Hello Organized Classroom Readers,
It’s Kristy from the 2 Peas and a Dog blog.
A few years ago I realized that it was important to help teach my students organization skills. It did not matter how pretty and organized my classroom was, if my students were struggling to find the papers I gave them regularly. It took me a few years of teaching to have this teaching AHA moment. I always focused on having the right anchor charts on my wall or the right math manipulatives on the shelves and did not stop to think that students need to be explicitly taught to how to organize themselves and their school work.
How to accomplish this HUGE task?
First teach students how to properly use lined paper, what side to write on and how to write neatly using the lines. It is also important they learn to under line titles and dates in a different color than their general note. Also have students number every piece of paper they put into their binders, duotangs, notebooks that aligns with the table of contents.
Anchor Chart Table of Contents
Keep a table of contents for notebooks, binders and units of study on anchor chart paper and hung up in a central spot in the classroom. Now when students are absent they can see exactly what they missed and ask for the right handouts from their teacher and notes from their classmates.
Regular Locker and Desk Clean Outs
Provide a regularly scheduled time to help students clean out their lockers and desks. Students use these spaces daily and need them to be tidy so they can stay focused when doing their school work.
Post unit binder organization and clean out
Just before your unit is over have students reorganize their binder. This is a good time to remind them that all papers need to follow the order of the table of contents, and need to be properly three hole punched not just shoved into their binders/duotangs haphazardly. Once their notes are organized it makes the unit review go that much more smoothly.
Model an organized workspace your desk, your counters etc
I am huge believer in practicing what you preach. If you want the kids to be neat and organized then you have to make a conscious effort to maintain neat and organized work spaces around the classroom.
Thanks for reading. Until next month.
Kristy from 2 Peas and a Dog