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20 minutes


Primary / Junior / Intermediate


Relaxation app (optional), binders, Keeping track of things tip card


To help students develop the skills to better organize their surroundings, enhance their confidence with their practice

Organization is a skill that is developed. Provide context for the practice (See “Evidence” section).  Teach organization skills:

  • Provide a list of what should be kept in students’ binders.
  • Share examples on how to label folders, title documents and sort papers for easy access.
  • Review “Keeping track of things tip card” with students. (See “Keeping track of things” practice.)

While being sensitive to individual students’ developmental and temperamental needs, offer time to:

  • Organize their binders: sort papers, ensure that work is titled and secure, etc.
  • Clean out desks and lockers.

Keeping track of things tip card

Complementary practice: Keeping track of things (Critical and creative thinking (executive functioning))

Students of all ages should constantly be furthering their organization and self-management skills as the demands for these changes based on developmental level and environment. This becomes particularly evident as students reach higher grades when they are required to manage their own time. Educators at every grade level can do their students a great service by adding these skills into their planning. Students with strong skills will be able to do things like get homework in on time, take the opportunity for extra help when needed, and be able to perform to their best at school and elsewhere (Boller, 2008). These skills all further support ongoing mental health!

“Efficient organization and time management is the first step to becoming an independent learner; however, students must also develop and use effective self-management skills, including self-monitoring, self-evaluating, and self-reinforcing, as needed.” Paulsen & Sayeski (2013)

Boller, B. (2008). Teaching organizational skills in middle school: Moving toward independence. The Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas, 81(4), 169-171.

Paulsen, K., & Sayeski, K. L. (2013). Using study skills to become independent learners in secondary content classes. Intervention in School and Clinic, 49(1), 39-45.