Ongoing Tips

STUDY SKILLS TIP #94 - LAST MINUTE STUDY

by psalter on November 1, 2017

What do you do if you have left your study to the last minute?

In an ideal world it would be great if all students paid attention, focused and participated in all classes, completed all homework and assessments thoroughly, asked for help throughout the year on anything they didn’t understand, made regular summaries of the work covered in class (preferably at the end of each topic or section) and did their best to learn as they go throughout the year.

But in reality, this doesn’t always happen for every student and every subject.
So what can you do if you have left your study for tests and exams to the last minute?

5 TIPS FOR LAST MINUTE STUDY

  1. FIND OUT FAST: Be very clear what you need to learn and what will be tested. It is impossible to start your study until you are sure what you have to know. Find out as much as you can too about the exam format and the style of questions. Don’t be afraid to ask your teacher. For each subject write a list of exactly what topics and areas you need to review.
  2. GATHER MATERIALS: Do you have notes, materials, textbooks on everything you need to learn? If not, is there a friend who will let you photocopy the work you have misplaced? Is there an online portal where material from classes is stored? Can you borrow from the library additional books or textbooks on the topics you need to learn? Are past examination papers available?
  3. MAKE A PLAN: You only have limited time left so you need to make the most of it. Draw up a grid that shows how much time you have left before your exams to study. Decide if you will spend equal time on each subject or if certain subjects need more time. Allocate subjects to the timeslots you have then decide exactly what you will do to prepare for each subject. For each subject make a list of what sort of study you should do to prepare for that subject. Brainstorm your ideas on how to prepare, ask your parents and teachers for feedback and share ideas with your friends.
  4. CREATE STUDY NOTES: Target your notes to what will be tested. It is best for learning and memory to make your study notes yourself, but if you have run out of time there are options. See if any of your class materials or textbooks have summarised the sections you need, see if there are study guides available in the library on the topics to learn or make targeted notes yourself on the key areas you have to memorise. You could also see if there is a friend where you could split the topics between yourself and share the notes you make. Don’t spend too long on this stage, it needs to be completed as quickly as possible.
  5. STUDY! What does study actually mean? It means memorising the material you need to know so you can recall it in the exams, and practising the skills of the subject so you know how to do the types of questions you will have in the exam. To memorise your notes you need to test yourself over and over on them. You could read a section, see what you can write down without looking then check. Then review the things you didn’t know again. Or you could do the same approach reading things out loud then seeing what you can repeat out loud. Doing questions, practise essays, past exam questions will also help you understand what you know, and what you need to spend more time on.

The key is to get started. No more procrastination, no more excuses. Start today!

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP #93 - CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS

by psalter on October 1, 2017

There are many things students can do to develop their own critical thinking skills.  Critical thinking is your ability to think clearly and rationally, reflecting and developing your thoughts. Sometimes we can get a bit lazy with our thinking and we only consider things at a superficial level. Here are some things you can do to enhance your critical thinking.

  1. CLARIFY YOUR THOUGHTS: The best way to clarify your thoughts is to try and explain your thinking to someone else. Even if you are talking to an imaginary person, you will find that explaining your thinking out loud helps you to see the flaws in your argument.
  2. QUESTION ASSUMPTIONS: Don’t take your thoughts for granted, every now and then think about why you believe a certain thought or how you know things to be true. Get in the habit of pausing and looking at what you are thinking and questioning what thoughts underlie your assumptions. Don’t just conform and accept a view because it is the popular one, instead pause and reflect on the arguments for and against that viewpoint and the strengths of each argument.
  3. LOOK FOR OTHER PERSPECTIVES: When you are presenting an argument, imagine yourself in a debate and think about what the opposing side might say. What would someone with a completely opposite view to you believe? Can you understand why they might think that way? Can you see some validity in their viewpoint?
  4. KEEP AN OPEN MIND: In order to look for other perspectives keep an open mind. If you immediately dismiss any thought that does not fit into the way you see the world, you will never be able to expand and develop your viewpoints, you will have a very fixed and limited view of the world.
  5. BE CURIOUS: Start to look outside the things you normally read and watch and think about. Learn more about things you know nothing about and were not previously interested in. Listen more to what people say, we learn so much more when we really listen rather than spend time planning what we will say next.
  6. MAKE INFORMED JUDGEMENTS: It is ok to not have an opinion about something because you don’t have enough information yet. Avoid rushing to judgements, take your time to gather information and evidence and assess it before making a decision. Try not to let yourself be swayed by emotion as this can affect your ability to assess information intellectually.

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If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP #92 - LEARNING COLLABORATIVELY

by psalter on September 1, 2017

We are all different in the way we prefer to learn. Some students like to work in groups, and others prefer to work alone. Some students like to discuss things over Skype or messenger and some like to work together in person. There is a reason why we have the saying ‘two heads are better than one’, so let’s see how this applies to different types of students.

If you think you always prefer to work alone:

  • It is great that you are very self-sufficient. Students who prefer to work alone are often confident in their own abilities. However sometimes these students make it more difficult for themselves by not asking for help when they need it. So if you are this type of student, don’t struggle on alone when you get into difficulties or don’t understand something. Being able to ask for help when you need it is an important skill for academic success. Just become more aware that you don’t always ask for help and instead try reaching out a little more when you need help.
  • The other area to consider is that when you talk about things with other people it can often help you to see things from a different perspective. By discussing ideas with another person, you also may find you clarify your own thoughts. By not being open to collaboration, you might not develop your ideas as well as you could or you might not see potential issues that a fresh pair of eyes and ears might discover. If you haven’t done much collaboration, give it a try and you might find yourself surprised at how valuable you find the experience.

If you already love working with other people:

  • Make sure that you always contribute equally and don’t expect other people to do all the work for you.
  • Collaboration doesn’t mean cheating. For example, it is ok to discuss an assignment and what you think it is about and how you might approach it, but it is not ok to write the assignment together and hand in similar pieces of work.
  • Collaboration also doesn’t mean wasting time. If you are working with other people make sure you are staying on task and not getting distracted.
  • Every now and then you have to do things on your own. If you always do your Maths homework with your friends, you might not really know what you can and can’t do on your own. The first time you find this out could be a test which could be a big issue. Always ask yourself if the work you are doing is going to be enhanced by collaboration or if it is more appropriate to try the work on your own.
  • It is important each night to have a certain amount of homework time on your own. If you want to collaborate when you are working at home, make specific times to do this. Don’t skype the entire night with your friends. Instead have set times for collaboration and set times for independent work.

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP #91 - HOW PARENTS CAN HELP DURING EXAM TIME

by psalter on August 1, 2017

The second semester often heralds blocks of examinations or assessments for students. Some students cope well with the pressure and stress while others find it overwhelming. Of course, the more prepared students are, the less stress they are likely to experience. Encourage students to start their preparation for examinations and assessments early, in particular their study notes. If your student has examination blocks this semester, these tips will help you provide the support they need.

  1. Lifestyle makes a big difference to results: healthy eating, lots of water, lots of sleep, exercise and time for relaxation are essential. Make sure students are eating as healthily as possible. Provide healthy snacks and drinks and healthy meals. It is important that students look after their health during this period as stress can take a huge toll on the body. A nutritious diet and a bit of exercise not only help students think more effectively, but will help them deal with stress as well. Some students will try and sacrifice sleep during this time, remind them that the last stage of memory takes place while students are sleeping.
  2. Ask students what they need from you and what you can do. Offer to help with revision, to go and buy any books or stationery needed. Be their personal assistant and help with exam timetables, preparation, lunches etc. Many students find it helpful if their parent tests them on the material they need to memorise.
  3. Focus on a positive outlook and personal best: encourage students to be proud of their successes and what they achieve and constantly assure them that all you want is for them to do the best they can and walk away feeling proud of their efforts this year. Praise the effort they put into their study. Avoid criticism and negativity. Remember there are always multiple paths in life for your student to get to where they want to go.
  4. Keep communication lines open. Listen. See if you can have a weekly meeting to give students a chance to talk through where they are with each subject and what is going on and if they are having any difficulties. Remember that you are the convenient target for anger (that isn’t really directed at you) but you also might be a good shoulder to cry on. Seek professional help if you feel your student is not coping and needs it.
  5. If students are stressed or worried, first let them vent, then talk together ways they could approach their issues. Who could they talk to at school on ways to improve or ways to manage their stress? What outside resources do they have? What is it they feel most anxious about? Is there specific help they need? What can parents do to help?

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP #90 - HELPING A STRESSED OUT CHILD

by psalter on July 1, 2017

Many parents feel powerless to help when their child is stressed and overwhelmed about their schoolwork. It is not just senior students who experience this level of stress, research indicates that for some students this starts as early as Year 7.

If your child is experiencing stress and anxiety related to their schoolwork, here are some strategies you can try.

  1. FIND OUT MORE: Try and discover what it is that is causing the most anxiety. Does your student feel anxious about tests or assignments? Are they struggling to plan and manage their workload? Are they finding a particular subject difficult? It is very difficult to address the issue until you really uncover what the issue is. If they do not want to discuss with mum and dad, you may find asking a teacher who they like and respect to talk to them may lead to a better outcome.
  2. LET THE SCHOOL KNOW: Next talk to your child’s tutor or a teacher that is responsible for your child’s year group. You can either ask the school to investigate further and even take action to address the issue, or you can ask them to keep it confidential as you are just wanting to make them aware of the issue.
  3. DECIDE STRATEGIES: Once the problem is clear, next step is to decide what strategies to try (and you may need to try multiple strategies over time). You may have some ideas of things your child could try, you may find some ideas on the Study Skills Handbook site, or you may need to talk to teachers to learn from their expertise.
  4. DON’T GIVE UP: If a strategy doesn’t work, then try something different.  Different people will have different suggestions so google or talk to lots of teachers or other parents about the issue and see if they have other ideas you could try.
  5. CONSIDER EXTRA SUPPORT: Your child may need additional support. For example from a school counsellor, or a psychologist or a tutor. Make sure you are clear about the issue so you can find the right person to provide the additional support your child needs.

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP #89 – MAKING THE MOST OF FEEDBACK

by psalter on June 1, 2017

Throughout the year you will have been receiving feedback from your teachers about your assessments. But are you making the most of this feedback? Many students are too focused on what mark they received and neglect to make the most of the feedback they are given.

It’s not just about what you did wrong either! The feedback is a chance to celebrate what you did right, what you understood and the skills and learning you demonstrated.

However it is also a chance to address areas you found difficult or did not perform as well in.

Below are some questions you can ask yourself when an assessment is returned to make the most of the feedback you are given.

When a test or exam is returned:

  • What specific feedback did your teacher give you and how should you use that feedback?
  • Will you be tested on these topics again or are they important for overall understanding in this subject?
  • Which areas do you need to ask for help on as you still don’t understand?
  • Which questions from your test paper should you re-do? Re-do them!
  • Should you re-write any questions or essays and re-submit?
  • Was there any revision work you did not complete before the test?
  • What topic areas do you need to review and revise, what should you do to address these?
  • Are there topics you still need to finalise study notes on?
  • Are there sections of your study notes that you need to re-do?
  • Did you plan ahead to give yourself enough time to revise?
  • What changes do you need to make in the way you study for that subject next time?
  • Are there students who did really well that you can talk with to find what they did differently?

For other types of assessments:

  • What parts of the assessment did you do really well?
  • What did you enjoy about the assessment?
  • What can you learn from the feedback you were given?
  • Is there any part of the feedback you don’t understand that you need to discuss with your teacher?
  • Can you ask a student who did really well if you can look at their assessment so you can see what is needed to get top marks?
  • What could you have done differently?
  • Do you understand what you need to do to improve or do you need to ask your teacher for more guidance?

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP #88 –RESOLVING CONFLICT AROUND HOMEWORK

by psalter on May 1, 2017

Some of the most common arguments at home (related to schoolwork!) lead to statements like this:

  • “Stop playing computer games and do your homework.”
  • “I told you, get off your phone, I can see you are on Facebook.”
  • “Why haven’t you started your homework yet?”
  • “What do you mean you have no schoolwork to do?”

If these are common refrains in your household there are some simple steps that can be taken to deal with this.

  • Step 1: Family meeting. Both students and parents get a chance to explain what is bugging them.
  • Step 2: Agree on how much time will be allocated to schoolwork per day or per week.
  • Step 3: Agree that during this time homework will be the first priority, then assessments and any remaining time should be spent on independent learning (e.g. reviewing difficult work, making summaries).
  • Step 4: Allocate set times for schoolwork and write these out and put them on the fridge e.g. Monday 4-5pm, 6-6.30pm.
  • Step 5: Agree that in these blocks of time, there will be no personal technology use (preferably phones switched off and put out of sight).
  • Step 6: Decide on rewards and consequences if the agreement is not honoured.

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP #87 –CARROT OR STICK?

by psalter on April 1, 2017

Are you a ‘carrot’ or a ‘stick’ person?

Knowing whether you are motivated by avoiding pain and the pressure of consequences or by achieving pleasure and rewards can help you (and your parents) work out the best way for you to be motivated to do your work for school.

The concept comes from the idea that to make a donkey move forward you can either tempt it with a carrot (a reward) or threaten it with a stick (a punishment).

Now we are not saying that you are a donkey! But we are saying that different things motivate different people.

You are likely to be more of a ‘carrot’ person if you:

  • tend to be focused on achieving goals
  • make lots of plans and lists for yourself
  • find the concepts of rewards and prizes very motivating
  • often have a clear picture of what you want to achieve

You are likely to be more of a ‘stick’ person if you:

  • tend to leave things to the last minute
  • put off unpleasant tasks
  • prefer to do things when you ‘feel’ like it rather than when you plan it
  • like the idea of rewards but aren’t keen on doing the work to achieve them

If you are a ‘carrot’ person, you can get yourself motivated to do the work by breaking down the task, setting targets and goals and making plans. The thought of getting a good mark or achieving a prize is very motivating for you. Your parents can motivate you further by offering rewards for achievements!

If you are a ‘stick’ person, you find it harder to get yourself motivated to do the work. You are more likely to work when you focus on the consequences of NOT working. When you are putting things off, spend a minute or so brainstorming all of the outcomes if you do not get started on the work. Then decide the first 3 most important things for you to do. Don’t worry about the rest at this stage, just focus on the top 3.

For parents of ‘stick’ children, these students may often require more micro-management. Students may need help in determining what they are going to work on, and parents may need to then check in every half hour or so to ensure students are staying on task. These students will be more motivated by negative consequences such as removal of technology or other privileges if outlined working conditions are not met. However it is a good idea to always balance the introduction of consequences for not doing the work with rewards for doing it! This may not be the driving force for their motivation, but positive reinforcement for doing the right thing can lead to really good outcomes.

For students who get frustrated with themselves being ‘stick’ people and leaving things until the last minute, you can start to move towards becoming more of a ‘carrot’ person. Identify some of your ‘carrot’ friends, and start to model their behaviour. Ask if you can plan the work together and check in regularly with each so you stay on track. It is possible to switch from one modality to another! However no-one can make you do it, you need to want to change and then you need to work towards switching your mindset.

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP #86 –BUILDING CONCENTRATION SKILLS

by psalter on March 1, 2017

Many students find it difficult to concentrate and stay focused when they are doing their schoolwork at home. So what can we do to improve concentration levels? Try these top tips:

  1. IMPROVE THE ENVIRONMENT: Have a good hard look at the environment you are trying to concentrate in. Is it noisy? Are there more exciting things happening around you? Is it too hot? Too cold? Are you uncomfortable? Too comfortable? What can you do to make the space more conducive to concentration?
  2. BLOCKS OF TIME: If you are someone who finds it difficult to concentrate at home don’t try and study for too long at a time. Instead tell yourself you will work for 20-30 minutes then you can have a break. If you know it is only 20-30 minutes it is much easier to concentrate than if it was for an indefinite period of time.
  3. ANCHOR TO THE PRESENT: Create a focus word that brings you back on task. We all daydream. The key is to start to pay more attention to when you are doing it and then immediately take action. If your key word for example was ‘orange’ when you notice you are day-dreaming say ‘orange orange orange’ to refocus your attention to your work.
  4. RESET THE brAIN: Sometimes you just need a time-out from what you are doing in order to be able to concentrate again. If your attention is constantly wandering, then get up and have a drink, walk outside, kick a ball – just take 5 to 10 minutes to clear your head so you can come back fresh to your work.
  5. WORK OUT PEAK TIMES: Start to pay attention to what time of the day you are most focused. That’s when you need to do the harder work or the work that requires greatest concentration. If you know you get tired after dinner don’t leave the difficult work until then.
  6. CARROT AND STICK: Some people are motivated by working towards rewards, others by avoiding punishments. Give yourself a target time to focus with a little reward at the end if you achieve it – or maybe a little punishment if you don’t!

