The Relationship Between Motivation and Tools

When trying to make positive grade and habits changes there is a dependent relationship between motivation and building a study skills toolbox. Because most schools only teach students a handful of study tools, it is very common for even very motivated students to get stuck. Often the prevailing wisdom is that we should wait for students to get motivated before introducing study skills.  But I have found that students often become more motivated after learning a handful of powerful study tools and techniques. …

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The Secret to Success: Tools, Teams, and Routines

We all need three things to get things done effectively. We need the correct tools, helpful teams, and robust routines.  When all three of these are in place we can accomplish a lot more with less stress. Tools The more tools students have in their toolbox the faster and more effectively they can study. Students who have access to a large number of study tools can be strategic.  They can match the tool and their approach to the type of quiz,…

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Homework Help: Math and Science

Do you ever get stuck on a math or science problem? Do you want to get it done quickly and accurately? In these situations, it can be so frustrating to know how to get help. One of the best resources I have found is Harvey Mudd College’s Free Homework Hotline. This hotline is free and helps students in 4th -12th grades. Watch the video to find out how the homework hotlines can help you get your work done faster with less…

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Power of Study Groups

Often students feel that they need to do all of their studying alone. Students who learn to study with others have a huge strategic advantage when taking tests, writing paper, and communicating in class. Studying in groups can help students fill missing information through retrieval practice and teaching. Group study sessions also help students feel less isolated, build in regular study time, and avoid procrastination. I will be creating a series of posts on how to have productive group study…

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Asking Teachers for Help

Are you intimidated when talking to teachers? Often these conversations are scary because we don’t get a lot of practice talking to teachers outside of class. Preparing for these meetings can help reduce your stress, and make the meeting more productive.  I often have students use a template when they are preparing to talk to teachers.   Template  This template helps students clarify what they know, kind of know, and don’t know, and can help them define the spots where they…

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Build Your Team

Many students believe that they must push through school entirely on their own. While students need to do their own independent work they should build a team that can help them navigate the social and academic aspects of High School. Every student’s team will be different and may change over time as their needs shift and their independence grows. Because teams are so personalized, it is vital to help students identify who is already apart of their team, and who they…

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Take Advantage of Office Hours

Sometimes it is hard to crack how to get better grades in college.  Because there are so few graded assignments in college it can be hard to adjust our study strategies.  To fill these gaps it is important to be more strategic. One of the great secrets of successful college students is that they take advantage of office hours. Office hours are often presented to students as an opportunity to ask specific questions and get help on assignments. However, what…

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