The best way to teach materials management is for a school, or a team of teachers, to settle upon a system by which students will organize their school materials — books, papers, pencils, equipment, etc. The system should be designed to account for everything students need to participate in the school day and do their homework. Ongoing visual and oral reminders of the system will help students stay on track, as will a rewards system for maintaining the materials management system. An individual teacher or a parent may also help a student create an organizational system, but the requirements of all teachers must be taken into consideration.
The success of any organizational system depends upon its usefulness to the students using it. The point of keeping materials organized is to make learning more efficient and effective. If materials are organized and accessible, time can be managed more effectively, and information will be easier to organize. Classroom activities should be designed that make this connection clear. For instance, if a pop-quiz is scheduled, the teacher might allow students to refer to the materials in their binders while taking the quiz. Students who follow the system will do well.
Once a system that works for most students is implemented consistently, changes for individuals may be made — no one system works for every child. Teachers need to help students find the system that works and then ensure that they follow it consistently.
part of the Understanding Language-Based Learning Disabilities series
by Patricia W. Newhall. ©2007 Landmark School, Inc.