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Give students the tools they need to stay tidy and on track to set them up for a successful school year. Here are some tips for helping disorganized students keep their assignments in order:

Encourage a Clean Workspace
Disorganized students tend to have messy desks, which can help contribute to lost assignments and missed deadlines as well as distractions during class time. Set time aside each week to have all students neaten up their workspace—this way, messier students will have a designated time to sort through their papers and supplies without feeling singled out. Help students decide which papers to keep or discard and provide storage options such as a keeper caddy or clear mason jar, both of which can be customized with your schools logo classroom number for safe keeping.

Enlist Help from Parents
Getting parents onboard and involved is key to successfully helping a disorganized student adopt healthier work habits. Being in contact with parents about their child’s goals and progress will help to reinforce these same techniques at home. It also can be useful to create a system where students are required to get a parent’s signature on an assignment—this ensures daily check-ins with parents about school and helps make students accountable for completing homework. Designate a specific folder for students to use for assignments that require sign off from mom and dad.

Use Memory Aides
Disorganized students tend to need more prompting than their classmates, but this can be a challenge for teachers tasked with monitoring a full classroom. Use aides such as timers and sticky notes to help easily distractible students stay on target with classroom work. Using timers or having a clock easily visible can help students stay conscious of time while also making transitions throughout the day more efficient. To help keep the day’s assignments top-of-mind, write individual tasks on custom sticky notes and attach them to the student’s desk or notebook cover. As they complete a task, they can discard the note, reinforcing a sense of accomplishment without the need for constant supervision.

Color-Code Everything
Another great memory device is color-coding a disorganized student’s items—everything from folders to labels to pens. Seeing colors triggers the creative side of a person’s brain, and when colors are used to distinguish different subjects or types of work (in class, take home, etc.), students are better able to separate and recall specific tasks or notes. (Crestline has a large range of school accessories that can be ordered in a variety of colors and customized with your school’s logo or mascot!)

Plan Ahead
A big part of keeping disorganized students on track is pre-planning assignments and classroom work so they know in advance what they’ll need to focus on. Calendars and charts are your friends, helping you map out the day, week, or month ahead. Give students the chart or calendar along with a list of upcoming due dates, and have them fill in the days by hand (putting pen to paper helps students better recall information). These calendars and charts can then be displayed in class or shared with parents at home so that all involved can know how to effectively plan for the assignments that lie ahead.

For more on preparing for the new school year, check out our Back-to-School Pinterest board!

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