5 Steps for Student Projects / Test Planning for Success


 Step 1: Every project starts somewhere.

Whatever the origins of the project, you need to bounce some ideas around – write them all down, no matter how odd, and then pick your favorite one or two.  If you are studying for a test, focus on what you don’t know and write those things down.

If you are working on the project alone, find a couple of friends or family members to brainstorm with, or maybe even your teacher!

Step 2:  Plan for Success and stick to your plan.

Remember that every project should be a learning process – you should come out of it in some way a “better” person, maybe with greater knowledge, maybe with greater skills, or maybe in some way less easy to define.

Consider what parts of the curriculum will be covered in the execution or presentation of the project.  Be open to cross-curricular opportunities (maybe it’s a History project, but you will be working on your literacy skills).

When your negotiations with your teacher have turned into a working idea, you need to know in advance how your success (or failure) will be measured.  Maybe it will be a checklist of facts covered in a rubric?  Ask questions if you don’t know how to get the points you deserve on a project.

Step 3: When is it due?

By this point, you will probably be working with only the lightest supervision, so you really need to pay attention to what you actually need to do, and when you need to do it by.

What material resources do you need to gather together or gain access to?  This might be as simple as time at a computer, specialist tools, sculpting materials or space to rehearse.

What information do you need to accumulate?  You may already know the facts you are going to present, but how do you know you are correct?  Depending on the information you need, there are many ways of collecting it, from a couple of minutes on Wikipedia, to creating something on paper to turn in by taking a picture of the finished project?.

You also need to work out when you need these things.  You will have a good idea of your final deadline, so work backwards from that.  You need so many days to rehearse your speech, so you need the speech written before that.  You need to plan time each day to work on your project.  Set goals and stick to them.

Write your deadlines down!

You should at least have a planner or calendar to write down deadlines, but if your project is complex, or involves a lot of steps.

Do what you need to do, stay focused, and keep one eye on your mini deadlines.

Step 4 : The Final Outcome

After all your work, you will, eventually, finish your project or test hopefully to the pleased surprise of your teacher.

Whether you have been drawing a poster, making a podcast creating a website, performing a piece of interpretive dance or taking the test, just do your thing, relax and go with it.  Things are out of your hands now.  Take a moment to be proud of yourself!

Step 5:  Receiving your grade

Once you have presented your final piece of work, it will be judged against the criteria you agreed to all the way back in step 2.

Hopefully, you will have succeeded, maybe you will fail miserably, more probably you will end up somewhere in between.

Whatever the result, be constructive about it.

Pay attention to where you went wrong, and figure out how to make it right next time.

Highlight what went right, and remember to do the same next time.

Whatever the result of this project or test, there will always be more in future, and if you learn your lessons now, future projects will only be better.

Picture credit :Thoughts free website