Skill of the Week: Organization Part 1

This is the skill that is often seen as the most important skill for success in middle school and beyond, and it involves various types of organization, from belongings, materials, and physical space, to ideas and tasks.  This will be a long unit, and practice of it will continue through the year.    


Over the next few weeks, we will be providing tips and apps for organizing materials and tasks, then the students will be encouraged to develop an individual and personalized system that works for them.   It is important that students create and like their methods.


A simple strategy for organizing physical space and materials:   

  • The student will organize his backpack, locker, and at-home study-space---Adults can assist with this step.  The at-home workspace should be as uncluttered and distraction-free as possible.

  • The student will take a picture of the fully organized backpack, locker, and study-space---These pictures can be referred to later as MODELS of what it should look like.  Below is a sample picture of a well-organized locker.

  • Develop a routine for organizing--Write a short list of steps involved in keeping organized, such as hang lunchbox and coat on the hooks, stand up binders and books, put chromebook in padded pocket of backpack, and so on.  Post the list in the space as a reminder of the to-do’s.  If the student follows the list consistently, within a few weeks, it will become a habit, and not require any thought or effort, like tying your shoe!

Students often complain that the initial organizing takes too much time, however, once organized, everything else takes less time and effort.  It is time well-spent.  

Here is a well-organized locker.