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5-10 minutes


Junior / Intermediate


Keeping track of things tip card


To help students develop the skills to be better organized and to keep track of information and materials

  • Ask students to read the “Keeping track of things tip card” (see “Supplementary resources”).
  • Ask students to identify if this is an area of strength or a challenge for them.
  • Instruct students to highlight, or circle, tips and examples they think might be helpful. They can also add any of their own ideas to their tip cards.

Keeping track of things tip card

  • Have a system for keeping track of information and materials, especially the things I need every day (homework, notebooks, keys, phone, sports equipment, etc.), so when I look for it, I know where to find it.
    Keeping track of things tips Self-talk
    • Spend five minutes every day staying organized.
    • Use a daily agenda.
    • Use laptop or iPad for managing information/assignments/class notes.
    • Use a note organizer app such as OneNote or Evernote.
    • Other strategies:
    • “A place for everything and everything in its place.”
    • “Do I have it together?”
    • “Do I have what I need to do my work?”
    • “Did I think about where I was putting my items and how I would find them?”
    • My own idea:
  • Adapted from Peg Dawson & Richard Guare, Coaching Students with Executive Skills Deficits, 2012

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)

Dawson, P & Guare, R. (2012) Coaching Students with Executive Skills Deficits

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.