It's that time of year again. Sigh. ;) Time to turn your focus on getting back to school. To make things a little easier I thought I'd share with you some tried and true tips that will help you start your school year off on the right foot and have success in the classroom.
Colour Code School Subjects: Humans are visual creatures. Using visual cues can help students remain organized and be prepared. Colour coding school materials based on subjects can be extremely helpful for middle school students who have multiple subjects with different teachers. For example, all notebooks and binders related to math will be coded in red. Don't forget to colour code your timetable as well. You can also colour code folders online via Google Drive and other cloud storage places. (I keep a copy of all my assignments on my hard drive AND in the cloud. The worst thing is to lose an assignment and have to start all over again. ALWAYS have a back up!)
Here is how I colour code my subjects...
Red = Math
Yellow = Science
Blue = English
Green = Geography
Create a Dedicated Workspace: Like their parents, students need a dedicated workspace. To start, designate a desk or table that is solely dedicated to learning. This should be a clean, clutter free space that is distraction free (VERY IMPORTANT!). Ensure the space is equipped with necessary supplies such as pencils, pens, highlighter, rule, calculator and eraser – ready at hand to minimize distraction and optimize productivity.
Break It Down: This is a life lesson we all struggle with – how to begin a project or assignment. Some students become so focused on the finished product that they dive headlong into the work but skip important steps to help them reach their destination. The solution is to create a study plan where you breakdown the steps and process for completing an assignment, or studying for a test. Here's an example of some key steps students miss when completing a paper...
STEP 1: Brainstorming
STEP 2: Researching
STEP 3: Organizing Ideas
STEP 4: Editing and Reviewing
Breaking down each step is part of your study plan. Think about Usain Bolt, he did not just show up to the 2016 Olympics with no training or practice to win the race. He spent years in preparation by doing speed training, working out, eating healthy and practice to help him win the gold medal. It's the same process when tackling an assignment – there are critical steps along the way that will help bring student success to get that A.
Set A Reminder: With everything going on in our busy lives it's easy to forget what needs to be done and when. Once students have created a study plan and broken down the tasks needed to complete assignments they then need to schedule reminders for important dates - either through electronic calendars on the phone or computer, or using the old fashioned agenda that student fees pay for. If you are a mom or dad with younger children, having a calendar for your child will help them to visually see what needs to be done and when. It doesn't have to be fancy, just something you can make notes on and write things down on. Put it somewhere that is visible and where it won't be forgotten.
Whether you choose to implement some or all of these tips never forget that there are #NoLearningLimits to what can be achieved.
Wishing all the students a happy, safe and successful 2022/23 school year.