A couple of weeks ago Smarty brought home her first book report assignment. The second graders were asked to choose a silly story to read, find 5 objects or draw 5 pictures to represent this book, to write a short explanation of why they chose these objects and then put everything in a decorated lunch bag and return to school on a due date. They were given about 3 weeks to do this project. We brainstormed together, and Smarty said that she wants to do a project on Bravo, Amelia Bedelia (Amazon affiliate link). We went to the library and got the book. Then the progress stopped despite my mild reminders about book report due now 2 weeks from now.
One night I sat Smarty down and told her that I will show her how I manage complex projects at work. I explained to her that I have a big board at work called a task board, and there are a lot of post-it notes on the board representing tasks. Task can be only in one place on the board – “to do”, “work in progress” (WIP) and “done”. One person is expected to work on one task at a time and complete it before proceeding to the next task. I suggested that we try a similar approach with her book report. She was not thrilled at first and told me that a book report has just one task – to write it. I helped her by writing initial tasks on notes:
- 1. Pick a book
- 2. Read a book
- 3. Decide on objects
Your turn: If you have older learners in the house, how do you help them learn organizational skills? Please share your tricks in the comments.