Helping Students Plan Long-Term Assignments and Projects

Figuring out how to manage long-term
projects and assignments can be a challenge without a sequenced and structured
approach, and teaching students how to manage these skills is a key element in
the learning process.   Planning and time
management involve executive functioning, a portion of the brain that continues
to develop until around 20 years of age. 
As a result, when teachers assign long-term assignments or projects, it
is important for them to also instruct students on how to plot a strategy and
break the task into manageable chunks.  

Planning the
Overall Approach:
1.    
Set
and Example
: Demonstrate
how you plan and manage your own time.
2.    
Brainstorm: When you announce a new long-term
assignment, discuss with the students how they might plan their approach and
create deadlines. 
3.    
Group
Work:
Create opportunities
for students to plan their approach in small groups.
4.    
Offer
Incentives:
 Offer extra credit for students that can make
a plan and stick to it. 
Planning the
Details:
1.    
Encourage
students to estimate and discuss the total time they expect to spend on a project or assignment.
2.    
Break assignments or projects into manageable tasks with clear expectations.
3.    
Assign
each task a goal, a start date and a deadline date.
4.     Ask students to record
goals in a planner and/or on a family calendar.
5.    
Helps students create checklists and encourage them to check off completed tasks.
Pointers:

·     
Encourage
students to schedule the completion of an assignment a few days early just in
case they want teacher feedback, time commitments are underestimated or
unexpected priorities arise.
·     
Allow
your students to use my Planning Long-Term Assignments Checklist to the right as a guide
throughout the process.
To learn more about
teaching executive functioning skills and acquiring other helpful learning
tools, consider purchasing Planning TimeManagement and Organization for Success.  This publication
offers methods and materials that guide, and support students in the areas
of learning strategies, time management, planning and organization (executive functioning
skills).  It includes agendas, questionnaires, checklists, as well as
graphic organizers.  You will also find advice and handouts for
reading, math, memory, motivation, setting priorities and incentives
programs.  These materials were created over a ten-year period for my
private practice.  What’s more, the materials accommodate learners of
all ages from elementary to college.  Finally, I offer a free sample assessment from the publication too, as well as a free video on executive functioning.  To Access this Click Here


Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning and Dyslexia Materials.  She is also the director of Learning to Learn, in Ossining, NY.  To learn more about her products and services, you can go to www.goodsensorylearning.comwww.dyslexiamaterials.com, & www.learningtolearn.biz

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