ORGANIZATION IS A FULL TIME JOB
Being organized does not come easy for a lot of students. They are wrapping things up from one class and rushing to the next one only to find at the end of the day their back pack and/or folders are full of papers from each of their classes. The first rule of organization is to have a place for everything! Once you have a folder or slot for every class you must be intentional in making sure that each items finds its way to that proper place. It does not happen without being intentional! It is a full time job. Everyday! All day! If your student is not the type that can do this instinctively you are not alone. They are going to need your help to either remind them or sit with them to accomplish this task. To them it may be boring but its vital to their success as a Metro ECMS student. I recommend either daily or weekly check ins to ensure that they are staying organized with a place for homework, upcoming work and completed assignments. It will save them valuable time finding things and knowing what is due and when its due.
PLAN, PLAN, PLAN
There is an old saying that says "we plan to fail by our failure to plan". Let's face it many of our middle school students live in the "now" and if its not immedietly pressing then its not that important. Its important to teach them that planning is essential to success. I recommend that each student have a planner in which to record their homework assignments and pending tests and quiz dates. Students need to see something visually to help them stay aware of the things that are coming up. They may also require your help to begin preparing for tests and quizzes in a timely manner. Its best to begin studying a week before the test or quiz date. The more students are exposed to the content the greater likilihood that they will remember the content covered in class.
DO NOT PROCRASTINATE
When you put off for tomorrow what you can do today.....It rarely ends well! I know many students believe they work better under pressure but the quality of their work suffers as they scramble to write a paper or complete a project with limited sleep and anxiety. Given time to think and allow others to provide feedback on your work helps alleviate the stress of knowing that you are turning in something that is not your best work.
PICK THE RIGHT PLACE TO STUDY
Help your student find a consistent place to study from which they can focus and make academic progress. Most students will choose in front of the TV as the ideal spot to complete homework if given the chance. However for most it offers very low opportunity to make great strides in memorization and concentration. The ideal location for studying is any place where students are spread out their things that is quiet or at least mildly free of distracting stimuli. Meaning free from distractions like cell phones, talking people, and other things that could grab their attention. On any given day the combination of homework and/or study should only be a maximum of 1 - 2 hours if needed. Most students take advantage of the in class times in which teachers provide to complete assignments which eliminate the need to bring home a lot of homework.
STUDY HOW TO STUDY
Think about it....How did you learn how to study? Was it through osmosis? Was it by trial & error? Most us us learn how to study by doing it (or not doing it) and making mistakes but what if there were a better way? Students must be taught that their are hundreds of ways to study for a quiz or test. Here are some examples:
- Break larger concepts into smaller parts
- Create flashcards
- Use Quizlet
- Have someone quiz you on the material
- Highlight important concepts to memorize
- Take good notes from which to refer to
- Use the study guide as your guide
- Get plenty of rest
- Study during the time of day in which you are most alert
- Use mneumonic's (letters that will help you remember a phrase i.e.