"Ohhhhh...Back to school, back to school, to prove to dad that I’m not a fool. I've got my lunch packed up, my boots tied tight, I hope I don’t get in a fight.” - Adam Sandler
School is back in session. For those who are about to hit the stores, it’s better to be overly prepared for your first week. That’s why Organize & Create Discipline (OCD) has teamed up with Abbie Klosky, who also happens to be my Mom! Klosky has won numerous awards for her outstanding performance in teaching throughout her 22 year career.
SAVE! SAVE! SAVE!
Before school even starts, sales are everywhere for supplies. That’s why it’s important to organize your school supply list, get out there early, and buy what you think you'll need. Return anything you don't use after the first week. Stores like Staples and Office Depot have major discounts right now so don't wait for them to disappear. It’s also wise to stay clear of the madness of first week school shopping. Planning ahead will help you stay organized.
"You wouldn't believe how many items are on sale for a penny, dime, or dollar!,” says Klosky. “There are in store bargains, but you can check them out online. Bring friends or family with you if you need quantities. There are often limits on really cheap deals, but you can give your pals money and they can buy for you, too. This will also make shopping more fun."
Here is your Organize & Create Discipline list of must haves for the first week of school. To start, pick up folders for every subject you'll be learning. Colored folders are the best so you can quickly distinguish the subject by its corresponding color. Buying multiple folders is wise because by midyear they’ll be pretty beaten up. And don’t forget to designate a folder for take home work. You’ll never get confused on what your homework is for the day if you use your take home folder religiously. Pens are always a necessity along with a highlighter. In this technological day and age, in which computers are such an integral part of schooling, buy a USB flash key so files can be worked on at school and transferred to your home computer with ease. You won't need more than a 1 gig flash drive if you're just saving document files. Laptops can also be brought to school as well, but check with your school's policies first.
Here is a tip for the students who use a smart phone, electronic calendar, or even a paper calendar: always make sure that, when assigned an important project or paper, the due date is in their calendar. In addition create a reminder on that calendar one week before the project is due. This will keep your student focused and posted so they never miss a deadline.
"I always have my students write their assignments in an agenda the day that I assign it, a couple of days before it is due, and definitely the day before,” says Klosky. “Although they are not allowed to use phones at school, I allow them to enter long term assignments on their phone calendar. Phone calendars have reminder sounds that can be set and are very helpful, especially for any disorganized or less responsible students. Parents, if your teacher or school does not allow the use of phones, have your child do this at home. This is a lifesaver for those forgetful children.”
Taking it a step further as we usually do, OCD suggests having two sets of books for each class; one for home and one to keep at school. Once you get on the good grace of your teachers, ask them if they have extra books lying around. Suggest that it would greatly benefit your grades and study habits if you didn't have to lug your books back and forth from school every day. You'd be surprised what a smile and kind word will get you!
In this digital age, try to get as much of your curriculum on your computer and update your work from there. It’s much easier to look through files on your computer than to sort through a filing cabinet of papers. Grading systems should be digital as it’s easier to manage. Create an excel spreadsheet for each class you have and password protect it. This will ensure no one but you can make changes to it. Also, create an email account for students or parents to correspond with you. And finally, use folders on your computer to keep classes organized to make filing and searching a breeze.
“Teachers, take note. If your school does not have a specific grading system, using a computerized program is a breeze, even if you are not computer savvy. I use Snap Grade and love it! It is easier than creating your own. You can set up different classes if you have several classes or homerooms. It has everything from attendance to grade averaging, to individual student grade profiles, which is wonderful for conferences. It even has a place to record behavior, referrals and detentions, need be. And... no I don't own the company or anything like that. I simply know that it’s free for a period of time and very user friendly. My entire team uses it."