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How to help students plan + a FREE planning guide

I was feeling overwhelmed.

Juggling way too many projects, which was making me not want to work on any of them, which just made me more overwhelmed.

Then I took a deep breadth, and decided to take the advice that I give to my students. Do one thing at a time. It sounds simple, but it makes such a big difference.

I sat down and made a list of my projects, along with when those projects needed to be completed. Then I stated on the first one first, and made a nice big giant dent in it. That felt good, and propelled me to keep moving forward, doing one thing at a time.

Our culture tends to really celebrate the ability to multi task, making us feel like we’re a magical nigia if and only if we’re attempting to do at least 20 things AT THE SAME TIME. But that’s overwhelming, and ineffective.

Are your students feeling overwhelmed?

Are they shutting down, giving up, admitting defeat?

Maybe, they just need to start doing one thing at at time.

How to get started:

  1. Write a list of all of the projects/ assignments that need to be completed
  2. Put due dates next to each thing
  3. Select the item that is due the soonest, sit down and do it until it’s finished, then keep moving down the list.

For larger projects, I also like to do some backward planning. Here’s an example. My students are working on wrapping up their AP portfolio, if they just wrote down finish AP portfolio that still is going to feel overwhelming, and isn’t exactly clear that they even know what they need to do, so we’d make a mini list under that large project.

Project: Complete AP Portfolio

  • How many more pieces do you need to complete to have your 24 pieces?_________________
  • Photograph and or scan all work
  • Upload work onto the college board site
  • label work on college board site with size and medium
  • Add concentration statement to college board site
  • write commentary on college board site
  • mount 5 quality works of art
  • pack quality work of art in portfolio and shipping box
  • have teacher give final ok on all works uploaded and hit the submit button

This allows students to have a clear set of task, and to start checking things off of the list.