Yeah! It’s #MSSunFun and I am actually participating! 🙂 It’s been a while since I’ve joined in the weekly blogging, but I wanted to share what I do with my students to teach them how to study AND I am procrastinating doing a few others things right now, so it fits perfectly! And it ties to my earlier post on Failure, read that here.
A while back there was a conversation on Twitter about stamps we want so we could use them on student work, obviously they were tongue in cheek, but I still had fun creating the graphics for all of them. This one below was one of the main ones we discussed. It is SO obvious to us teachers when students study and when they don’t. Our frustration with this comes because we are always looking for our students to succeed and we also know all of the work we have done in class to practice and help solidify their understanding. Since I use SBG, reassessments are a real part of my classroom and grading, I dislike grading retakes when they clearly didn’t prepare. This is why I have added some additional requirements this year in order for them to reassess.
Due to using SBG, I have a lot of small skill quizzes rather than long tests, however I start the beginning of the year teaching my students that the word “quiz” does not mean they don’t have to study because it will be easier. The math department has used the following handout to help students with studying for math tests. It provides a list of helpful study strategies.
Additionally, I share the App/website StudyBlue with my students. (www.studyblue.com) It is a tech way to create flashcards, study guides, etc. Students can even share with their school and classmates. It remembers which ones you get correct and incorrect and will continue to build study from there. It’s pretty cool and my students LOVE it. Check it out!
I have created two documents that I have used since 2010-ish, I have used each at different times and for different reasons.
This document below is what I hand to my students in preparation for their end of quarter final. While we take skill quizzes throughout the quarter, I also want to focus on retention and they take a quarter final that covers all of the skills from that quarter. They take out their skill folder and skill checklist and use that to help fill out the top part. They also use their ISN and/or textbook to complete the middle part and they can use old examples from their ISN in the third part. I do reference a textbook, while they don’t get one to use during the year, they can access it online as necessary. I reference a lot of the online practice quizzes and tests as good study tools because they check automatically while the students take them.
I have used this study plan document a lot with my US History classes, but my math students like it as well. I make it available on my class website and they can use it as necessary. At the start of the year we do a study skills unit in Advisory that I put together and this document is part of that unit, which means that all students are familiar with it.
I remember coming across Julie’s Study Guide Kit for Math Tests at the start of this year, http://ispeakmath.wordpress.com/2012/10/23/study-guide-kit-for-math-tests/. I made a note to try and incorporate that into my ISN’s this year because I liked that there would be a study guide for each Unit/Chapter within their ISN. I felt that would be useful for the students when it came to studying for the quarter final. Unfortunately I forgot about it and did not start it this year, but I will be doing something similar next year. I could see the right side of the ISN page being the folded study guide and the left side of the page being a modified (shortened to fit) study plan….but these are just thoughts right now. I really like Mary’s Evidence of Study worksheet that she shared for this week’s #MSSunFun, http://teacherleaders.wordpress.com/2013/04/13/preparing-for-assessments/. I will probably try and work that into my ISN somehow as well. I like the parent signature for my middle school students. I was also thinking about adding a Time Spent section so students could note how long they spent studying each night.
I love the sharing of great ideas and I am happy to participate!! Have a great week!