Study Skills

Discussion in 'Secondary Education Archives' started by TwinsStSt, Jun 24, 2006.

  1. TwinsStSt

    TwinsStSt Rookie

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    Jun 24, 2006

    Hi, I'm planning for Sept. I teach in an alternative school - grades 7 thru 12. During our orientation week I would I to teach a lesson/unit on study skills. (most students have terrible handwriting, are unorganized, refuse to do homework, refuse to read, refuse to study for tests - they want everything handed to them. Their theory is, if I don't get paid, why should I attend school?) Does anyone have any suggestions for resources? Thanks,
    Pam
     
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  3. TheConspiracy

    TheConspiracy Companion

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    Jun 24, 2006

    I would love to get resources on this as well as I was hoping to include this kind of material during my first week since it is a transition week.

    ~J
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jun 24, 2006

    Not a resource so much as some input:

    In my experience, kids have NO idea of how to take notes in math class (and many math teachers have no idea of how to give them!!) Look at the average kid's math notebook, and you'll see zillions of problems neatly copied from the board. The problem, of course, is that the kid gets home 5 hours after class has ended, and has NO IDEA of how to get from point A to point B. He sees the problem done in his own writing, but the explanation that accompanied that problem is gone!!!

    Math notebooks should be part problems, part instruction manual. If the teacher isn't smart or experienced enough to give good notes, the kids should learn on their own. So, for example, next to the problem on solving a quadratic, the kids should include instructions next to each step. (Set = to 0, factor, set each =0, solve each) and so on.

    Trust me, it's the miracle cure to kids who are confused in a high school math class!!!
     
  5. lisap

    lisap Companion

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    Jun 25, 2006

    I know these kids!!! I am a high school LD/ED teacher and I strive all the time to keep kids from dropping out. It sounds like some of what you are looking for falls more in the category of classroom organization, discipline, and on-going lessons. You need to start by getting them to use their brains and seeing value in learning. Then start giving them specific study skills where they can find success in their studies.

    I too teach Study Skills. Being out of school for the summer, I don't know the titles off hand of the things we use. All our sources came from Special Ed catalogs, you may want to check those for resourses.

    As far as on-going lessons, I have found that some of the Love and Logic strategies work. Give kids choices about what they should be doing. For example, if they are not doing the assignment you gave, ask them "Mark, would you like to help arrange these books (or what ever task) or work on your homework?" Find teachable moments as you go through the days. Also, be consistent and give consequences related to the behavior.

    One of the first things that I do with students is a learning styles inventory. When they know what their style is, they can tailor their studying to that style. I've also done teamwork type games. One is where you divide them into teams of 3-5 and give them a pile of newspapers and masking tape. They need to race to see which team can build a tower to the ceiling the fastest. Another game is where you give them 10 different orders for burgers and the "supplies" (construction paper cut outs of buns, burgers, cheese, lettuce, pickles, tomatoes). They need to race to see who can complete all orders ACCURATELY first.

    Through the year, we do short lessons on things like pre-writing. We review a variety of brainstorming ideas. Then we talk about how to organize their writing and developing paragraphs. Other things we do is take long complex sentences and paragraphs and paraphrase them. We look for main ideas in text book writings. We do critical thinking excersises where they need to predict what happens next and solve puzzels, etc.

    Good luck, I'm so excited to hear how it goes for you!
     
  6. TwinsStSt

    TwinsStSt Rookie

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    Jun 25, 2006

    Lisap - thanks for your input- most times I do give them choices - do this or this. I have found out that in most cases they don't like either choice because I didn't give the choice of doing nothing - I always try to come up with something new. I love building the tower and burger order ideas - I think these 2 will be a success. Anymore ideas like this will be helpful. (Last year at Valentines day, you would not have believed all the craft hearts, etc they made- they even taped them on themselves like pre-k, kindergarten would do) - when these kids were that age, they were always disruptive and never got to participate in these types of activities.
    Many of my students are on probation and in our county the PO's do not follow thru on consequences. I have actually considered going through the county commissioners who ultimately oversee the probation department. We always get the story from probation, we can't do anything because we don't have enough money- my theory is, if we do something now, spend money for a few years, we can straighten out some of these kids - right now the way it looks, we (taxpayers) will be supporting these kids for life because society is extremely lenient on them. My boss and I always say, most of our students have PPS (poor parenting skills). Even though I complain, I love my job - it is so worthwhile, when you succeed with even one student.
    I always invite the students to come and live with my family for the weekend - they always turn me down - they wouldn't want to put up with my rules!!!
    Any other ideas would be helpful.
     

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