Read Study Skills packet, revised text version

Introduction

StudySkillsencompassesseveraldifferentskills,whichmakesitasomewhatcomplicatedtopic.Study strategies,timemanagement,andorganizationareallskillsthatshouldbeaddressedunderthe umbrellaof"studyskills".SometeachersmayeventeachaunitonStudySkills.Regardlessofwhether ornotaunitofstudyisdevotedtostudyskills,allstudentsatalllevelsarefacedwiththechallengeof preparingfortestsandquizzes.Usuallyteachersgivestudentssuggestionsanddirectionsastohowto preparefortheirparticularassessments.However,studentsoftenarenotclearcommunicatorsofthese directionsandthatbecomesasourceoffrustrationtoparentswhoaretryingtohelpathome.Tothat end,thispacketoftipsandstrategieswascreatedasaresourceforparents,students,andteachers. Althoughitisnotintendedtobeacurriculumguide,itisintendedtobethebeginningofapractical resourcethatwillhopefullydevelopandgrowwithinoureducationalcommunity.

Firsttopic:timemanagement

Itisnotunusualforanelevenyearoldchildtohaveseveraldemandsontheirtimeoutofschool.There aremusiclessons,religiouseducationclasses,sportspractices,paperroutes,etc.Alongwithallofthese commitmentstheseyoungpeopleneedtodohomeworkandpreparefortestsandquizzes.The followingaresuggestionstohelpyourchildorganizehisorhertime. Useamonthlycalendar.Postamonthlycalendarinavisible,prominentplaceinyourhomeonwhich yourstudent(s)canaddduedates,deadlines,testandquizdates,etc.Referringtoandaddingtoa calendarisahabitthatneedstobedeveloped.Encourageyourstudenttolookatiteverydayand checkitagainsthisorherschoolAgenda.Isthereanythingtoadd?Ablankmonthlycalendartemplate isincludedinthispacketforyourconvenience. UsetheAgenda:AllScituatestudentshaveanassignmentAgenda.Teachersexpecttheirstudentsto writetheirhomeworkdowneveryday.Thereisusuallyaclassroomroutinethatisfollowedtogetthe studentstowritedowntheirassignments.Itiswisetocheckwiththeclassroomteacheronwhatthe expectationisforrecordinghomework. · · Setdailyhomeworktimethatisrealisticandaccountsfortheirotheractivities. Createahomeworkplaceinthehousethathasneededsuppliesavailable(paper,pens,pencils, ruler,calculator,dictionary,etc.).

Organization:Teacherswillprovideyourchildwiththeorganizationmethodsusedintheirindividual classrooms.Asstudentsmaketheirwaythroughthegradestheywillencountermanydifferent organizationalsystems.Thisexposuretodifferenttechniques,methods,andsystemswillprovidethem withpersonalchoicesasadultlearnersastowhatworksbestforthem.Inthemeantime,teachers choosethesystemthatworksbestintheirclassroomandfortheirsubjectarea.Checkwithyourchild's teacherifyouhavequestionsabouthownotebooks,folders,andpapersshouldbeorganized.

Secondtopic:StudyStrategies

Oftenthefirststeptopreparingforatestorcompletinganassignmentistocomplaintoaparent.We don'twanttotakethisprivilegeawayfromouryoungstudents,butmaybeifparentshadsomespecific advicefortheirchilditmightshortenthecomplainingsession. Teacherssometimesgivetheirstudentsaspecifictasktoprepareforatest,forexample,astudyguide tocomplete.Howeverifnospecifictaskisassigned,studentsoften"goover"theirnotesorthechapter. Thatisnotaneffectivemeansofstudying.Foreffectivestudyingtooccuraproductmustbecreated. Listedinthissectionareproductorientedstrategiesthathaveacomponentthatcanindicatethat studyinghasoccurred. Thefollowingaredirectionsforseveralstudystrategiesthatmayworkfordifferentstudentsandfor differenttypesoftestsandquizzes.

