Learning to be organized is quite a challenge for a new first grader. Organizational skills need to be taught and reinforced daily by both parents and teachers. Many of these first grade children are coming from Kindergartens where they had ‘community’ supplies for all to share. Usually this is not the case in first grade. Your child will be expected to keep all tools needed for the day in his/her pencil case in his/her desk. Seems simple but it is not. Your child needs to be able to get to his/her sharpened pencil, crayons, eraser, glue, scissors, etc., at a moment’s notice. He/she will have to learn to keep all of these supplies close at hand and ready to use. He/she will also have to keep in his/her desk, some or all of the following books, notebook, and journals: math book, spelling book, handwriting book, poetry folder, unfinished work folder, math journal, writing journal, science journal, social studies journal etc. Summer time is a good time to practice being organized. You could give your child a small working space at your house where he/she should do any math, writing, drawing or coloring work. The top of an individual school desk is not so big and your child needs to learn to work in this limited space. He/she could practice working in a small area this summer so it will not come as a surprise when first grade arrives. The surface measurements of a standard student desk are 18.5” x 24”. You could mimic the exact size of a student desk by using painter’s taper or masking tape to mark the exact measurement on a surface. This will show your child how to work within this small space and to keep his/her work on his/her own desk. You might also give your child a small pencil box to keep the supplies needed to do his/her work. This will encourage your child to know where supplies are and to not spread them all over the house. You might also get a few pocket folders for your child to practice putting his/her papers in and out of the folder. Many teachers ask children to keep unfinished work in these folders and your child will be responsible to see that all unfinished work is completed and turned in by the end of the day. Some children choose to skip the folder and shove the unfinished work into the way back area of their desks hoping that no one will ever ask to see that paper again. Teachers are on top of the missing papers but often children cannot even find them once they disappear into their desks. Help your child to learn to keep papers in a folder, or something similar so that he/she can learn to stay organized at school. Teachers want your child to be as successful as possible so any advance planning to help with the organizational skills needed for first grade will be very beneficial for your child.