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Journal Prompts That Will Improve Executive Functioning for Middle School and High School Students

Helping students develop strong executive function skills is crucial for academic success and personal growth.


This collection of journal prompts, organized by month, provides a structured approach to improving EF skills.


Perfect for middle and high school classrooms, these prompts will guide students in setting goals, managing time, and reflecting on their learning experiences.


Teachers and exceptional education professionals will find these prompts an invaluable resource for fostering student growth and engagement.


Student Journal Prompts for September: Setting Up for Success


  1. Set Academic and Personal Goals for the School Year: What are your academic and personal goals for this school year?

  2. Develop Three New Habits: List three new habits you want to develop this year.

  3. Organize Your Study Space for Productivity: How will you organize your study space for maximum productivity?

  4. Reflect on a Successful School Day from Last Year: Describe a successful school day from last year. What made it successful?

  5. Create a Balanced Daily Routine: Create a daily routine with time for study, rest, and activities.

  6. Manage Time Between Schoolwork and Activities: How do you plan to manage your time between schoolwork and extracurricular activities?

  7. Adjustments After the First Week of School: Reflect on the first week of school. What adjustments do you need to make?

  8. Strategies to Stay Organized with School Materials: What strategies will you use to stay organized with your school materials?

  9. Track Assignments and Deadlines Effectively: How will you track your assignments and deadlines?

  10. Handle Overwhelm from Schoolwork: Write about a time you felt overwhelmed by schoolwork. How did you handle it?


Student Journal Prompts for October: Time Management and Prioritization


  1. Identify Top Priorities for the Month: What are your top three priorities for this month? Why are they important?

  2. Evaluate Current Time Management Strategies: How do you currently manage your time? What works well and what doesn’t?

  3. Create a Weekly Schedule: Create a weekly schedule that includes all your classes, study time, and activities.

  4. Manage Time During Overwhelm: Write about a time when you felt rushed or overwhelmed. How could you manage your time better in the future?

  5. Reduce Time-Wasting Activities: Identify three activities that waste your time. How can you reduce or eliminate them?

  6. Reflect on a Productive Day: Describe a productive day you’ve had recently. What made it successful?

  7. Make Changes to Improve Time Management: Reflect on your time management skills. What changes can you make to improve them?

  8. Manage Time During Midterms: How do you plan to manage your time during midterms or big projects?

  9. Balance School and Personal Life: Write about a time when you successfully balanced school and personal life. How did you do it?

  10. Improve Time Management Skills: How can you improve your time management skills this month?


Student Journal Prompts for November: Study Skills and Preparation

  1. Set Study Goals for the Month: What are your study goals for this month?

  2. Evaluate Current Study Methods: How do you currently study for exams? What methods work best for you?

  3. Create a Study Schedule for the Month: Create a study schedule for this month, including all your subjects.

  4. Reflect on Effective Test Preparation: Write about a time you did well on a test. How did you prepare?

  5. Improve a Study Habit: What is one study habit you want to improve? How will you do it?

  6. Organize Notes and Study Materials: How do you organize your notes and study materials?

  7. Reflect on Study Habits: Reflect on your study habits. What works well, and what needs improvement?

  8. Manage Study Time for Midterms or Finals: How do you plan to manage your study time for midterms or final exams?

  9. Describe a Helpful Study Method: Describe a study method that has helped you understand difficult material.

  10. Use Strategies to Remember Important Information: What strategies can you use to remember important information?


Student Journal Prompts for December: Finishing Strong and Reflection


  1. Set Goals for Finishing the Semester Strong: What are your goals for finishing the semester strong?

  2. Plan Review Sessions Before Final Exams: How do you plan to review material before final exams?

  3. Reflect on Successful Finals Preparation: Write about a time when you successfully prepared for finals. What strategies did you use?

  4. Stay Focused During Busy End-of-Semester Period: How can you stay focused during the busy end-of-semester period?

  5. Identify an Area to Improve Before Semester Ends: What is one area you want to improve before the semester ends?

  6. Manage Time During Final Exams: How do you plan to manage your time during final exams?

  7. Reflect on Semester Successes and Challenges: Reflect on your semester. What were your biggest successes and challenges?

  8. Recharge Over Winter Break: How can you use your winter break to relax and recharge for the next semester?

  9. Review and Retain Information Over Break: How do you plan to review and retain information over the break?

  10. Set Goals for Next Semester: What are your goals for the next semester?


Student Journal Prompts for January: New Beginnings and Fresh Starts


  1. Set Academic Goals for the New Semester: What are your academic goals for this new semester?

  2. Organize School Materials for a Fresh Start: How do you plan to organize your school materials for a fresh start?

  3. Set a Goal for This Semester and Plan to Achieve It: Write about a goal you have for this semester. How will you achieve it?

  4. Improve Time Management Skills: How can you improve your time management skills this semester?

  5. Develop New Study Habits: What new study habits do you want to develop this semester?

  6. Reflect on Last Semester’s Successes: Reflect on your successes from last semester. What do you want to continue doing?

  7. Try a New Strategy to Stay Organized: What is one new strategy you will try to stay organized?

  8. Balance Schoolwork with Extracurricular Activities: How do you plan to balance schoolwork with extracurricular activities?

  9. Reflect on Preparing for a New Semester: Write about a time when you felt well-prepared for a new semester. What did you do?