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP #85 – TOP 5 HABITS FOR STUDENTS

by psalter on February 1, 2017

Recently I was asked what I thought the top 5 habits were for students in their last year of school. I came up with this list below, then realised wouldn’t it be great if all students had these habits firmly entrenched before they even reached the senior years of school!

So your challenge for this year, no matter what your year level, is to ensure these habits become embedded as part of YOUR practice for learning to help you become an effective learner at school and in your career and personal life.

Want to develop great habits for learning? Here’s what you need to do:

1. ENGAGE: Don’t just be a bystander, instead be an active participant in your own learning, taking responsibility for what you need to do to achieve your academic best.

2. ORGANISE: Being organised means that you can find things when you need them, you don’t forget about work to be done and you don’t have last minute panics. Much less stressful.

3. THINK AHEAD: Part of ‘stepping up’ is that you don’t just wait for someone to tell you to do something. You think ahead and work strategically.

4.  STRIVE FOR EXCELLENCE: You want to be able to differentiate yourself from all of the other students, so think what you can do to make your work stand out from the crowd.

5. STUDY SMART: Many students are incredibly ineffective in the way they study. They just stare into their books hoping what they need to learn will magically jump into their heads. If you aren’t doing it yet, then it is time to study smart.

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

This tip is an abberviated version of the tip sent to subscribers.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP #84 – SWOT TIME

by psalter on January 1, 2017

What would you like to achieve this year both academically and in your personal life? The start of the year is the perfect time to reflect and reassess. It is a great time to look back and decide what worked, what didn’t and what new approaches you will try.

A great way to do this is through taking a few minutes to do a SWOT analysis. You can either write your answers down or discuss with someone or just think about your responses.

STRENGTHS:

  • What went well for you at school last year?
  • What study and time management techniques worked for you?
  • What skills do you have that help you to do your best at school?

WEAKNESSES:

  • What were your greatest challenges in achieving your personal best at school?
  • What do you struggle with most as a student?
  • What do you need the most help with?

OPPORTUNITIES:

  • What one thing could you do differently this year that would most help you to improve your results?
  • What skills do you most need to focus on improving this year?
  • Who in your life would be able to help you to be a better student?

THREATS:

  • What are the biggest obstacles to you making changes in your approach?
  • Are there other students you sit with who make learning difficult?
  • What is stopping you from achieving the best results you can at school?

After you have worked through the SWOT analysis, choose the top 5 changes you want to make this year and write these down. Put these goals somewhere where you will see them every day before you go to school. If possible also write down some specific actions or steps you could take to achieve these goals. A good way to do this is at the start of each week write down the steps you want to take for that week.

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP #83 – SCHOOLWORK IN HOLIDAYS?

by psalter on December 1, 2016

The holidays are designed to be a period of rest and recuperation for students. This means that students need a chance to unwind and relax and do things they enjoy!

However it doesn’t necessarily mean that no schoolwork is done during this time. Go through this checklist to see if you need to do any work in the holiday break:

  1. ASSESSMENTS: If there are assessments due in the first few weeks of the next term, students will need to work on these assessments, and possibly complete them depending on the due date.
  2. EXAMS: If exams will be held in the next term then students should use some time in the holidays to get their study notes up to date. If the exams are early in the term, then students will need to also study during the holidays.
  3. SENIOR EXAMS: For senior students who have major exams after the holidays, the holidays will be a period of intense study and not a time of relaxation.
  4. AREAS OF WEAKNESS: The holidays can also be a time for pinpointing areas of weakness. For example, students may spend some time reviewing Mathematics topics they found difficult or reviewing the grammar in a language they are learning.

Apart from these, we do want students to have a chance to refresh their mind and body, catch up on their sleep and take the time to focus on healthy lifestyle and quality time with family and friends.

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP #82 – TEST-TAKING TECHNIQUES

by psalter on November 1, 2016

What do you do in the few days before an examination?

At least a few days before the exam, make sure you do the following:  

  • Plan out how much time you should spend on each section of the test.
  • By looking at past papers, get a feel for the types of instructions that will be on your paper.
  • Do some exercise so you can burn off the pent-up stress that can come before exams.
  • Look after your body – lots of water to juice up your brain, healthy food, decent sleep.
  • To calm nerves, make mental pictures of yourself sitting down and doing well in the test.
  • Purchase any equipment you may need, extra calculator batteries, pens, rulers etc.
  • Ensure you know what equipment is allowed in the test or exam.
  • Focus on reviewing the key points, perhaps a condensed version of your summaries.
  • Practise as many past test papers as you can get your hands on.
  • Check the timetable to ensure you have a clear picture of when each exam is being held.

The night before the test or exam:

  • Pack your bag with everything you will need for the next day, ensuring you have all necessary equipment.
  • Plan what time you need to leave to ensure you have plenty of time for unexpected delays.
  • Don’t go to bed too late – you need to make sure your brain is fresh and alert.
  • Don’t ring friends and discuss your preparation for the examination.
  • Just before you go to sleep, look through your notes briefly.
  • If you have a number of exams, check the timetable to doubly confirm the date, time and location of the exam.

 The morning of the test or exam:

  • Visualise success. Before you get out of bed close your eyes and picture yourself going into the exam, doing well and coming out pleased with your efforts.
  • Review your notes. You are not doing intense study at this stage, just looking through and reminding yourself of the main things you want to remember.
  • Eat breakfast. Your brain needs fuel so eat a hearty breakfast so you can focus and concentrate in the exam.
  • Be on time. Make sure you leave enough time for contingencies so you won’t be late.
  • Avoid negativity. Don’t stand around in the group discussing what you did and didn’t study.

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net

 


STUDY SKILLS TIP #81 – PREPARING FOR EXAMS

by psalter on October 1, 2016

Exams coming up this term?

Follow these steps to help you achieve your personal academic best:

  1. Find out what you need to learn: ask your teacher if you will be tested on the whole year’s work or just the second half of the year.
  2. Make your study notes:  You want to get your study notes finished as quickly as possible.
  3. Learn your study notes: make sure you remember what you study by testing yourself as you learn.
  4. Practise the skills of the subject: do as many different questions, revision sheets, chapter reviews, sample essays or past examination papers as you can.
  5. Review your test-taking techniques: this ensures you make the most of the time in the exam.
  6. And when you get your exam paper back make the most of it by carefully reviewing everything you got wrong.

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP #80 – A MESSAGE TO YEAR 12

by psalter on September 1, 2016

These last few months of Year 12 can be overwhelming as the focus just seems to be on marks, marks, marks.

So here are some important things to remember:

Yes this year is important. And yes you want to get the best marks you can. BUT.

A very big but.

You as a person are not defined by a number alone.

There are always alternate paths to get to where you want to go in life. The marks might make it quicker or easier but if you really want to get somewhere, if you are passionate about what you want to do, you will find a way to make it happen. Many people don’t get their first preference at university, so start off in one course then transfer after a year to the one they really wanted.

Lots of students leave school and find out that they actually have some incredible skills, they just weren’t academic! They discover that they are really good at lots and lots of stuff and that in the end, the marks did not make that much difference to their final career.

Really what you want after the next few months is to walk away with no regret, to be able to walk away saying no matter what, I really did the best I could – rather than I threw away twelve years of school just because I couldn’t be bothered pushing hard in the last few months. Doing your best is all anyone should expect of you, teachers, parents and even yourself.

These can be challenging months and you will be so over study by the end of it. Remember everyone has to go through it and the good news is it is never like this again! Just keep saying to yourself each day, this is one day less and I will never ever have to study like this again. The hardest part of Year 12 is finding the self-discipline to make yourself do the study when you don’t feel like doing it! So hang in there, persist, just take it day by day and make use of the support structures around you through the school, family and friends.

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP #79 – 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE STUDENTS

by psalter on August 1, 2016

7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE STUDENTS

Effective students are those who have learnt to study smarter rather than harder. Below is a list of the top 7 habits that effective students do.

  1. MAKE THE MOST OF CLASSTIME: If you have to sit in class anyway, then you may as well make the most of the experience. Time wasted in class is lost learning opportunities or time you need to make up. To make the most of classtime stay on task and be as involved as you can in the lesson.
  2. ASK QUESTIONS OFTEN: Students who are effective will ask questions when they don’t understand something, they don’t wait until 3 weeks into the topic then say ‘I don’t understand any of this!’. So if you aren’t sure about something, then ask your teacher.
  3. COMPLETE ALL HOMEWORK: Your teachers are giving you the homework for a reason – even if you are unsure what the reason might be! It is all part of building your learning in the subject. So don’t think that you know more than them – instead put 100% effort into completing all homework to the best of your ability.
  4. DO INDEPENDENT LEARNING: Students who do well academically do more than just the set homework. Rather than cramming just before an exam they learn as they go. This means the nights they don’t have much homework they step up and take responsibility for their learning and ask themselves ‘what else could I be doing to help me understand and learn my subjects?’. Often this entails reviewing previous work that was difficult or preparing study notes in advance.
  5. ARE FOCUSED WHEN WORKING: Students who are effective usually work in blocks of time at home, anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour, but in that time they focus on the task at hand. This means they have removed all distractions and commit that when they are working on schoolwork, they are just working on schoolwork – no personal activities at the same time.
  6. WORK SMART FOR ASSESSMENTS: Effective students spend time when they are given an assessment ensuring they understand the requirements and the marking criteria. They work to the guidelines of the assessment and approach the task systematically, making a plan and setting targets for when they want to complete each step.
  7. NEVER CONFUSE ‘READING’ WITH ‘STUDYING’: Effective learners know how to study properly for a test. They know that just reading your notes over and over is not an effective way to learn. Instead they read a section then test themselves on it, seeing what they can say out loud or write down. They also do lots of revision questions or past exam papers so they can practise the skills of the subject and identify areas of weakness.

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP #78 – MID YEAR CHECK UP

by psalter on June 29, 2016

As we approach the second semester now is a good time for you to do a bit of a check-up to see if you can improve your approach to school. Here are some questions you can ask yourself:

  • Have you set yourself goals to strive for over this year? YES / NO
  • Do you know what motivates you to do work? YES / NO
  • Do you try to take a positive approach to your studies? YES / NO
  • Do you make an effort to make the thoughts in your head positive ones? YES / NO
  • Are you making the most of class time, listening and focusing and completing all work? YES / NO
  • Have you been asking for help if you don’t understand something? YES / NO
  • Have you been writing all your homework into your diary or online planner and getting it done? YES / NO
  • Have you been breaking down bigger tasks and scheduling the work in your diary/planner? YES / NO
  • Have you been keeping track of what you complete and rescheduling unfinished work? YES / NO
  • Have you organised your folders for papers and digital resources for school? YES / NO
  • Do you have folders or somewhere at home to file away all your work for your topics? YES / NO
  • Have you decided what you will keep or do your study notes in? YES / NO
  • Have you been working on study notes each time you finish a topic for a subject? YES / NO
  • Do you have a term planner above your desk where you can easily see the heavy weeks? YES / NO
  • Have you set up a good study environment at home, a place where you can focus and work? YES / NO
  • Are you doing around an hour and a half of schoolwork most nights (2-3 hrs for seniors)? YES / NO
  • Have you thought realistically about whether you have too many outside school activities? YES / NO
  • Have you allocated set periods of time for school work (eg at least 3 x half hour blocks)? YES / NO
  • Do you remove all distractions etc. when you are focusing on your schoolwork at home? YES / NO
  • Do you prioritise each afternoon what you will work on that night? YES / NO
  • When you make study notes, are you making them visual with mind maps, highlighting etc? YES / NO
  • When you study for a test, do you both ‘learn’ the content and ‘practise’ the skills? YES / NO
  • Do you try to do lots of the practise under examination conditions? YES / NO
  • Have you reviewed the different study techniques that you should use for your learning style? YES / NO
  • Are you doing more than ‘just reading’ when you study for an assessment? YES / NO
  • Have you thought about how you will overcome the obstacles you face in achieving your best? YES / NO
  • Have you set up some routines to try and create habits that will help you this year? YES / NO

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP #77 – PROOFING ASSESSMENTS

by psalter on June 1, 2016

1st Proof:

It’s a good idea to relocate from your work space for this. For example, take your assignment to a park or another room – somewhere you will sit with new focus for a set time. Go to this place with the sole purpose to proof. Ensure you take the criteria, what the question is asking with you. Your first proof needs to take into account the following factors.

  • WORD COUNT: Is the word count of your assessment within the specified limit? If it is not, note how many words need to be cut.
  • SPELliNG / GRAMMAR: Spelling and grammar need to be correct. If you are using a computer, spell check will help – but don’t rely on it. For example, you might have typed ‘from’ when you meant ‘form’. The spell check won’t pick that up.
  • SOURCES: Are all sources listed for visuals, examples and quotes?
  • CRITERIA / QUESTION ANSWERED? Check the criteria and tick where you have addressed the criteria. You will then ensure your assignment answers everything asked.
  • REPETITION: It’s easy to repeat points, double check you haven’t done this.
  • USEFul INFORMATION: It’s not uncommon to write unnecessary information. Do you have points that don’t really answer the question? Have you written clearly? Is there any information you could leave out? Is there any information that you realise needs to be added?
  • REINFORCE: This is where you need to finalise which words you will bold, highlight, underline etc. so your assignment clearly identifies the main points. Bolding can let the teacher see clearly that you have covered all the parts of the question, that there is a sequence of ideas and you have organised the information well.
  • FIX: Make sure that when you are back at your desk you fix all of the errors you have found.

2nd Proof:

The next day repeat the above steps, but this time – READ YOUR ASSIGNMENT OUT LOUD! If you didn’t print your assignment to proof the first time, now could be the time. Reading and hearing the words spoken in different mediums can sometimes give a new perspective to your writing. Note down any changes you need to make, and make them.

3rd Proof:

It’s always a good idea to ask someone to proof your assignment after you have proofed it first. It is common for the writer not to pick up typos or silly mistakes because he/she knows what they meant and sees the words they intended to write, and not the errors. So recruit a proof reader (parent, relatives, older sibling or friend etc.).

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP #76 – STARTING ASSIGNMENTS STRAIGHT AWAY

by psalter on May 1, 2016

Ever leave your assignments until the last minute? Well here are 5 reasons to start work on your assignments immediately.

- GET YOUR brAIN THINKING ABOUT THE TOPIC: At the very least, read through the requirements of the assignment on the day you get your assignment. Even if you are not thinking about it directly, your subconscious will be hard at work.

- FIND librARY RESOURCES: Although the library may not be your main source of reference, you should drop in soon after receiving the assignment. Reference books, resources and magazines will disappear quickly. It is not a good idea to only use Google.

- DISCOVER OTHER RESOURCES: You could also ask your local librarian for any additional direction on where to look for resource material for your assignment. Librarians know how to help people access relevant information, in books, journals and in computer based references.

- STARTING EARLY MEANS MORE TIME TO EXPLORE & ASK FOR HELP: Your initial research might be on assignment points you’ve identified through the library, references your teacher may have given you, school textbooks, and/or general internet search engines. If you start this early, you could discover that you don’t actually understand important concepts and that perhaps you need to speak to your teacher to get further clarity.

- CREATE A SAFETY NET: Starting your assignment immediately will give you a safety net in case you get sick, or something unexpected happens. You should always have a schedule that allows for the unexpected.

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP #75 – MAKING GREAT STUDY NOTES

by psalter on April 1, 2016

With the end of term approaching it is time to think about study notes. But why now? Well many students wait until just before examination time to even consider their study notes then there is no time to learn them and no time to practise the skills of the subject. If you will have tests later in the year, then a smart thing to do is to get all of the Term 1 study notes up to date during the holidays.

Can you imagine coming back Term 2, you haven’t done your study notes for Term 1 and you get slammed with new work – it becomes impossible to catch up! So make a smart decision and ensure you have all of your Term 1 study notes complete by the end of the term.

Top 5 tips to improve notes:

  1. POINTS: Avoid long sentences and focus on key points.
  2. TABLES: Use tables wherever possible to create structure.
  3. KEY WORDS: Pull out keys words (as shown in this list).
  4. HIGHliGHT: Make sure the key content stands out (but don’t go crazy with colour).
  5. FEEDBACK: Show notes to teachers, parents and friends so they can suggest ways to improve them.

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP #74 – STARTING THE DAY WELL

by psalter on March 1, 2016

Do you find it hard to get out of bed some days and be positive about going to school and learning? It can be hard to turn the day around when you wake up like this and don’t take steps to start your day in a positive way. Your approach in the first hour of the day dictates the direction of your day of learning at school.

To ensure you start your mornings well you need to make sure you have a night-time and wake-up routine.

