Often learning feels so dry that students stop thinking about their learning as soon as they leave a class. But studies have shown that being able to reflect on and process the information they get each day and connect all the ideas that they are learning. The best way I have found to help students do this is to use a Graphic Organizer.
Cramming is Not the Answer
We have these firm beliefs that studying with the single-minded focus right before an exam is the best method. But over 100 years of research has shown that while this can help our scores in the short term, our learning does not last.
Space Studying Out
Our brains need to space things out and forget a little bit, and then we need to practice recalling them again. Spacing studying strengthens the connections between our neurons.
Sleep plays a huge role in learning. Science has not been able to tell us exactly why yet, but it is clear that sleeps impacts our memories and our learning process in positive ways. It is best to plan sleep between study sessions.
Mix Things Up
Mix up the order within subjects. Mixing things up is also a great way to space out studying when sleep is not possible.
Our brains trick us into thinking that we know something when it is just that we are familiar with it. This fallacy is why self-testing is so valuable. There are a few algorithms such as The Leitner Box that help systematically space out learning and are involved. Complex learning metrics are also into software such as Quizlet, that will automatically compute a learning cycle for you based on how often you correctly answer a question.