• Josh Arnold

Three Ways to Improve Student Study Habits

An interesting question came up this week at school: Should we model study habits at school?

Absolutely! We can do this at the start of the school year when we roll out all other procedures in class. Set aside a day where students get to explore different ways to study. When you ask students to name a way to study almost certainly you hear “flashcards” with enthusiasm. However, taking the time to model how to effectively to use flashcards might be the next step to take.

Three Ways to Improve Student Study Habits 

  1. Engage and challenge students 

  2. Teach time management 

  3. Understand your student mindset 

#Homework should be like classwork...if its engaging then it gets done. Students can be engaged at home with online tools such as #Quizlet. One way you can do this is to have a competition I like to call “Quizlet Live Long Distance” where you post a code online and have students join the game at a designated time. For example, posting the code on the classroom website and instructing students to login by 6:00pm that night to compete. 

Study skills can also be about time management. Many Parent Teacher conferences are about venting frustration over what happens at home between the parent and the student concerning school work or more specifically homework. Students can get stuck doing homework for hours when it is sometimes unnecessary. Setting a time limit for homework might be the solution. Next time there is homework try and tell students “tonight do 15 minutes of math.” For some students that will be two math problems others might get 30 done. The results are different but the desired effect (doing homework) was accomplished. Some will argue that this creates mediocrity and waters down the results, however this is a simple way to create differentiated instruction. Differentiation can lead to creating diverse skills. Our society values and needs diverse skills to advance. 

Be empathetic to your students. I’m not saying feel sorry for your students, but I am saying that you should better understand your students when it comes to homework. From some teachers I get the feeling that homework is a rite of passage. We experienced volumes of homework so our students must too. However, information is not what it used to be. Students are seconds way from looking up anything and they are aware of this. It’s not our fault that students exist in this cultural shift of instant technology and fast-moving society that we currently exist in. Asking students to complete homework is not outside of reasonable expectations but maybe it is time to revisit the notion that students should be expected to do homework the way it has always been done. 

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