The new year is always exciting. It’s fresh, optimistic, and offers a clean start to achieving all of the things put off in years past. Unfortunately, after a couple months, or even a couple weeks, some of the most well-intentioned goals have given way to the same old routine.
The good news, as you know, is that this trend doesn’t have to continue. Achieving goals is all about preparation and planning. It’s creating a game plan and putting steps in motion to make it happen. This is a crucial lesson for students to learn, and is especially applicable in the classroom. Research projects, term papers, group presentations… they all seem daunting at first. But take them in small doses and the project quickly comes together.
Here are some tips to help your students succeed in larger projects:
• Talk about planning the project; have students vocalize their personal plan.
• Define the larger goal.
• Brainstorm materials necessary for the project.
• Set a general timeline (it’s been helpful to start with the due date first and then work back, but organize how you see best).
• Break the larger goal down into smaller weekly goals based on your timeline. Discuss with students where they should be at each point in the timeline.
• Have students make note cards of facts and ideas so that they can be easily arranged when organizing concepts.
• Set concrete times for students to review the plan and their progress. Have them do a personal review and one with you.
• Conference with students/groups to give them feedback along the way.
abcteach has a number of resources to support project management, including: graphic organizers, KWL forms, Venn diagrams, and research help. Help your students achieve their goals (and in a less stressful manner), by teaching them how to plan ahead.