavior teaches them life skills that they will need as adults. Records of performance and behavior help teachers and parents analyze what is occurring in the classroom or at recess. If your child is managing his own assignments and social behavior, then you will have more time to spend doing necessary things for your family or even fun things with your child. It even helps your child to identify and understand the goals set for him, and creates a sense of accomplishment when he reaches those goals.