Studying 101 • Studying is not something that comes naturally to any of us. • We have to learn how to study and then practice it until it becomes as automatic as breathing. • It’s best to learn how to study efficiently now, so that when we hit a class that is particularly challenging we are can rise to the challenge • We must learn to study smarter not harder
Studying 101 • You have to take responsibility for your own learning. • You could blame it on everything else • the teacher is boring • the class is too hard • the textbook doesn’t make sense • the presentations are boring • the teacher doesn’t care about my grade • But who is ultimatelyresponsible for learning the material and earning the grade?
Studying 101 • We have all picked up some study habits at this point • Some are effective, while others are simply inefficient • It’s important to determine what works and continue those, but also to determine the what doesn’t and to “nip those in the bud” • Here are some tried and true and quick-fix methods to improve your study habits
Studying 101 • A common mistake is that students don’t when to start studying. • Effective studying should be something that’s done continuously • Studying doesn’t happen the night before the test. • Studying begins as early as in the classroom when you are taking notes. • You need to strive to be an “Active Learner”
Be An Active Learner • Before you come into class you need to be mentally preparedfor learning. • Test yourself over the previous lecture the night before the next class. • Review your notes, and look over your homework to see what questions you might have for the next day. • Do what you can to improve physical and mental alertness by getting a good night sleep and eating some breakfast.
Be An Active Learner • Come into class intending to listen. • Resist distractions, emotional reactions, and boredom. • There are always distractions going on in a classroom so its all in your attitude. • During class listen for the structure and information in the lecture. • Pay attention for verbal, postural, and visual clues to what’s important • Label important points and organiza-tional clues: main points, examples.
Be An Active Learner • When possible translate the lecture into your own words • try to own the concepts, make them yours. • use the margins to leave yourself reminders • PLEASE ask questions if you don’t understand what’s presented. • Your best weapon for understanding is to get things clarified • Get in the habit of raising your hand and asking for help
Be An Active Learner • Listen carefully to information given toward the end of the class • Summary statementsmay be of part-icular value in highlighting main points • When appropriate, clear up any questions you have of the material by asking either the teacher or your classmates. • Fill in missing points or misunderstood terms from text or other sources.
Be An Active Learner • Do more than fill in missing infor-mation in your notes • Label main points by adding recall clues (circle them, underline them, do something) • Jot down any questions that occur to you to get answered later • Label pictures (why was a graph shown, what was the focus of an illustration, etc.) • Pay special attention to any connect-ions you recognize with previously presented material
General Study Tips • Continuously, review your notes: glancing at your recall clues • Quiz yourself continuously. • Try writing your own test questions. • Plan two hours of study time per hour spent in class…Seriously • There are exceptions, but this is a good general rule. • It takes a lot of time & effort to learn Chemistry, Math, Social Studies, and English, you can’t learn anything if you don’t devote time to it outside of class
General Study Tips • Study difficult (or boring) subjects 1st • If your chemistry problems put you to sleep - get to them first, while you are still fresh • Most of us tend to do what we like first, yet the courses we find most difficult require the most creative energy • Save the subjects you enjoy for later.