  1. Set Your Intentions Before Bed: consciously decide every night to create a positive expectation for the next morning.
  2. Move Your Alarm Clock Across The Room: so you have to get up to turn it off.
  3. Brush Your Teeth: when you wake up and splash water on your face.
  4. Drink a Full Glass of Water: to hydrate yourself after several hours without water.
  5. Add some of the following ideas to your own routines.

The “Miracle Morning” is a book written by Hal Elrod and he speaks about starting your morning with “Life SAVERS”. The idea is that you add some of these to your morning routine or come up with your own activities for a positive start to the morning:

  • Silence can be meditation, mindfulness, prayer etc.
  • Affirmation can be a word you use that reminds you of who you are and how to be.
  • Visualisation is an intention (directing your focus) on how you want your day to be.
  • Exercise can be a short walk or stretching or going for a run (exercise is a great thing to do in the morning).
  • Reading something that is positive and enjoyable. What you read “resonates” with you. It gets you thinking and expanding “beyond yourself”.
  • Scribe is about journaling. Writing in your journal about your day gives you insight and clarity about issues. It also helps you realise what’s working and how far you have come.

These tips are courtesy of www.humanconnections.com.au

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP #73 – ACHIEVING GOALS

by psalter on February 1, 2016

A big step towards achieving your goals is developing and maintaining a goal setting mindset as the attitudes you have learnt and develop will influence the way you view goal setting.

Approaching a task with a negative and self-defeating attitude makes it much harder to actually be successful at that task.

You need to have a positive attitude when you are setting and trying to achieve your goals. A positive attitude means you are looking for ways to succeed rather than focusing on the difficulties and obstacles that could be in your path.

To create a more positive attitude:

  • Each day note down something you did towards achieving your goals.
  • Note down any changes someone else has noticed eg. your teacher says well done on your work.
  • Don’t stop trying if something goes wrong, rather reassess your goals or decide you need to work harder to achieve them.
  • Find a mentor or helper to encourage you to achieve your goals, possibly someone who is interested in the same things or is good at the same subjects, but is a bit further ahead of you.

Other reasons why we don’t achieve our goals:

  • No action plan.
  • No true commitment to the goal.
  • Not rewarding yourself along the way.
  • Trying to focus on too many goals.
  • Not preparing yourself for success.
  • Fear of failure.

If you are still not achieving your goal try this:

  • Clarify your goal.
  • Write a list of actions.
  • Analyze, prioritize and prune.
  • Organise your list into a plan.
  • Monitor the execution of your plan and review your plan regularly

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP #72 – IT’S GOAL SETTING TIME

by psalter on January 1, 2016

The start of the year is a great time to set yourself some academic goals along with any personal goals you might plan to achieve this year.

There are lots of great reasons to set goals:

• Setting goals gets you to think about possibilities.
• Goals give you a direction to work towards.
• Goals give you a clear picture of where you want to go.
• Goals help you to push yourself just that little bit more.
• Goals help you have a more fun and fulfilled life.
• Goals can give you motivation and focus.
• Setting goals helps you do all the things you want to do in life!
• Goals give us the motivation to do things that are difficult and challenging in order to reach a particular desired state.
• Goals help us achieve our dreams, hopes and desires.
• Goals help us look for an achievable balance between the different areas of our life.
• Goals make us feel good about ourselves and our achievements and help us to increase our self-esteem and sense of self-worth.
• Goals give us a greater feeling of control over our lives and experiences.
• Goals allow us to prioritise and create action plans.

There are different types of goals you can set based on the timeframe in which you want to achieve these goals:

Short-term goals: are things you want to do today, tomorrow or within the next few weeks and sometimes months.
Medium-term goals: are things you want to achieve in the next few months or sometime even within the next year.
Long-term goals: are things you want to do later on in life, whether it is next year, two years’ time, ten years’ time or even longer.

You may decide to set a mix of these types of goals. To give yourself the best chance of achieving your goals, it is a good idea to make sure your goals are SMARTIES – so keep in mind these guidelines for setting effective goals:

Specific: Make goals very detailed and specific. Exactly what do you want to achieve?
Measurable: You want to be able to know when you have achieved your goal so make sure there is some way to measure your success.
Action-Oriented: Your short-term goals should really be the action steps you need to take to achieve the medium and longer term goals.
Relevant & Realistic: Goals change, so if your goal is no longer relevant, you need to change it.
Time-Based: Your goals need to have a ‘to complete by’ date to give you something to aim for.
Interesting: Make your goals about things that you find interesting and worthwhile.
Emotional: Use powerful language to express the emotion behind the goals.
Success oriented: Express your goals in a positive and success focused way.

And….
– Only use POSITIVE language in goals.
– Use PASSIONATE, enthusiastic and motivating language.
– Write your goal in the PRESENT tense.

Review your goals regularly to remind yourself of what you want to achieve and to stimulate your mind to think of other possibilities. Start taking specific actions that will help you achieve your goals, in particular your short-term goals. Putting together an action plan of the steps to achieve the goal and allocating timeframes for each action is a good place to start.

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP #71 – MINDFULNESS AND MEDITATION

by psalter on December 1, 2015

7 Ways Mindfulness and Meditation Can be Helpful to Students

Want to try something new over the school holidays? Why not give meditation a go? There are lots of great Apps out there, for example ‘Mindfulness’, ‘Headspace’, ‘Relax’ and ‘Positivity’. These will guide you through simple meditation and mindfulness exercises. You could even try the new mindfulness colouring-in books for adults that are all the rage. But what is it all about and why should you try it?

What is Mindfulness?

Headspace (www.headspace.com) defines mindfulness as “the intention to be present in the here and now, fully engaged in whatever is happening, free from distraction or judgement, with a soft and open mind”. 

What is Meditation?

Meditation is a way of transforming the mind, making it calm and silent.  According to the Australian Teachers of Meditation Association meditation is a discipline that involves turning the mind and attention inward and focusing on a single thought, image, object or feeling.

How does meditation and practicing mindfulness help you with your schoolwork?

  1. Reduces anxiety and risk of depression.
  2. Increases resilience.
  3. Improves ability to learn and recall information.
  4. Improves concentration.
  5. Improves creativity.
  6. Helps manage exam stress.
  7. Leads to better sleep.

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP #70 – MANAGING EXPECTATIONS ABOUT RESULTS

by psalter on November 1, 2015

Parents often have high expectations of their children in relation to how much homework they will do, and what results they will achieve in their studies. These expectations may result from cultural beliefs, personal experiences, desire for children to have better opportunities than their parents had and the like. Research shows that whilst parental expectations can play a significant part in children achieving high results, they can also contribute to high levels of student stress.

Some things to think about in relation to parental expectations include:

  1. Setting realistic goals: Keep talking to your parents about what you want to achieve, in individual subjects, at school overall and in other aspects of your life. Your career goals may mean you want to focus intensively on something like art or music, rather than maths or science. Helping to identify your goals will enable you to determine what subjects you need to focus on and what marks you are likely to need, which means that effort can be concentrated on the areas which will help you to achieve your goals.
  2. Involve your parents in your learning: Throughout the term talk to your parents about what you are studying. Show them your bookwork and homework. The more they understand about what you are doing and how you are going along the way, the better they will be able to set and manage their expectations.
  3. Ensure your parents develop an understanding of the school’s assessment and reporting structures: Assessment and reporting systems change over time and are different in different schools, states and countries. Making sure your parents really understand what your report means may help them to understand what you are actually achieving. Your school can explain these to them if need be. Sometimes students are excelling, but reporting structures don’t clearly represent this to parents.
  4. Remember nobody is perfect: Even the brightest, most highly motivated student will struggle at times. You may struggle to understand a particular topic or concept, or you may struggle with motivation, particularly for a subject you don’t particularly enjoy. Problems with teachers or peers can also contribute. It is unrealistic that anyone can work with 100% effort all the time.
  5. Providing practical homework and exam support: Ask your parents if they can provide practical help to enable you to access past papers or practise questions and work with you by helping with things like proofreading and reviewing drafts, checking work and listening to speeches.

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP #69 – DEALING WITH EXAM PRESSURE

by psalter on October 1, 2015

Top 10 things you need to do/remember about dealing with exam pressure:

  1. KNOW YOUR MATERIAL
  2. PRACTISE, PRACTISE, PRACTISE
  3. FUEL YOUR BODY AND YOUR MIND
  4. MANAGE THE PHYSICAL SIGNS OF STRESS
  5. HAVE A GOOD brEAKFAST AND GET TO SCHOOL ON TIME
  6. VISUAliSE SUCCESS
  7. INVOLVE YOUR PARENTS IN YOUR SCHOOLWORK
  8. TALK TO YOUR PARENTS ABOUT REAliSTIC GOALS
  9. UNDERSTAND PARENTS’ EXPECTATIONS.
  10. ASK FOR HELP

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP #68 – DEALING WITH PROCRASTINATION

by psalter on August 30, 2015

Procrastination is the act of putting off a task which you know you have to do, even though you know that putting it off will probably be worse for you in the long run. For example, when you procrastinate about starting an assignment it doesn’t make the assignment go away, or the deadline change, it just gives you less time to get the work done. To manage this, students can try the following:

TIPS FOR STUDENTS

  1. Become aware of the excuses you use – make a mental note when you procrastinate. What excuses do you give yourself? Too tired? Too difficult? Too boring? Being aware is the first step in changing your behaviour. Keep yourself honest by asking questions like “is this the best use of my time at the moment?” and “am I doing this as a way of avoiding what I really should be doing?”.
  2. Reduce or eliminate distractions – creating a clear, uncluttered work environment which is free from distractions will help you avoid procrastinating. Turn off your social media or WiFi, turn off your music or TV, close the door. It’s easy to get distracted and lose focus on what you are trying to do, or to procrastinate by surfing websites that are barely related to the topic you are meant to be researching. Schools that subscribe to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au can find out more in the Home Study Environment unit and Dealing with Distractions unit.
  3. Make a prioritised list – before you start work (or procrastinating) take a few minutes to work out what your priorities for the session are, based on your deadlines. Take into account all the time you have available and make a prioritised list. Work on the most important thing first. There is more information in the Time Management Skills unit on techniques for prioritising for schools that subscribe to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au.
  4. Break down projects into chunks – if you have a big task that you have to do, or something that you really don’t want to start, have a think about how it can be broken up into smaller parts. A big assignment might need a plan, the purchase of resources, a trip to the library, internet based research, and then several days to write and edit each section. If you just focus on doing one of these tasks it’s easier to commence.
  5. Just start – stop focusing on getting it done perfectly, or even well, just make a start, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Starting the task makes you realise it’s not as daunting as you originally thought and allows you to make a small amount of progress which encourages you to keep going. Sometimes once you get started you can even do more than you originally thought you could or would.

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP #67 – SLEEP

by psalter on August 1, 2015

TOP TIPS FOR A GREAT SLEEP ROUTINE

 Sleep is so important to ensure the learning from the day is consolidated.

  • Have a regular bed time and wake up time. A regular bed time helps to set your body clock so your body knows it’s time to sleep. Waking up at (or near) the same time each day also helps your body to establish a sleep pattern. Get plenty of sunlight during the day too.
  • Establish a bed time ritual. Doing a series of actions before bed also helps your body to prepare for sleep. Ideas include, a warm bath or shower, reading a book, listening to quiet music or doing some gentle stretches.
  • Avoid technology in the hour before bed, including TV, computers and phones.
  • Exercise during the day so that your body is ready for rest at night.
  • Don’t eat big meals at night. Eat as early as possible and try to avoid rich, heavy food close to bed time.
  • Limit your caffeine during the day and don’t drink any caffeine in the afternoon or evening.
  • Don’t have too much liquid in the evening….and if you are drinking, consider a herbal tea like chamomile.
  • Worrying about problems at school or with friends often stops you from getting to sleep. Talk to a trusted person about things that are worrying you to find ways to solve your problems. You could also try some relaxation exercises such as meditation or positive visualisation.
  • Have your room as dark as possible when trying to get to sleep. Use a sleep mask if you need to avoid light e.g. from electronic devices, street lights etc.

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP #66 – BLUE LIGHT

by psalter on July 1, 2015

WHY STUDENTS NEED TO TURN OFF DEVICES AN HOUR BEFORE SLEEP

Artificial light from electronic and other devices generally emit a blue light (it may not actually look blue, but that is the underlying light).  Blue light, along with ultraviolet light is a type of non-visible light at a very short wavelength.  You can see an image of the spectrum here: http://www.bluelightexposed.com/#what-is-blue-light.

What does blue light do to the human body?

Non-visible light has a lot of energy and studies show that a lot of exposure to this type of light can do damage to your eyes and also impair your sleep cycle. During sleep lots of essential physical processes take place and it is also when learning from the day is consolidated in memory. So getting enough sleep is essential for students.

Blue light is naturally generated only during the day, from sunlight.  When it gets dark, naturally occurring blue light ceases, signalling the body to produce melatonin, the hormone associated with sleep. Using artificial lighting and devices which emit a blue light at night confuses the body-clock (the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle) by stopping the body from producing melatonin.  This can result in disrupted sleep patterns including difficulty in falling asleep and staying asleep and shortened sleep duration.

Those at greatest risk from night-time exposure to blue light are those with existing sleep disorders and adolescents who often experience delayed sleep patterns as a result of biological changes.

What can I do to limit my exposure to blue light at night?

Some suggestions include:

  • Be exposed to sunlight during the day to assist in accurately setting your body clock.
  • Stop using all electronic devices preferably at least 2 hours before bed.
  • Turn off all artificial lighting 1-2 hours before bed.
  • Get a red or orange reading lamp, which does not emit blue light.
  • Use blue light blocking glasses at night.
  • Install a program or app on your computer or device to change the type of light it emits. A variety of programs are available including F.lux, EasyEyez, Night Filter, Zzz iPhone filter, Bluelight and Twilight
  • Invert the colours on your iPhone or iPad.
  • Turn the brightness down on your device for a few hours before bed (not perfect, but better than nothing!).

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP #65 – MOVING INFO INTO LONG TERM MEMORY

by psalter on May 31, 2015

The following are some tips which may help you to move information from short to long term memory.

  • BE ENGAGED: If you are interested in what you are learning you are more likely to remember it. Ask questions, pre-read information, make summaries and follow up on things you don’t understand.
  • USE REPETITION: Repetition is key to transferring information from short term to long term memory. The more often you practice a technique, or revise your information the better it will transfer to long term memory.
  • RECORD INFO: Don’t just write down everything your teacher says, or copy straight from a textbook or the Internet. Think about what is being communicated and create notes that are accurate, meaningful to you and build connections. Mind maps are a helpful tool for this.
  • ORGANISE INFO: When you are studying for a topic, make sure you organise the information into small, distinct chunks.
  • VISUAliSE INFO: Build a mental picture of what you are trying to remember, like the parts of a plant or a battle in history.
  • BUILD ASSOCIATIONS: This might mean developing some kind of sensory cue which enables you to remember information such as smell or sound. Try turning your notes into a song or poem.
  • SHAKE THINGS UP: Write in a crazy font, use lots of colours, use your left hand to write instead of your right…anything that makes your brain have to engage more actively with what it is you are trying to learn.
  • FUEL YOUR brAIN: If you want your brain to work well for you, you also need to work well for your brain. Eating foods rich in Omega 3 and essential fatty acids (such as fish, nuts, legumes and leafy green vegetables) will help your brain to function optimally. Drink lots of water so that your brain doesn’t dehydrate. Keep away from too much caffeine which may impair brain function.
  • REST YOUR brAIN: Getting fresh air and exercise helps your brain to process information, as does sleep. Most students need 8-10 hours of sleep a night. The last stage of memory consolidation takes place while you are sleeping so ensure you get enough sleep each night.

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP #64 – IT’S ALL ABOUT ATTITUDE

by psalter on May 1, 2015

When students start secondary school, they are usually very positive and optimistic about school. Then things can start to get harder, a bit more challenging, maybe they get a bad mark and become discouraged, or maybe their friends start to influence their attitude. Some students are able to overcome these challenges, while others let it affect their attitude and application to school.

Take the time to determine reasons to put in effort into your schoolwork.

Think about which of the following reasons might be motivating for you:

  • To achieve the best mark you are capable of at school.
  • To give you lots of options for what subjects you can choose in the senior years.
  • To give you lots of options of what you can choose to do when you leave school.
  • To have a personal sense of satisfaction about doing your best.
  • To show your gratitude to your parents for giving you an education.
  • To avoid getting in trouble from your teachers.
  • To avoid getting in trouble from your parents.
  • To avoid getting a detention or other negative consequences from not working.
  • To avoid disappointing your parents.
  • So you don’t feel bad about wasting your parent’s time and money giving you an education.

