Saturday, September 17, 2011

Getting Organized

My second grade teacher had a method for dealing with students with messy desks:  dump them on the floor.  You guessed it; my desk was dumped almost on a daily basis.  Quite frankly, it didn’t make me more organized.   Embarrassed, I just picked up all the stuff and crammed it right back into my desk.  I often wonder where I would be today if I had been taught organizational strategies when I was younger.
In my classroom we spend a lot of time during the first few days of school organizing our materials and supplies in our desks.  I give the students zip lock ® bags and plastic trays to corral their belongings.  I even draw a diagram on the board as to how these things should fit into their desks.  But it never fails, every year I always have some students who struggle with organization. 
This year is no different.  Part of the problem is that when I say, for example, to put a math paper in their red math folders, they don’t do it.  I’m not sure why.  Perhaps they don’t hear me, they’re not paying attention, or they just don’t care. 
No big deal, you’re probably saying.  It is a big deal when I tell the students to get such and such a paper from their folder and invariably there’s one kid who says, “I can’t find it.”  The whole lesson or activity comes to a screeching halt while I attend to the needs of this one student.  I can tell it frustrates the rest of the class.  It certainly frustrates me.
I try to assign helpers to these less-than-organized kiddos.  Sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn’t.  I’m just not sure what else to do.  

Do you have any suggestions?  I’m willing to try just about anything!  Leave me a comment.  I’d love to hear from you.

1 comment:

  1. Well - I don't have any organizational tips, but because of how I am, I would hate to be the babysitter to those "less-than-organized-kiddos"...I would just let them deal with the results of their irresponsibility, when on that class they can't find the paper, I would politely say something like: "too bad, if you were doing what everybody else was doing then, we wouldn't have this problem now - pay more attention next time".
    I would definitely not hold my class behind for one individual - I would push that one person to be as ahead as the rest.