If you were a fly on my classroom wall you would see that I spend a significant amount of time focussed on teaching organizational skills and on creating an organized environment.
I hope that you find the following list useful. Take from it what you will .. & I would love to hear ideas and strategies from other!
A Quick List: Organizational Ideas & Strategies in the Classroom
- Teach student how to organize their “world” (e.g. books, desks, lockers, homework, etc.) – don’t assume that they know how. Reinforce strategies daily.
- As the teacher show that you value organization.
- Model an organized “way” & classroom – model strategies.
- Set high/consistent standards for organization.
- Have firmly established rules, routines and schedules – post them in a highly visible place.
- Post a class calendar for all to see.
- Post all homework & due dates.
- First thing every morning have students hand in their homework & place a ruler, pencil, eraser and a highlighter on their desks before heading out for morning recess.
- Prepare for the next class (e.g. books, binders, pencils on desks) before heading out for recess, music, Library, etc.
- Have a place for everything & keep everything in its place.
- Colour code duotangs and binders.
- Pool resources (e.g. paper, binders, pencils, etc.) and hand out as needed.
- Use cutlery trays from the dollar store to organize writing utensils, glue sticks, scissors, etc. in desks.
- Conduct regular binder and desk checks.
- Use dividers and folders.
- Provide students with agendas (& teach them how to use them effectively) within which to record homework, assignment due dates, tests, any special days at school, etc.
- Ensure that students have homework buddy – someone to call in a pinch.
- Remind children not to rush – take the time to do things well the first time.
- Help students break assignments down into manageable units.
- Teach students to use highlighters & post-it notes effectively.
- Teach homework and study strategies.
- Schedule in a time to “organize” at the end of every day.
- Never “rush”.
- Be mindful.
- Make organization a habit.