We often talk about ‘carrot’ and ‘stick’ people. If you want a donkey to move forward, you can either lead it forward with a carrot (a reward) or whack it with a stick (punishment).

Some students are motivated by working towards rewards, positive consequences of doing the right thing, while others are motivated to avoid negative consequences. Which do you think you are?

Understanding what motivates you and what affects your attitude can make it easier for you to make positive changes.

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP #63 – MAKING THE MOST OF CLASSTIME

by psalter on April 1, 2015

So what are the advantages of using classtime efficiently? Well, you will complete more work in class and have less to do at home, your teacher will be pleased with your application and so will your parents when they read your report, and of course, you will learn more! And if you don’t use classtime efficiently? Well you will have to do more work at home, you will find you don’t always understand the work, your teachers will have to be continually disciplining you and you may even make it harder for other people in your class to learn. So what does working effectively in class mean?

  1. Sit next to someone who will help you stay on task.
  2. Ask questions whenever you are unsure, unclear or do not understand something.
  3. Be polite and respectful of your teacher and your classmates.
  4. Come to the lesson with all the books, technology and equipment you will need.
  5. Contribute your thoughts and ideas at the appropriate times.
  6. If you find yourself day-dreaming ask yourself questions about what is going on.
  7. Try at all times to stay on task and be focused on the work you are doing.

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP #62 – READING FROM SCREENS VERSUS PRINTED MATERIALS

by psalter on March 1, 2015

Students now spend a lot of time reading from a screen: computers, kindle, mobile devices. The research into the implications of this are still in the early stages, however current evidence indicates that at this point in time print may be slightly superior to the screen in relation to comprehension, learning, retention and ease of use. enhanced-learning-books-out However, as screen technology continues to advance, interfaces become increasingly intuitive and personal preferences change from early exposure to reading on a screen, this may change – and may have already changed for some individuals. Technology is here to stay, so the key pieces of advice for students (and parents) are listed below. One of the best articles to read on this debate is by Jabr (2013) The Reading Brain in the Digital Age: The Science of Paper versus Screens http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=reading-paper-screens.

Advice for Students:

DEVELOP BOTH PAPER AND DIGITAL liTERACY SKILLS

Students need to develop their reading, comprehension and learning skills in both arenas. They need to develop one set of skills to build their competence in reading and learning from paper, however they also need to develop a completely different set of skills: digital literacy and navigation skills. Some parents are critical of the use of technology in schools and fearful that students’ handwriting and learning will be affected (Salter, 2013), however in an increasingly digital world it would be irresponsible of schools to neglect developing students’ digital literacy skills. Two of the units that are useful in this area on www.studyskillshandbook.com.au are the Reading Skills unit and Technology Tools unit.

CREATE OPPORTUNITIES TO MAINTAIN HANDWRITING SKILLS 

Finland has long been known as a leader in many educational aspects. Recently it was announced that Finland will no longer teach cursive handwriting in schools. They will continue to teach printing, however, when students would normally transition to ‘running writing’ instead they will learn keyboarding skills. This signals a change in the traditional approach. In Australia there is comprehensive testing being undertaken to look at holding both Naplan and final Year 12 examinations online. There are no indications as to when this will take place. At this point in time, as tests and examinations are still handwritten, students are advised that when it comes to exam time, they should handwrite their study notes or if typed then print them out when they are learning them. They should also actively create opportunities to maintain their handwriting skills, consciously choosing to handwrite at times when they might normally type. Visit the Writing Skills unit for tips on improving handwriting as well as some special pens that will assist.

LEARN TO TOUCH TYPE

While we have had the ability to dictate into a device for some time, this is still not in common usage. Learning to touch type is a skill that definitely pays off in the senior years in terms of saving huge amounts of time. There are links to free learning to touch type websites in the Technology Tools unit.

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP #61 – PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT

by psalter on February 1, 2015

Whilst parents are often involved in their teenager’s sporting, musical or dramatic activities, parental support on the sidelines of their adolescent child’s studies can also be beneficial, particularly to academic performance. Research shows that children are more likely to succeed if parents are involved in their learning. Hendersen and Mapp (2002) found that ‘the more families support their children’s learning and educational progress, the more their children tend to do well in school and continue their education’.

Students need to understand and communicate to parents what they can do to be involved. Below are the strategies we would tell parents, you may like to ask your parent to read through these.

Strategies for Parents to help their secondary school aged students achieve their potential:

  • WORK ENVIRONMENT

The obvious logistical support is providing a quiet, open space with few distractions for working at home. Involve your student in creating this space. Workspace tools for effective learning include a desk, ergonomic chair, a noticeboard and good lighting, as well as a shelf or drawers for folders, reference books and non-essential work. Spending time to discuss options, alternatives and reasons for establishing a dedicated work area is valuable.

  • brEAKFAST

Importantly students need to start the day with a nutritional breakfast, as this will increase energy, attention, concentration and memory, particularly if the breakfast includes grains, fibre, protein and is low in sugar. Parents can facilitate this good start to the day as part of the daily routine. Similarly, nutritious snacks and lunch will enable the student to remain more focused throughout the day.

  • ORGANISATION

A calendar for each term should be created and displayed near your student’s desk and in prominent thoroughfares in the home, such as the kitchen. The calendar or term planner should include: all co-curricular and social activities, as well as assignment, assessment or test dates. This helps the student see the big picture of commitments and not simply a weekly or daily version as school diaries or digital devices usually allow. The student, and parent, can clearly see when heavy workload periods occur, and social activities can be tailored to ensure work has a priority. It’s a good idea to sit down with your student every couple of days to discuss the schedule ahead, when the work can be slotted in, and how a parent could help by reducing family commitments, or by setting boundaries with social engagements. Regularly sitting down to discuss workloads and tasks due, reviewing activities and schedules can help students learn to be more productive and organized.

  • FIliNG SYSTemS

Master folders should be set up for each subject at home, so after each topic is completed the notes can be placed in appropriate categories. This also gives students somewhere to file completed tests and assignments. Most students carry their current notes to school each day, but naturally as the term and year progresses it’s impossible (and risky if misplaced) to have all worknotes in one folder. Students may also need help organising the files on their computers and devices (although it is likely that many students know more about this than their parents!).

  • ROUTINES

Helping your student to establish routines can add an element of calm to each day. Simple routines such as having the school bag packed and uniform ready before going to bed each night, can eliminate unnecessary angst in the morning. A useful addition to the evening schedule is to determine the next afternoon’s program: when homework and daily revision will be done around co-curricular activities, dinner etc. This can give a clear direction when your student comes home each day. Some students find that having regular times set aside for schoolwork each day helps them to develop a routine of working. Other students will need to make a plan each afternoon as their schedule changes each day.

  • TIMETABLE

Know your student’s timetable, so it’s easy and relevant to ask “What were you doing in Science today?” A specific question can often open a conversation where your student not only shares but, in doing so, reinforces what was learned which increases memory (and understanding) of the lesson.

  • SUBJECTS

Know your student’s subjects, and become aware of the topics covered each year in those subjects. ‘Improved educational outcomes result from a genuine interest and active engagement from parents’ (OECD 2011), so knowing the topics could allow parents to expose students to different dimensions of the subject through film, books, contemporary issues, the Internet, exhibitions, travel etc. Students appreciate, perhaps subconsciously, that the parent is truly interested in their learning and what they are learning.  Some schools will give students a course outline and the state’s educational body will also have a website where parents should be able to access the syllabus (what will be taught) for each subject.

  • ASSIGNMENTS

A helpful strategy is to keep abreast of when assignments are given. Talking to your student about assignment expectations, drawing out their understanding of the topic, criteria and parts of the assignment can instill a deeper appreciation. It’s good to probe and ask more about the assignment topic with questions, as this could give your student other perspectives, and once more, help the student feel the parent has a real interest in learning. When planning the workload for an assignment, parents can help break the work into chunks or parts. This can reduce the sense of the overwhelming enormity of the task and the task can be broken into manageable parts, which are then scheduled to be done into the calendar or diary.

  • TESTS

Similarly, parents can help students prepare for tests by quizzing them, asking for concepts to be explained or helping write practice tests. Explain to your student that memory and understanding can increase if the brain is using multiple processes to use information, such as writing, reading, speaking, drawing or singing! When tests are returned, focus on what was achieved and note concepts to revise. If students know parents are not solely focused on the grade, but also on the process, and that tests (and assignments) are tools to learn, intrinsic motivation can develop.

  • CO-CURRICulAR ACTIVITIES

There comes a time in secondary school when some co-curricular activities need to be cut for a period of time, as academic demands increase or the student is juggling too much. It’s unlikely students will initiate severing an activity so it’s generally up to parents. Students, like adults, can give more to an activity when there is time, and academic work needs to be one of the main priorities during the school terms. Parents will often be the first to notice when their student is over-loaded (and it varies for each individual), when school work is rushed or dismissed, when their student is tired or out-of-sorts, when they have no “downtime” on weeknights. Everyone needs some downtime, even if it is only for an hour of escapist freedom.

  • TECHNOLOGY

Parents need to be the “bad cop” when it comes to limiting computer games, or other digital device activity. It is advisable that devices are not in bedrooms when students go to bed. However, rather than dictating the rule, parents should talk about the need for solid, sufficient sleep for the brain to re-wire neural pathways to consolidate the day’s learning. Lack of sleep can lead to reduced concentration and attention span, delayed response time, and decreased short-term memory.  Rules for technology (including TV viewing) should be developed together if possible so there is agreement about the approach.

  • COMMUNICATION WITH THE SCHOOL

It’s now fully acknowledged that together, parents and teachers play a dual role in educating students, so it’s vital to maintain open communication with the school. It’s important for parents to keep abreast of school information conveyed through newsletters, school portals, emails and so on, as it’s not uncommon for a student to miss information at school. This allows parents to flag or discuss with their student what the school is offering, advising or sharing. For example: a newsletter may alert parents to additional “maths tutorials” offered before school, or “homework help sessions” after school. This reinforces again that the parent is interested in their student’s learning. It is equally important for parents to advise the school of extraneous issues happening at home, as this would give teachers an understanding of atypical behaviour, work ethic, concentration etc. An illness or death in the family (including a family pet), parent absence for more than a fortnight, or challenging issues on the home front, are examples of when parents should contact the school. Moderated assignments, extensions on homework, or relaxed detentions could result, and allow the student to resume their learning journey without additional stress. However secondary school students also need to gain skills and strategies to deal with life’s variables, and to become independent, confident problem solvers. So it’s also important for parents to give students opportunities to manage issues at school themselves. Parents should not approach the school to “fix” every minor problem, such as a student missing a page in an exam which lowered his grade, or a student feeling they had been maligned by a peer. Both these instances are life-lessons to learn from or solve, so parents should encourage students to approach teachers themselves when needed.

The strategies above should be developed with the child, and hopefully will be independently adopted by the student when they reach their final years at school. It’s worthwhile noting that each point is related to the child’s learning, as this sends a very positive message that the parent is engaged and interested in the learning process.

[OECD 2011] PISA in Focus, (2011). What can parents do to help their children succeed in school?. [online] Available at: http://www.oecd.org/pisa/49012097.pdf [Accessed 2 Jan. 2015].

[Henderson and Mapp 2002] Henderson, A. & Mapp, K. (2002). A new wave of evidence. The impact of school, family, and community connections on student achievement. Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (SEDL). Available: http://www.sedl.org/connections/resources/evidence.pdf [Accessed 2 Jan 2015]

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP #60 – GAMING AND THE ADOLESCENT BRAIN

by psalter on January 2, 2015

What are electronic games doing to the adolescent brain?

Mobile and handheld technologies provide great opportunities for learning.  However, with the vast number of electronic games also available, it is easy for students to become distracted by these games at any hour of the day or night and in any location.  Globally, addiction to electronic games is becoming an increasing issue – with some players spending more than 12 hours a day playing games.

Here is some of the evidence about the negative impacts of too much gaming, including what is happening to the adolescent brain of students who spend too much time on these activities.

 

DA Gentile, H Choo, A Liau, T Sim, D Li, D Fung, A Khoo “Pathological Video Game Use Among Youths: A Two Year Longitudinal Study” (2011) Pediatrics Vol 127 No. 2, ppe319 – e329

This two year longitudinal study conducted in Singapore followed over 3,000 children in middle and high school.  It found that students who spent more time gaming had lower social confidence, greater impulsivity and were more likely to become pathological gamers. Further, the study found that those students who were pathological gamers were more likely to have lower school performance, along with disorders such as depression and anxiety.

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/127/2/e319.short

 

J-P Chaput, T Visby, S Nyby, L Klingenberg, N Gregersen, A Tremblay, A Astrup & A Sjodin “Video Game Playing Increases Food Intake in Adolescents: A Randomised Crossover Study” (2011) The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition Vol 93, no. 6 1196 – 1203

This study examined the relationship between energy intake and gaming in 22 adolescent males.  It compared their energy intake after a period of gaming and also a period of rest.  Biological markers (appetite hormones and blood pressure) were used as measures, along with behavioural observations (spontaneous food intake).  The study concluded that participants had a higher energy intake when engaging in gaming than during rest and that this was regardless of their appetite sensations. This means students were eating more than they needed.

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/93/6/1196.short

 

S-B Hong, A Zalesky, L Cocchi, A Fornito, E-J Choi, H-H Kim, J-W Kim and S-H Li (2013) “Decreased Functional Brain Connectivity in Adolescents with Internet Addiction” PLoS ONE 8(2): e57831. Doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0057831

In this study, the brains of 12 adolescents with a diagnosed internet addiction were examined in comparison with 11 “healthy” adolescents.  The study found that there was reduced functionality in parts of the brains of those with the addiction.

 

M-H Park, E-J Park, J Choi, S Chai, J-H Lee, C Lee, D-H Kim “Preliminary Study of Internet Addiction and Cognitive Function in Adolescents based on IQ Tests” Psychiatry Research Vol 190, Issues 2-3, 30 December 2011, pages 275-281

This study commenced with a screening of over 500 middle and high school students to identify those with an internet addiction and compared 59 internet addicted students to 43 non-addicted students using an IQ test.  Results showed that the students with an internet addiction had lower scores in relation to comprehension than the control group.  Further research is required to determine whether this is cause or effect ie. Does the lower comprehension predispose the student to internet addiction, or does the internet addiction cause brain changes?

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165178111005786

 

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP #59 – MAKING THE MOST OF THE YEARLY REPORT

by psalter on December 1, 2014

TIPS ON MAKING THE MOST OF THE END OF YEAR SCHOOL REPORT

1. Before the report arrives home, write your own school report. Make up a grid similar to this (below) for all subjects, and pretend to be the teacher and write about yourself. You could also create a grid that simulates your previous school report.

Subject Grade (A-E) Effort (A-E) Teacher’s comment
English
Maths

 

This gives you the opportunity to reflect on your own performance at school.

2. Read your report looking for positives. Most students will have find areas to commend.

3. The report should be viewed as a vehicle to move forward, and not be perceived as a final judgment of your ability – because it is not. It’s a “screenshot” and not the whole story. It is important to know you have the ability to modify and change your work ethic or study strategies, and that you can improve. The report is an opportunity to highlight strengths and weaknesses, and can help you develop goals for next year.

 4. Compare the yearly report to the Semester 1 report and last year’s report. This can be useful to identify specific subject areas where there has been an improvement or a decline.  If grades improved, celebrate this achievement. If the grades declined, think why this may be the case. For example, Semester 1 report grades may have been based on assignments and not exams. This could flag that exams were either not fully prepared for and study skills should be reviewed, or you need exam practice as they are a very different mode to demonstrate knowledge, or perhaps new concepts were introduced in Semester 2 and these could be weaknesses to work on!

 5. Don’t just look at grades, focus on effort also. Your performance is not measured solely by grades. Not every student will receive an A or B, in fact the average student would mostly like achieve a C grade (which typically represents the middle 60%). Effort grades however can reflect the teacher’s perspective on how hard you worked, your commitment to fulfill homework, assignments and contribution in class. A student who achieved a C grade, or 55%, yet gained an A for effort should be congratulated. Again, as the report should be viewed as a discussion and evaluation, if the effort grade is lower, think why this might be the case, and make a note of this to form one of the goals for next year.

6. Consider the “year average” mark or grade. Many schools will include the year average grade as well as your grade. This is important to consider. If you attained a 75%, and the year average was 62%, then you are well above the average. Celebrate this.  It’s also important to consider the academic strength of the school. If it is a selective high school, or a school where HSC results are consistently high, the year average would be considerably higher than the State average. For example, if you are at a school where 50% of the Year 12 students achieved an ATAR of 90 or over, and you are in the top half of the average, this needs to be considered, even if you achieved a 70%.

