Many of the students we tutor have a very basic struggle that lies deeper than academic ability. Namely, they lack basic organization skills. In fact, some of our students fall an entire letter grade below their potential due to nothing more than poor organization. So, here's a tip so effective, yet so simple its results might seem hard to believe: USE VERTICAL FILE FOLDERS!
Vertical file folders have become a great friend to some of our less organized students over the years. Here's why:
The classroom hour approaches the end, and the end-of-class rituals begin. Teachers begin ensuring everyone understands those homework assignment or project instructions, but for certain students, the din of classmates wrapping up assignments, stapling papers, logging out of computers, or making plans to sit together at lunch is overwhelming, and all happening right before having a limited time to sprint to the next class to avoid a tardy mark.
For certain students, this scenario is TORTURE. They end up simply jamming their papers into their backpacks and hoping for the best! How do we know this is happening? We've done our research!
Our remedy for this: the vertical file folder. This creates ONE PREDICTABLE PLACE for our less organized students to carefully slide those important papers quickly and neatly into their backpacks. This is a KEY step, because otherwise, important papers turn into a collection of accordion fans stuffed down at the bottom of backpacks, only to be discovered by a major investigative exploration somewhere shortly after progress report or report card time.
In combination with backpack checks (see our EnayLikes post on that one!), students can recap and review all of their homework in their vertical file folders, and greatly decrease the chances of overlooking something important. These days, so many of a student's grades are simply based on assignment completion, so if you're seeing lots of assignments in your school's online parent portal marked "0" or "missing" or "late," it's very likely you've got a great candidate for vertical file folder therapy!