Work Plan or Diary?
When I first read the book, ‘Montessori Today’ by: Paula Polk Lilliard, I was in awe at the vignette of how children used their diaries to record what they did at certain times throughout the school day. As a new teacher, I wanted my class to be like the one in the book. So, I became determined that all of the children in my class would record their work in a similar way.
As much as I wanted it to work, it’s probably not much of a surprise that this process was completely inappropriate for many of my students. Some of my students couldn’t write, other students couldn’t read a clock, and others struggled with executive functioning. A handful of my students could benefit diaries, but on the whole, the majority of my classroom could not.
That left me wondering what other options were out there for my students. That’s when I discovered work plans, which were entirely different.
Let’s explore the differences below.
Work diaries are a space for students to record their work and the time as they go throughout their school day. Work diaries are thought to keep students on track by helping them independently keep tracking of their own learning.
If you’re considering using work diaries in your classroom, these are the students you should target:
- Children who have clear understandings of time and the passage of time
- Children who are usually able to complete follow up works or lessons with little or no reminders
Work plans can be used to help students remember the presentations they’ve learned and the work that needs to be completed next. Either students or teachers can record this information on the work plan.
Work plans are ideal for:
- Children who need structure in their day
- Children with executive functioning issues
- Children who need reminders about what is happening next
- Children who need help transitioning
- Children with emerging literacy skills
- Children with time blinds (e.g. ADHD)
There are benefits to both work plans and diaries. Which one your students use will be determined by their personality and background. Knowing your students well will help you decide which format would be most beneficial for your kids.
To get your hands on some editable workplans check out this resource
or check out this blog on follow up work