7. Teachers’ comments. Obviously if there is a consistent thread from multiple teachers, this needs to be addressed. For example, if many teachers comment on your lack of concentration, or need to focus on answering the question, then the comments suggest a specific area of weakness.

8. Grades varying between subjects, and compare exam results with assessment results. Identify specific subjects where grades were ‘low’ and where others were ‘high’. It is not uncommon for students to have strengths in some subjects and weaknesses in others. Few people excel across all subject areas, particularly in Years 7 – 10 when they have not yet been able to refine their academic program to areas of interest or strength. If grades vary, what are the reasons? It could be simply that you did not study for a subject at all, or had misread a heavily weighted question. Similarly compare exam grades against assessment grades. If your exam marks are noticeably less than the assessment grades, it could easily identify a weakness in exam technique and/or revision, and not be a reflection of ability or understanding. Remember, examinations are just one medium for determining knowledge.

 9. Establish goals for next year and consider a holiday review program (even if only 1 hour a week). The report can, and should, be read as an instrument to create goals for next year, and possibly plan a holiday review program. As students in December typically focus on the long summer holidays, freedom and unstructured days, it’s natural for school work to wane. However, now is the time to create goals for next year, whilst the academic year remains in your recent memory. It is more difficult to establish goals in February. Identify 3 – 5 goals for next semester. Some goals could be:

  • Focus on reading the question in assignments/exams carefully to ensure the question is answered.
  • Ensure I make summary notes when I finish each topic.
  • Do at least 30 minutes reviewing what I learned at school each day, in addition to homework.
  • Ask the teacher if I don’t understand a concept.
  • For example, if Maths is a weakness, spend 1 hour a week doing extra Maths practice. When the goals are listed put them in a prominent place – fridge, bedroom wall, notice board etc. It would also be prudent to develop a holiday review program if there are specific subjects or areas of subjects that are weak. This does not need to be extensive, in fact, shouldn’t, however regular practice of specific subjects that will be required for cumulative learning next year can make an enormous difference.  

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP #58 – MANAGING TECHNOLOGY USE

by psalter on November 1, 2014

Top 10 Tips for Students for Managing Technology Distractions:

The Golden Rule - keep school work time and personal technology use separate, otherwise it will take you 5 times longer to complete your work!

  1. Allocate specific times for work and for technology– this can be tricky given that much of the time students need to use technology for research.  However, making a timetable which clearly identifies time for homework/study, games and other online activities, means you know that you will soon get an opportunity to get back online.  It’s best to make these blocks in the time when you aren’t at your most “productive” with work.

  2. Turn off your technology distractions – turn off as many things as you can eg. phone, iPad, iPod, Facebook, Instagram, even your computer if you don’t need it for that piece of work.  If you aren’t aware of messages or notifications coming in, then you won’t need to check them.  Try it for half an hour and then get back to your messages once you’ve finished that work block.

  3. Set clear goals – once you have achieved your work goal, reward yourself with technology. Allow yourself 20 minutes of guilt-free online time.

  4. Set a timer – if you can’t stop gaming or checking facebook, even when your allocated time is up, set an annoying timer….which you place away from where you are playing, so that you have to get up to turn off.  Once it’s off, you have already broken the connection to the game and it should be easier to get on with your work.

  5. Install software on your computer to help manage distractions – there are lots of different packages available to assist you in controlling your computer use – how long you use particular programs for and what you use.  More information is available for subscribers to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au in the Managing Distractions Unit of the Study Skills Handbook http://www.studyskillshandbook.com.au/inside/inside_content/home5c.html but try 'Self Control' or 'Cold Turkey'.

  6. Don’t make in-App purchases – lots of us have downloaded a “free” app only to get caught up in the cycle of “in app” purchases so we can just get one more level or win.  Making a deal with yourself to wait for a while to have another go at a game both saves money and gives you 20-30 minutes to focus on schoolwork instead.

  7. Remember TV is technology too – working in front of the TV can be just as distracting as other forms of technology.  Save up your easy work – like title pages, or filing, to do in front of the TV and use your technology free time to focus on more challenging work.

  8. ksafeEnlist some help – ask your parent or sibling to help you manage your technology distractions by sitting near you while you work to monitor what you are doing, testing you on your current topics or holding on to your devices for you. Or you could try the K-Safe where you can lock your phone away for as little or as long as you choose: https://www.thekitchensafe.com/ (I use mine to manage my chocolate addiction!)

  9. Find a different place to work – some work can be done outside, or while you are exercising.  Why not step outside to review your study notes, or read your novel?  Record your notes or listen to a podcast when you are out walking the dog?

  10.  Do some mental skills development – if you really need to improve your focus, attention and memory, try doing some specific exercises.  http://www.cogmed.com.au/schools offers a formal school based program.  Also  http://www.lumosity.com/ http://www.mindgames.com/brain-games.php

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP #57 – HOW TO STAY POSITIVE AS EXAMS APPROACH

by psalter on October 1, 2014

This month’s tip from Rocky Biasi at Human Connections.  Learn more about ‘tapping’ techniques that can help manage stress at: https://xb145.isrefer.com/go/entap/Enhanced/

SYDNEY ONLY: Individuals (parents and students) may be interested in attending a workshop in Sydney during October run by Karen Gilles on enhancing self-awareness and self-understanding, which will also help stress management: http://www.embodiedgroundedconnection.com/Workshops.html. Watch this YT video for more info:  http://youtu.be/U1OsiSnrLwE

If you listen to our podcast, Braintree Podcast, we’d love you to take this short survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/XHX72SN

 

Recently a student sent this email: Hi I was wondering if you could do a tip on staying positive when you are stressed and feeling depressed as our exams are coming up and I have been feeling depressed lately and I think it would help.

It can be difficult to stay positive or “be up” as exams approach. The more important the exam the more stress we can feel. Worse, if we don’t do anything to make us feel good, stress can lead to anxiety and depression. There are many reasons why students feel this stress and depressed mood as examination dates approach.

  • Students receive distorted messages and perceptions about the importance of the exams, such as, “this can/will determine your future” etc.
  • With the pressure and stress of exams students avoid doing the work necessary to be prepared and as a result feel more overwhelmed, hopeless, anxious etc. Students can feel they have no control of their situation.
  • When we allow the pressure, stress and upset to build we can get into bad habits and let go of good habits. As a result students can feel more drained and exhausted and find it difficult or impossible to “climb out of the dark hole” they are in.

A holistic approach to boost wellbeing as exams approach 

The key to being positive and managing negative emotions such as anxiety and feeling down and depressed in any pressure situation including exams is to “fuel up”. It goes without saying that if students are exhausted, tired, stressed, depressed etc. it is very difficult if not impossible to deal with the pressure of exams. “Fuelling Up” is about boosting wellbeing factors in students’ lives. Students need to boost the wellbeing factors in their BODY, MIND and emOTIONS.

Trying to “feel good” or be “positive” when the body is exhausted and depleted is impossible! This is something we all know yet many of us find it difficult to change.

 

TIPS FOR WELLBEING

Here are some things you can do to boost the energy in your BODY:

  • See a doctor.

Visit your doctor and get a check up. It’s important that any medical issues are ruled out because you may try some of the following tips without noticing any benefit while all along there may have been a medical issue that needed attention.

  • Get better sleep.

Feeling good starts with getting the right amount and type of sleep. Start with a good night-time routine. Stop anything that stimulates you such as caffeine or TV or computer, iPad or phone screens etc. for an hour before you go to bed. Try a warm drink such as chamomile tea and use essential oils such as lavender oil. Having a soothing bath or shower can also help along with gentle stretching of tight or tense muscles. If you still feel you are not getting a “good” sleep be sure to see your doctor.

  • Eat in Moderation

Never skip a meal, especially breakfast. Breakfast replenishes your body and helps you start your day full of energy. Eat three main meals, and two to three snack meals a day. Eating five to six times in a day keeps your blood sugar levels balanced, giving you an overall sense of well-being needed for focusing on your tasks and responsibilities.

  • Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise, at least three times per week for a minimum of 30 minute sessions, can virtually “soak up” stress chemicals in your body and help you to relax and even sleep better. Brisk walking, aerobic classes, swimming, bike riding, or jogging are great exercises to release stress buildup and relax your body and mind to either start or end your day right.

 

Here are some things you can do to THINK more positively: 

  • Change your thinking and perceptions

Write down your top 5 fears and worries. What’s the worst thing that can happen? Then ask yourself, “IS THAT TRUE”? Usually fears and worries are not based on reality but on imagined scenarios that have little to no evidence. If it’s something that can’t be changed bring acceptance to it. It is what it is for now!

  • Change your focus

Have you noticed that what we worry about we make bigger and keep closer to us by the way we think and focus. Try this…make your fears and worries SMALL in size (5 cm in height) DARK in brightness and as far away as possible in DISTANCE. When we change the size, brightness and distance of the things that upset us in our minds it reduces the intensity of the emotion.

 

Here are some things you can do to FEEL more positive:

  • Acts of kindness

Make a list of 5 acts of kindness you can do every day. Make them simple acts of kindness that are easy to do such as saying thank you etc. Do these 5 acts of kindness every day for 6 weeks. The research shows that people that do this and think of 3 good things in their life (as above) have a dramatic positive boost in their mood.

good day 1 col

  • 3 good things exercise

Every day at the start and end of your day think of 3 good things that happened. Write them down. Then think about either WHY those good things happened or how it MADE YOU FEEL when those good things happened.

 

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP #57 – HOW TO STAY POSITIVE AS EXAMS APPROACH

by psalter on October 1, 2014

Recently a student sent this email: Hi I was wondering if you could do a tip on staying positive when you are stressed and feeling depressed as our exams are coming up and I have been feeling depressed lately and I think it would help.

It can be difficult to stay positive or “be up” as exams approach. The more important the exam the more stress we can feel. Worse, if we don’t do anything to make us feel good, stress can lead to anxiety and depression. There are many reasons why students feel this stress and depressed mood as examination dates approach.

  • Students receive distorted messages and perceptions about the importance of the exams, such as, “this can/will determine your future” etc.
  • With the pressure and stress of exams students avoid doing the work necessary to be prepared and as a result feel more overwhelmed, hopeless, anxious etc. Students can feel they have no control of their situation.
  • When we allow the pressure, stress and upset to build we can get into bad habits and let go of good habits. As a result students can feel more drained and exhausted and find it difficult or impossible to “climb out of the dark hole” they are in.

A holistic approach to boost wellbeing as exams approach 

The key to being positive and managing negative emotions such as anxiety and feeling down and depressed in any pressure situation including exams is to “fuel up”. It goes without saying that if students are exhausted, tired, stressed, depressed etc. it is very difficult if not impossible to deal with the pressure of exams. “Fuelling Up” is about boosting wellbeing factors in students’ life. Students need to boost the wellbeing factors in their BODY, MIND and emOTIONS.

Trying to “feel good” or be “positive” when the body is exhausted and depleted is impossible! This is something we all know yet many of us find it difficult to change.

 

TIPS FOR WELLBEING

Here are some things you can do to boost the energy in your BODY:

  • See a doctor.

Visit your doctor and get a check up. It’s important that any medical issues are ruled out because you may try some of the following tips without noticing any benefit while all along there may have been a medical issue that needed attention.

  • Get better sleep.

Feeling good all starts with getting the right amount and type of sleep. Start with a good night – time routine. Stop anything that stimulates you such as caffeine or TV or computer, iPad or phone screens etc. Try a warm drink such as chamomile tea and use essential oils such as lavender oil. Having a soothing bath or shower can also help along with gentle stretching of tight or tense muscles. If you still feel you are not getting a “good” sleep be sure to see your doctor.

  • Eat in Moderation

Never skip a meal, especially breakfast. Breakfast replenishes your body and helps you start your day full of energy. Eat three main meals, and two to three snack meals a day. Eating five to six times in a day keeps your blood sugar levels balanced, giving you an overall sense of well-being needed for focusing on your tasks and responsibilities.

  • Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise, at least three times per week for a minimum of 30 minute sessions, can virtually “soak up” stress chemicals in your body and help you to relax and even sleep better. Brisk walking, aerobic classes, swimming, bike riding, or jogging are great exercises to release stress buildup and relax your body and mind to either start or end your day right.

 

Here are some things you can do to THINK more positively: 

  • Change your thinking and perceptions

Write down your top 5 fears and worries. What’s the worst thing that can happen? Then ask yourself, “IS THAT TRUE”? Usually fears and worries are not based on reality but on imagined scenarios that have little to no evidence. If it’s something that can’t be changed bring acceptance to it. It is what it is for now!

  • Change your focus

Have you noticed that what we worry about we make bigger and keep closer to us by the way we think and focus. Try this…make your fears and worries SMALL in size (5 cm in height) DARK in brightness and as far away as possible in DISTANCE. When we change the size, brightness and distance of the things that upset us in our minds it reduces the intensity of the emotion.

 

Here are some things you can do to FEEL more positive:

  • Acts of kindness

Make a list of 5 acts of kindness you can do every day. Make them simple acts of kindness that are easy to do such as saying thank you etc. Do these 5 acts of kindness every day for 6 weeks. The research shows that people that do this and think of 3 good things in their life (as above) have a dramatic positive boost in their mood.

  • 3 good things exercise

Every day at the start and end of your day think of 3 good things that happened. Write them down. Then think about either WHY those good things happened or how it MADE YOU FEEL when those good things happened.

 

This month’s tip from Rocky Biasi at Human Connections. Learn more about techniques that can help manage stress at: https://xb145.isrefer.com/go/entap/Enhanced/

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP #56 – MULTI-TASKING RESEARCH

by psalter on August 31, 2014

Even though parents and teachers tell students that multi-tasking is not an effective way to work, sometimes students just don’t believe them! They think they are different, they think it is just something parents and teachers say with no evidence. So here are some academic research studies to demonstrate to students where the proof is coming from to show that multi-tasking personal activities and schoolwork just doesn’t work.

RESEARCH STUDY 1
Ellis, Y., Daniels, W. and Jauregui, A. (2010). The effect of multitasking on the grade performance of business students. Research in Higher Education Journal, 8 http://www.aabri.com/manuscripts/10498.pdf
In this study, 62 university students were taking an accounting course. During a lecture, half were allowed to text and half had their phones turned off. After the lecture there was a quiz and those students who did not text scored much higher marks than those who were texting at the same time that they were trying to listen to the lecture.

stayingfocusedRESEARCH STUDY 2
Kraushaar, J. M. and Novak, D. C. (2010). Examining the affects of student multitasking with laptops during lecture. Journal of Information Systems Education, 21 (2), 241-251.
In this study 97 students were using laptops during a 15 week management information systems course. A spyware program had been installed on all laptops to track what students did on their laptop looking at productive work versus distractive software (games, instant messages, web browsing, social media). Students who tried to listen to the lecture while using these distractive windows had significantly lower scores on homework, projects, quizzes, final exams and final course averages. The researchers also found that students under reported the extent of their multi-tasking – this means they were actually multi-tasking much more than they even realised.

RESEARCH STUDY 3
Bowman, L. L., Levine, L. E., Waite, B. M. and Dendron, M. (2010). Can students really multitask? An experimental study of instant messaging while reading. Computers & Education, 54, 927-931.
Students in a psychology course had to read on their computer screen a 4000 word document. There were 3 groups. One used instant messaging before they started reading, one used instant messaging while they were reading, and a third group just read the document with no instant messaging. The group who did instant messaging while they were reading took between 22% to 59% longer to read the passage – and that was with the time spent messaging subtracted!

RESEARCH STUDY 4
Fried, C. B. (2008). In-class laptop use and its effects on student learning. Computers and Education, 50 (3), 906-914.
Students in a psychology course completed weekly surveys on their use of laptops during class. The study found that the more students used their laptops in class the lower was their performance and their understanding of the lectures.

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP #55 – WHERE TO FIND HELP

by psalter on August 1, 2014

personal issuesWhere can you find help when you are struggling at school?

PERSONAL ISSUES

If things in your life are upsetting you or stressing you this will affect your ability to learn effectively. Talk to your family, talk to your friends or other people you are close to or teachers you feel comfortable sharing with. However if you need additional support, make sure you find it rather than let things get worse. You can approach the counsellor at your school and they can give you some professional help or find someone who can help you with your specific problems. If you want someone to talk to, you can use Kids Helpline, a free confidential service: 1800 55 1800 or use the online service at www.kidshelp.com.au. It is much better to talk to someone rather than lock it all inside you.

 

SUBJECT SPECIFICsubjectspecific ISSUES

If you are finding a particular subject difficult, the first place you should seek help should be your classroom teacher.  Firstly ask questions in class as problems arise. If you find you have too many questions to ask in class (as you’d end up disturbing the class) then ask your teacher if you can make a time to see them before or after class or during lunch or after school. Teachers are happy to help students who do their best and are keen to improve. Other places you might be able to find help are: books or extra textbooks in the school or local library, other students in the class, students in older years, other teachers at the school, family members, family friends. If you try all of these options and are still having problems, then you might consider looking for a tutor. Often ex-students from your school who are at university might be interested in doing some tutoring or even teachers at other schools. You can ask your teacher if they can recommend anyone.

