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Get Organized
October 15, 2021
There is no poetry where there are no mistakes.
-Joy Harjo, United States Poet Laureate
Sunny Sea Gold, in her Scientific American Mind article "How to Be a Better Organizer,” writes about the benefits of organized environments and the elimination of clutter. Interestingly, though, she explains that “clutter isn't just stuff you can see or touch. Twitter notifications, text pings, floods of emails, Facebook update—all of these compete to add to the feeling of being overwhelmed.

In fact, when your phone buzzes with a text or call, it significantly distracts you even if you 'ignore it' … a 2015 study by Florida State University psychologists found. During the experiment, researchers purposely called or texted college students in the middle of a task and found that the students made about 25 percent more errors than when they were left alone.”

Michelle Pratt, in the Exchange Essentials article collection, Intentional Environments, also describes the benefits of organization:

"It's about taking a broad view of the way the environment is organized and its impact on the children who inhabit it.
There are three key areas to consider when assessing an environment for children:

  1. The physical environment (how this is designed and its ongoing management)
  2. The interactional environment (social interactions between groups within the environment)
  3. The temporal environment (routines and schedules)"

Pratt encourages physically defining areas and pathways, and considering the impact of color and overall aesthetics. "…I have often heard people say, 'We will sort out the environment first. Then we’ll start to work on program planning and outcomes for children and families' as though they are disconnected. The learning environment should be based on observations of the children and the goal of supporting and extending their learning. Planning the environment is part of program planning."

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