General Study Tips • Avoid scheduling marathonstudy sessions. • “Cramming” doesn’t work very well for anyone, and it is next to impossible to get an A by the Cram method • Study in shorter sessions…three 3-hour sessions are far more productive for most students than one 9-hour session • When you do study in long sessions, take a planned break every hour • Work on several subjects and avoid studying similar subjects back to back
General Study Tips • Be aware of your best time of the day • Many students learn best when the sun is up, once the sun goes down it is a natural indication for your body and mind that it’s time for sleep • Observe yourself and, if this is true of you, schedule study time for your most difficult subjects during daylight • Or be sure to study in a bright room
General Study Tips • Use your waiting time. • We all spend a lot of time waiting for the next thing to happen, use that time • Waiting for the bus, waiting for popcorn to pop, waiting for text message to be answered, waiting during commercials, etc… • Any amount of time is beneficial • Have short study tasks available for just these occasions • Carry 3x5 cards of equations, formulas, or key terms, etc. available
General Study Tips • Use time between classes or breaks during work to review class notes • Review, review, review, - if you’re sick of looking at it; you’re almost there. • A solid review of a lecture can be completed in 15 minutes, and even 5 minutescan be valuable if you are prepared • Use your time trackeror day-planner. • Keep track of all your assignments, tests, and papers due dates • Keep track of when papers are returned and your grade on each
General Study Tips • Make a weekly to-do listof important tasks and assignments that you need to complete • Be sure to prioritize the list and do the most important tasks first. • Use a regular study area • Using the same place to study day after day, your body becomes trained • Arriving at that particular place, cues your mind that it’s time to study focusing your concentration more quickly
General Study Tips • Don’t get too comfortable • You want a spot that is well-lit, contains a comfortable seat, with lots of flat space to spread out materials • Like a kitchen table • Put yourself into a situation where your mind stays alert • Consider a study group • A study group forces you to articulate concepts and makes review more fun and productive • It also helps you avoid procrastination
General Study Tips • Pay attention to your attention • Breaks in concentration are often caused by internal interruptions • Your own thoughts jump in to distract, especially if you aren’t used to concentrating • If this happens too often, try a different study time or place • Don’t do major studying in front of the TV • It’s just too distracting; commercials are designed to grab your attention
General Study Tips • Turn off the stereo • Many students insist that they study better with music, but it should be carefully selected and controlled music • It should only be background music, so the volume should be low • You don’t want a lot of breaks or interruptions (like commercials), so it is reasonable to listen to a familiar cd • The overwhelming majority of research indicates that silence is the best form of music for study
General Study Tips • For math based subjects, like Chemistry • Please…Please…Please… review your homework problems, and any problems done in class. • Print out a blank version from the website and rework several of them and check yourself • Do not just do the easy ones, it’s the hard ones that will help you the most for tests • If you don’t understand how to work something, come in and get help!
General Study Tips • If you get stuck – ask: what can I accomplish toward my goal? • This is a good technique to use on large, imposing jobs • Pick out one small accomplishment, then do it • The satisfaction of getting one thing done often spurs you on to get one more thing done • Meanwhile the job gets smaller
General Study Tips • If you get stuck: ask yourself – is this a piano? • Or…Is perfection necessary? • A piano must be perfect if it is to make beautiful music • If you can complete a job 95% perfect in two hours, and 100% in four hours • Is the additional 5% improvement worth doubling the time spent. • Sometimes a tiny mistake can ruin an entire lab experiment, so accept lower standards where appropriate, especially when time is short
General Study Tips • If you get stuck: ask yourself – how did I just waste time? • Notice when time gets away from you • Review your actions and note the specific way you wasted time • We operate by habit and tend to waste time in the same ways over and over again • When you notice things you do that kills your time, you are more likely to catch yourself in the act next time • Observing one small quirk may save you hours
General Study Tips • If you get stuck: ask yourself – can I do just one more thing? • Ask yourself this question at the end of a long day • Almost always you will have enough energy to do just one more short task • If you get in the habit of working until you are tired, and then doing just one more thing • those end-of-the-day tasks will soon add up • The overall increase in your productivitywill surprise you
Listening Skills • You can think about 4 times faster than a lecturer can speak • Effective listening requires the expenditure of energy; to compen-sate for the rate of the presentation • You have to be INTENTIONAL about listening • In chemistry, listening will be the primary source of information. • Listening is a skill which must be practiced and developed.
Listening Skills • Be an active listenerand get the most out of attending the lecture. • Concentrate on what the speaker is saying. • Determine internally why what the speaker is saying is important • If you don’t have an immediate, vivid reason for listening to a speaker, you are an unmotivated listener • Practice the habit of paying attention.
Listening Skills • Prepare to get the most out of lecture by reviewing the important points from the previous lecture. • Determine what you know and don’t know about the material in order to focus your listening as an opportunity for learning. • Listen for the pattern of organization in the lecture • Does it begin or end with a summary of the main concepts, themes, or ideas?
Listening Skills • How are details or examples used to develop specific points? • What is the relationship between points presented • Ask yourself: • What questions does this lecture answer? • What are possible exam questions that information from lectures could be used to answer? • What is the relationship between the lectures and any labs or activities done?
Listening Skills • Not everything is equally important in lecture. • Hold yourself accountable for being selective and differentiating between levels of importance. • Organize your note-taking as a way to review • Test your understanding of major ideas • Get a partner and quiz each other when preparing for exams
Homework Email your answers to these questions, to me by next block…The subject line must contain your name (First and Last and the block you have chemistry) • What are three of your normal study habits? • What are two of the tips in this presentation that you might incorporate into your study habits? • Give me your strategy for becoming an “Active Learner”. • Give me your strategy for being a better listener.