1.Flashcardstoprepareforavocabularyquiz

Youwillneed3x5indexcards.Ononesideofeachcardwriteoneofthewordsandonthereverseside writetheword'sdefinitionandpartofspeechifnecessary. Flipthroughthecards,sayingeachwordanditsdefinitiontoyourself.Onceyouhavesaidthe definition,turnthecardovertocheckthatyouwerecorrect.Begintoseparatethewordsintotwo piles,theonesyouknowandtheonesyoudonotknow.Continuetogothroughthecardsuntilallof thecardsareinthe"onesIknow"pile.Thenitistimetohavesomeoneelsequizyou.Plantodothis overthecourseofafewdaysifitispossible.

2.Halfpageflipcharttoprepareforavocabularyquiz

Youwillneedplainpaper.Youwillonlybeabletofitaboutsevenwordsperpaper,soplanaccordingly. Step1:Foldthepaperinhalfthelongway. Step2:Writesevenofthevocabularywordsdownthefoldedpaper.Spacethewordsevenly. Step3:Cutflapsinthepaperuptothecenterfoldsothatonewordeachappearsoneach"flap"you havecreated. Step4:Foldbackeachflap,oneatatime,andwritethedefinitionforeachwordsothatwhentheflap isclosedyoucannotseethedefinition. Step5:Oncethishasbeendoneforallofyourwords,youmaynowquizyourselfbysayingeachword anditsdefinitionandflipeachflapaftersayingeachdefinitiontocheckthatyouarecorrect.Continue todothisuntilyouarecorrectwithoutlookingatthedefinition. Step6:Onceyouthinkyouknowthem,havesomeoneelsequizyou.Trymixinguptheorderinwhich yougothroughthewordstoo.

3.TakingInventory:Studyingforavocabularyquiz

Stepone:Takeinventoryofwhatyouknow: Takeyourlistofvocabularywordsandtheirdefinitionsandcopythewordsontoascrappieceofpaper. Askanotherperson(parent,friend,brother,sister)togiveyouadefinitionandyoutellwhichwordit goeswith.Putamarkonyourlistnexttothewordsyouhadtroublewithordidnotknowatall. Steptwo:Nowstudythewordsyouhadtomark.Tryatleastoneofthefollowing: Saythewordanditsdefinitionoutloudseveraltimes. Tryusingthewordinasentence. Drawapictureorsymboltorepresenttheword. Repeatsteponeandthentwoagainifnecessary.

4."SplatMat"Strategy

Thisstrategyworkswellwhenpreparingforaunittestinacontentarea,areadingtestabouta story,oragrammartest,basicallyanythingthatcanbedividedintodistincttopics.Thisalsois beststartedatleastafewdaysbeforethetestwhenyouaredealingwithawholechapteror unit.Itmayworkwellthenightbeforeaquizcoveringasmalleramountofmaterial.

Step1:Divideablankpieceofnotebookpaperintofoursections.Usingeitheryourtextbook orclassnotescomeupwithfourmaintopicswhichrepresentthematerialonwhichyouwillbe tested.Forexample,ifyouwerepreparingforareadingtestonastory,youcouldlabelthefour

sections:characters,setting,eventsoftheplot,literarytermsorimportantvocabulary.

Step2:Usingyournotesandtextbook,writeineachofthefoursectionsspecificinformation thatfallsundereachofthefourheadingsyouhaveassignedtoeachofthefoursectionsofthe paper.Dothisin"bullet"formatusingkeywordsandphrases. Step3:Oncethisiscompleteyoushouldreaditoverseveraltimes.Tryexplainingthematerial toanotherpersonusingthisstudysheetasaguide.Talkingitthroughoutloudalwayshelps. Step4:Divideanotherpieceofblankpaperintofoursectionsandwriteyourfourheadingsin eachsection.Canyoufillinallofthedetailsfrommemory?Ifyoucan,youknowyourstuff!

5.ChunkingInformation

Using3x5indexcards,writeoneach"chunks"ofinformationyouneedtoknow.Ifthetest youarepreparingforisonachapterinatextbook,youmaybeabletosummarizeeachsection onitsowncard.Thesectionsinmostofthetextbooksaredefinedbyheadings.Youcanwrite theheadingononesideofthecardandtheimportantdetailsfromthesectionontheother sideofthecard.Writethedetailsasbulletednotes,ifpossible,foreasierstudyingand retention.Useacoloredhighlightertohighlightkeywordsinboththeheadingandinthe bulletednotes.Colorhelpsmemory. Itisrecommendedthatyoucreatethecardsgraduallyasyouworkyourwaythroughachapter. Thenasthedayofthetestdrawsnearyouhaveaflashcardsetuptoreviewandstudy.Itisin effecta"chunkedstudyguide".Ittendstobeeasiertorememberinformationinsmall amountsor"chunks"ratherthaninlargeramounts.

