Retrieval Practice

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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Make it Stick- Chapter 5

Metacognition Metacognition is the technology that means thinking about our thinking. Thinking about our thinking is very important because our brains no matter how smart are prone leading us astray by letting us feel we know more than we do. Two Systems Metaphor In Daniel Kahneman’s book Thinking, Fast and Slow he outlines a model of how we can think about decision making in our brains. System 1 – automatic and fast and is more susceptible to the illusion System…

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Make it Stick – Chapter 4

Learning is a Multi-Step Process 1- Encoding – knowledge that is being learned, [working and short-term memory] 2- Consolidation – moving to learn into long-term memory 3- Retrieval- practice strengthening pathways and update your learning. See how the Learning Cycle connects all these stages of learning. We build Learning on Stuff that we Already Know Our brains are hard-wired to make connections. One very important learning strategy is to connect new ideas that students are learning to things they already…

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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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Graphic Organizers

Do you feel stressed when your teacher announces a test? Do you have a hard time figuring out how to use your worksheets, textbooks, online activities, and class notes? Graphic Organizers are a great way for students to organize all of the information they get from each class. This general format students can use to help them organize their materials in any class or subject.  Graphic Organizers help students take materials that are given or assigned to them and allow…

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Note Taking Template: Science

Taking useful science reading notes can drastically improve a student’s achievement. Doing well in science class requires students to understand interconnected concepts, formulas, vocabulary, and applications. This template helps students connect these critical parts and master their material with less stress. This template is designed to support students use cognitive science-based learning strategies. Students will learn how to summarize concepts, incorporate images, form insightful questions, and create real connections. It helps students avoid common time-consuming study methods such as re-read…

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Finals: Success Story

I wanted to share a fantastic story of a student that I coached through preparing for her high school finals. This was her first experience studying for finals, and she wanted to do well.  However, she was very resistant to the idea of adding new study strategies, because she was convinced that she could do well with her usual methods. We came up with a plan to test her theory. We decided to randomly divide her classes into two categories, my…

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Studying for Open Note Exams

How do you prepare for an open note exam? Every finals season I have students who are convinced that they do not need to study for their open note/book exams. They are often under the impression that because they have access to resources during the test that they do not need to prepare. They are unaware of the lurking danger of open note tests; that they will run out of time to complete their exam. Students generally run out of…

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