09 Jul Thinking ahead to school – organization
I’m remembering a couple students’ binders from last year – one was full of EVERY paper the student had received over the course of the year. I encouraged the student to pull some papers out, but he was very concerned that the second he pulled one out, the teacher would tell them they needed to use it for something. The other student’s papers were everywhere: his backpack, his room, and in various places in his binder. Do either of these students sound familiar to you?
Over winter break, the second student’s mother encouraged him to go through the papers spread all over the room and recycle the ones that he didn’t think he needed anymore — only to discover, upon returning to school in January, that he hadn’t ever turned in several of them. So he got to do them all over again. Hopefully that doesn’t sound familiar to any of you!
Here’s one solution to both these students’ dilemmas. This picture shows my own filing system for papers I need close at hand. I found a great carrying bag (Go Badgers!) and then placed a file box (like this one) inside. It’s easily accessible so filing is quick, and it’s easily moved to wherever I’m working.
This year, I’m going to encourage students to use a system similar to mine for their old papers. I found this bag and a couple file boxes at Tuesday Morning for $24.
When my first student’s papers start to overwhelm his binder, he can pull them out and file them by class. If the teacher says he needs one, he can go back and find it. I’m confident his teacher will understand if he explains the paper is at home, neatly filed away. Honestly, I’d be surprised if the teacher ever asked for a paper from weeks ago, without first having told the students they need to keep it in their binders. But it’s certainly not unusual for our students to miss that kind of information! This way, my student won’t be carrying a years’ worth of papers in his binder, but he can feel assured any needed papers are close at hand.
For the second student, I’d encourage him to file any paper he finds lying around his room in the appropriate file. Then, if he discovers he hasn’t turned something in, he can go to his file and dig through until he finds it. Ideally, papers will be sorted by class, but even if they aren’t, having a clear place to put those old papers will help.
The bag isn’t a vital part of this system, just a handy one. The key is the file box, where papers can be placed.
I’d love to hear about other solutions to this common problem!