IDENTIFYING THE TASK: Be Aware, Explain, Ask Questions

“When children know what to do in preparing and completing assignments their stress level is reduced. Therefore, verbalizing their assignment as part of identifying the task is extremely helpful.”


Whatever the subject – math, language arts, social studies, and other courses - there is always the project, the assignment, and the test. There are always the WHAT questions: What am I expected to do? What do I need to study? To assure themselves of success, students need to demonstrate their understanding of what is expected. They can do this by asking their parents or their peers to listen while they explain what the assignment requires or what they will be studying for a test. This is verbalizing the assignment and helps with Identifying the task. Knowing what to do leads to fully completing an assignment and achieving excellence. Verbalizing also clarifies expectations. The demands of the assignments and the specific details become clearer. If a student cannot easily describe what he/she is to do, it means something is not clear; the student must go back to the teacher and get clarification. Teachers are more than willing to do this for their students because teachers are committed to helping children find success.

Finding this clarity of purpose opens the door to completing the task. Knowing the WHAT of a project or assignments automatically leads one to determine the HOW. Identifying the task leads to identifying the steps to follow in completing the task. When students can confidently explain what is expected, it raises their awareness of details and how to proceed. They know what needs to be done, what tools are needed, how to use those tools to complete the task, how much time is needed, how the final project will be presented, along with how it will be evaluated. This awareness of the stages of completing an assignment or studying for a test promotes the ability to focus, concentrate and complete the specific task – it builds confidence in one’s ability and commitment.

The book, A PATH TO LEARNING AND LITERACY, focuses student learning with a section in each chapter entitled Chapter Check Up which contains Check Your Understanding, Check Your Progress, and a Checklist. Here is the Check Your Progress and the Chapter Checklist for the chapter, Identifying the Task.

Check Your Progress

– Apply these strategies to monitor your progress:

  1. Verbalize what is to be done.

  2. Give the specifics of how to do it.

  3. Locate the sources of information that will be used to help you complete the task.

  4. Complete the assignment using accurate information.

  5. Answer all parts of the assignment.

  6. Check your assignment before submitting.

Chapter Checklist

- Use this checklist to determine if your assignment is complete:

  • My assignment answers all questions and parts of questions.

  • I have shown all required work.

  • I have followed the required format.

  • My work is neat and legible.

  • The assignment is on time.

  • I know the new information I have learned by doing the assignment.

If the student has been following the series on How to Study and applying the strategies, he/she should continue to REVIEW progress to date, REFLECT and identify areas to improve and RENEW commitment to school by assembling all the essential learning tools from the assignment pad to web resources. The student should know where and when he/she will be attending classes and doing schoolwork. This month’s Two Stars are to congratulate the student on growing confidence, and improved attention to organization. The Wish is to learn to verbalize the tasks and produce outstanding assignments and projects. It can be done! It is all about learning How To Study!

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