Sunday, September 26, 2010

Time management...

Time management... a skill... a learnt skill.
As teachers, I believe it is important for us to teach our students how to manage their time properly. All schools give Agenda's or Daily planners in order to teach kids how to keep track of their homework.

I think it is important for teachers to lay out a 'study plan' or 'homework' plan when it comes to large projects so that students can stay on track and not get behind.

On Saturday I worked with my grade 10 ESL student and he hadn't even started his book report which turned out to be this tuesday. In order for him to get an A+ he had to do WAY too much work and had no idea how to plan his time in order to be able to do so. Needless to say, he is working towards getting 50% on this project now because he doesn't have enough time to do everything.

I think that if the teacher had of written out a plan (Monday/Tuesday do # 1, Wed/Thurs #2 etc.) on how to attain the A+, I think more students would be able to get a higher mark. I wonder how many of the other students struggled to get more than 50%?

I understand this may be seen as hand holding, but in High School, I think it is important to give our kids the chance at getting an A. Even in our University classes we are given a schedule of when to read certain books by. I think giving some guidelines for projects is acceptable when it comes to giving all our kids an equal chance at attaining an A grade.

What do you think? Is this being too kind? Or should work schedules be handed out along with big projects to grade 10 level students?


  1. I think an easy way to do this without it being "hand holding" is to require a rough draft say a week in advance for peer editing. You will still get people who will leave everything until the last minute. But it forces them to at least get something done well before the due date. Students get the added bonus of editing practice as well as another set of eyes and opinions on their work.

    The big difference at the university level, is that if you are there, you are paying to be there and you are there by choice. So hand holding isn't really necessary at that level.

  2. I Agree, when I was at university we had to present our essay topic well before the essay was due. It forced me to get started and stop procrastinating. Our pre-essay presentation would count towards our overall mark. I think even University students could use a little push to get started from time to time.

    I think that a step-by-step approach would teach students good planning and organization skills for future essays and projects. I wouldn't really think of it as hand-holding, because the students are still having to do the work. I think this is a good approach and could help students who aren't naturally 'self-starters'.

  3. I definitely agree with the rough-draft-for-marks idea. It makes for more work for the teachers, but it also gives students a much better chance at a good grade, while challenging them to actually learn something and put in the effort.

    I don't think that your step-by-step plan is necessarily hand-holding; however, I feel that if there is no punishment or reward for keeping on top of things, then students may take the approach as a mere suggestion. Teachers always seem to ask how papers are going long before anyone has started working on them, and while it occasionally sparks some anxiety, it still doesn't really act as much of a motivator.

    What about a minor participation mark for "checkpoints"?