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21 Easy Ways to Teach Kids Organisational Skills

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Photo of Holly (Teach Starter)
Updated | 4 min read

Organisation is a skill learned over time – some students in your class may naturally seem organised, whilst others may need a little practise and guidance to effectively get things done! Helping your students develop their organisational skills is necessary to foster independence! This three-step process is a great way to break down ‘being organised’ into easy-to-implement steps.

  1. Get organised – get ready for the lesson or task ahead. For example, for my maths lesson I need my maths grid book, my pencil case and my calculator.
  2. Stay focused – work through the task. For example, what are strategies and ways that I can stay focused during this task?
  3. Finish up – complete the task all the way to the end. For example, I need to get this worksheet completed to the best of my ability.

Girl holding up three fingers

Shutterstock.com / Krakenimages.com

This process is a great method to teach your students at the beginning of the school year. And it’s equally as important to continually reinforce this process to your students until the year’s end.


Hacks and Resources to Teach Organisational Skills

This blog will highlight 21 simple resources, suggestions and tips that can help your students along their journey of becoming more independent and organised!

(1) Use a visual timetable in the classroom to help students plan ahead.

Image of Visual Daily Timetable and Equipment - Desk Strip

teaching resource

Visual Daily Timetable and Equipment - Desk Strip

A visual timetable and the equipment required for students who could benefit from having daily activities displayed on their desk.

Teach Starter Publishing6 pagesYears: F - 7

(2) Use morning checklists and end of day checklists of set tasks that need to be done daily.

(3) Attach a timetable of important information such as library days, PE uniform days, etc with a keyring to each student’s school bag.

(4) Use graphic organisers in the classroom to get your students’ thoughts organised.

(5) Colour code student school books with coloured dots to make it easier for them to find the book they need for a particular lesson.

(6) Encourage children to always keep their working space clean and tidy.

(7) Set up a classroom job system for your class. A simple way to teach organisation skills through the responsibility of jobs in the classroom.

Organisational Skills for Students

(8) Set up routines in the classroom so that your students learn what to expect throughout the school day.

(9) Implement bookwork expectations in your class, particularly for the older year levels.

Image of Neat Book Work Posters

teaching resource

Neat Book Work Posters

A set of six posters to display in your classroom, with rules on how to present neat book work.

Teach Starter Publishing6 pagesYears: 1 - 5

(10) Declutter the learning space – it’s much easier for children to be more organised with fewer choices. Only allow them to have the items they need for each lesson out on their desk.

(11) Break larger tasks down into smaller more achievable tasks so that your students can get organised for each little task rather than a larger task which may be overwhelming.

(12) Use social stories or role-play different classroom routines or tasks to remind students about staying organised.

Image of Social Stories - Morning Classroom Routine

teaching resource

Social Stories - Morning Classroom Routine

A social story to use as a checklist and to develop a morning routine in the classroom.

Teach Starter Publishing1 pageYears: P - 7
Image of Social Stories - Doing My School Work

teaching resource

Social Stories - Doing My School Work

A social story to develop strategies for students to stay on task when working.

Teach Starter Publishing1 pageYears: P - 7
Image of Social Stories - Getting Ready for School

teaching resource

Social Stories - Getting Ready for School

A social story to develop strategies and skills for getting ready for school.

Teach Starter Publishing1 pageYears: P - 7
Image of Social Stories - Afternoon Classroom Routine

teaching resource

Social Stories - Afternoon Classroom Routine

A social story to use as a checklist and to develop a routine in the classroom before going home in the afternoon.

Teach Starter Publishing1 pageYears: P - 7

(13) Provide clear timeframes for each task. This can help your children stay focused and increase motivation too!

(14) Encourage and support your students to become independent learners in the classroom. Here are some great resources to assist with this:

Image of The Magic of Independent Learning - Individual Posters

teaching resource

The Magic of Independent Learning - Individual Posters

Individual posters with sequential stages to help students learn independently.

Teach Starter Publishing8 pagesYears: P - 6
Image of The Magic of Independent Learning - Full Poster

teaching resource

The Magic of Independent Learning - Full Poster

Poster to help students learn independently in the classroom.

Teach Starter Publishing1 pageYears: P - 6
Image of The Science of Independent Learning - Poster

teaching resource

The Science of Independent Learning - Poster

Poster to help students learn independently in the classroom.

Teach Starter Publishing1 page

(15) Set weekly goals for the class that focuses on organisation in the classroom as a whole class.

(16) Positively reinforce when a student shows great organisation – such as getting all supplies out ready to go without being asked. Other students will then want to copy this behaviour.

(17) Set up reward systems with a specific focus on organisational skills.

Image of Colour Star Reward Chart

teaching resource

Colour Star Reward Chart

An interactive star reward chart.

Teach Starter Publishing1 pageYears: F - 7

(18) Set up a whole class monthly calendar or even individual desk calendars. Write down important events,  due dates of larger tasks, library days, PE days, music lessons days etc. Encourage children to also write other important events for them such as sporting events on weekends.

Monthly Calendar templates

(19) Minimise as much distraction as possible to help students stay focused to complete their tasks. Think of desk arrangements and classroom displays – are all the displays helping the students to learn? Or can some come down so that the focus is only on what they need to complete the task?

(20) For children who are ready, start to provide them with more than one direction. Following a set of directions is a crucial organisational skill.

(21) Provide children with a chill out pass. This is a pass they can use when they are feeling distracted or like they need a bit of a mental break in order to remain focused to complete a task. It also encourages students to take responsibility for their own emotions and actions.

We’d love to hear what you do to support and foster independent, organised students in your class!
Share in the comments section of this blog so we can all share our ideas.

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