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Its Time To Get Organized

by Marge Weiner, MA, Certified Academic Language Therapist, Director of the Total Learning Center in Neptune, New Jersey
Every year just around this time students and parents alike eagerly shop for back to school supplies. They excitedly search the aisles of the office supply stores for the colorful folders for every subject, the brand new binder, school bag and all the many items that fit in the binder. They enthusiastically put together the binder jammed packed with paper and all the shiny new folders ,pens, pencils, highlighters, hole punch and tabs. They truly believe they have a perfect binder and proudly bring it to school on the first day. Unfortunately the binder begins to lose its effectiveness once they enter the classroom and actually have to use it.

The basic problem is that they have "too much stuff". Quickly they begin to have loose papers since they do not take the time to file returned paper in the proper folders and instead often end up in the bottom of their school bag. What I have found over my many years working with students who do not have a natural ability to stay organized, is that "LESS IS BETTER". By having 2 tabs for each subject a class tab and a test tab and just one folder in the back of the binder the students have a far better chance of staying organized. The holding folder in the back of the binder holds all returned papers and then all they have to do is file the papers in their proper section. At the end of day there is nothing in the holding folder and they can begin their next day of school totally organized, knowing where all their school papers can be found. It empowers the student with a feeling of independences and enhances the chances for improved overall achievement.

Another important area of the binder should be in recording assignments and time management. By learning to record assignments and using a calendar the students can begin to learn to manage their daily assignments and long term assignments. This again gives the student a sense of control over their school work and encourages the important skills of taking responsibility for their work and developing strong time management skills that are needed through out their life.

It is important to develop a simple system of organizing materials and time at a young age. It takes generally thirty days to master a habit, so by beginning this school year by having the parent check the binder every night for the month of September, by October the student is on his/her way to becoming a super star student. By using this simple but sensible approach to binder organization this could be your child’s best school ever!

Marge Weiner M.A. is the founder and director of The Total Learning Center in Neptune New Jersey, and the developer of The Organized School Binder, a product that helps children, teens, and adults organize their school work with ease and without clutter. The Total Learning Center provides remediation and enrichment for students who need help with their learning skills. For more information on these services and on the school binder, contact Marge Weiner at 732-922-6655 or by visiting

Disclaimer: Internet Special Education Resources (ISER) provides this information in an effort to help parents find local special education professionals and resources. ISER does not recommend or endorse any particular special education referral source, special educational methodological bias, type of special education professional, or specific special education professional.


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