Seat Sacks and Desk Organizers

Strong teachers are detail oriented and put what some may call “way too much” thought into the tiniest of things. For example, before a math lesson on fractions, a teacher may ask herself “should the manipulatives be in a baggie or a bin.” Before a read aloud, a teacher will often wonder “should I have them bring their notebooks to the rug or complete their written work at a table.” These are the types of questions that teachers ask themselves and each other all day long.

Organization does not always come naturally. Sometimes we really have to pay attention to the details of why a lesson works or doesn’t work. The tools we use to support students with organization of materials can have a huge impact on our day. Here are some things that can really get in the way of a great lesson…and some possible organizational tools that can help. Parents and involved family members…the same goes for your child’s home workspace. Organization has an impact on learning. Do what you can to support your child!

4 Organizational Tools That Help

The Problem The Solution
Students are struggling to keep track of materials they need for a lesson. Get a desktop organizer like this one, which can hold folders, paper and other writing supplies and put one on  each table.

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The student’s desks are a mess and completely distracting! Get seat sacks to so that students can store the materials they are not using in a separate space, rather than on their desk or table.

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Students cannot keep track of writing tools such as pencils, highlighters and sharpeners. Get a desk organizer for writing supplies. There is nothing worse than when students continuously raise their hand during the lesson to say “my pencil broke” or “I dont have a highlighter.”

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Student’s cannot keep track of materials for different subject areas. Color code as much as you can…It really does help! And definitely get some kind of “folder holder.”

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4 More Tips!

1. Distributing handouts can be a big waste of time if your students are inefficient with the process. Tip: Make each table a folder for handouts. Before your students are seated, place copies of each handout inside the folder. Assign one student to be the distributor, and train that student to distribute the contents of the folder when you need them to.

2. Do “binder checks” or “notebook checks” on a regular basis. Organization is a learned skill and students need to know that we expecting them to grow in this area, just as we would in a subject area like math or social studies. Show them that you take it seriously!

3. Get pencils or pens made for your classroom that say “This pen was stolen from Ms. Kaplan’s class.” That way you will deter all of the sneaky thieves of writing utensils.

4. Model everything! I cannot stress enough the importance of modeling, especially for organization. If you want something to look a certain way, you MUST model it for the students before asking or expecting it to get done. Remember, modeling helps but material maintenance is an ongoing process that needs to be discussed and revisited every so often.

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