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  • Writer's pictureMeg Tanner

Study Less, Learn More

So I work one on one with about two dozen students a week. One of the issues I address regularly is that my students are taking notes in class or receiving handouts on a new topic, but they do not understand the importance of reviewing the concept every night so that they actually learn it. Students look over their notes and think they understand the information. When I explore further, I often discover that the student is only recognizing the information instead of knowing it.

For example, when I remove the notes, they are lost and can't begin to explain what they were "studying." One of the strategies I ask them to implement is taking five to ten minutes per class to go through notes and hi light, mark up, or outline key concepts. I ask them to learn it so that they can give their parent, dog, or sibling a two minute lesson. Using colored

pens and pencils are very helpful and encourage more connections in the brain. I am moving toward eliminating the word, STUDY, from my vocabulary and replacing it with the word, LEARN. Completing homework and prepping for tests the night before is not efficient or very effective for learning a concept. Review must take place. A few minutes of review will have huge dividends.

Parents can help by asking for a two minute lesson on what your students learned in each class versus just asking, "how was your day?" Also, refrain from asking your student if they have homework. Instead, require them to study each subject every night even if they aren't assigned homework.

Learning the new material each night will build a strong foundation and provide context for the next day. If at all possible, previewing the upcoming lesson is also extremely helpful.

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