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8 Foolproof Ways to Help a Disorganized Student

Janelle Cox

8 Foolproof Ways to Help a Disorganized StudentA disorganized student is often described as forgetful and messy. They have a hard time keeping track of their materials and using their time efficiently. These students tend to have messy desks and repeatedly forget their homework. The simplest of tasks can baffle a disorganized student. This lack of organizational skills can be easily fixed by providing students with a few strategies to keep them on track.

Use the following tips to help disorganized students become organized and learn how to manage their responsibilities.

Set up and Stick to a Routine

Establishing a daily routine will help disorganized students feel less frustrated and give them a sense of structure. Provide students with a class schedule that they can reference throughout the day. Place this schedule in their take home folder, tape it onto their desk, and post it in the classroom. If you make it accessible, then this will lessen the student's confusion of what it expected of them.

Clean Out the Clutter

Disorganized students tend to have very messy desks. They will never voluntarily choose to clean them out, so it is up to you to set aside time each day or week for them to do so. Show them specific ways of how to keep their desks tidy.  For example, throw away old assignments and materials you no longer use, place small items such as pencils and scissors in a container, etc. Doing so will give them the skills they need to maintain an organized life, and manage their responsibilities.

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Monitor All Schoolwork

This tip goes hand-in-hand with enlisting support from the parents. Require that homework goes home each night, and is signed and returned to school every day. This will ensure that students are staying on track, and will encourage students to be responsible for their belongings.

Enlist Help From Parents

Parent-teacher communication is essential when you are dealing with a student who has no organizational skills. Keep parents in the loop daily or weekly by notifying them on their child's progress. Having parental support will show the student that you mean business, and you are working together as a team to help them become self-sufficient.

Create a Checklist

Clearly define expectations by creating a checklist. This is truly the best tool to help students visually see what they need to accomplish and stay on track. Show students how to prioritize their list and check tasks off as they complete them.

Use Memory Aids

Memory aids are a great way to help disorganized students remember their tasks and class materials. Provide students with aids such as sticky notes, rubber bands and timers. Have them tape checklists and class schedules to their folders and desks. Teach students acronyms such as CATS (C=Carry, A= Assignment, T=to, S=School) or PANTS (P=Parent, A=Assignment, N=Notebook, T=Textbook, S=School) to help them remember what to bring to school. 

Use the Buddy System

Enlist the help of a classmate to remind the disorganized student of important tasks and student expectations. Pair the student up with a responsible student that you can trust, to help them out when you are busy or absent.

Label and Color Code Everything

The best way to keep students organized is to label and color-code all of their materials. Students who have a lack of organizational skills may feel overwhelmed when their materials are all over the place. Having specific colors for each subject will help students find assignments quickly and effortlessly.

All of these ideas can help transform your disorganized student into an organized one. These strategies will give students the tools and skills they need to manage their obligations and lead an organized life.