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The Best Study Strategies to Teach Your Students
posted by: Melissa | January 17, 2019, 09:28 PM   

We all want to help our students perform better, not just in our classes but throughout their academic careers. One of the key ways to do this is to help our students get the most out of their independent study time. No matter what age group you teach, chances are they’ve never been taught how to study.

Students are often overly reliant on ineffective strategies like rereading texts or scanning notes. You can help them make the most of their study time, by encouraging these research-proven strategies instead:

  1. Identifying what they need to know. The reason students fall back on re-reading the text book is because they haven’t adequately thought about what they do and do not need to know. Encourage students to start their study process by creating a list of the topics that will be on the test. The mere act of having a list of topics will help students focus their study-time.
  2. Quizzing. Quizzes aren’t just a way for teachers to assess a student’s knowledge. When students quiz themselves on material, they force their brains to try to retrieve it. This process strengthens what the student knows, and helps highlight where they need to spend more time.
  3. Focus on weak areas. Students’ studying habits are often unfocused. Students preparing for a test will try to review all the material that might be on it. Instead, teach students to look through all of the potential topics and identify the topic or topics in which they are the weakest. Through focusing on one or two areas, students will achieve the greatest overall gains.
  4. Spacing things out. Cramming is a well-known temptation for students, but research actually suggests that review should be spaced out. Students should review material and then wait a while. During that period of waiting, students will forget some of that information. When they go back and look at the information again, they will relearn the forgotten material. This process creates deeper neural pathways and helps students learn the material more completely.
  5. Switch to something new. Given the recommendations above, some students may focus too intently and too long on one strategy or area. The key to studying efficiently and effectively is to keep your brain involved. If a student is preparing for a math test by doing row after row of division problems, the brain will soon become disengaged. Help students learn when it’s time to switch to a new topic or to mix things up.

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