Planning Time for Big Assignments

In many classes, you'll have major homework assignments — big tests or projects. Instead of just noting the deadline on your schedule, make a plan of what you need to do to complete the assignment or study for the test. Mark these blocks of time in your schedule.

For example, if you have a science project, you might break it down into these steps:

  1. Research possible topics and decide on a topic.

  2. Research information on topic at your school, at the library, on the Internet, or by using other resources.

  3. Plan and then perform any tests to prove/disprove your theory.

  4. Create any visuals.

  5. Write and arrange the information about the topic, the results of your tests, and your conclusions.

  6. Plan and create the final project (for example, on three-panel pasteboard). Before you create your final project, make sure you have all the parts necessary, such as colored markers, stickers, paint, and so on. You definitely don't want to wake up your parents to drive to a 24-hour store for supplies!

The trick is to include these steps into your schedule so that you aren't left with the whole science project to complete the night before it's due.

The same is true for reading assignments, including books on your various school subjects (social studies, history, and so on), as well as any literature reading. Make a plan to read specific chapters by specific dates. When the test date comes, you'll be familiar with the material . . . and able to focus on studying (rather than trying to read and study at the last minute). For example, by using this method, you may have to read two chapters a week, which is far more manageable than thinking about reading a 300-page book all at once!