 

LEARNING ISSUESlearning issues

If you aren’t having trouble with a specific subject, but are finding learning for school in general difficult, the first people to talk to are your parents. You might like to write down your feelings or what you are experiencing so you can explain things to them clearly. Your parents can then help you decide what steps to take next. It is probably a good idea for them to talk to your teachers first to get their perspectives. They might make an appointment with one of the pastoral care staff like a Year Coordinator to sit down with you and your parents to talk through the issues you are experiencing.  The school might also have learning support staff who can help you work out what your issues are and who the best people are to help you.  If the learning support staff can’t help you, they will be able to refer you to outside services who can diagnose and address any learning issues you might have.

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP #54 – MANAGING STRESS & RELAXING

by psalter on July 1, 2014

stressaSeven Quick Tips to Help you Relax

The daily demands of life, such as exams, peer pressure, and homework assignments, or the challenges of relationships, family, or not making it on a sporting team can lead to an overwhelming feeling of stress. What you need to learn is how to cope with these situations in order to live a successful, productive, and happy life. Here are some proven techniques to help you relax and eliminate stress from your mind and body.

 

1. Eat in Moderation
Never skip a meal, especially breakfast. Breakfast replenishes your body and helps you start your day full of energy. Eat three main meals, and two to three snack meals a day. Eating five to six times in a day keeps your blood sugar levels balanced, giving you an overall sense of well-being needed for focusing on your tasks and responsibilities.

2. Exercise Regularly
Regular exercise, at least three times per week for a minimum of 30 minute sessions, can virtually “soak up” stress chemicals in your body and help you to relax and even sleep better. Brisk walking, aerobic classes, swimming, bike riding, or jogging are great exercises to release stress build up and relax your body and mind to either start or end your day right.

3. Remember to Breathe
When you feel your body start to tense, especially in your shoulders, chest, and abdomen when faced with a stressful situation, stop and take a few deep, slow breaths. If you are entering into a stressful situation, breathe slowly and evenly, using diaphragmatic breathing. This is a technique where you focus your breathing on your diaphragm where your belly rises and falls with each breath. Diaphragmatic breathing allows you to calm your nerves and relax your body and mind as your attention is placed on your breath.

4. Take a Time Out and be MINDFul
As you go through your day, take little breaks, about two to five minutes, to relax and unwind. Whether it’s sitting quietly, listening to relaxing music, or meditation, take a moment to place yourself in your own calm state.

5. Pursue an Interest
Find something that you enjoy doing that is relaxing for you. When you find an interest that matches your personality, you can not only unwind and release stress, but engage your creativity in expressing yourself. This could be through painting, playing basketball, writing, playing a musical instrument, or signing up for a class that you have always been wanting to take.

6. Have a Support Network
Create a support network of close friends or family that you can turn to in times of stress. Good and loving relationships are key for your well-being and happiness. It makes you realize what is important in life and where your energies should be placed.

7. Avoid Bad Habits
When you are under stress, it is easy to turn to your established bad habits to deal with the stress. These habits are negative and will not take away stress, but only prolong it. The best way to avoid bad habits is to create new positive habits. Here is how to create a positive habit:
• Decide on the habit. Will you go for a walk each morning, go to the gym, take time out to do something special for yourself?
• Decide on where and when you will do this new habit. Choose a time and place and continue this new activity for 3 months (it takes around 66 days to establish a habit).
• Reward yourself each time you do this new activity. You may simply take a moment to notice how good it feels.

These tips provided by Rocky Biasi from Human Connections (www.humanconnections.com.au) a secondary high school teacher and school counsellor currently in private practice. Rocky is a specialist in the field of peak performance and wellbeing. He has created a number of programs including his online wellbeing resource: http://hcsmc.com/dl

MANAGING STRESS AND ANXIETY RESOURCE: Rocky Biasi and I have presented joint sessions to thousands of students since 2006 and I have personally experienced and witnessed how the Tapping Technique he teaches helps students relax and calm down in minutes. He has created a resource so you can learn more about it. You can find out more and access it here https://xb145.isrefer.com/go/entap/Enhanced/. He is asking only $7 and providing 100% of the proceeds to a fantastic school called Giant Steps. This school helps children and their families with Autism.

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP #53 – HAVING SET TIMES FOR SCHOOLWORK

by psalter on June 1, 2014

Many students when they come home from school end up just waiting until they might ‘feel’ like doing schoolwork. Or else they drag the work out over the whole night. A much better way to work is each night have set allocated times for schoolwork, 2-3 half hour blocks. During this time you should do homework first, then work on any assignments or upcoming tests, then use the rest of the time allocated for schoolwork to independent learning activities. All distractions should be removed during this time, so you learn to focus for 20-30 minute blocks of time.
genius
Some of the benefits for students of having set times allocated for schoolwork are:

  • You are more likely to do the work if you know when to start and when to end.
  • You will be more effective when you remove distractions and learn to focus for 20-30 minute blocks.
  • In all the times NOT allocated to schoolwork you can do whatever you like without feeling guilty about it.
  • Having set times stops arguments between students and parents as everyone has agreed when the timeslots allocated to students will be.
  • You know that you are definitely doing enough work for school.
  • Keeping schoolwork and personal life separate means you will be able to manage all of the distractions in your life and still complete your work for school.

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP #52 – THINKING AHEAD

by psalter on May 1, 2014

Are you riding a rollercoaster at school? Rollercoaster study is where you stay up late doing last minute assignments, then you take it easy for a while and do very little, then panic again when something is due and have to spend huge amounts of time at the end completing the work. If you plan ahead and are prepared, you will find school much less stressful and more rewarding.

Here are the top tips for thinking ahead:

1. STUDY NOTES: If you know that you have a test at the end of each topic or examinations approaching, then on the nights you do not have much homework start working on your study notes and summaries. File them in folders at home so they are ready to go when you need them.

2. ASSIGNMENTS: Always start the assignment the day it is given to you, even if it is just a little bit. Make sure you understand the requirements and if you don’t ask your teacher straight away the next day. Brainstorm the steps the first night and do a rough plan of when you will do each step.

3. ASK FOR HELP EARLY: There is nothing more frustrating than a student who says ‘I haven’t understood anything we did in the last 3 weeks’. Ask for help as soon as you have a problem. Keep a list of questions for your teacher on a post-it in your textbook or sticky notes on your computer or a list in your phone. Don’t let problems or issues build up, ask for help early and often.

4. THINK ABOUT WHO YOU SIT NEXT TO: Choose wisely who you will sit with in class. This can make a world of difference to your results. If you sit with someone where it is a productive relationship, you encourage and help each other and stay on task in the classroom you will understand your work better and have less to do at home.

5. CONSIDER YOUR WEEK: Plan ahead for busy times. If you know you have nights where you can’t do much work or a busy weekend, plan ahead and get things done early. Always look ahead for possible times where you could be caught short of time and make plans to avoid problems.

rollercoaster1

Subscribers to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au may also like to work through the STUDY NOTES, ASSIGNMENT SKILLS, ASKING FOR HELP, TIME MANGemENT SKILLS, MANAGING WORKLOAD, DEAliNG WITH DISTRACTIONS and OVERCOMING PROCRASTINATION units. Check if your school subscribes here.


If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TOP TIP #51 – WHY DO WE HAVE TO HAVE HOMEWORK?

by psalter on March 31, 2014

Homework in secondary school serves many purposes. It could be to consolidate or check or extend the learning from the day or prepare for the learning to come in subsequent days. It could be to do with longer term work such as assignments or preparing for tests and examinations. Ultimately it comes back to what school is all about – learning. Learning not just content, but learning and developing skills. At times students feel that the work they are doing at school is not relevant to their lives, however sometimes we need to look beyond the content to the purpose of the learning exercise. At times the content will be a vehicle to teach particular skills. Much of what we learn in Mathematics develops the problem solving circuits in our brain. When you are analysing Shakespeare you are learning not just about Shakespeare but to think critically and expand your point of view and broaden your experience of the world through examination of different lives, emotions and experiences. The message is that everything you learn at school has purpose and value, even if you can’t quite see it at the time.

There is much debate in the media as to the value of homework. In Primary school it has been shown that only a small amount of students actually benefit from doing homework in terms of academic achievement. The exception to this is reading at home – every student benefits from this. However the other benefits can’t be discounted: developing independent working skills, establishing study routines necessary for learning in later years, helping students master things they are struggling with and allowing parental involvement. In secondary school homework has been proven to be an essential component of academic success in the senior years. The reality of Year 11 and 12 is that a large component of independent learning needs to be undertaken at home. One of the biggest problems for students transitioning to the senior years is that they have not learnt to work effectively and efficiently in the home environment. This is why developing good habits and learning to do at least a solid hour a day of home study is essential in Years 7-10. It is also about developing the qualities of discipline and perseverance, both essential for senior studies. Students will not like every subject equally, students need to learn how to make themselves do the work even for their least favourite subjects.

So what can you do to manage your homework effectively? Try these top tips:

  1. As soon as you get home unpack your bag before you have a break and something to eat. Lay out all the work first. It is easier to get started if you have everything ready to go.
  2. Before you start work, write a list of what needs to be done and decide what order you will do it. Focus on what is most important, not just what subject you like best!  Also write down how long you think each task will take to do.
  3. Keep in your mind that it is all about learning. Try and look beyond the actual content to what type of skill this homework might be developing in you – analysing, critical thinking, writing skills, or problem solving skills for example.
  4. Do your work in 20-30 minute blocks with no distractions during that time. So switch off the TV, turn off your phone for that 20-30 minutes. When you just focus on the work that needs to be done you’ll be amazed at how much work you complete. Of course if you are on a roll, you can keep going past the 30 minutes.
  5. If there is a task you really don’t want to do then alternate this with a task you enjoy doing. For example 15 minutes on the homework you like, 5 minutes on the homework you don’t like. When you chip away at it you will be surprised how quickly you get through the work.

Resize of homework

Subscribers to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au may also like to work through the TIME MANGemENT SKILLS, DEAliNG WITH DISTRACTIONS and OVERCOMING PROCRASTINATION units.

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP # 50 – 5 REASONS NOT TO PUT OFF STARTING ASSIGNMENTS

by psalter on March 1, 2014

Here are 5 reasons why you should start working on your assignment simmediately.

1. GET YOUR brAIN THINKING ABOUT THE TOPIC:
Even if your assignment isn’t due for weeks, start thinking about it immediately. At the very least, answer the key starter questions on the day you get your assignment. Even if you are not thinking about it directly, your subconscious will be hard at work.

2. FIND librARY RESOURCES:
Although the school or local library will probably not be your main source of reference, you should drop in soon after receiving the assignment. Your teacher will probably have alerted the school librarian to the assignment and reference books, magazines etc may well be displayed. These will disappear quickly if the whole class has the same assignment. Books, periodicals, magazines can sometimes be a useful general overview for an assignment and they help to clarify a direction as you begin to immerse yourself into the assignment topic. It is not a good idea to only use Google!

3. DISCOVER OTHER RESOURCES:
You could also ask your local librarian for any additional direction on where to look for resource material for your assignment. Librarians are often your best source of information. They know how to help people access relevant and appropriate information, in books, the Internet or computer based references. One of the challenging aspects of Internet based searches for school students is the complexity, language and purpose of websites, not to mention bias and reliability.

4. STARTING EARLY MEANS MORE TIME TO EXPLORE & ASK FOR HELP IF NEEDED: 
If you do some initial research on the assignment points you’ve identified through the library, references your teacher may have given you, school textbooks, and general internet search engines, you could find yourself having more direction in your research. For example: Perhaps there isn’t enough information, or perhaps you find you don’t understand important concepts, or perhaps you need to speak to your teacher to get further clarity. If you find this out early, you will still have plenty of time to plan, research, write and present your assignment. Imagine if you didn’t start your assignment for a week or so, and then discovered you needed more guidance. You could easily run out of time.

5. CREATE A SAFETY NET:
Starting your assignment immediately will give you a safety net in case you get sick, or something unexpected happens. Assignments usually require a large amount of time; students must plan a strategy or schedule to ensure they are completed. You should always have a schedule that allows for the unexpected.

So get started today!

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP 49 – SECONDARY SCHOOL SUCCESS

by psalter on January 31, 2014

Every parent and teacher would like to see students achieving their personal academic best at school. Knowing how to work efficiently can help students navigate the mire of academic demands in secondary school in a stress-free way. Here are the top five tips about making the most of your time at school this year and working efficiently at home.

1. INDEPENDENT LEARNING:
There are two types of work in secondary school. The compulsory work your teacher tells you to do, and independent learning that you are expected to do when you have no homework. (Subscribers to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au – you can print a handout on the Things to Print page that will give you examples of the types of things you are supposed to be doing for school when you have no homework.)

2. WORK SMART:
If you want to still have a life, but get your schoolwork done (for most students this will be 1-2 hours per night) then you need to work smart. Keep your personal life and schoolwork separate. Don’t do work in front of the TV, switch off your phone and Facebook. Work in half hour blocks and focus only on your schoolwork during that half hour block. If you are super busy with lots of activities then a great idea is to draw up a timetable for the week and allocate time for schoolwork over the week. (Subscribers to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au – you might like to visit these units on the site: Time Management Skills, Dealing with Distractions, Overcoming Procrastination.)

3. BE ORGANISED AND PLAN:
Being organised makes your life easier! So have an organised space to work in, record homework in your diary, keep track of completed work and reschedule work not done. When you are told about a test or an assignment, plan the work out to be done over the available time. Make the most of your time in class, being organised and focused in the classroom means you will find it easier to complete your work and work on big things like assessments at home. (Subscribers to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au – you might like to check out these units on the site: Home Study Environment, Organisation and Filing, Managing Workload, Using Classtime.)

4. ASK FOR HELP EARLY:
If you don’t understand something, ask for help. The sooner the better. If there isn’t time in class see your teacher before or after class or during the break times. No-one expects you to do things on your own. One of the most important contributors to being successful academically is to ask for help often and early. See if your school offers extra support or has a homework help service. And don’t forget family and friends, they might know more than you think!

5. LEARN HOW TO STUDY PROPERLY:
If you still think that to study for a test you just read your book over and over, time to learn how smart people study!  The main things to remember about study for a test are: Make study notes or summaries first (write down in point form what you need to learn), learn these notes not just by reading but by testing yourself on them and do as many different questions as you can as practise. (Subscribers to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au – you can learn more from these units: Summarising, Active Studying, Preparing for Exam Blocks, Test-Taking Techniques, Your Brain and Memory.)

 

 

NOTE: If you have just started secondary school (or know someone who has) you may be interested in this great new resource: HELP#1 – Starting Secondary School ($7). Subscribers to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au can access this resource for free (go to the MORE menu then THINGS TO PRINT page). Check if your school subscribes here.

 

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP 48 – TOP TIPS FOR A NEW YEAR

by psalter on January 1, 2014

This month’s post is a guest post from Skylar Anderson. Skylar Anderson is a Seminar Director at StudyRight. He graduated summa cum laude from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree. He has been helping students simplify their studies and get the most from their education through StudyRight since 2011.

Three Top Tips to Encourage Students to Boost Their Academic Career in 2014

With the beginning of the new year, it’s always a great time to re-prioritize and re-vamp your academic approach. The key to making the most of this opportunity is focusing on the things which will bring the biggest return. Consider prioritizing these three tips to get the most from your education in 2014.

1. Simplify Your Organization System

Every student has an organization system. True, the definition of “organization” may be looser for some students than others, but everyone has a way they stay organized (or attempt to).

Maybe you’re the “Type-A” student and you have a clearly defined system. You’ll know that you’re “Type-A” by the file folders you both own and use, the folded socks in your drawer, and all the lists by which you keep track of important information. You probably have a calendar, a planner, and you know exactly which clothing is clean and which is dirty.

But not everyone fits in such a naturally organized world. These students can be called “Type-B.”

If you’re a “Type-B” student, you’re not alone, but organization probably requires more effort. “Type-B” students tend to prefer “piling systems” to filing cabinets. Calendars often seem like too much work, so they’d rather just put everything in their backpacks and find it later. Students on the far end of the “Type-B” universe may even find themselves sorting laundry via the “smell check” method.

Regardless of whether you are a Type A or B student, though, one of the biggest difference-makers this year is your organization system. Few things will save time and improve academic performance the way an effective organization system will.

A great organization system has at its centre one goal: replace your brain.

