Use the word “spectacular” when addressing the projects. That’s what you want, something cool, interesting and spectacular. You will find that some students like to change up the project to make it work for them. As long as they adhere to the basic guidelines, allow it. The teacher must approve all projects and topics, be interested in their specific topic or design. It’s ‘all about me,” is the battle cry of the junior high. You want something that is outstanding and creative. Then they progress to “right-brain” time. Where students can begin to start their projects.
This comes to the final point about the projects. It is more important that the projects are “spectacular” than on time. I want to repeat this. It is more important that the projects are “spectacular” than on time. Never get caught and have the last day as a presentation day. When doing the calendar, back load two or three days of extra time. When the first person finishes, ask the class how many days until they are completed for the presentation day. Some will say one day, while others will demand five days. Agree as a group how many days the class needs. “Do you really need five days?” If it is five, then stick to it.
As the students finish, do not have an extra project. Have extra fun activities on your website, so that students are engaged with other things. They may even need to clean up their files or exchange garageband songs. They might want to compose another song, or create something that they never had the time to complete. You can focus on the students that demand your help and need that extra help. Those who finish early, have open lab. I have a do’s and don’ts concerning open lab, watch for the article.