Unless they are explicitly taught organizational skills, students will continue to approach their class work, homework, and test preparation in a haphazard and inefficient manner. Organizational and time-management skills are lifelong skills that will benefit students into their adult years.
Just as a carpenter needs the right tools (such as a saw and hammer) to frame a house, students need the right tools (such as notebooks and assignment books) to be successful at their job of learning in school. Teachers should give students and their parents a list of the materials they are expected to bring to class each day, such as notebooks, assignment books, paper and pencils, dictionary, calendars, ruler, and calculator (see the materials checklist below). Send the list home at the beginning of the school year so students can be prepared immediately. Keep a larger copy of the materials list on a bulletin board in class to use for reference. For students who are especially forgetful, provide a daily checklist for their parents to review and sign until they consistently bring in the right supplies. For many students, this structure will challenge long-standing habits and address some severe organizational weaknesses, so remember to be patient. For teachers who work with students on limited budgets, perhaps the school PTO or other fund-raising organizations can contribute supplies for these students. In some communities, local businesses will donate out-dated notebooks and other office supplies if contacted.
Excerpted From: Study Skills, Second Edition: A Landmark School Teaching Guide
(out of print)
© 1989, 2001 Landmark School, Inc. and Joan Sedita