October 4 - 2013

This is not an entry for a class.  This is a brief reminder of strategies that student's learned last year about how to effectively use a study hour at home.... 

Learning is not about checking the box that says "done". 

Learning is not about submitting something on time. 

Grades are often heavily influenced by the above two things, but grades are not always evidence of learning.  (In a perfect world they would be, but we rarely find ourselves in that perfect world.)  Learning is the result of many different factors.  Some of the most important factors include, but are not limited to: risk taking, persistence,  creativity, practice, and a willingness to be gloriously wrong .

On a practical level, try to avoid limiting your thoughts after school to, "Do I have any HW?"  There is nothing wrong with the question, but it is a very limiting question.  Instead consider modifying your behavior to, "How am I going to study tonight?"  This question implies that there is always something new to learn at a deeper level for an hour.  Ideas to consider but not limit yourself to... 

1) Complete HW due the next day.   Ask yourself, "Is this work I am proud of?"

2) Make progress on projects due farther into the future. 

3) Correct graded work. 

4) Summarize content learned.  Create notes.  Annotate existing notes. 

5) Rewrite, improve, edit, extend writing assignments. 

6) Preview content that is coming.  Read ahead.  Take notes. 

7) Make study materials: create flash cards, make charts, create memory devices to actively prepare for the next test.  (Active studying.)  There is always a next test.

8) Write out questions about anything you don't understand. 

9) Get organized: planner, binder, backpack, work space.   Try breaking a large project into smaller steps.

10) Start a conversation with your parents.  Tell them about what you are learning.  Try not to limit the conversation to "What I have to do."