Study Skills

| August 20, 2011

Learned at any age, study skills gives your student tools he or she will use repeatedly to be a more efficient life-long-learner.  Try teaching at least one skill each semester within a core subject you are teaching – skills like reading comprehension, note taking, creating flashcards or outlining skills. For example: if you are focusing on note-taking, have your student take notes while reading chapters in his history text.  It will take some practice, but he will get better at it.  Next semester (or year), have him continue taking notes while reading history, but implement time management or memory techniques to his science studies.


Here are a few ideas that we have used:

  • Speed Reading course
  • What type of learner are you?
  • Note Taking
  • How to read a textbook (don’t assume they know!)
  • Problem solving / critical thinking /logic course
  • Memory Techniques


Speed Reading Course

Really?  Speed Reading?  CollegePlus encourages all their students to realize the benefits that Speed Reading can provide … to my amazement, it’s not just about reading faster.  The program we used was called Evelyn Wood Reading Dynamics – Videos and Workbook.   My kids (then 4th, 6th and 7th grades) watched the video how-to’s with me and then we would do the drills together.  The cost of the program if purchased new might give you sticker shock, but I found I could purchase the set of 3-VHS tapes used a few years ago for just a few dollars (the hair styles are a little out of date!).  A google search will turn it up:  Evelyn Wood Reading Dynamics VHS  It also might be at your public library.  Our library didn’t have the videos, but had the workbook that goes with the program … it wasn’t included in my used purchase but is essential for completing the drills on the video.  It is titled: Fred Pryor Seminars: Evelyn Wood Reading Dynamics.  You can purchase it new for $14.95 http://www.ewrd.com/ewrd/EvelynWood_ReadingDynamics.asp

To fully understand the benefits and how the drills work, I educated myself with two books:  The Evelyn Wood Seven-Day Speed Reading and Learning Program by Stanley D. Frank and Break-Through Rapid Reading by Peter Kump

These books aren’t essential, but I was not convinced of the benefits of Speed Reading, nor was I convinced that middle-school-aged kids could grasp it or would benefit from it.  These really helped me get how speed reading works to change your brain and eye functions and I needed to be convinced!  They also contained additional drills that we practiced once we were done with the videos.

Certainly, there are other programs out there that could be just as good.  I reviewed a few including the one suggested by CollegePlus, a free download and one that was online with a money-back guarantee (I got my money back) and preferred this one by far.

What type of Learner are you?

Determining your learning style can be the difference between, “I get it” and, “No matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to remember it.”  Take an assessment such as:

http://www.vark-learn.com/english/page.asp?p=questionnaire 

www.greenville.k12.sc.us/hillcrm/lstyles/

Then, download this Learning Styles pdf file and take take a few learning style assessments to get even more ideas of how to put this knowledge into action.

Note Taking Skills

Since so much of our school work is done orally, we worked on this skill.  I would suggest your student’s notes match their learning style!  There are too many good websites to list but here is one to get you started: Note taking Methods

 

Copyright©2012 Cheri Frame – All Rights Reserved

Category: Building Blocks

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