The Student's Guide to School Projects
How to Deal With the School Project Assignment
Being assigned a project is not a terrible thing, really. It may require a bit of thought and effort, but many times you can choose an area in which you have an interest and learn some pretty cool stuff. Also, there will be no memorizing of vocabulary terms or facts that do not seem to be important to you. You may even get to know some interesting people better while working in a collaborative group.
Showcase Multiple Intelligences
In addition, school projects can be a way for you to show off your creativity, artistic skills or problem solving skills. If you happen to be strong in the Multiple Intelligences (MI) areas of musical intelligence (music smart), bodily-kinesthetic intelligence (body smart), spatial intelligence (picture smart), or interpersonal intelligence (people smart), you will be able to showcase your talents.
Sometimes, teachers only assess a student's verbal-linguistic intelligence (word smart) or the logical-mathematical intelligence (number smart). Projects allow students to showcase their other intelligences. But, the project may require you to use your verbal-linguistic intelligence or the logical-mathematical intelligence too. It really depends on what your teacher is asking you to do.
If this is confusing, MI is "teacher-speak" for the way that students learn. It is a buzz word in education right now and your teacher is probably trying a strategy to get you to use your MI strengths. What all this really means for you is that if you happen to be super at art or drama, you could stand out on this project and rack up some serious points in the class.
Teacher Directions and Rubrics
When the teacher announces that you have a project due on an upcoming date, do not shut down. Pay attention to the details he or she is telling you and his or her expectations for the school project. The teacher will usually give tips on how to produce the product, and you should be taking notes. If the teacher produces some models, take time to look at them carefully. If the teacher gives a project sheet or list of directions, put it in a safe place. You will need to refer to this later.
If your teacher gives you a rubric, do not shove it in your binder. Take time to read it and figure out what you have to do to get an A on the project. The rubric will spell out what it takes to make a great project. Really, you just need to look at the top level to see what you need to do to be successful.
It probably also goes without saying that you should stay organized, do your best work and turn your work on time to get a good grade too!
How to Work Out Group Problems & Project Ideas
Some kids like collaborative group work and others hate it. I was once a student, too. I tended to hate working with certain people in the class who made me do all the work because they were lazy. However, if I ended up with a group of workers, I liked to showcase my creativity and work with others like me.
Working in Groups Can be Problematic
If you see that you are in a group with lazy students, you need to hope that the teacher gives individual tasks as well as group tasks for the project. So, if your project receives an A and several of the group members did nothing to help, their grade will suffer.
It is not fair for one or two people to do all of the work. However, making a big scene in class is probably not the way to go. Pull the teacher aside privately and share any concerns you have along the way.
It is also not fair for one controlling-type-A-personality student to do all the work because he or she will not let anyone do anything. However, you need to speak up and figure out how to diplomatically work with the group. Life is about working together. Start learning how in school and not in the workplace where you can get fired.
Once you have figured out your group dynamics, you now need to know how much your parents are allowed to help. My general rule is that if a power tool or electrical device is needed, parents can help. Also, if you want your mom or dad to watch and critique your skit, proof read your essay or give advice on how to make something, that is okay too. However, your parents are not to do this for you! It is so obvious when parents try to "help" too much. I think you will get more satisfaction out of doing it yourself rather than watching your mom or dad do it for you.
If your teacher is allowing you to choose whatever you want for the class project, the following are links to some great project ideas on Bright Hub.
I hope this article has given you some ideas on how to improve your performance on a school project. If you do your best, be diplomatic with your group and stay organized, you should be on your way to a top grade.