Let’s face it.  We’ve all had unorganized students.  You know the ones I mean.  These are the kids who never remember their homework (or the fact that they even had homework).  They don’t bring their supplies to class, even a pencil.  If you walk by their desk or locker, be careful not to breathe too hard or you’ll find an avalanche of papers fall to the ground.  Here is a list of ideas to try with students who are lacking in organizational skills.  If you have a technique that has worked for you, please leave it in the comments!

  • Create calendars to keep track of assignments and due dates.  You can find some free ones to print at the Mead websiteGoogle Calendars can also be very handy when creating calendars.
  • Create a daily schedule along with a list of required materials.
  • Help the student color code their folders and notebooks by subject.
  • Provide an agenda or assignment book for the student to record their homework assignments.  For young students, it is imperative to include parent-teacher communication.  Students can be required to show their assignment book to their parents each night, which helps the parents know what homework has been assigned.  The parents sign or initial it and the student has to show it to the teacher the next day.  After the student writes the day’s homework assignments in it, they take it to be signed by the teacher.  There must be consequences at home and at school if the agenda is unsigned or not present.
  • Have the student help with organization in the classroom.
  • Be a model of organization in your classroom.
  • Give the student a place to store their belongings.
  • Reinforce the student when they are prepared and allow natural consequences when they are not.

Here are some other helpful sites on student organization:

Have a happy, organized day!  Thanks so much for visiting!

4 thoughts on “Help for Disorganized Students!”
  1. Hi Joy,

    I am nowhere near organized enough to make this work in my own classroom, but I had a teacher who did do it and it worked really well for me as a student.

    At the beginning of the year each student set up a three-ring binder with a certain number of divided sections. All papers for every subject went into this binder in an organized fashion. Prior to handing out a worksheet, notes, homework, etc., the teacher would write in the top right corner the letter of the section it was to go under (M for math, E for English, HW for homework, etc.) followed by a number. As worksheets and papers were passed out, the number in the top corner just increased in ascending order.

    This made keeping my binder organized an easy task. It also made it really easy for classmates to help each other organize their materials. And from a teacher’s perspective, this would help eliminate those desks that just overflow with loose papers.

    Hope this suggestion can help someone. 🙂


    1. Hi, Jonathan!
      Wow! That sounds like a very intense way to organize! I bet it was very helpful in teaching organizational skills to students, though. Did the binders go home each day or were they just for school?
      Thanks so much for sharing this idea!
      Joy 🙂

  2. If I recall correctly they went home with us each night. I do remember at the end of each quarter my teacher would take the time to have us take out all the page numbers that we could take home and those that we didn’t take home were added to a folder that we used at the end of the year as a study guide. It seems kind of crazy now but I don’t remember any students in my class having a real difficult time following this method of organization.

    1. I’m thinking your teacher must have been super organized, Jonathan! I am afraid if I let the kids take them home, they would never come back. Another question I have for you: How were the binders stored? Did they stay in students’ desks or did the teacher have a central location for them?
      Have a super day!
      Joy 🙂

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