Messy table? Books and notes all over the floor? Don’t know where their homework is? All of these things create a disorganized student. But do not worry, here are some helpful tips to get your students organized.
When your students are organized, it will not only help your students, but it will also save time in the classroom each day! You will spend less time waiting on students to find their materials and can focus on what really matters – teaching and learning!
Helpful Tips to Get Your Students Organized
Tip #1 – Create a Check List
Provide your disorganized students with a checklist as a reminder of anything important. It can either tell them the steps of what to do on this day or what to bring to school or home. A calendar will also help to make notes in for dates that he or she needs to be reminded of. A simple post-it note taped to their desk will help also help to remember. Consider having a master checklist that you can just laminate and then the student can just use a dry-erase marker each day.
Tip #2 – Make A Mark
Have your students color-code or number-code each of their notebooks. Have each student grab different brightly-colored markers and color the top of each notebook a different color. This method will easily help your students know what notebook to take out for each subject at a glance. To further help organize students, you can color code each subject area with corresponding worksheets and folders. For example, have all reading materials copied on yellow paper and placed in their yellow folders, all math on green, and all science on blue. If your district is limited in money or colored paper, consider doing this only for students who are extremely disorganized and only for a limited amount of time until they become more organized.
Tip #3 – Place Things in Their Place
One way to help students become organized is to make sure that all of their things have their own place. For instance, have students bring in a pencil holder for all their writing materials and provide students with a book bin for their reading materials. Teach students at the beginning of the year (and after breaks) how to return things to where they belong and repeatedly practice this. Another example is to teach them to place their books to on one side in their desk and their notes in the other (if possible).
Tip #4 – Clean Up
Schedule a regular clean up in your classroom. It can be everyday before sending the students home, once a week, or every other week! Find a schedule that works for your class and make it a habit. Just don’t forget to include your cubbies, lockers, and/or book bags. Cleaning up will help you find lost things and get things organized again.
Tip #5 – The Call for Help
At first your unorganized students will think being organized is a big job. Consider assigning them an accountability partner to help them during the school day and then ask for some S.O.S. from your their parents. Have them join you with repeatedly teaching the student(s) to put things in their place, creating color codes for their notebooks, and making remainder notes whenever they need them. They can make sure you’re on the right track.
Being able to get your students organized can help you be prepared to take care of teaching and help your students learn to be responsible. As an organized student, they will be to find their things easily and be able to focus on your lessons more. Once they start organizing things, they can also begin to organize their thoughts better. It truly is a win-win!
Keep practicing these tips and they will turn organization into a habit. Eventually, they will no longer need you (or anyone) to remind them of their to-do list; they’ll just do it naturally and smoothly! They’ll be on their way to be independent learners and you’ll start saving time in the classroom!
If you, the teacher, need some tips on organization, check out my teaching hacks to get you organized too! 🙂