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Planning Skills Help Students Succeed


How can students use planning skills to make learning easier? From first grade through to college, students of all ages can develop strong planning skills that set them up for success in school.

How to Plan 101

Not just for the classroom, planning skills can be as simple as bringing a water bottle to the park or charging the laptop before an online lesson. When students are facing a task, a few simple steps is all it takes to create a plan. Even very young children can practice this skill! Simply think ahead to the task ahead and ask these questions:

  1. What do I have to do?
  2. What do I need to do it?
  3. When can I get started?
  4. When will I be finished?

Next Steps:

Once students identify a task, it’s time to plan!

  1. Write it Down. Students should use a wall calendar, a school agenda, or a phone app to write out the plan. The act of writing a task down helps students become more organized. Writing a task out helps the brain organize the information and remember it better.
  2. Break Down the Task. Big projects can seem overwhelming at first. By breaking a task out into smaller tasks and dividing tasks over time, students can make a task that seems large to become more manageable.

What are planning skills?

Planning skills are cognitive skills known as executive function. Executive function skills are the skills we use to set goals and make decisions—they also support critical thinking and self-regulation. 

Planning Skills Help Students Beat Procrastination!

When students know what’s involved in a task or an assignment, it helps them resist the urge to procrastinate. Seeing a task written out step-by-step eliminate the unknown factor which is a big reason that students procrastinate in the first place! 

All students can develop better planning skills! Planning skills are like a road map to a destination. Before starting out on any journey, whether it’s a big project for school or what to eat for lunch, put planning skills into action! First, identify what the endpoint is and then decide what is needed to get there. Planning skills help students accomplish their goals, save time, and get organized, both at school and at home.

When students know how to plan they are able to reduce stress, increase focus, and make big projects seem manageable! 

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