Organising pupils' work

2nd May 2003 at 01:00
If you've spent ages looking for an important document, you would probably have benefited from help with personal organisation when you were a school pupil.

Providing pupils with a ring binder and dividers with tabs is a cost-effective way of helping them to organise their documents. Tabs can be used to separate topics from the same curriculum area, or to differentiate between curriculum subjects. Binders also raise the profile of a subject.

Encourage pupils to decide whether a sheet of paper really needs to go into the binder, and to review the contents periodically and throw out what they don't need. Keep a sturdy hole puncher in your classroom and always punch reference sheets before handing them out.

For younger children, using different coloured paper for key reference sheets allows them to locate particular sheets easily. It is quicker to stick sheets into pupils' exercise books yourself than to pass round glue.

Tony Elston is head of modern languages at Urmston grammar school, Manchester. Have you any tips for new teachers?We pay pound;50 for all tips published. Email:

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