Many students don’t like to organize, which isn’t news to most teachers. In past blogs we’ve talked about the importance of helping students understand the role organization plays in adults’ lives and using pictures to visualize how to keep materials organized. Reflection is another tool you can use to help students recognize the positives of being organized.
In SMARTS, we teach students explicit executive function strategies to help them organize their belongings, their time, and even their ideas (and we have fun doing it). At the end of the program, we prompt students to reflect by asking, “Tell us one interesting thing you learned about yourself by doing the SMARTS program?”
Here’s how one student responded:
“I found out that I’m bad at organizing. Organization is a lot harder than I thought. You have to have a plan. It’s not just about cleaning things sometimes.”
While we would never want a student to view their executive function abilities as all negative, this quote actually demonstrates a positive outlook. This student has realized that organization is more important than she had previously thought. This understanding will allow her to apply strategies, such as making a plan, to organizing her belongings as she moves through elementary school and prepares for middle and high school.
In time, what she sees as a challenge can evolve and become a strength.
- Michael Greschler, M.Ed., SMARTS Director