The end of the school year is around the corner which means two things to most students. First, it means SUMMER VACATION! Second (and more importantly) it means exams.
While very few students get excited about exam season, there are several ways that parents and teachers can motivate students as they prep for finals. Like any learned behavior, strengthen your students study skills by starting when they are young. The more we reinforce studying in younger children, the easier it will be for them to apply these skills year after year as they progress through elementary, middle, and high school.
The first step in studying is listening. When a child sits through a lecture, they retain chunks of the provided material through hearing alone. That’s why at the end of the year when they go to review material from two, four, six months ago, they still remember the basics. Sure, they’ll need a refresher, but the foundation is already set, and many students will be relieved to discover just how much they remember!
Math. Science. History. English. Spanish. Your students will have testing on multiple subjects so condensed notes are essential for preventing a burnout. Whether your child has been a dutiful notetaker all year long or they’re relying on that end of the year review to highlight the most important material from each subject, advocate the importance of note-taking. It will make studying much easier and way less stressful!
You would be surprised how many children don’t ask for help because they’re too afraid of looking “dumb” in front of their peers or because they don’t want to draw attention to themself in class, or because they fear “bothering” their teacher. In fact, BBC News reported that in a survey of 1,000 10- to 16-year-olds, it was found that two-thirds would rather struggle through the material in silence, by themself, than ask for help.
The first step to changing this statistic is to encourage students to ask for help when they don’t understand something. As a teacher, creating a safe, supportive classroom environment is essential for positive learning experiences. As a parent, encourage your child to ask questions both at home and in school. Even if you don’t know the answer, their teacher will, or you can help your child locate the correct information in their notes or textbooks.
Sleep is essential for multiple reasons but in terms of learning, sleep boosts learning and increases your ability to focus. Lack of sleep can result in feeling “foggy” or “groggy”, mood swings, aggressive behavior, and an inability to stay on task. Kids ages 5-12 should get almost 10 hours of sleep per night. Remind your children not to stay up late on school nights, even if they try age-old excuses like “But Mom, I only have fifty pages left in my book!” or “But Mom, I’m about to beat this level!” Those books, video games, movies, and more will still be there the next day!
In “Rhyme At Study Time To Improve Memorization” I explained the power of mnemonic devices, or tricks used to aid and improve memorization. From acronyms to rhymes to chunking, these memory tricks will also develop literacy and language skills, and help with annunciation!
It’s not too late to squeeze in one last school assembly! My “Memory Madness: The Super Student Memory Show” teaches memory skills that your students can use come study time. With a combination of wacky contests, silly props, goofy games, outlandish props, music, and audience participation, your students will be having so much fun they won’t even realize they are learning! Click here to learn more about this fast-paced, zany hoot of an assembly.