Study Skills and Organizational Tips
This section is going to contain tips and advice from Mrs. Venza as well as information from other sources. Check back often for new posts!
Mrs. Venza's very best advice for Middle School Students regarding organization:
1) USE YOUR AGENDA BOOK/PLANNER EVERY DAY FOR EVERY CLASS!
- Carry your agenda book/planner with you at all times.
- Write your assignments for every class before leaving the class each day. If you don't have any homework in a particular class that day, write the word NONE so that you don't forget if you just didn't write down that assignment or if you really don't have homework. Also, this is helpful when Mom and Dad check your agenda so they also know for sure what it means.
- Don't only write the assignment you have that night but ALSO write down what you need to bring home with you to complete the assignment. At the end of the day when you are rushing to get out to your bus, you might not remember that you need your book or your notebook for a particular assignment. This way you can see it right there- "Okay, I need my Social Studies book and my Math notebook tonight."
- If necessary, ask your teachers to double check what you write down to ensure that you understand exactly what the teachers expect you to do.
- Show your parents your assignment book/planner each night. Show them what you wrote and your completed assignment. Ask for help if you need it.
2) FIND A NOTEBOOK SYSTEM THAT WORKS FOR YOU AND STICK WITH IT!
- There are many different ways to organize your materials but you need to find the way that works for you and stick with it. Some teachers require a seperate notebook for their class. In this situation, you will need to be sure you have a binder that is used only for that class.
- Some students like to use a different binder for each class. This works well for some students. You have to be very careful and oranized to use this method because you have to be sure you are taking the correct binder to the correct class. Also, you may need to carry several binders at a time depending on when you are able to go to your locker to switch them out.
- Some students like to use one GIANT binder for all of their classes. This also works well for some students. Sometimes students become tempted to just "shove" papers "anywhere" when they are in a rush. The key for this method to work is to make sure you have labled tabs for each class and put your papers in the correct section, in the correct order immediately after you are given them.
- When students struggle with choosing a method that they feel works for them or after they have tried different ways that have not been successful, I usually suggest that they try to use a 2 binder method. I sit down with them (or you can do this on your own or get help from another adult of course) and we look at their schedule. We decide on a natural breaking point in the day when they will definitely be able to go to their locker. The classes before this break point go in one binder and the classes after this break point go in the other. Binders with the clear plastic sleeve covers are the best. Type your name, the classes, the periods, and room numbers for the classes that will be kept in each binder. Print this information out on two different bright colored pieces of paper and slide them into the plastic cover sleeve of each binder. Be sure to use labled tabs in each binder and put the correct papers in the correct section in the correct order.
3) WRITE YOUR NAME, DATE, PERIOD AND SUBJECT ON EVERY PAPER.
- I can't tell you how many times I sit down with students to help them organize their binders and we have no idea what quarter or even class papers go to! If you have all of this information on your papers then it is easy to separate by subject and put them in the order you recieved them. It also helps when it is time to go through your binder and take out what you no longer need.
Top Tenn Test-Taking Tips for Students when preparing for any test:
Here are the top ten tips to success!
1. Have a Positive Attitude
Approach the big test as you'd approach a giant jigsaw puzzle. It might be tough, but you can do it! A positive attitude goes a long way toward success.
2. Make a Plan
The week before the test, ask your teacher what the test is going to cover. Is it from the textbook only? Class notes? Can you use your calculator? If you've been absent, talk to friends about material you may have missed. Make a list of the most important topics to be covered and use that as a guide when you study. Circle items that you know will require extra time. Be sure to plan extra time to study the most challenging topics.
3. The Night Before
Cramming doesn't work. If you've followed a study plan, the night before the test you should do a quick review and get to bed early. Remember, your brain and body need sleep to function well, so don't stay up late!
4. The Morning of the Test
Did you know that you think better when you have a full stomach? So don't skip breakfast the morning of the test. Get to school early and do a ten-minute power study right before the test, so your brain is turned on and tuned up.
5. Test Time
Before the test begins, make sure you have everything you'll need - scratch paper, extra pencils, your calculator (if you're allowed to use it). Understand how the test is scored: Do you lose points for incorrect answers? Or is it better to make guesses when you're not sure of the answer? Read the instructions! You want to make sure you are marking answers correctly.
6. Manage Your Time
Scan through the test quickly before starting. Answering the easy questions first can be a time saver and a confidence builder. Plus, it saves more time in the end for you to focus on the hard stuff.
7. I'm Stuck!
Those tricky problems can knock you off balance. Don't get worried or frustrated. Reread the question to make sure you understand it, and then try to solve it the best way you know how. If you're still stuck, circle it and move on. You can come back to it later. What if you have no idea about the answer? Review your options and make the best guess you can.
8. Multiple-Choice Questions
The process of elimination can help you choose the correct answer in a multiple-choice question. Start by crossing off the answers that couldn't be right. Then spend your time focusing on the possible correct choices before selecting your answer.
9. Neatness Counts
If your 4s look like 9s, it could be a problem. Be sure that your writing is legible and that you erase your mistakes. For machine-scored tests, fill in the spaces carefully.
10. I'm Done!
Not so fast - when you complete the last item on the test, remember that you're not finished yet. First, check the clock and go back to review your answers, making sure that you didn't make any careless mistakes (such as putting the right answer in the wrong place or skipping a question). Spend the last remaining minutes going over the hardest problems before you turn in your test.
Follow these test tips, and you'll know you did your best - congratulations!