Title

Mastering Organization: Practical Strategies to Help Children Get Organized

Location

Harborside Center

Strand #1

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Relevance

This proposal is directly related to Strand I. “HEAD”: ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT & LEADERSHIP: Closing achievement gaps & promoting learning for all children and youth especially for high-poverty populations.

Good organizational skills are at the core of school and life success. Children who develop good organizational skills and maintain good work habits are more confident learners - they know what needs to be learned and they know how to go about learning it. Children who are organized approach new tasks and activities in a strategic manner.

Children who lack organizational skills typically become frustrated and bogged down with their schoolwork. We have to recognize that organizational problems are serious and that they are not the fault of the child.

Brief Program Description

In schools, students are bombarded with information and materials they are expected to remember, build upon, and organize. Some students seem to be innately well organized. Students with learning differences often have difficulty meeting the organizational and study demands of school. The objectives of this presentation are to apply research-based instructional strategies to close achievement gaps and address individual learning differences. This presentation will provide participants with sound practical strategies suitable for teacher and parents.

Summary

Like academic skills, organization and study strategies can be learned. Helping children become more organized and better at studying involves teaching them how to plan and how to manage time, materials, and space as part of their daily routines.

Time Management. Time Management is the ability to use time efficiently. It is a primary component of organization. Meeting deadlines, knowing when to study for attest, getting from class to class on time, and arriving home by curfew are all examples of how children and early adolescents must manage their time on a daily basis. Time management requires an awareness of time – of time intervals and the passage of time. It also assumes an ability to estimate time, such as the amount of time it takes to complete a task.

Managing Material and Space. An important part of organization is having everything necessary – pencils, paper, books, sports gear, musical instruments – readily accessible in the workspace. Materials management is the ability to deal with the equipment and tools needed to complete tasks.

Children who have difficulty managing material and space may misplace objects. This can result in their spending a great deal of time looking for misplaced items in order start of finish their work.

Strategic Planning. Throughout the day, children are presented with many tasks that require planning- an approach that makes a task easier to accomplish. Without a plan, working on a task is likely to be a disorganized and random process. For some children, however, developing a plan of action can be a challenge. First, they must decide how to get started. Next, they need to think through how they will complete the task, deciding what they will do first, second, and so forth.

Helping children think about strategies before beginning a task may enable them to do the task more efficiently and effectively. Having children create a memory plan for how they will study for an exam – what strategies they will use, how much time they allot, their study schedule- is an example of strategic planning.

This presentation will provide specific strategies and best practices for each participant “take home” via QR codes and handouts.

Evidence

Children who do not develop strong organizational skills in elementary school, may have a tough time in middle school where they are expected to keep track of multiple assignments, classes, and after school activities, High school is even more complicated, with students expected to use sophisticated study and organizational skills to complete long-term assignments. According to Mel Levine (2012) children with learning problems need specific instruction and practice to succeed in classrooms and at home. Sedita (2013), an expert on organizational skills and study strategies, breaks down organizational and study skills into two categories, organizing material and organizing information. For organizing materials, she recommends using ta Mater Notebook System, which includes a working notebook to keep current work, a reserve notebook for storing papers from previous work, a daily assignment book to note homework, and a monthly calendar for tracking long-term assignments. Students may also benefit from keeping a reference binder that they fill with helpful information; such as words they have difficulty spelling. Alternatively, color-coded subject notebooks can make it easier for students to remember which book should be brought to each class.

Mangrum and Strichart (2011) have also written extensively on how to promote children’s organization and study skills. Mangrum and Strichart suggest techniques like trying to rhyme material to remember specific content. They also suggest that students learn to properly use reference material and how to allocate their time among different subject areas. Many strategies have been developed to help children work around issues related to organization and studying. Some of these strategies focus on staging, or breaking down complex task into “smaller, shorter or less complex mini-tasks.” Books, Web sites, and tutoring programs have been developed to teach students of all ages fundamental study strategies and organization skill. These resources can enable children and young adolescents to become independent learners by helping them figures out what works best for them.

Teachers and parents need to work with children to find the strategies that work best for the individual. Students will be more successful in school when they are given the organizational and study skills that they need.

Format

Poster Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Roben Taylor has over 25 years of teaching in K12 and higher education settings - research interests include youth at risk in rural cultures, learning disabilities, and behavior management.

Dr. Josh Pfiester has over 10 years of teaching in K12 and higher education settings – research interest includes inquiry-based science (obstacles to and potential of) in today’s technology driven schools.

Keyword Descriptors

organization, work habits, learning differences, academic skills, time management, strategic planning

Presentation Year

2016

Start Date

3-8-2016 4:00 PM

End Date

3-8-2016 5:30 PM

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Mar 8th, 4:00 PM Mar 8th, 5:30 PM

Mastering Organization: Practical Strategies to Help Children Get Organized

Harborside Center

In schools, students are bombarded with information and materials they are expected to remember, build upon, and organize. Some students seem to be innately well organized. Students with learning differences often have difficulty meeting the organizational and study demands of school. The objectives of this presentation are to apply research-based instructional strategies to close achievement gaps and address individual learning differences. This presentation will provide participants with sound practical strategies suitable for teacher and parents.