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groovedaddy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-07-10 07:06 AM
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Forget What You Know About Good Study Habits
Every September, millions of parents try a kind of psychological witchcraft, to transform their summer-glazed campers into fall students, their video-bugs into bookworms. Advice is cheap and all too familiar: Clear a quiet work space. Stick to a homework schedule. Set goals. Set boundaries. Do not bribe (except in emergencies).

And check out the classroom. Does Juniors learning style match the new teachers approach? Or the schools philosophy? Maybe the child isnt a good fit for the school.

Such theories have developed in part because of sketchy education research that doesnt offer clear guidance. Student traits and teaching styles surely interact; so do personalities and at-home rules. The trouble is, no one can predict how.

Yet there are effective approaches to learning, at least for those who are motivated. In recent years, cognitive scientists have shown that a few simple techniques can reliably improve what matters most: how much a student learns from studying.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/07/health/views/07mind.h...
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tigereye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-07-10 10:05 AM
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1. that's an excellent and thought-provoking article- it makes a lot of sense
from a neurological/storage standpoint.. thanks!
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-07-10 11:33 AM
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2. interesting article!
Quizzes as a learning tool - I like it!

One of my son's teachers used to tell the kids she was quizzing them to see how well she'd "taught the material" - rather than "how much they'd learned" - it took the onus and fear of failure off of the kids and they seemed to do so much better. Later, when they'd have "the test", it didn't seem to be a big deal. They all seemed a lot more relaxed about "testing" than other kids.


oh - one other quick story - when I went back to college, I used to rub orange-scented cuticle cream on my nails whenever I was "studying for a test". Then I'd put on the cuticle cream again just before the test - sounds weird, but I think the olfactory stimulus/connection really helped my recall.
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-07-10 08:40 PM
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3. Brain research is certainly crucial to structuring learning environments and structures.
Interesting article!
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exboyfil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-09-10 12:28 PM
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4. You should simulate tests as you study
That is really what flash cards are all about. Having a coach grill you on problems also helps. When my daughter took Life Science via correspondence over the summer we used both techniques. I essentially relearned the material along with her. Just reading or rereading it will not help. You must exercise your brain to actually solve problems. Isolate the difficult to remember material and develop mnemonic devices for memory. Write down the most difficult to remember concepts when you receive the test (before you even look at it). I told my daughter to write down the formula for glucose C6H12O6 when she first got her paper. The rest she can easily remember (respiration for using glucose and photosynthesis for making glucose).

A big advantage educated families have is I can pretty much guess what will be tested in Math, Science, and Social Studies. I prep my kids with that information. It comes from taking nearly 300 hours of college and graduate level coursework. Short of paying a skilled tutor you can't get much better in the prep department. I suspect I make about a 1/2 to a letter grade difference in Math and probably up to a 1/2 a letter grade in Science.

Simulated tests are excellent devices especially in preparation for high stakes standardized tests. I prepped my youngest daughter for her CogAT retake (they were using some B.S. 4th grade score to keep her out of PreAlgebra). I prepped my oldest daughter for her Algebra Aptitude Test (if I had not intervened she never would have gotten into Algebra in 8th grade and would not have booked the A for the year which she got).

This stuff is really important in keeping doors open as long as possible for your kids. The school system does everything possible to close out opportunities. You have to fight for your children. If your kids want to be doctors, they need to be in a certain peer group. If they are not in that group (those who take Calculus in High School and one or two extra AP sciences), then their opportunities for merit money are limited (both because they don't see the material before the standardized tests and kids they are competing with are coming out of school systems that routinely practice acceleration).

I made several mistakes with my oldest daughter, and I am trying to avoid those mistakes with my youngest. The biggest was just accepting what the school said about what her capabilities were. The other was letting her have the same insufficient English teacher for two years.
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tinymontgomery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-09-10 09:29 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. What a broad brush
" The school system does everything possible to close out opportunities" this past summer I sent my top and most interested students all over the country. One to San Diego University for a week long program, one to Emery Riddle for a week long program, 2 to a sailing academy, 2 to a leadership academy, my room was open 4 days a week 10 hours a day to come in and work on college applications or any thing else they wanted, took a group to UVA to hear about scholarships, then visit Monticello (in the middle of the sumer) for the history. The kids could also come in and just hang out with me and my co-worker, also helped the teachers put the rooms back together and make the grounds look good (principal brought them pizza but they didn't know that before hand).

Yea I guess my county and I close out opportunities. You want the opportunities I provide, take my class other wise I won't provide these opportunities, my students come first ( I won't let students that aren't in my program to hanf out in my spaces). I took my kids to 5 colleges for visits and tours. Yea on this site by some people and to one or two parents in this town I'm a piece of shit. My view is "you come up to my standards, I don't come down to yours." Some parents don't like that, they would rather I lower my standard and when I don't then they complain. You want to know why folks like me get out of this field even though we really enjoy the kids and do everything we can to give them opportunities to experience, for me it's the one or two parents that when they don't get their little baby what they want they run to complain to the school board. It gets old so I'll do a few more years and then bail. I know your view is good riddance. Well get some one that just comes in for the pay check and watch those opportunities disappear.

Needed to vent and let folks know a lot of us are busting our ass to make YOUR kid successful.


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exboyfil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-10-10 07:16 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. I am talking about my school system
where you have to run a gauntlet just to get into PreAlgebra in 7th grade. I don't want them to reduce the standards of that course or the following courses (which are excellent by the way), but I want a fair opportunity for my children to take these classes. My oldest had to jump a math between 7th and 8th grade to take Algebra in 8th grade (a very stressful situation). She should never had to do this if she had been properly placed in 7th grade. It is not a resource issue, plenty of spaces are available in PreAlgebra. It is the issue of one person using a 4th grade CogAT as her primary driver for all "accleration" decisions.

The second thing this person did was try to deny my oldest oppportunity to double up in Science in 8th grade. We were able to get this to happen over the administrator's objections. A friend of ours was not able to get it to happen even though her daughter was as capable as ours. My oldest has a 4.0 in Junior High so she was obviously trying to be held back for no good reason. She actually had the highest grade in her 9th grade Science which she took as an 8th grader. My youngest took 7th Science this summer just to avoid this situation. They still forced her to take a placement test to test out of 7th Science. She got a higher school on the placement test (96%) than she got on the final for her course (89%).

The gatekeeper is also the Talented and Gifted administrator. A program in which my oldest is in. My youngest is not in the program even though she is now accelerated in two classes (Math and Science), and is being Homeschooled at a 9th grade level in English (she actually helps my 9th grader with her English). I really don't care about the TAG program, but when my youngest daughter gets reintroduced into the school system in English it will probably be at a grade level higher. It is humorous to think that a student is doing above grade level work in three classes but is not classified as Gifted or Talented. Since it requires extra resources to run the program, it is her football and she can decide who gets to play. I will not let this person hold my daughters back in classes which cost the school system nothing (in fact accelerating saves money because they will never take some courses).

I agree that the standards should never be lowered, but I feel that this gatekeeper makes arbritrary decisions not in keeping with the best interests of students. I think I would love having my daughters in your classes. They work very hard, put school work first, and are very talented in other areas (writing and art). I want them to always have two periods of Fine Arts through their school years, and I have done everything that I could to clear room in their schedules early to make this happen.

The stuff you describe is way beyond our school system. I just want my kids to get a couple of AP classes and have access to Art and Music. If I want to send my kids to things like debate camps, art camps, or music camps, it will be on my nickel, and I am not sure that I can make that happen.
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