A student’s lack of organizational skills can easily be corrected by providing a routine and clearly indicating directions and expectations. Students who lack organizational skills often forget their homework, have messy desks, cannot keep up with their materials, and lack time management skills.
Teachers can help these students by having them follow a structured routine and providing them with strategies that will keep them organized. Use the following tips to help your disorganized student manage their responsibilities.
1. Set up a routine
With structure in the classroom, the disorganized student will have no choice but to stay organized. Establishing a classroom schedule will help students to be less frustrated and confused, and give them an idea of where they are going and what materials they will need. To reduce their confusion, place a timetable in their folder or paste one on their desk. This way the student can use it as a reference throughout the day.
2. Use a checklist
A checklist is a great tool for a disorganized student because it visually shows them the expectations they need to accomplish for the day. For younger students, have the list ready for them already and go through it with the student each morning. For older students, show them how to prioritize their list and check off items when they are complete.
3. Monitor homework
Encourage parental support by writing a letter to parents outlining your homework policy. Insist each night after homework is signed by a parent and returned to school the next day. This process will ensure that the student remains focused on his task and encourages parents to get involved.
4. Organize class desks
A disorganized student won’t take the time to clean his desk. Each week, set aside time in your class schedule for students to complete this task. Brainstorm organizational ideas with the students on specific ways to keep their desks tidy. Make the list visible in the classroom so that they can access it every week. Suggest that they label the materials for easy access and throw away any items they no longer use.
5. Use cheat sheets
Job aids are a useful way to remember tasks and materials. Have the student use tangible objects such as: sticky notes, rubber bands, index cards, an alarm clock, a watch, or a timer. These elements will help remind the student of his task. Another cheat sheet is to use an acronym to remind them what to do. An example would be the word CATS. (C = Porter, A = Assignment, T = To, S = School)
Teaching these new strategies will help students perform their tasks effectively and efficiently. These tips give students the tools they need to manage their obligations and be successful in school. With a little help and encouragement, a disorganized student can learn to lead an organized life. – (NAPS)