The more organized you are, the less you have to think. Your organization system should be simple enough that you don’t have to make any decisions about where you put new assignments, where to find completed assignments, or what to do with graded assignments. You shouldn’t have to go through a mental checklist every time you study because your organization system does it for you.

The fewer decisions you need to make, the more your thoughts and energy can focus on things that matter. Thus the simpler your system, the better. Consider these four questions to determine how simple your organization system is right now:

  • Do you have only one place for each category of assignments: not completed (“to-do”), completed (“to-turn-in”), and graded (“to-file”)?
  • Do you have only one place where you keep your notes for class?
  • Do you have a system to make sure that all assignments get on your calendar?
  • Do you have a system to focus on what needs to be done today and not just what’s due tomorrow?

When you can answer each of these four questions without thinking, you’ll know that your organization system is simple enough to be a major asset in 2014. If you find that you’re needing an organization overhaul, check out this YouTube video that teaches you how to construct your own affordable and simple organization system.

2. Break the “Cram Cycle” Before it Starts

By the end of the semester, students often find themselves overloaded and overwhelmed, having to rely on cramming for final exams to get through to the break. They are exhausted and in survival mode. Thriving academically no longer matters. All that matters is the break at the end.

If you’ve ever felt this way, you’ve experienced what we call the “Cram Cycle.” Students get busy during the semester, which leads to exhaustion. When you’re exhausted, the only thing you want to do is zone out for a bit. After an afternoon of zoning, students are forced to put all their effort into completing assignments that are due tomorrow. We call this “cramming.” As students work on only that which is due tomorrow, long-term assignments pile up and create even more busyness, which leads to exhaustion, and the “Cram Cycle” begins to accelerate.

Most students only get out of the “Cram Cycle” when the semester ends.

But 2014 can be different. If you want to stay out of this dreaded cycle, commit yourself to studying at least five days a week, even when you don’t have anything due the next day. Use every day as a review day, spreading out your study sessions for big tests and projects across multiple days instead of letting them pile up. This approach takes more effort initially to create these habits, but you’ll reap the benefits when you’re free of the “Cram Cycle” and the stress that follows it come finals season.

3. Supercharge Retention with Scientifically-verified Study Strategies

Everyone knows that taking notes is a good idea. Reading your textbooks seem like a great thing to do. And you’ve probably learned that it’s best to have a consistent place to study, one which is quiet, clean, and comfortable enough (but not TOO comfortable).

But one of the best things you can do in 2014 is focus your efforts on strategies that have been scientifically-verified to boost your retention.

For example, one of the best things you can do is to take a break in the middle of your study sessions. In one study psychologists wanted to find out whether there was any difference in “spacing” a study session (this means to take a break in the middle) or “massing” instead (which means that you hammer it out all at once).

The researchers took two randomly-chosen, equal groups of students, gave them the same amount of study time, gave them the same material, and tested them on the material afterward. The only difference was that one group took a short break in the middle and the other group didn’t. The results were incredible.

The group that studied with “spacing” did 50% better than the group that studied with “massing.” That means in the same amount of study time, you could potentially boost your retention by 50% by just taking a ten-minute break.

If you’d like to learn more scientifically-verified strategies that will save you time and boost your retention for 2014, get your free copy of StudyRight’s e-book, “Cracking the Student Success Code: 8 Study Strategies Proven by Psychologists to Increase Retention and Save Time.” Psychologists have done the hard work of finding out the best study strategies for you already. Make use of them in 2014 to enhance your academic career in a new way.

This month’s post is a guest post from Skylar Anderson. Skylar Anderson is a Seminar Director at StudyRight. He graduated summa cum laude from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree. He has been helping students simplify their studies and get the most from their education through StudyRight since 2011.

NOTE: If you have just started secondary school (or know someone who has) you may be interested in this great new resource: HELP#1 – Starting Secondary School ($7). Subscribers to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au can access this resource for free (go to the MORE menu then THINGS TO PRINT page). Check if your school subscribes here.

 

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP 47 – SWOT ANALYSIS

by psalter on December 1, 2013

Reflecting on Triumphs and Tribulations

With the end of the year fast approaching it is a good time for students to reflect on their approach to school this year.  If you wait until next year you will have forgotten what you did this year and what you need to change for next year. So as the holidays approach, take a moment to do a short SWOT analysis on your personal approach to school and learning. Students may like to discuss these questions with a teacher, parent or friend.

STRENGTHS:

  • What did you do well at school this year?
  • What subjects or topics were you good at?
  • What worked for you in your approach to learning?
  • What are you proud of achieving?
  • What new skills did you develop?

WEAKNESSES:

  • What were your greatest challenges in achieving your personal best at school?
  • What did you find difficult this year?
  • What skills do you feel needed more work?
  • What areas of your approach did you struggle with?
  • When did you feel not confident about your ability to succeed?

OPPORTUNITIES:

  • What could you do to build your strengths and deal with your weaknesses?
  • Who did you encounter this year that might be able to help you on this journey?
  • What will be different about next year that will create opportunities to change?
  • What could you personally do differently in your approach to school next year?
  • What one thing could you change that would make the biggest difference to you being a more effective learner?

THREATS:

  • What are the biggest obstacles to you making changes in your approach?
  • Are there other students you sit with who make learning difficult?
  • What is stopping you from achieving the top marks you are capable of achieving?
  • What challenges do you face in staying motivated to do your work for school?
  • What challenges do you face in managing distractions and procrastination?

In these school holidays it is important for students to have a decent break , recharge and spend time with friends and family doing things they enjoy. Certainly if students are weak in areas such as literacy or numeracy, some practice on a regular basis over the holidays would not go astray. There are many apps listed on the study skills handbook site that are useful (android apps now available too!) and bookshops and libraries also have workbooks. It is essential however that Year 11 students spend some time these school holidays consolidating the work from Year 11, ensuring study notes are up to date and they are organised and prepared for the challenges ahead in Year 12.

 


Students whose school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au should go to the Things to Print page. There are two handouts you will find useful for this exercise: ‘Set Your Targets’ and ‘SWOT Analysis’. You can check if your school subscribes here: http://www.enhanced-learning.net/eles_studyskillsforschools/eles_studyskillshandbook/sshwhatschools.php

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP 46 – HOW TO STUDY

by psalter on November 1, 2013

A common form of assessment in secondary school is a test or examination. Unfortunately many students don’t really know how to study properly for a test. They just read their notes over and over and hope that the content will stay in their head. This is the slowest and most ineffective way of studying. Some students manage to get through on natural ability for awhile, but in the end it is necessary to learn how to study effectively so students can achieve their personal best in an as efficient manner as possible.

So here’s how you study for a test.

- Make study notes.
- Learn the notes by testing yourself on them.
- Do lots of questions as practice.

Here’s the longer version of how to approach your study for a test:

1. FIND OUT EVERYTHING YOU CAN
Find out everything you can about the test. What topics are being tested, what types of questions there will be (multiple choice, short answer), how long the test will be, how marks are allocated.

2. ASK IF UNSURE
If you are not sure what you need to study or how to study make sure you ask your teacher until you are clear. If the opportunity arises, then ask in class, otherwise ask your teacher if you can see them before or after class sometime. If you are still not clear, ask your parents to give your teacher a call to clarify things.

3. MAKE SOME STUDY NOTES/SUMMARIES
As you begin to study for a test or exam one of the first things you need to do is to make some study notes or summaries.

The reasons we make study notes/summaries are:
• When you just read through things they don’t stay in your head very well. Even if you read through them over and over this is a very inefficient way of studying.
• By thinking about what is important and how you can write it down in a condensed form the info starts to move into your memory.
• This also helps you ensure you understand what you need to learn. When you start trying to reduce information to the key points you will quickly discover when you don’t understand something.
• Sometimes the information will be spread out over many many pages in your textbook and also be spread across a number of different places like sheets and exercise books or computers.
Making summaries allows us to reduce the amount of pages we have to keep reading over by bringing everything we need to learn together in one place in an organised and easier to learn way.

4. ASK FOR HELP
If you came across things you did not understand or were not sure of when making your notes ask your teacher or parents for help. You may also like to show your teacher and parents the notes you have made to get some feedback from them about what you could do to improve.

5. LEARN THE NOTES
The next stage is to start getting the information into your memory. Don’t just read the notes. Don’t just read the notes. Don’t just read the notes. Don’t just read the notes. Don’t just read the notes. Don’t just read the notes. Don’t just read the notes. Don’t just read the notes. Don’t just read the notes. Don’t just read the notes. Don’t just read the notes. Don’t just read the notes. Don’t just read the notes.
Do you get what we are saying here???? The biggest mistake students make is they think study is just reading things over and over until hopefully some of it sticks in their head.
The right way to study involves extra steps after reading. What you do is read a section of your notes then TEST YOURSELF on what you have just read.

You could test yourself in the following ways:
• Seeing what you can write down without looking at the notes and then checking to see which bits you got wrong.
• Seeing what you can say out loud without looking at the notes and then checking to see which bits you got wrong.
• Getting someone to test you.
• Making flashcards on things you need to learn in your notes and testing yourself on these.
• Writing a list of questions as you read your notes then seeing if you can answer them after you finish reading.
• Remember this great technique: look, say, cover, write, check!

6. REPEAT STEP 5 OVER AND OVER AND OVER
Repetition is the key to remembering things. So test yourself over and over and over on your notes until you find that you are starting to remember the information easily. This is why it is a good idea to start early and spread your study out over all the time before the test.

7. DO LOTS OF PRACTICE
This means you need to do as many different questions as possible to see if you can apply what you have learnt to different types of questions.
Ways you can practise:
• Your teacher may give you a revision sheet or a past examination paper to do.
• You could go back in your textbook and pick out questions to re-do, particularly ones you found hard.
• Your school library may have another textbook in a different brand or a study guide for that subject and you can do the questions in that book.
• You can re-do any exercises or activities you did during the topic.
• Some schools will put extra revision activities up on the school website for you to download.
• Some textbooks come with a CD with extra questions or a supporting website with extra questions.
• If you feel you have nothing to practise from (ie no questions to do to see if you understand the work) ask your teacher, or even ask your parent to buy you a book you could use to do questions from – most of the big bookshops will have an educational section.

8. ASK FOR HELP
Throughout this whole process, anytime there is something you don’t understand you must ask for help. Don’t ignore any problems, or let them build up, see your teacher and ask about them as quickly as possible.

 

Students whose school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au should work through the following units: Summarising, Active Studying, Test-Taking Techniques. You can check if your school subscribes here: http://www.enhanced-learning.net/eles_studyskillsforschools/eles_studyskillshandbook/sshwhatschools.php

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP 45 – PERFECTIONISM

by psalter on October 1, 2013

Expectations on students can create a very competitive environment. Students are inundated with information about the significance of academic performance, and the result, in many cases, is that some students develop unhealthy propensities for perfectionism.

Perfectionism may not sound like much of a problem in an academic atmosphere – after all, teachers and parents want students to develop strong work ethics and sound study habits. The problem is, true perfectionism actually tends to lead students away from these healthy developments. When a student becomes upset over a score of 98 out of 100, or can’t handle coming in 2nd out of a class of 30, or spend hours on something that should take 10 minutes…..then study and stress levels will often suffer as a result.

Perfectionism to this degree usually results from a fear of failure, rejection or disapproval, or insecurity about meeting a given standard. Students feeling these pressures quickly fall into inefficient work patterns, focusing on proving themselves, rather than on doing individual assignments effectively. So – how can such patterns and thought processes be avoided? You may like to read these specific suggestions for coping with perfectionism and use the tips below.

1. SEPARATE WORK FROM PERSONAL FEEliNGS:
This is a huge hurdle for many students. The fact is, an evaluation of your work often feels like an evaluation of you personally, and the pressure of making that evaluation positive can lead to perfectionism. Students must learn to treat work evaluation as feedback for their learning, not as a personal reflection on themselves.

2. SET INCRemENTAL GOALS:
Many students tend to set unattainable, or at least extremely difficult goals. Instead, students should focus on setting goals based on past achievements and efforts. If a student gets an 85 on an exam, the goal for the next one should not be 100 – it should be an 87. If they study for only twenty minutes for a test, next time aim for thirty. Incremental goals are more reasonable, and most long-term improvement occurs gradually.

3. RECOGNISE STRESS:
This can be easier said than done, but it’s crucial in battling perfectionism. Students need to be aware of the fact when they’re stressing over a project (spending extra unnecessary hours, re-writing pages exhaustively, etc.). Learning to recognize stress can help students to reevaluate work methods and stop and think how much effort is appropriate for that task.

4. EXPLORE EFFICIENT WORK METHODS:
Often, newer or easier work methods can assist in efficiency. Students shouldn’t get lazy, but should allow certain technologies to make work easier. That might mean downloading Evernote for easy electronic note-taking, or it may mean organising cloud storage and computer organization – whatever the case, perfectionists can often find their workloads lessened by these steps.

5. PUT THINGS IN PERSPECTIVE:
It’s incredibly important for students to have proper perspective on schoolwork. Being able to stop and think about the worst case scenario can help students to realize that an individual assignment – while important – should not be a source of unnecessary stress or excessive workload.

Ultimately, dealing with perfectionism can be a long and tricky process. But implementing these habits and thought processes can help students to develop a healthier approach to their schoolwork.

Note: Subscribers to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au may like to visit the Things to Print page to print a student and parent/teacher handout on Perfectionism and a handout on Fixed vs Growth Mindset.

 

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net



STUDY SKILLS TIP 44 – STARTING ASSIGNMENTS

by psalter on September 1, 2013

In our last tip we looked at doing effective research for your assignments. These tips will focus on getting started with the writing.

1. CHECK REQUIRemENTS
So you have done all of your research, collected the information you will need and are ready to start writing your assignment. Before you begin, revisit the requirements, format and criteria for the task. Be very clear on what the assignment is asking you to do and any guidelines you have been given for the assignment. If you are unsure at all, check with your teacher.

2. PLAN A STRUCTURE
Your approach will vary depending on the style of your assignment (eg. essay, speech, presentation or report) but regardless of this, unless it is explicitly given to you, you need to decide the structure of your assignment. Have you determined the main points, the headings and sub headings? Have you made sure you have gathered information about all parts of the question? Have you found any diagrams, images, photos, quotes needed to reinforce any points? Before you begin the writing, create a structure for your work listing all of the headings and sub-headings you will write about. Keep checking back with the criteria or requirements to ensure you are answering the assignment questions.

3. JUST START WRITING
The best thing to do if you have no idea how to begin your writing, is to just start writing. Now this may sound a little strange, but many students do not start writing because they want what they write to be perfect or ‘right’ the first time. Don’t worry whether your writing is up to standard at this stage. Instead concentrate on getting your ideas down onto paper or screen. Choose a section and start putting down ideas on the sorts of things you could include in that section. The hardest part of any writing is starting. Once you start putting down ideas this generates other ideas and before you know it you have some text to work with. So even if you have no idea where to start just write or type ‘I don’t know what to include here’ and even writing this will get your subconscious thinking about what could be included!

4. USE YOUR NOTES
Once you have started, you can use your notes from the research you did to build your ideas and arguments for your assignment. This means that you integrate your own thoughts and ideas with the research you have done using this to help support your ideas. Make sure that you reference correctly, this means that when you use materials you have researched, particularly quotes, you make it clear where this material has been sourced from. You may find holes in your research as you progress and have to then do additional research about those areas.

5. BE CREATIVE
Unlike an essay, you generally have a bit more scope in how you present an assignment. Think about how you can bring the material to life for the reader. Photos (appropriately referenced) are a good start and sometimes diagrams, tables, examples, statistics or flowcharts may be appropriate. You might use lists, bullet points or colour to make the material more user-friendly. Your teacher will be reviewing many assignments on the same topic, so what can you do to make yours stand out or have a unique angle.

6. REVIEW AND REVIEW AGAIN
Have you ever had that experience where you write something, leave it, come back the next day and read it again and find a whole heap of errors you didn’t see the first time? This is why it is important to space out your work on your assignment over a number of weeks and days. You need time to edit your work and you need space between edits. When you come back with a fresh eye, you will be able to look at your work from a different perspective and get ideas on what you could do to improve your work. As you review your work, look for spelling and grammar errors, possible repetition or unclear areas. Reading your work out loud is surprisingly a great way of locating errors or things that don’t make sense.

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP 43 – EFFECTIVE INTERNET RESEARCH

by psalter on July 31, 2013

Do you waste hours on the Internet when you are researching for an assignment? Here are our top 10 tips to be more effective and efficient in your research.

1. REQUIRemENTS:
Before you start, review all the info about the assignment carefully. What have you been asked to do? What are the main points or requirements? What guidelines or directions have you been given? Do you understand the task? Is there anything you need to ask your teacher about? Spend around 10 minutes on this. Highlight key words, try and paraphrase in your own words.

