*Keep a schedule! They should keep a schedule of the classes and activities on the inside of their locker door with a magnetic calendar/planner. Remind them to keep it up-to-date.
*Smart Locker Storage is needed to keep the stuff the kids needs at school easily accessible and neat throughout the year. It is basically a home away from home. They store books, papers, pens and pencils, food, clothes and who knows what else! It needs to be cleaned out and organized weekly. Take advantage of magnetic hooks to hang clothes, magnetic mirrors, magnetic clips to hold papers and magnetic holders for pens and pencils. Adjustable shelving systems available at the Container Store can be used to divide the locker into sections for backpack, books, papers and other items they may need to store.
*School backpacks are supposed to be a device used to help “transport” their stuff back and forth to school not a “catch-all” for everything. You should remind them of this every week and the backpacks should be cleaned out weekly to discard the junk and piles of papers that accumulates in it. Help them create a list of what they need to transport back forth every day so they have a guideline to go by. Use heavy duty, colorful pocket folders to store papers in while in the back pack. Designate one side for homework and the other side for work that is to be handed in.
A Filing System begins now. They need a filing system for their locker, backpack and at home. The system should be categorized according subject but do not limit them to that and color coded. If they want to be creative in their thinking, they can name each category differently. For example: if they have an art class, they can call their file “art” or “drawing. If they have a history class in the sixth period of the day, they can call the file “history” or “sixth”. Let them name their files but if they name the file at home “drawing” then they need to call their file in their backpack and in their locker “drawing”. If they want “drawing” to be the color red, then their files pertaining to the subject should be red and so should their notebook for that subject. You use a different color for each subject.