December 10th 2009
Weekly tips for better grades with less stress from The Grade Coach

A Note From Julie
Julie Baird, The Grade Coach

Hi, this week I am continuing my theme of organization. We had our first snow fall so I couldn't put it off any longer.We took all the Fall decorations down and turned our house into a Christmas wonderland. As we did so, I realized that some simple things I had done last year when putting the decorations away really saved me time this year.
It reinforced to me that, sometimes it is the simple things we do that can make the biggest difference to the amount of time things can take. So this week I wanted to share some simple tips about organizing lockers and backpacks, and how some simple changes can make huge differences not only to the time spent on schoolwork but also on grades!

As usual I will be developing this topic more in my blog as the week progresses.

I hope you enjoy this week's newsletter

Wishing you happiness & success
Julie Baird
The Grade Coach


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    Lockers and Backpacks - the Teenage Black Holes

    As we approach the end of the year, it is a good time to take stock of how the support systems that your teenager is using are working for them.

    Last week we discussed the room and the desk, this week, I want to look at the areas outside of the room. Those deadly black holes, the locker in the backpack!


    The secret with any black hole is to try and shine some light in there!


    The same system can be used with both to try and reclaim the space and make it effective.

    1.      Empty and clean

    Empty the contents completely and clean out the inside. For the locker, send in carrier bags and get everything brought home (finally you’ll get to wash the gym clothes!)

    2.      Sort

    Sort all the things that have been dumped out into categories. For example: gym gear, books, folders, supplies, lunch, snacks, personal care, and miscellaneous items

    3.      Sift

    Decide what needs to be there and what can stay home or get thrown out – let the student lead.

    4.      Assign

    Identify areas of the bag or locker that will be for those specific items. Map it out so they will know exactly where to put things and where to find them again.

    5.      Accessorize

    Get shelves, baskets, magnetic note holders etc for the locker to support the plan. For the backpack, get separate pockets if necessary, clip on bags for gym stuff, lunch or water bottle, a phone holder etc. Accessories that make it easier not to have everything lying at the bottom of the bag. Bright colors make things easier to find.

    6.      Repack

    Put everything that is needed back into the locker or backpack following the plan.

    7.      Adapt

    Live with it for a while, see how it is working and adapt to the specific needs of your teenager.

    I would start thinking about this now as the school term nears its end. It can be a great time to take stock and get reorganized. Then when the New Year starts you are all organized and ready to go!

    Watch out for more articles covering organization and grades in my blog.

    This week covers organization of the students locker and backpack, more depth on how to cope with each. Also, what about students who don't have one spot for homework, or no desk? Visit throughout the week or become a fan of The Grade Coach on facebook to get the articles as they are posted.

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