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Getting Everyone Organized

Found in: organization; routines & procedures

During my first years of teaching I noticed that my students needed to improve their organization skills. Another problem was that I needed to improve my own organizational skills. I found it impossible to determine whether a student had turned in an assignment, which I did not have, or if a student was taking advantage of my obvious weakness.

To avoid these problems, I now: a) write what we are doing that day and what is due on the board in my room, and also remind them about upcoming events and quizzes; b) pass out to each student a biweekly outline which includes exactly what we will be doing in class; c) give students a 'turn in papers' pocket folder. The folders are color-coded for each class. In the left pocket goes the current biweekly outline and in the right goes any assignments due that day.

Students keep track of what is due by referring to the outline, which is always in their folder. Each day, students remove all graded papers from the 'turn in papers' folder and replace them with those that are due that day. Since I have instituted these procedures, I have yet to lose a paper. Many students have commented about how helpful the outline is and several of my colleagues have adopted it. This has organized my teaching!