The transition from elementary school to middle school can be scary because the student no longer has a single teacher to guide him. He now changes classes, and he has at least five or six teachers. Once he gets organized, many of his worries will disappear. Organization should involve every aspect of the student's life both at home and at school. If he establishes an organized routine, he has laid the foundation for academic success.
Organization is a skill that will help the middle school student succeed, not only in school but also in every aspect of her life. At home, she should have a special place for all of her belongings, not just schoolwork. To keep her space clutter free, she should put away her things when she has finished using them. The student should set aside an area for doing her homework at a desk or table. She can place books and folders in her backpack and secure them in a corner or on a shelf. A special container for supplies such as pens, pencils, markers and scissors will also be helpful.
Having a clean, organized locker is the cornerstone of middle school organization. Purchase extra shelves and locker organizers. The shelves will give the student more space for books. Arrange the books in the order in which the student attends his classes. The organizers provide space for writing utensils and small personal items. To avoid conflicts with his friends or siblings over the care of his belongings, if possible, do not share a locker.
Another key to having excellent organization skills is a binder. Buy separate binders for each class and choose a different color or pattern for each subject. Purchase dividers for each binder and label a section for class work, homework, notes and other sections as needed. The binder should include at least one two-pocket folder to keep handouts and other items that the student will have to remove from the binder. For important handouts such as a syllabus, use sheet protectors to preserve these items.
Do not underestimate the value of keeping an accurate planner. The student should always record homework assignments and projects. Using the monthly calendar to look ahead and the weekly calendar to remind the student of upcoming assignments helps her easily stay on top of her schedule. The student should write in her planner daily. Even when she does not have an assignment, she should write: "NO HOMEWORK." Once writing in the planner becomes habitual, the student will have few, if any, excuses for not completing an assignment.
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