Thursday, September 10, 2009

NAPO in the Schools

Today I did a presentation at Smoke Rise Elementary School for the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade Discovery Classes. It is always so much fun to do these presentations. The children get so involved in the process and I always come away with some new insights. At the end of the presentation there is an evaluation form the students fill in. It is interesting that some students will say a certain part of the presentation (perhaps the discussion of the ways to organize items) was the best part of the presentation while others will say the same part was their least favorite part.
There is a sorting exercise where the students take 10 items and sort them however they deam appropriate. It is fascinating to see the different ways they sort. I always expect sorting by color or by function but sometimes I see sorting by hard and soft items, what I'd keep and what I'd toss, what I can use for a project and what I can't use. It is also a great chance to tell the students that there is no right or wrong way to sort- just what makes sense to them.
Sometimes as I walk around the room I may ask a student, "Why did you put that in this sort pile?". Often they will take the object out of the pile. That's when I can say, "No, tell me why you put it there." and then say "Well, that makes sense." and move on.
I also enjoy the discussions we have about the consequences of being disorganized and the feeling of confidence when you are organized. The children love to share ways that they organize at home as well as at school.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer
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