As a child, asking Mr Wolf the time was often a suspenseful yet exhilarating feeling knowing you had to run to the finish line. Yet, combine it with the tasks of student life, running to the finish line or asking how much time is left doesn’t have the same nostalgic feel.
Instead, there’s the late-night anxiety of rushing to get the assignment in on time or the stress of finishing before “Time’s up” strikes the room. No doubt, we’ve all done it, left something to the last minute or crammed before a test. Let’s be real, it’s just a destined rite of passage for all students. But what we don’t want is to make it a habit.
In order to strike out the cramming tendencies, encourage students to implement the following tips:
- Buy a planner. Whether it’s small and mighty or large and in charge, get a planner. Simple as that. Maybe it’s on the fridge for everyone to see and help keep students accountable. Or possibly tethered to their 3rd hand – their smart phones. Whatever device, utensil or technology chosen to plan out the student’s schedule, use it.
- Set out targets or goals as markers. Anything broken up into small pieces feels smaller right? So instead of treating assignments or exam study as one big chunk, break it down. Have chapters or paragraphs that must be completed at certain times or days to keep students accountable.
- Allow for extra time. Whether you like to cut it fine or not, our advice is, don’t. If the assignment is due on Friday, structure your planning and targets to be finished before 11:59pm on Friday night. This sneaky trick allows students to edit or go over the task to ensure it meets criteria and is at a standard that students are proud to submit.
- Take a break. The aim is to use time wisely to work efficiently and effectively. In order to execute this work ethic and effort, students need to take breaks. Allowing for breaks will reenergize the students and allow for more productive bursts of work.
- Seek assistance and support. If a question is not making sense or if students are unaware of what is expected, encourage students to seek assistance. It could be from a peer or a teacher or someone at home. Asking for help could be the difference between staring at a desk for 50 minutes hoping the answer comes and 50 minutes of productive work.