6.TheCheatSheet

Whenpreparingforanytestorquiz,pretendthatyouaregoingtocreatea"cheatsheet"to secretlyuseduringthetestorquiz.Takeasmallpieceofpaperora3x5indexcardandusing yournotes,teacherhandouts,andtextbookattempttowritedownallinformationthatyou believewouldbehelpfultolookatwhiletakingthetestorquiz.Oncecompletedyoumaybe surprisedbyhowmuchoftheinformationyoucanrecalljustfromtheactofcreatingthe "cheatsheet".Ifdoneadayortwobeforethetestorquizyoucancontinuetorefertothis "cheatsheet"forshortstudysessions. Ofcourseyouwillnotactuallyuseyour"cheatsheet"duringthetestorquiz,butyoumayfind thatyoudonotneeditanyway!

7.StudyingforaMathTest:Usingyourtextbook

1.Findoutwhichsectionsinthechapteryourtestorquizwillcover. 2.Dosomeoftheproblemsineachsectionforpractice.Besuretodotheoddnumbered problemsbecausetheanswerstotheoddsareusuallyinthebackofthebook.Itisgoodto checkthatyouransweriscorrectafterdoingeachproblem. 3.Ifyougetsomeproblemswrong,findtheexplanationsandexamplesinthebookforthat typeofproblem.Youmayneedareminderofhowtogoaboutit. 4.Manytextbooksalsoprovidereviewproblemsforeachchapter.Lookforthese.Thebest waytoprepareforamathtestistopracticebydoingmoreproblems!

8.Mnemonics

Torememberalistyoucanusemnemonics.Simplytakethefirstletterofeachwordonyour list,inorderiforderisimportant,andcreateasentencewhereeachwordofyoursentence startswiththefirstletterofthewordsonyourlist. Forexample,ifyouhavetorememberthethirteenoriginalcoloniesyoucouldmakeupa sentencesuchas:"Newhalosmeanribbonsincludecutenewjewels,don'tmissnewyear's party;visitorsnevercallsoconsidergathering."Memorizingthissentenceallowsmeto rememberthatNewHampshire,Massachusetts,RhodeIsland,Connecticut,NewJersey, Delaware,Maryland,NewYork,Pennsylvania,Virginia,NorthCarolina,SouthCarolina,and Georgiaarethethirteencolonies.Theyarealsoorderedinsuchawaythattheycouldbe placedonamapeasily.Yoursentencemaynotmakealotofsense;itjusthastobesomething youcanremember.

ThirdTopic:TakingNotes

SplitPageortwocolumnnotes:Thisisasimpleformat.Foldyourpaperinhalfthelongwayto

createtwocolumns.Ontheleftsideyoucanwritequestionsabouteachsectionofachapter.When takingnotesfromatextbook,forexample,youcanturntheheadingsintoquestions.Asyouread througheachsectionyouarethenreadingfortheanswertothequestionyouwroteontheleft,write informationtoanswereachquestionontheright.Youwillwanttospaceyourquestionsontheleft adequatelytoallowroomtowritetheanswerontheleft. Youcanusethisformatinotherwaysaswell.Youcanputamainheadingontheleftanddetailsthatgo withthatheadingontheright. Youcansetupavocabularylistforstudyingusingthismethodaswell,withthewordsintheleftcolumn andthedefinitionsontheright. Ifyouusethismethodofnotetakingasyouworkyourwaythroughachapter,youalsoendupwitha studyguideattheendtohelpyoureviewforatest.Youcanfoldthedetailsoranswersbehindandquiz yourself,similartowhatyouwoulddowithflashcards.

