Prevent Procrastination in Students in the Classroom
- After instructions are given for a work task, tell the class, “I’m going to count to 60 in my head. When the minute is up, I’m going to write a number on the board -- the number of students I see working on the task I assigned.”
- Demonstrate the steps involved in open-ended tasks. Some children hate getting started on tasks requiring them to think creatively. They may end up sitting in their seat watching other kids get started. Walking them through the first step or two of the task will often help.
- Send students to their seat with a written task card. A task sheet (or “things to do” list) is also helpful. Have students cross out each task when completed.
- Ask children to make homework plans. As they are writing down their homework assignments, have them write next to each one when they plan on starting it (at 5:30, before soccer practice). Walk around the room, spot-checking what they’ve written. The next day, ask students, at random, if they started their homework at the time they said they would.
- Provide examples of completed work and tape them to each child’s desk. It will give students the reference points for doing the work on their own.
- Have kids offer their own tips. Hold a group discussion on why it’s hard to get started on homework or certain classwork assignments. Then ask the class to share their best strategies for defeating procrastination. Write the best suggestions on the chalkboard.
- Break down long-term projects. Students with task-initiation problems leave long-term projects until the last minute. As the year progresses, teach the class how to make timelines and set interim deadlines for themselves before expecting students to do this on their own. Do this as part of a class discussion, so that everybody learns it as a group.