- constructive study habits
- organizational skills
- a clear mind for concentration.
So, here are a few of the simple strategies that I've found help students keep their desks as neat and structured as possible. I hope they'll work for you and your students, as well.
- Problem: Little Junk Everywhere!
Solution: A plastic shoebox-size container, which can be bought at any Wal-mart type store, is a cheap and lasting solution that keeps all of the little things together in one place. No more pencils, calculators, or crayons stuffed in the nooks and crannies of a desk. Once you buy a set of these containers, they'll last you years and save you at least a dozen or more gray hairs!
- Problem: Loose Paper Explosions!
Solution: If you look in your students' desks and see countless loose papers flying all around, then you need my patented solution - the Neat Folder. It's simple, really - just give each student a folder in which to keep their loose papers that they will need again in the future. With all of the items consolidated, the inside of the desk assumes a more organized and sophisticated look. Well, at least as sophisticated as a 30-year old school desk can look!
- Problem: Not Enough Room!
Solution: If there are simply too many items in your students' desks, consider keeping some of the less-used books in a common area, to be distributed only when needed. Take a critical look at what you're asking children to store in their desks. If it's too much for comfort, alleviate some of the items in competition for precious storage space. Every little bit makes a difference.
- Problem: He/She just won't keep his/her desk clean!
Solution: As soon as it's tidied up, it transforms back into its formerly disastrous state. Some students just can't seem to keep their desks clean for any length of time. Consider implementing a program of consequences and/or rewards to motivate the student to maintain the proper standards of desk cleanliness. Maybe the student has to miss recess, maybe he or she can work towards earning a privilege. Find a plan that works for that student and stick to it!
For students with extremely messy desks, consider implementing these extreme messy desk strategies.