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Middle School S.O.S. : S uccess through O rganization and S tudy skills. October 28, 2009. Agenda. Tuning into your Student Energy cycles (morning larks and night owls) Attention spans Learning styles Motivation Getting Organized Supplies Family and Individual Calendars

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agenda
Agenda
  • Tuning into your Student
    • Energy cycles (morning larks and night owls)
    • Attention spans
    • Learning styles
    • Motivation
  • Getting Organized
    • Supplies
    • Family and Individual Calendars
    • School and Activity Planning
    • Homework Routines
  • Study Skills
    • Designing a study environment
    • Making studying a regularly scheduled activity
    • Get creative with study techniques
  • Allowing for Independence and Working Together
    • Goal Setting
    • What can your students do alone?
    • When and how often do you need to step in?
    • Family Check-in
  • Resources
    • Peers, Teachers, Tutors/Coaching
    • Assistive Technology

Created by Shari Obrentz

tuning into your student
Tuning Into Your Student
  • Energy Cycles
    • When does your student have the most energy?
    • When does your student crash in the evening?
  • Why do these matter?
    • Explains why performance in some classes may be better than others
    • Homework schedules should be worked around these times
    • Extracurricular activities can increase and decrease energy
    • Helps minimize cramming and meltdowns

Created by Shari Obrentz

tuning into your student4
Tuning Into Your Student
  • Attention Spans
    • The “normal” adult attention span is 20-25 minutes.
    • Young students attentions spans vary- but should and will increase as they grow.
    • We all “tune in” more at the beginning and end of activities, lectures, assignments.
    • Creating more beginning and end times may help with attention
    • Each student is different. You may have to monitor your student to identify attentions spans.

Created by Shari Obrentz

tuning into your student5
Tuning Into Your Student
  • Learning Styles
    • Younger students should try many different learning techniques to find what works best for different tasks.
    • By middle school, students will develop some preferred learning styles.
    • Students can use different techniques for different classes and may have to adapt to different teaching styles or requirements.
    • Common categories include:
      • Visual
      • Auditory
      • Read/Write
      • Kinesthetic
    • VARK Inventory
      • www.vark-learn.com

Created by Shari Obrentz

tuning into your student6
Tuning Into Your Student
  • Motivation
    • Working with your students interests will make learning in all subjects easier.
    • Internal Motivation
      • Students tend to be more learning than task focused
      • The grade or reward is not the goal
      • Students will work harder in certain areas even if they are not performing at the top
    • External Motivation
      • Students tend to be more task than learning focused
      • Students need rewards in order to complete tasks (not always tangible)
      • Students may look for less challenging ways to complete tasks in order to enhance performance
      • Use your student’s interests as learning experiences and rewards.

Created by Shari Obrentz

getting organized
Getting Organized
  • Supplies may need to be changed throughout the school year.
  • The key is to find products that your students enjoy using!
    • Calendars
    • Agendas
    • Notebooks
    • Folders
    • Note cards
    • Pens/Markers/Pencils
  • If possible, students should have separate binders/folders for each class.

Created by Shari Obrentz

getting organized8
Getting Organized
  • Family Calendars
    • Each family should have a shared calendar that is accessible to everyone. Every family member can have their own color.
      • Birthdays
      • Parties
      • Sporting Events
      • Vacations
      • Days off
  • Student Calendars
    • Students should also keep track of their own assignments and activities
      • Homework
      • Tests
      • Projects

Created by Shari Obrentz

getting organized9
Getting Organized
  • School & Activity Planning
    • Try not to schedule every minute of every day!
    • Be mindful of energy clocks and attention spans (especially when organizing around homework time).
    • Sometimes having no “activity” planned is the best plan.

Created by Shari Obrentz

getting organized10
Getting Organized
  • Homework Routines
    • Select either times of the day or an order of subjects to complete homework.
    • Try setting time limits to keep students going and not hyper-focusing on one subject.
    • There is always be something to do, even if there is nothing due (this is not to fill up down time).
  • Homework Checks
    • Middle school is a time for students to learn and practice their independence.
    • Students still need to be accountable and may not be ready for as much independence as they request.
    • Building in routine check times will help students build their own skills while keeping you in the loop.

Created by Shari Obrentz

study skills
Study Skills
  • Study Environment
    • Work with your student to find out where he/she is most comfortable and least distracted.
    • Consider work space, lighting, access to computer or supplies.
    • Have a back-up space ready in case the primary space is occupied or not working.

Created by Shari Obrentz

study skills12
Study Skills
  • Studying as an Everyday Activity
    • Distributed learning is the best way to improve memory and ensure long-term storage.
    • Practicing some things every day helps will help minimize the stress around quizzes and tests.
    • Start reviewing “notes” daily (this is a huge skill to learn).
    • Students will retain up to 80% of information learned if they review it within 24 hours of learning.

Created by Shari Obrentz

study skills13
Study Skills
  • Creative Study Techniques
    • Relate current school material to personal experiences and interests.
    • Work different learning strategies into daily studying:
      • Use art supplies to make flash cards or study sheets
      • Create songs/poems/mneumonics to memorize vocabulary/formulas
      • Move around while studying- this is very important for kinesthetic learners
      • Make up games, drills, or timed activities to practice recall

Created by Shari Obrentz

independence working together
Independence & Working Together
  • Goals must include your student’s input (if the goals are yours, there’s a good chance they will not be reached).
  • Goals should be S.M.A.R.T:
    • SPECIFIC
    • MEASUREABLE
    • ATTAINABLE
    • REALISTIC
    • TIMELY
  • It takes 30 days to make a new habit (and less than a week to break it).
  • Have checkpoints in place so that goals can be modified along the way.

Created by Shari Obrentz

independence working together15
Independence & Working Together
  • What can your student do alone?
    • Daily homework
    • Routine reviews
    • Starting studying and projects
  • When should you step in?
    • Daily Homework Checks
    • Weekly plans
    • Review for tests/projects

Created by Shari Obrentz

independence working together16
Independence & Working Together
  • Family Check-Ins
  • A great opportunity to share accomplishments, set or re-set goals.
  • Keeps everyone accountable for short-term and long-term goals.
  • Allows family members to support one another.

Created by Shari Obrentz

resources
Resources
  • Peers
    • Assist with accountability (especially if your student forgets to write down assignments or bring materials home)
    • Model study skills
    • Promote group learning
  • Teachers
    • Provide tutorials
    • Offer additional study materials/resources
  • Tutors/Coaches
    • Support specific course content
    • Teach skills that can be used across disciplines

Created by Shari Obrentz

resources18
Resources
  • Assistive Technology
    • AMAC
      • http://www.amac.uga.edu/
    • Inspiration
      • http://inspiration.com/
    • Kurzweil Educational Systems
      • http://www.kurzweiledu.com/
    • Read/Write Gold
      • http://www.readwritegold.com
    • Digital Note cards
      • http://quizlet.com/

Created by Shari Obrentz

contact information
Contact Information

Created by Shari Obrentz

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