12 Projects for Middle School Organization: Part 2

Middle School Organization

A new Tuesday, a new project is typically how it works.  However, with the Princess Anna Halloween costume in the works, I split up the 12 Projects for Tuesday to cover 2 weeks! If you missed Part 1, check out the post here!

  • “How was school?”5327373397_Brenda_confused20look_answer_4_xlarge
  • “Good” 
  • “Do you have any homework?”
  • “I finished it on the bus.”
  • “All of it?”
  • “Yeah, all we had was math.”
  • “Are you sure? What about your ILA paper?”
  • “Oh yeah, that too”
  • “And don’t forget about your flute practice!”
  • “I think I have a test tomorrow in Science.”
  • “You think? Well, lets find out!” 
  • “I may have some flipped classroom assignments on the computer too.”

Middle school is a time of transition, for both students and parents.  Middle school differs in numerous ways from Elementary school: one of the most apparent is increased pressure on organizational skills.

The above example shows, not only the difficulty in my son’s ability to stay on top of what is due and when, but the reason why!  It is Complicated!

  • 6 separate classes, with 5 separate teachers.
  • Due dates that differ throughout the week.
  • Varying types of work due and assignments to complete.

It is no wonder so many students struggle at the start of Middle School! The previous post mentioned 6 projects for Middle School Organization that focused on the home set up:

1) Homework Station / Calendar

2) Homework Caddy

3) Chore Punch Card

4) Prepaid Debit Card for Allowance

5) Color Coding Agendas

6) Routine, Routine, Routine


This week I want to focus on Study Habits and Organization Skills!


Middle School Organization Part 2


7. Flashcards

I love infographics! I also love flashcards.  While there has been some debate as to whether they work or not, and for how long, it is hard to deny the results.  While cramming before a test is not desirable, the benefits of regular flashcard use is worth the try.  See the following infographic for more flashcard facts!



8. Textmapping

I found out about Textmapping on The Middles School Mouth, a super cool blog by the way! However, Texmapping originated here.   It is a super cool method for reading comprehension that can only be explained by checking it out! Hint: It is all about scrolls!

Middle School Organization


9. Planners, Agenda, & Planning Ahead

I love this article from www.thecollegeprepster.com.  She really hits the nail on the head when she mentions that half the battle is paying attention in class.  The other half is homework/ studying.  She advises to look ahead on Friday- even when she thinks she has nothing due.  It is always best to look ahead and make a weekly plan-of-action.  If you can, find out when major tests are due (as they tend to come at the same time!) and plan your study time accordingly, so you are not studying for all tests at once!

Middle School Organization


10. Color Coding

I said it last week, and I will say it again: Color Code Everything! Either as the example shows below, or my favorite, a color for each class.

Middle School Organization


11. Proven Tips by Science

My favorite? Space it out: A relatively new learning technique called “spaced repetition” involves breaking up information into small chunks and reviewing them consistently over a long period of time.

Especially when dealing with ADHD!

Middle School Organization



12. Praise for effort, not intelligence!

“When you praise kids for their intelligence, they learn to view their failures as evidence of stupidity” – See more at: http://www.parentingscience.com/praise-and-intelligence.html#sthash.5DSjvb6N.dpuf

Kids praised for intelligence often see being smart as something you are born with.  Studies have shown that when kids are praised for their natural intelligence they often choose easier tasks to avoid failing.

In contrast, kids who are praised for their efforts tend to view being smart as something you work hard to be.

So next time you praise your student, praise their efforts!

“Wow! You worked really hard on that! I can tell that you will do well if you keep it up!”

Middle School Organization


12 Projects for Middle School Organization: Part 1

Middle School OrganizationIt is no secret that middle school is a time of transition.  Students are leaving the familiar for the new, dependent learning becomes increasingly more independent, and social hierarchies are magnified.

As a mother of a first year middle school boy (with ADHD to boot!), I have learned that the middle school transition also applies to parents!  The homework routines that we as parents have learned to enforce seamlessly during the elementary years, often times do not smoothly evolve into successful middle school study habits.

Middle School Organization

Last Friday marked the end of the first 6 weeks of 6th grade, and upon reflection I realized that my son was not prepared for the level of organization needed in order to succeed.  More importantly, I was not prepared to help him become more organized! During the last 6 weeks, there have been tears, frustration, and anxiety, as we hastily prepared for major tests.  Moving forward, we must become more organized!

The following is a list of organization tips and tricks for school and chores.  Some I have tried, and others I hope to implement as soon as I possibly can!

