This is a Post from my Friend’s Blog: “Inside Locker” (via Andrew B. Watt’s Blog)

Boarding students can visualize this example for their desk in the dorm. Their desk and its surrounding area should be organized in this fashion. This was also a test to see if I could repost a blog post from my friend’s blog to our classroom blog. I can!

Inside Locker Inside Locker Originally uploaded by anselm23 This is one of the single most Googled photos in my entire Flickr.com stream, particularly around the start of the school year. It seems that a lot of people look for advice about how to organize their lockers better, and mine is among the most commonly found pieces of advice. Who knew? I think the most important things to remember about your locker is how critical it is to have your schedule posted i … Read More

via Andrew B. Watt’s Blog

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About bsullivan35

I am an English teacher working with great students at an independent school in Ct.
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One Response to This is a Post from my Friend’s Blog: “Inside Locker” (via Andrew B. Watt’s Blog)

  1. Andrew says:

    Actually, I’d say that a desk should be organized quite differently than a locker. If your desks at Suffield Academy are anything like the ones that used to be at Rectory, there is probably a shallow drawer directly over the leg-well of the desk, and then a medium-depth drawer, and a file drawer. Desk-space is valuable, so use it wisely.

    Horizontal space tends to fill up with crap unless you’re very careful. Spend the first couple of minutes at your desk clearing away any crap from the top, and seeing that it gets where it needs to go.

    How do you decide where it goes? It’s best to go to WalMart or Staples or some office supply store, and get a few dividers or trays for the things you use most often at your desk, but that don’t belong on top — paper clips, extra staples, binder clips, a (good) stapler [none of these rinky-dink ‘portable’ ones… I have a stapler on my desk that I’ve had a decade], extra pencils and pens and highlighters, as well as a flash drive if you need one. Tools that you use regularly should have a place in your top shallow drawer, above where your legs fit under the desk.

    Go halvsies with a friend or two on a box of hanging file folders for the deep drawer. They usually come in collections of twenty-five, 50 or 100 folders, but you need maybe 10. Put them in the deep drawer, and label them — one for each class you’re taking, and one for each major project, and one for each of your future goals: college applications, summer internships. If you have a bank account, create a file for the bank statements (if you don’t have a bank account, and you’re not saving at least 10% of your income from every paycheck you get… plan on being poor for the rest of your life).

    Create one last file called your ‘tickler’ file of articles you’ve printed out, lists of useful websites, program guides to events you’re thinking about participating in, invitations to be in weddings and more. Use these files rigorously — get stuff you’re not working on in your classes immediately into these files and out of your book bag, so you’re not carrying around extra crap on a daily basis.

    Ideally, every desk should have a vertical field directly above it — a bulletin board or a white-board or both, for storing things that you need to have in front of you all the time. This should include your school schedule, for planning purposes, and your long-term calendar with projects marked out.

    Every desk needs a “circular file” — a trash can. Some college sends you their catalog. Flip through it. Once. Then file it — in your filing drawer if you’re interested in the school, or in the trash can if you’re not. You should plan to handle any piece of paper ONCE, and once only.

    What about that mid-sized drawer… the one above the filing drawer? It’s too shallow for files, and too deep for paper clips. Get some sticky notes and some sharpie markers. Sticky notes (3M’s Post-It® Notes) are a great way to create rough timelines of events or plan projects. They can be used for brainstorming ides for a paper or creating a visual matrix of important concepts from a reading assignment. You can post them on your whiteboard or arrange them on your desk. Your friends can write them out along with you as a study guide you make together. Have some glue in this drawer. Have colored index cards. Have a pair of scissors. Have a great set of colored pens or pencils. Have some brushes and some watercolors. Have some index cards — graph paper cards for math and science problems, ruled or blank ones for language study. Have a pad of blank paper, and some colored construction paper.

    Why? What use could those things be in high school? It turns out that the visual display of information — and the process of constructing 2D and 3D models of that information — will help fix data in your head much more thoroughly than trying to do it abstractly or on a sheet of graph paper. Fancy displays made of construction paper or painted with water color take more time to make, but they build your capacity as an artist and thinker much more effectively in some ways than writing a paper.

    So there’s some ways to really make your desk work for you. But the most critical one is to have a desk you can work at, because it’s clear and ready for your books or computer when you’re ready to work.

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