OutlineFormat

Usingatraditionaloutlineformattoorganizeinformationisbasicallyawaytoorganizeinformationina logicalmannermovingfromgeneral,broadtopicstomorespecificdetailedinformation.Itlookslike this: I.Maintopic A.Subtopic 1.detail 2.detail B.Subtopic 1.detail 2.detail 3.detail C.Subtopic 1.detail 2.detail a.subdetail b.subdetail II.Maintopic (Andrepeattheformatshownabove.Yourmaintopicsandsubtopicscanoftenbecreatedfrom headingsandsubheadingsinatextbookwiththedetailsfromtheinformationyouwillreadineach sectionofthetextbook.) Theaboveoutlineformatcanbeusedtoorganizeyourownwritingaswell.Whenplanninganessay youcanbrainstormideasandthenorganizetheminanoutlinewitheachofthe"maintopics" representingaparagraphofyouressay. Alsoincludedinthispacketareothergraphicorganizersthatcanbeusedtoorganizewriting assignments.Someofthemmaybespecificallyrequestedbyateacher,oryoumaybeabletochoose howtoorganizeyourwriting.Trymorethanoneandseewhatworksbestforyou!

FourthTopic:ActiveReading

Readingindependentlyisapartofeverystudent'slife.Whenastudentisbeinggivencreditatschool fortheirindependentreadingorwhenaproducthastobeproducedafterreadingabookthatcan createstressifthestudentdoesnotreadactivelytopromotecomprehensionandretentionofwhatis beingread.Activereadingstrategiesincludemindactivitiesthatgood,maturereadersdonaturally, withoutconsciousthought.Foryoungreaderstheseactivitiesdonotalwaysoccurwithoutdeliberate thoughtandtraining.Thefollowingarestrategiestodowhilereading: Preview:Lookatmaterialbeforereadingandthinkaboutwhatyoualreadymayknowaboutthetopic. Thisstrategyshouldbeusedwhenpreparingtoreadachapterinatextbook. Question:Askyourselfquestionsasyouread.Thisforcesyoutothinkaboutthetextasyouread.As youcontinuetoreadlookforinformationtoansweryourquestions. Predict:Makeeducatedguessesaboutwhatisgoingtohappenandreadontoseeifyouarecorrect. Visualize:Pictureinyourmindwhattheauthorisdescribing. Connect:Thinkaboutsimilaritiesbetweenyourselfandthetext,otherbooksyouhavereadandthe textyouarereading,andbetweentheworldingeneralandthetext. Clarify:Thishappensinmanydifferentways.Youmayhavetoclarifythepronunciationofawordor themeaningofaword.Youmayneedtorereadtoclearupamisunderstanding. Infer:Usetheavailableinformationtounderstandwhattheauthormeansbutdoesn'tdirectlysay. Evaluate:Monitoryourownunderstandingbyformingopinionsaboutwhatyouarereadingand/or seeinghownewinformationmatcheswhatyoualreadyknow. Summarize:Canyourecallwhatyouhaveread?Canyouidentifywhattheessentialinformationis fromwhatyouhaveread?Canyouexpresswhatyouhavereadinyourownwords? Useanactivereadingbookmark:Simplykeepapieceofpaperorindexcardinyourbooktomarkyour place.Asyoureadyoucanwritedownanythingthatyouwanttorememberorthatyouwillneedonce youhavefinishedreadingthebookandhavetowriteabookreportofsomesort.Remembertoalways recordthepagenumberofwhatyoujotdownonyourbookmarkincaseyouhavetogobackformore information.

FifthTopic:Preparingforanextrahelpsessionwithateacher

Ifyoufindyouneedhelpinasubject,makeanappointmentforsomeextrahelpwiththeteacher. Usuallyyouneedtodothisatleast24hoursbeforeyouwouldliketomeet.Checkwithindividual teachersforhowandwhentomakeappointments.Oftenthisprocedureisexplainedinateacher's expectationswhicharetypicallygivenoutatthebeginningoftheyear.Oncetheappointmentismade, putitonyourcalendarathomeandinyourAgenda. Gototheappointmentpreparedwithatleastoneofthefollowing:specificquestionswrittendown thatyouwouldliketoask,atestorquizthatyoutookandhavesincecorrectedyourmistakes,ora specifichomeworkassignmentwithwhichyouhadtrouble.Beingpreparedallowsbothyouandthe teachertousethetimeefficientlyandproductively.

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