Today’s students need to know how to study effectively from an early age. Here are a few methods and habits you can share with and teach them to fuel their school success.
Previewing material – This is something you can do in class when going over new units or lessons. Show your students what you’ll cover in each class and give them an overview of the kind of homework you’ll be doing to reinforce learning.
Note-taking – It’s not too early to start helping students become skilled at note-taking, as they’ll start to use this more and more in late middle school and high school. Teach your students about recording main ideas and organizing notes so they are easy to read and useful for remembering key information.
Self-evaluation – As they progress through middle school, students need to be in tune with their learning preferences and styles. Encourage your students to think about how they study, what methods are effective, and what distracts them.
Prioritization – Daily homework becomes easier when students learn how to quickly prioritize their tasks. Teach your students to divide their assignments every day into a few categories: due tomorrow, due this week, and coming up in one or more weeks. Encourage them to rank their highest priority (due soonest) items from most difficult and time-consuming to easiest. This helps students make the most of study time and deters procrastination.
Planner use – Middle school is when students start using planners on a daily basis. Get your students into the habit of writing down homework each night and its corresponding due dates, and encourage them to refer to their homework notebooks every night.
Careful reading – Students should learn to read all directions thoroughly, whether for assignments or test questions. It’s difficult to perform well in school when skipping over important details – and there are lots of details to pay attention to in middle school.
One final tip: remind students that frequent, shorter study sessions are always more effective than marathon studying when tests come up. The more you can train your students to keep up with daily work, the more you’ll help them lay the foundation for success in middle school and beyond.