  10. Use Tools or Apps to Stay on Track: What tools or apps can help you stay on track this semester?


Student Journal Prompts for February: Focus and Consistency

  1. Identify Top Priorities for the Month: What are your top three priorities for this month? Why are they important?

  2. Evaluate Current Time Management Strategies: How do you currently manage your time? What works well and what doesn’t?

  3. Create a Weekly Schedule: Create a weekly schedule that includes all your classes, study time, and activities.

  4. Manage Time During Overwhelm: Write about a time when you felt rushed or overwhelmed. How could you manage your time better in the future?

  5. Reduce Time-Wasting Activities: Identify three activities that waste your time. How can you reduce or eliminate them?

  6. Reflect on a Productive Day: Describe a productive day you’ve had recently. What made it successful?

  7. Make Changes to Improve Time Management: Reflect on your time management skills. What changes can you make to improve them?

  8. Manage Time During Midterms: How do you plan to manage your time during midterms or big projects?

  9. Balance School and Personal Life: Write about a time when you successfully balanced school and personal life. How did you do it?

  10. Improve Time Management Skills: How can you improve your time management skills this month?


Student Journal Prompts for March: Review and Reflection


  1. Set Goals for the Month: What are your goals for this month?

  2. Plan Review Sessions for Exams: How do you plan to review material for upcoming exams?

  3. Reflect on Successful Test Preparation: Write about a time when you successfully prepared for a test.

  4. Identify and Improve a Study Habit: What is one study habit you want to improve? How will you do it?

  5. Organize Notes and Study Materials: How do you organize your notes and study materials?

  6. Reflect on Study Habits: Reflect on your study habits. What works well, and what needs improvement?

  7. Manage Study Time for Exams: How do you plan to manage your study time for upcoming exams?

  8. Describe a Helpful Study Method: Describe a study method that has helped you understand difficult material.

  9. Use Strategies to Remember Important Information: What strategies can you use to remember important information?

  10. Reflect on Your Progress This Month: Reflect on your progress this month. What have you learned about your study habits?


Student Journal Prompts for April: Maintaining Momentum


  1. Set Goals for the Month: What are your goals for this month?

  2. Stay Organized with School Materials: How do you plan to stay organized with your school materials this month?

  3. Manage Time for Assignments and Projects: How do you plan to manage your time for assignments and projects this month?

  4. Reflect on a Time You Stayed Motivated: Write about a time when you stayed motivated during a challenging period. What helped you?

  5. Identify Areas for Improvement: What areas do you want to improve in your studies this month?

  6. Use Effective Study Techniques: Describe a study technique that helps you understand and retain information.

7. Balance Schoolwork and Extracurricular Activities: How do you plan to balance schoolwork and extracurricular activities this month?

  1. Stay Focused During Long Study Sessions: How do you plan to stay focused during long study sessions?

  2. Reflect on Your Week: Reflect on your week. What worked well, and what can you improve?

  3. Set a Goal for the End of the School Year: What is one goal you have for the end of the school year? How will you achieve it?


Student Journal Prompts for May: Finishing the School Year Strong

  1. Set Goals for Finishing the School Year: What are your goals for finishing the school year strong?

  2. Plan Review Sessions for Final Exams: How do you plan to review material for final exams?

  3. Reflect on Successful Finals Preparation: Write about a time when you successfully prepared for finals. What strategies did you use?

  4. Stay Focused During Busy Periods: How can you stay focused during the busy end-of-school-year period?

  5. Identify Areas to Improve Before the Year Ends: What is one area you want to improve before the school year ends?

  6. Manage Time During Final Exams: How do you plan to manage your time during final exams?

  7. Reflect on Your School Year Successes and Challenges: Reflect on your school year. What were your biggest successes and challenges?

  8. Recharge Over Summer Break: How can you use your summer break to relax and recharge for the next school year?

  9. Review and Retain Information Over the Summer: How do you plan to review and retain information over the summer?

  10. Set Goals for Next School Year: What are your goals for the next school year?


Student Journal Prompts for June: Reflecting and Planning Ahead (Adjusted for End of School Year)


  1. Reflect on Your School Year Accomplishments: What are your biggest accomplishments from this school year?

  2. Identify Areas for Improvement Next Year: What areas do you want to improve next school year?

  3. Set Summer Goals for Personal Growth: What are your personal growth goals for the summer?

  4. Plan Fun and Relaxation Activities for Summer: How do you plan to balance fun and relaxation activities this summer?

  5. Reflect on Lessons Learned This Year: What are the most important lessons you learned this school year?

  6. Set Academic Goals for Next Year: What are your academic goals for the next school year?

  7. Identify Strategies for Academic Success Next Year: What strategies will you use to achieve academic success next year?

  8. Plan How to Stay Organized Next Year: How will you stay organized with your school materials next year?

  9. Reflect on a Challenge You Overcame: Write about a challenge you overcame this year. How did you do it?

  10. Set a Personal Goal for the Summer: What is one personal goal you have for the summer? How will you achieve it?


If you found this helpful, you may want to try my Semester Success Blueprint (SSB) course is designed to help parents and educators support students with ADHD or Autism in prioritizing what matters most.


This self-paced course empowers students to have fewer missing assignments (or none!), confidently communicate with their teachers, earn better grades and test scores, and reduce parental nagging and bickering.


Join SSB to help your student develop better executive function skills for this semester and beyond.





About the author

Sean G. McCormick is a former public school special education teacher who founded Executive Function Specialists to ensure all students with ADHD and Autism have access to high-quality online executive function coaching services. 


With this mission in mind, he then founded the Executive Function Coaching Academy which trains schools, educators, and individuals to learn the key approaches to improve executive function skills for students.


He is also the co-founder of UpSkill Specialists, a business with a mission to provide adults with ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder, access to high-quality executive function coaching services that can be accessed through Self-Determination funding.

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