Honing Notes: Brain Science

When we learn and remember information we build new neuropathways in our brains. These pathways are strengthened when we chunk and clump information. In other words when we can see how the parts are interconnected and how they are different. Honing notes is a great way for our brains to process the information we are given in a new way. When we take notes in class or read a textbook the information is presented in a particular order. This is…

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Deep Dive: honed notes

The main purpose of honing notes is to refine them and make them your own. There are many ways to hone your in class notes. Sometimes honing your notes makes them longer, sometimes it makes them shorter. They should NOT be a neater recopied version of the in-class notes. The key is to learn how you want to sharpen your notes in a variety of classes because not all classes are the same. Building intuition around in class and honed…

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Deep Dive: Get it Down Notes

You can check out an overview of the two steps note-taking process here.  This post is a deeper dive into what lecture notes are and why they are valuable. First, I call them “get it down notes” because that is the main goal of taking notes in class.  The main goal of these notes is to “get down” the main points of the lecture.  This allows us to add context to the material that we need to master for class,…

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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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