Backpacks help students tote key items from class to class throughout the day. They are most effective and students are more efficient when these bags are organized. To help students stay on top of school, encourage backpack checks. Backpack checks can also help students identify unnecessary items to remove and reduce weight!
Initially, initiate checks daily or weekly with the goal of having students spontaneously check their own bags daily. Help students identify critical items to check (Planner? Homework folder? Binder? Specific notebooks? Notebook paper? Pencil pouch?) Also help identify things that can be removed to lighten up the backpack.
Have students rate their backpack organization:
Not Good: Loose papers floating around or crushed at the bottom, late/missing work not turned in, missing critical items (homework folder, planner, writing tools, paper, notebooks), garbage & empty wrappers in pockets, unnecessary items adding weight
Meh: Binders are disorganized and have papers shoved in haphazardly, loose papers and/or garbage may be present, the homework folder may still contain homework that was supposed to be turned in, pencils and pens are floating around, but necessary notebooks and binders are present
Okay: There is at least a pen or pencil that can write (preferably in a pencil pouch), items may be misfiled but are present, the homework folder has homework for that day in it but nothing that was supposed to be turned in
Good: Homework is properly filed and all binders & notebooks are in the backpack, but garbage & loose papers may be present
Amazing: All homework is where it belongs, binders & notebooks are all present, tidy, & current, a pencil pouch is organized with pens, pencils, red pen/highlighter), a calculator is present.
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