Monday, February 2, 2015

Ways to avoid procrastination

This week in our flipclass chat in twitter chat:  https://twitter.com/hashtag/flipclass?f=realtime&src=hash
The topic is how to curb procrastination for big projects.  This is something I have been struggling with and find this topic very interesting.  This problem really showed up in my class with a car design project I gave the students one month to build.  I would ask for an occasional check-in to see how the students were doing and, no surprise to me, they procrastinated until the end of the time limit to finish the project.  When I asked the students to tell me one thing they would change about the project they told me they would change the amount of time they were given. They said the time frame was to long an the extra time did not serve many of them.  So for the next project I shortened the time frame and the students said they appreciated the shorter time frame for our egg-drop 2.0 project.  I have found that students, no matter 9th grade, 11th grade or 12 grade, need and want to be checked on so they feel appreciated and able to ask questions.
The one project I have that lasts most of the trimester is our research project about an amusement park ride.  For this project the ultimate part of the project is to design and execute an experiment on an amusement park ride.  This project begins by the students doing research on the history of their type of ride (roller coaster, spinning ride, circular ride, etc).  The second part of the project is for the students to discuss the physics topics their ride covers.  The third part of this project is to create a rough draft of their experiment (which gets checked in class and discussed).  The students then get to conduct the test on the ride.  After the experiment they must finish their final project.  I check in with them and make sure they are on track to complete it.  This project is a large scale project and something I am working to incorporate into my smaller activities.
Please feel free to share comments or ask questions.  Thanks for reading this post.

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