Organizing Materials

School has started and the papers are coming in! How is your child organizing their materials? The best organization method varies not only by child, but by situation!


Here is a video showing you one organization method I used with a child I was working with over the summer. It was an enrichment course that focused on only math. So, in this case, we organized based on sub-topic. This student preferred to keep his work with each set of notes, so we tabbed the notes to make them stand out. (If you look carefully, you’ll also see some of my color organized visual notes.)


For some students, they benefit from one, small binder per subject. Others benefit from one binder because switching out is a nightmare. For my students that struggle significantly with finding their materials, I suggest two sections per subject. One section for notes, one section for everything else.  As a teacher, I provided notes on colored paper to make them easier to find, but not all teachers can/will do that.


For students that struggle with getting their papers in the rings, I suggest one hole-punched, plastic folder, per subject to mirror those sections. Then, they can file the notes and all other materials in their corresponding folder pockets and only have to place them into the rings of the binder once a week.


I have worked with many students who are great at completing homework, but who often don’t remember to turn it in. Or, when it’s time to turn it in, they simply can’t find it! In this case, I would suggest a bright, red (or other hard-to-miss color) homework folder. Label one side “to be completed” and the other side “to be turned in.”  This folder should travel with the student to each class, no matter what binder they are using. If your child uses a planner or agenda, it can be placed in this folder as well.


Of course, when introducing any new organization method, like any new habit, reminders will be necessary until proper use of the system becomes routine. There are so many different organization methods out there. It’s only a matter of finding one that fits your child’s needs to help them become a more organized. 

Elyse Dworin