Teaching Organizational Skills to Promote Academic Achievement in Behaviorally Challenged Students

By Anderson, Darlene H.; Munk, Jo Ann H. et al. | Teaching Exceptional Children, March/April 2008 | Go to article overview

Teaching Organizational Skills to Promote Academic Achievement in Behaviorally Challenged Students


Anderson, Darlene H., Munk, Jo Ann H., Young, K. Richard, Conley, Laura, Caldarella, Paul, Teaching Exceptional Children


Can organizational skills instruction (OSI) help middle school students at risk behaviorally and academically? In this study, students who received train ing in self-monitoring of assignments were able to accurately monitor their academic performance and improved their grades in academic classes.

Organizational difficulties are major obstacles for many students with learning and behavior problems (Minskoff & Allsopp, 2003). These students often neglect to separate notebooks into various subject areas, forget to bring necessary items to class, and stuff assignments randomly into their book bags and pockets. Students' disorganization, including their inability to keep track of assignments and turn them in on time, can contribute to low grades and academic failure, particularly beginning in secondary school when teacher expectations are greater and supervision of students tends to be more limited than during the elementary years.

Students with learning challenges may not acquire essential skills unless they are provided with systematic direct instruction (Minskoff & Allsopp, 2003); youth who fail to apply organizational skills may not have had the opportunity to acquire them through an explicit instructional approach (Bos & Vaughn, 2006). This oversight places struggling students at increased risk for unsatisfactory or failing grades and tends to heighten misperceptions of their academic performance in relation to that of their more successful peers (Young, West, Smith & Morgan, 1991).

Organizational Skills Instruction

Organizational skills are fundamental to school success, enabling students to manage their time and materials productively and take charge of their own academic learning. Being organized includes making "to-do" lists, prioritizing, and setting goals-all prerequisites to developing essential study skills (Bos & Vaughn, 2006; Minskoff & Allsopp, 2003). Cognitive strategy training, including instruction in organizational skills, can help secondary school students learn critical content and attain desired academic outcomes (Mastropieri & Scruggs, 2007).

Although OSI is student focused, both teaching method and classroom climate are critical to its success. Specifically, OSI is more likely to positively impact students when used in conjunction with techniques such as direct instruction, positive and preventive disciplinary practices, and a strength-based approach to teaching (Sugai & Horner, 1999; Young, Marchant, & Wilder, 2003). Although OSI incorporates a number of important elements, four components deserve particular mention: (a) its implementation within a schoolwide system of positive behavior support (PBS; Lewis & Sugai, 1999); (b) an emphasis on positive reinforcement (Kauffman, Mostert, Trent, & Pullen, 2006); (c) daily data collection (Alberto & Troutman, 2006); and (d) individualized adult support (Nesselrodt & Alger, 2005).

Schoolwide Positive Behavior Support

Differing student perceptions, along with unclear views of teacher and administrator expectations, can create confusion and chaos within the school environment. A viable way for teachers and administrators to deal effectively with varying levels of social awareness among students is to implement a schoolwide PBS program. Common expectations, a common language, and a similar set of experiences among all school staff and students are mainstays of comprehensive PBS. In the schoolwide model, common experiences relate to specific teacher behaviors such as encouraging the appropriate use of social skills, directly teaching behavioral expectations, and rewarding prosocial behavior (Young & Marchant, 2002).

Schoolwide PBS additionally involves implementing empirically validated intervention at varying levels of intensity (Lewis & Sugai, 1999). Universal or schoolwide interventions target 80% to 90% of students, teach schoolwide rules and expectations, and introduce strategies to keep problem behavior from increasing (Scott et al.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Teaching Organizational Skills to Promote Academic Achievement in Behaviorally Challenged Students
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.