Something that helps my second grader feel in control of his day is this checklist. I make one each week. As he finishes his work, he checks off his work. This way we both know what is expected of him. The last two years we used the workbox system and it worked well, too.
On the list are specific things, like reviewing the Weekly Wisdom. Other things on the list work more as a reminder for me. "Cinderella in 3-D this weekend" means to read different versions of Cinderella as well as use the Activity Guide from the Children's Theatre because we're going to see the play on Saturday.
The checklist works for me.