I am linking up this month with a great group of teacher bloggers for our monthly Bright Ideas Blog Posts. This month I am going to cover how to help your students be more organized.
Do your students struggle with organization? Are they constantly searching for papers in their desks, lockers, school bags? I know some of mine fight this organization battle daily. Organization is something that comes very naturally to me. I love to keep my classroom and home organized, so it took me a few years into my career to realize that students might need support in this area.
|Unit Table of Contents|
The first thing I implemented when I began my student organization mission was handing out a syllabus and a blank table of contents for every unit I taught. My unit outline or syllabus helped prevent the daily “What Are We Doing Today?” questions and kept my lessons more focused.
After I modelled the proper use of a table of contents, students were responsible for keeping their notebook table of contents up to date, and I would walk around the classroom and complete random notebook checks to help students with their organization.
The table of contents was also posted up in my room on chart paper so students could reference the master table of contents if they were absent or forgot to write it down during class time.
|Co-Created Student Organization Tips|
Once the school year had started and students had were back into their school routine, I used class time to formally teach organization. I knew that it was important for students to have a voice in developing their own organizational systems.
I divided the class up into groups, and handed out chart paper and markers to each group. Students were then asked to brainstorm and write down any ideas they had that helped them stay organized and focused on their school work.
Once all the ideas were collected, each group presented their top tips to the class, and a master anchor chart was created as a reminder of the different systems that other’s found successful. This anchor chart hung in my classroom until the last day of school. I am excited to do this activity again this year, and see a different set of ideas emerge.
Lastly, some students still need more support so as a grade team we set up regular times for students to clean out their lockers and organize their binders. During these set times, students would help others students and teachers would be available to assist students who needed more individual attention. The things I have seen come out of lockers during these monthly clean up sessions was nothing short of amazing.