A teacher has dozens of students with individual quirks. Some may be more hyperactive than others, and getting them to stay focused can be a task on its own. So how can you help them combat carelessness and thought overload? Well, you might have heard of bullet journaling, an organisation method developed by Ryder Carroll. Whether your students are in middle school or high school, being organised is a catalyst to success.
In this article, we’ll explore how to bullet journal, its many benefits, and a few helpful template ideas for your students.
What is a Bullet Journal?
A bullet journal, or BuJo, is a planner, diary, and an outlet for written meditation, all wrapped in one book. It’s a dynamic way to coordinate your busy life into a system that works for you. That way, reaching your goals and being more productive becomes feasible.
You can buy bullet journals with templates, but it may be too limiting for your students. Instead, you can invest in blank or dot grid journals for your students, and this flexibility allows them to customise it to their unique goals.
For example, devise a daily log, monthly calendar, long-term objectives, etc. and include bullet points, symbols and graphics in each section.
Teaching your kids how to bullet journal should be a fun and creative process. But do note that a BuJo is only effective if it serves its author well.
Why Students Should Learn How to Bullet Journal
There aren’t many tools available for hyperactive children and adolescents, especially those with ADHD, to help keep them sharp. As a result, they are more prone to be forgetful, distracted and often abandon one task for another.
With a BuJo, however, kids can learn to stay disciplined and mindful, improving productivity in learning. Students will also start taking responsibility for their own schedules, school assignments, extracurricular activities—even self-care routines.
They may jot down everyday tasks, circle significant events, and do end-of-the-day reviews to migrate unfinished engagements. When updated daily, they’ll eventually learn how to cross off distractions and prioritise things that matter.
Most important of all, a clear mind will help your students build self-confidence.
How to Get Started
It’s bound to get overwhelming at first, but once the smoke clears, your efforts will not go in vain. To get your kids started, instruct them to get their life down on paper:
- Write down their class schedule.
- Create a section for homework assignments according to each subject.
- Make a monthly/weekly calendar to schedule extracurriculars, i.e. sports, study groups, clubs.
- Be sure to note upcoming project due dates and exams on the calendar as well.
- Set achievable goals for the semester, then write down daily and weekly tasks necessary to reach them. These goals can be as simple as cleaning their desk or getting extra study hours in.
- Create a habit and grade tracker to see how they do throughout the semester. (See more below)
Remind your students that “Habits change into character,” as poet Ovid once said.
Other Spreads to Include in a BuJo
Now, let’s take a look at some helpful bullet journal spreads your students can implement. Remember; to each their own! Allow them to be original with their BuJos in conjunction with these suggestions.
Beginning with an overview or a semester-at-a-glance page can come in handy when planning monthly and weekly calendars. It also helps students see their whole semester mapped out clearly, including critical due dates, tests, holidays, etc.
- Class Detail
Make a spread for each class to stay on top of assignments while keeping up-to-date with grades. Your students can record class times, location, teacher’s contact information, etc. Documenting the grades received for each subject or the weight of specific projects can let them know what to focus on more.
Tell them to add an asterisk ‘*’ beside the bullet point or dash for more urgent tasks. Additionally, a good tip to offer is colour-coding classes with different colours to be visually organised.
- Study Tracker
Track study sessions, be it individually or with a study group. This layout will aid hyperactive kids in their time management skills, something we all could use for life. They can note down the hours of study for each day so that they reach their goals faster.
- Habit Tracker
We are all made up of personal habits. Habit trackers are a practical tool that helps motivate students to be consistent in what they do. If they successfully stay productive in study sessions and workouts, these regular routines might become character traits down the road.
- Budget Planner
It’s never too early to learn to budget. Students likely have certain sums of allowance, and teaching them how to track expenses is essential. This capability can prove helpful when they go to college, a time when money is usually tight.
- Essay Planner
Guide your kids on how to bullet journal while teaching them to plan English essays, so it feels more manageable. Two birds with one BuJo! Perhaps you can create a spread for them, dividing the assignment into smaller sections:
- Main points
- Structure/Outline — paragraphs, topic sentence
- Questions to discuss
At the top, you can include word count, due date and title.
This page encourages students to strive for excellence throughout the school year, from academic to fitness and other personal goals. Tell them to write down short-term and long-term goals, such as what they want to achieve in a week, after a semester, etc.
- Survival Guide
Ensure that your students don’t neglect mental health care! They can add lots of visual reminders and inspirational quotes on this page to help them destress. Also, include therapeutic activities like listening to music, reading a favourite book, doing yoga, etc.
- Grade Tracker
Lastly, a grade tracker lets students know how they’re doing without having to hoard old papers. Colour-coding each grade is a convenient way to get an overall idea of how well they’re doing and pinpoint areas for improvement.
Bullet journaling does take work to maintain, but most things worth executing do. On the bright side, conducting daily reviews and staying on top of everything is a gratifying feeling. Kids will experience more peace of mind, better concentration, and more energy.
If you liked this, check out other interactive strategies to engage your students on our blog.