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File Folder Study Guides

January 26, 2009 · Filed Under Study Skills · Comment 

Here’s a really neat idea to help your student learn organizational skills to improve study habits.  All you need is a blank file folder, some fine-point pens, scissors and some glue.  Optionally, you can punch holes in the spine of the folder to fit into a loose-leaf notebook. 

Help your student make note of important information for each chapter or section in a study folder.  Write the information right on the folder or cut out charts, graphs, etc. and glue them in place.  Other ideas to jot on the folder include answers to study questions, outlines of text, references from the internet or other books, and questions that should be answerable after studying this information. 

Label the tab of the folder and hole-punch it to fit into a notebook if you wish.  Now, when it comes time to study for the next big test, all of the  information is right at your fingertips!  Just grab the folder and everything important that has been covered in class is right there.  Save the folders, and you’ll have a great resource for studying for those cumulative midterms and final exams.  Keep them even longer, and you’ll have a handy set of notes for later classes that build on the information that  you’ve just learned. 

This activity will help students learn to outline, summarize and prioritize information.  They will need to uncover ways to discern the important from the trivial, and that will help later with highlighting college texts. 

Why not give it a try?

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(c) 2009 Sandra Fleming

A Great Social Studies Review Game

November 16, 2008 · Filed Under Study Skills · Comment 

Try this next time you want to help kids study social studies concepts. The game is called “Post Office” (and no, not THAT kind of Post Office!). You’ll need one large paper grocery sack for each category that you wish to use. Put names, concepts, places, or dates onto index cards. These are the “letters.” Label the bags with their categories, such as people, countries, cities, branches of government, or whatever is being studied. Now, try to sort the cards with the specifics into the correct bags. It’s a great way to master vocabulary and a wonderful study help for upcoming tests.

Have fun!

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Study Skills Start in Preschool

July 4, 2008 · Filed Under Parents' Corner, Readiness, Study Skills, Tutors' Corner · Comment 

As a tutor, I often work with high schoolers who are behind in their studies.  They come to me with concerns about grades in their classes, test anxieties, and difficulty learning the material that they are expected to master.   It’s hard to help them.  Most of the time, I feel we just barely keep their head above water and have a goal of trying to prevent them from dropping out before they get that all-important high school diploma.  I wish I could’ve seen them years ago.

If I had known these kids in preschool, and had some influence with their families, I would’ve had a message for them.  When your child is two, three and four years old, you are building the foundations for the skills that kids need for successful high school learning. 

Perhaps the most important gift you can give your young child is a love of and appreciation for learning.  This attitude can only be fostered by example.  You have to show, every day, that learning is a huge part of your life and your child’s life.  Make it a priority to answer questions, to teach skills the kids are interested in, and to let them see you using learning skills whenever you can.  Read and read to them.  Fill your home with learning materials, like books, references, newspapers, magazines, and learning toys.  No matter what you thought of school, make it a point to stay positive with your child.

Encourage reading and math and science and writing-not with formal “lessons” or “practice,” but through play and life experiences.  Take your child to parks, museums, historical sites, and stores.  Look things up at the library and on the internet.  When your child expresses interest, help him or her to accomplish the goal.  There’s no need to sit around a table using flashcards to help your child learn.  He or she will gain so much more by DOING things.  Try experiments, put on a play, build a carnival in the back yard, design an obstacle course, or write a story.  Hands-on is the best way to learn.

The preschool years are also the time to train memories and build language skills, which relate directly to study skills in high school and beyond.  Encourage your young child to retell stories, to relate events in sequence, to describe and to converse.  Play memory games that require recall of increasingly larger chunks of information.  Play word games and number games. 

The long and the short of it is that the preschool years are formative, not just for character and physical development, but also for later learning.  Give your child every chance to succeed-lay the foundations for school success!

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