1. Homework Station

There are so many wonderful ideas on Pinterest for homework stations.  So many, that I could hardly choose the best one for my family.  We have had many different stations over the years.  Often times they start out beautiful and seem to work wonders, then, a few months into the school year, the station resembles a junk drawer instead of a system of organization! In my opinion, the best implementation for homework, chores, and general schedule organization has been the magnetic or sticky calendars and daily planners for the refrigerator.  That way, you walk past it numerous times a day!



2. Homework Caddy

The homework caddy is a brilliant idea.  It takes the mess of the drawer and makes it portable! No more multiple trips to the cabinet to “get a pencil”, everything you need is all there! Determine the supplies your student needs and make sure the caddy is stocked!

middle school organization


3. Chore Punch Card

While this is being carried over to the middle school years, this is especially fun in the elementary years as well.  This is tried and true and has made doing chores fun in our family!

Middle School Organization


4. Prepaid Debit Card / Debit Card

After reading the post “Why Using Prepaid Debit Cards for Teens is Brilliant” on mycrazygoodlife.com, I went out and got my son a debit card.  I opted for a regular debit card, tied to my account, so that I could monitor what was spent and make easy (and free!) transfers from my account to his for allowance and rewards.  It was one of the best decisions I ever made.  No more searching for cash.  No more delaying the reward.  It can also work in the reverse if money needed to be taken back as a consequence (however, we tend to focus on positive rewards for positive behaviors).  It also helps my son to develop a sense of responsibility and money management, as we go over the charges monthly and he transfers money into his savings as well.

Middle School Organization

5. Washi Tape Color Coding for Agendas

What can’t you do with Washi tape? Washi tape is so fun, it will make planning enjoyable for anyone! Each subject  has its own color, so you can see at a glance what is due when. This is something I have been doing since I was in middle school! Except, I used highlighters!

Middle School Organization


6. Routine, Routine, Routine!

This is my own tip for the day! Routine, routine, routine. Pick a time of day either in the morning, after school, or after dinner.  The timing doesn’t matter as much as consistency.  Surprisingly, more than anything else, this has cut down on the amount of homework resistance! Pick a routine and stick to it (with just a smidgen of flexibility) :)

12 Fall Projects: DIY Decoration

12 Fall Projects

It is that time of year again! It is hard to pinpoint exactly why Fall is my favorite season of the year.  Perhaps it is the lovely change in weather, or the prospect of so many family Holidays on the horizon, but there is one thing I know for certain: I love Fall!

Now that Fall is finally here, I have begun collecting all my favorite decorating  inspirations.  As my first post in my new campaign, 12 Projects for Tuesday, I am more than thrilled to share my Fall inspirations with each of you.  The following is a list of 12 Fall Projects that I have handpicked.  Each project is linked to the original source, many of which have excellent tutorials.

12 Fall Projects

1. Easy Fall Hydrangea Wreath

This beautiful wreath can be made in minutes with step-by-step instructions from anightowlblog.com.

12 Fall Projects
2. Front Porch Pumpkins

These front porch pumpkins offer beautiful color combinations to decorate your home and garden with for Fall. As soon as our local pumpkin farm sets up, I am grabbing these unique pumpkins for our front porch!

12 Fall Projects

3. Transitional Fall Front Porch 

A Fall front porch that can easily transition from Halloween to Thanksgiving and all your other Autumn desires.  What a lovely concept.

12 Fall Projects
4. Autumn Home

Simple touches and feminine charm make this site a must see for unique Fall decorating ideas.

12 Fall Projects
5. Fall Centerpiece

An upscale, country kitchen centerpiece is on my list of DIY projects this season!

12 Fall Projects

6. Painted Pumpkins

Painted pumpkins can transform the ordinary into the extraordinary.  This lovely shade of blue is perfect for a Fall centerpiece.

12 Fall Projects
7. Fall Wreaths on Etsy

If you need a wreath, but don’t have the time to do-it-yourself? No need to fret! This Etsy shop has some of the most beautiful Fall wreaths I have seen!

12 Fall Projects8. A Farmhouse Door

What beautiful statement colors are found here! This front porch really showcases the colors of Fall.

12 Fall Projects9. Fall Entryway

Often overlooked, yet equally important: the entryway.  This is definitely on my to-do list!

12 Fall Projects

10. Tiered Pumpkins

I cant get enough of beautiful, uniquely colored and shaped, pumpkins! The tiered look is something I would like to try on my own sloped front walkway.

12 Fall Projects11. Fall Home Scents

In decorating for Fall, we can’t overlook the wonderful aroma of Autumn scents.  I love the smell of Apples, Cinnamon, and Oranges to brighten my mood and make my home feel special.

12 Fall Projects12. Mums in Pumpkins

This decorating tip is just the cutest thing ever!

12 Fall Projects



For more elegant Fall Project ideas, make sure you check out my very own Fall Porch Makeover and Autumn Flag Banner Tutorial Here.

Fall Flag Banner


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