2. brAINSTORM:
You need to decide what you are going to research. Spend around 20 minutes on your initial brainstorm. Write a list of the different areas you will need to include in your assignment. For each section brainstorm topics or phrases that might help you narrow your research. Pay particular attention to any marking criteria you have been given. If you know absolutely nothing about the topic, you may like to spend 5-10 minutes in Wikipedia to give yourself a bit of background and overview. While many schools do not want you to use Wikipedia as a reference in your assignment (as it is not always a reliable or expert source to quote from) it is a good way to get an overview about the main points and to generate some thoughts on what you may need to research.

3. PLAN:
You need to work out how much info you will need for each section of your assignment. There is no point collecting pages of information on a point if you only need to write a paragraph. Look at the word or page limit for the assignment. This may vary depending on the format of the task. For each section, work out roughly how much information you will need for that section and write this down on your brainstorm list. This should only take 10 minutes. You may also want to write your list of what you need to research, the key words or phrases and amount of info needed out again neatly so you can have it by you when you start your research on the computer.

4. FEEDBACK:
Show someone your initial plan before you start researching. A parent, a sibling, your teacher – just get someone to have a quick look to make sure you haven’t missed anything obvious or misinterpreted the assignment. They may also suggest other lines of enquiry for you to explore.

5. brOADEN SEARCH:
Don’t forget that there are other places to research apart from the internet! Libraries, books, magazines and newspapers. Your librarian might also know about certain databases you could access. You may know people who are experts on the topic. Don’t always go straight to Google.

6. INTERNET SEARCHES:
Many students waste a lot of time as they do not know what they are looking for! Well you have a plan, so you will start with the first item on your brainstormed list. Remember to put “exact phrases” in quotation marks. Try other search engines apart from Google as they may show different results.

7. BE SELECTIVE:
When the search results appear on your screen, do not just click on the first link. Take a few moments to look at where the links are from (eg. National Geographic? A blog?). Think about which ones seem more likely to a) answer your assignment question and b) be from a reputable source (such as an expert or authority). Read the few lines of information underneath each link. Many students waste a lot of time as they just click at random. Make an assessment before clicking. You may also look at more than just the first page of results. Also assess your search terms. Did the search engine find the sorts of things you were looking for or should you modify your search terms before clicking on a link?

8. ASSESSING INFORMATION:
When you find information that looks useful, you need to decide if the source is reputable. Who is the author and what are their credentials? What sort of organisation has created the site? Can you tell anything from the URL of the site? When was the site last updated? Who is the target audience of the site? Where has the information come from? These are just some of the questions you need to ask yourself when you are critically evaluating a website.

9. RECORDING INFORMATION:
If you find information that is useful, you need to record this information. You have two main options. You could print out the information so you can highlight it. Or you can cut and paste the relevant information into a word document or a program or app like Onenote or Evernote. If you take the second option, make sure you collate the information under your list of headings that you created when brainstorming.

10. RECORDING REFERENCES:
If you print the information, make sure the following is on the page and if not then write onto the page: the title of the source, the author, the publisher, and place and date of publication. This is your preliminary, or draft, bibliography. If you are cutting and pasting into a program, make sure you also have this info and it is linked to the correct content! You will need this for your bibliography and to ensure that you do not plagiarise when you start writing your assignment.

 

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP 42 – PRIORITISING

by psalter on July 1, 2013

Do you ever find that you spend a long time doing little fiddly things then find that you have no time left for the larger tasks you need to get done?

Try this experiment. Take a jar, some rocks, some pebbles and sand. What happens if you put the sand in first then the pebbles? The rocks won’t fit. But if you do it the other way, put the rocks in first, then pop in the pebbles around the sides of the rocks, then sprinkle in the sand it all fits in no problem at all.

What does this mean? It is an analogy for how to make the most of blocks of time. If you do the big tasks first (the rocks), you will find time for the smaller tasks (the pebbles) and you’ll easily sprinkle in the sand (the little fiddly things). So if you deal with the rocks first you’ll actually still find time for the other tasks to fit around it.

But it doesn’t work the other way. If you deal first with the minutiae, the small things, you end up giving short shrift to the more important tasks and deplete your energy on these little things. And the little things will expand to fill the time available.

If you find this technique too challenging, you can set yourself a strict half hour or so to knock over as many of the little things as possible before you start. Once time is up, you then use the block of time to work on the big important tasks. So draw up a table with 3 columns and put all your work into these columns

ROCKS are the important and urgent tasks.
PEBBLES are the tasks that may also be important but are not as urgent.
SAND are the little fiddly tasks that you can slot in anywhere.

Do the rocks first, then the pebbles, then the sand.

Another approach you might like to try is the Rule of Three.

First write a list of everything you need to do. Circle the top 3 tasks that need to be done. What is most important and most urgent? Put them in order from 1 to 3. Start at the first task and complete it before moving onto the second. Once all three tasks are completed, look through your list again to choose the new top 3 tasks. Don’t cheat yourself – you have to complete fully the first task before moving to the second.

There are many different methods of prioritising. You need to try different ones and see what works for you.

 

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP 41 – HOW MUCH TIME ON SCHOOLWORK?

by psalter on June 1, 2013

In previous tips we have covered the concept of independent learning. In secondary school if you do not have any specific homework or assessments to work on, you are then expected to spend some time that night on independent learning. This is where you ask yourself, what else COulD I be doing that will help me understand my subjects better and improve my results? Examples of independent learning are: reading ahead in your textbook, making a mind map about what you have been learning, doing extra research on a topic that interests you, making study notes, reviewing work you find difficult… the list is limitless!

However schools do not expect students to spend ALL of their time on schoolwork! We want you to play sport, see your friends, spend time with family, do activities you enjoy and have some rest and relax time as well. If you work effectively, then you can do your work for school, but still have a life! So given this, how much time are you expected to spend on schoolwork?

It depends on your year level, your school, your parents and your own abilities and goals.  First, check your school diary or ask your teacher what is expected at your school. Then discuss these outlines with your parents and see if you can both agree what is right for you.

As a general rule, expected time to spend on schoolwork at home:

JUNIOR YEARS: In the first years of high school students usually do at least half an hour to an hour each day. In many schools it is around 1-1.5 hours on average or 7-10 hours over the whole week.

MIDDLE YEARS: In the middle years of high school it should be at least an hour. In many schools the average is around 1.5-2 hours or 10-14 hours over the whole week.

SENIOR YEARS: In the final years of high school students do at least 1.5-2 hours a day and this will increase as students approach the end of their schooling. Most Year 11 students do 2-3 hours per day (14-21 hours over the whole week) and in Year 12 around 3-4 hours (21-28 hours over the whole week).

Remember this is just a guide. Some parents and some schools will expect more (or less!) so treat these as guidelines.

FAQ 1: What about the weekend?

The amount of time students need to spend on schoolwork on the weekend will depend on their current workload.

Most students will need to spend at least the same amount on the weekend on schoolwork as they do during a weeknight.

At the same time, it is important not to overdo it! You do need relaxation and time to yourself. It is important to spend time with family and friends and doing things you really enjoy.

You also need to ensure you are getting enough sleep.

FAQ 2: What is a fair and realistic amount of time each week to spend on your personal activities?

There is no easy answer. It depends on how well you use your spare time.

A student might have absolutely no other activities and oodles of spare time but still do less than half an hour a night of schoolwork.

Another student might have huge amounts of extra-curricular activities but manage their time well and easily do 1.5 hours of homework and work for school a day.

In fact, if you have lots of time spare you are often less productive in that time. But if you are busy in your life it forces you to be more productive in the time that is available.

FAQ 3: What about going out? How does that fit in with time management?

There is nothing wrong with going out Saturday nights with friends if it is OK with your parents provided that you do some work on Saturday morning or Sunday (or both) and provided you don’t have too late a night – otherwise you will not be able to work very effectively the next day.

The key is to find a balance.

And avoid the Sunday night blues – where you leave everything to the last minute on the weekend and run out of time.

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP 40 – IMPROVING HANDWRITING

by psalter on April 30, 2013

To improve your handwriting, you need to first assess how healthy you are in the four elements of legible handwriting:  letter formation, sizing, alignment on the line and spacing between words.  Then use the steps below to start to improve your handwriting:

– FIND BEST PEN: Experiment with different pens to see which is the easiest to write with and which one gives you the neatest handwriting. Use the same pen all the time.

– GOOD GRIP: Hold the pen/pencil gently and do not grip too tightly or push too hard on the paper.

– BEGIN WITH LARGE STROKES: practise initially on a whiteboard (or even tracing letters in the air) using large strokes until you feel comfortable with using your forearm and shoulder muscles. When you feel you have conquered this, it is time to begin practising on paper. Keep using large strokes, gradually reducing them in size as your control of the muscles increases. Once you have accomplished this it is time to begin practising in your exercise book forming normal sized letters.

– POSTURE: Ensure you practise your handwriting skills at a desk or table. Sit up straight using a good chair.

– RulED liNED BOOK: Buy a ruled exercise book (like a primary cursive pad) for practice use. Always write on lined paper and take note of how you are writing and how your work looks on the page.

– COPY STYLE: Look for an example of a handwriting style that you like and can use to copy from. Keep this in front of you at all times to inspire you towards improving your style.

– INdivIDUAL LETTERS: Begin with individual letters and practise writing at least one letter per day concentrating on the four elements of legible handwriting.

– WHOLE WORDS: Once you have worked your way through individual letters in the alphabet practise writing whole words. Be aware of the flow from one letter to the next as well as spacing between each word.

– TEST SENTENCE: Choose a test sentence for yourself and write it at the top of your first practice page. Each week write this sentence at the top of a new page to check for improvement in your writing.

– SPECIAL SENTENCE: Frequently practise writing the sentence ‘the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog’ in small and capital letters. This sentence contains all the letters in the alphabet and gives you good overall practice of each letter.

– WRITE SLOWLY: Write slowly when practising.

– REAliSTIC GOALS: Don’t set impractical goals for improvement. Improvement will take time and is a matter for persistence – it all comes down to practice, practice and then more practice!

Once your handwriting style has improved, you can then focus on improving the speed of your handwriting. Every day, practise writing at speed. Choose a particular passage and write it out neatly. Time yourself. The next day write it out neatly again but try and speed up a bit and time yourself again. The goal is to get to the point where you can write the passage out quickly but still maintain neat handwriting. Doing this for just 5 minutes every day will really help you to improve your handwriting. If your cursive (running) writing is really bad, you may find it easier to learn to print really fast in exams rather than focus on improving your cursive style.

And for people with serious handwriting issues, check out this amazing pen: www.ringpen.com.

In order to remediate handwriting problems often it is best to have a review by an occupational therapist in order to determine the underlying causes of the handwriting difficulties which could simply be solved immediately with a prescribed pencil grip or which may involve more complex long term intervention.

If you live in Sydney, you can try this group:

Melissa O’Grady
BHScOT, Registered OT.
Star-t Write Occupational Therapy
22 Hill street, Camden, NSW 2570
0409318881

 

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP 39 – DEVELOPING POSITIVE SLEEP PATTERNS

by psalter on April 1, 2013

In the last post we looked at how much sleep students SHOulD be getting. However we know this doesn’t always occur!

Some of the challenges students face is that during puberty hormones shift the teenager’s body clock forward temporarily by about one or two hours, making you sleepier one to two hours later than adults would be. This change in the circadian rhythm seems to be due to the fact that the brain hormone melatonin is produced later at night for teens than it is for small children and adults. This can make it harder for teens to fall asleep early.

But then you have to get up for school causing a ‘sleep debt’ that can lead to chronic sleep deprivation. Other factors that contribute to insufficient sleep are: hectic extra-curricular schedules, television and gaming keeping students awake and late night light exposure (especially from computers and mobile phones) leading to inadequate production of the brain chemical melatonin that is responsible for making you feel sleepy.

There are unfortunately many ill effects from sleep deprivation: concentration difficulties, mentally ‘drifting off’ in class, shortened attention span, memory impairment, poor decision making, lack of enthusiasm, nightmares, moodiness and aggression, depression, skin problems, lowered immune system, lack of energy, risk-taking behaviour, cognitive impairment, cravings for unhealthy food leading to weight gain, slower physical reflexes, reduced sporting performance and reduced academic performance.

No-one wants to experience these! So what can we do to prevent sleep deprivation? You need to find ways to increase the nightly quota of sleep.

Some ideas to consider:
– Sleep in a bit (maximum 2 hours) on Saturday morning.
– Avoid late nights on the weekend, try and go to bed the same time as you do during the week so you do not disrupt your sleep patterns.
– Get to bed early on a Sunday night.
– If you are not getting enough sleep work on adjusting the body clock by going to bed slightly earlier each day, perhaps 10 minutes earlier for a week. Then next week go to bed another 10 minutes earlier until you have adjusted to the right bed time for you so you get enough sleep.
– Limit afternoon naps to 30 minutes and gradually reduce these.
– Avoid caffeine (cola drink, coffee, energy drinks, chocolate) after dinner or even better, no later than 4pm.
– Organise as much as you can at night to minimise what you have to do in the morning (e.g. organise your clothes for the next day, pack your bag).
– Decide what time electronic devices will be switched off each night.
– Avoid watching TV for at least half an hour before you go to bed.
– Try and have an hour before you go to bed without computers or homework or chatting to friends.
– Set up a relaxing ‘wind-down’ routine for before you go to bed. Do this same routine every night (e.g. warm shower, reading, listening to quiet music) so your brain associates these activities with bed time and sleep.
– A drop in body temperature near bedtime triggers the sense that is time to go to sleep. So after a warm bath or hot shower, cool yourself down. It is also better at night to be cool rather than overheated.
– Keep your room as dark and as quiet as possible at night.
– When you lie in bed, start at your feet and mentally imagine relaxing each muscle as you slowly work your way up the body. Most people do not make it up to their head before they fall asleep!
– In the morning open the curtains wide or go out into the sun and get lots of light to help wake your brain.
– A healthy breakfast will help to kick-start your body clock for the day.
– Avoid early morning starts or early morning activities if you can.
– Maintain a healthy diet and ensure you get some exercise (but not late at night). These will both help to improve the quality of your sleep.
– Being exposed to lots of natural light during the day will also help the body produce the melatonin at the right time for a good sleep cycle.

It will take around 4-6 weeks of getting extra sleep regularly before you really feel the benefits, so hang in there!

Other resources:

Owens, J.A., & Mendell, J.A. (2005). Take charge of your child’s sleep: The all-in-one resource for solving sleep problems in kids and teens. NY: Marlow.

There are lots of great sleep apps available as well. For example SleepCycle measures how much you move during the night and gives you a graph showing how much deep sleep you had.

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP 38 – HOW MUCH SLEEP?

by psalter on March 1, 2013

We all know that sleep is important for general health, for growth and development and for emotional well-being. You may also know that important memory processes take place while you are sleeping, ensuring you retain what you are learning and studying.

Perhaps you have heard that teenagers need between nine to ten hours of sleep per night. But where does this come from and how valid is this claim? In 1980, Mary Carskadon of Stanford sequestered a group of adolescents in the university’s sleep laboratory for several days, letting them sleep for as long as they wanted, up to 10 hours. She found that the teenagers slept just over nine hours, with very little variation. This single “naturalistic” study is the primary basis for the adolescent sleep recommendation. However some researchers argue that just because teenagers slept nine hours when left alone does not mean that this is the best thing for them, just like letting people eat whatever they want is not necessarily the best thing for their health. So there is no definitive answer at this point in time.

The amount of sleep needed by teenagers is most likely very individual, just like it is for adults. It is probably safe to assume that adolescents need more sleep than adults and that the average for most people is at least 8 hours of sleep per night. Pay attention to the signs and listen to your body. If you lie down in bed and fall asleep instantly, this is a sign you are not getting enough sleep for your body. It should take at least 15 minutes to fall asleep. If you wake up in the morning and are feeling exhausted, then check all lifestyle factors: are you getting enough sleep, eating healthily and getting enough exercise?

If you are sleeping in for many hours on a weekend, unfortunately this does not mean you are “catching up” on your sleep. According to University of Texas Southwestern sleep specialist Dr. Gregory Carter, when we think we’re catching up on sleep, what we’re really doing is messing with our circadian cycle — the body’s internal clock which dictates sleep patterns. Excessive sleeping in is in fact a signal that during the week students need to go to bed earlier. The aim is to work out the optimum bed-time so that the need to catch up on large amounts of sleep on the weekend is eliminated.

There is nothing wrong with having a power-nap in the afternoon when you get home from school, as long as the nap is no longer than 40 minutes. A short nap can help you regain your energy levels and allow you to focus on the work you have to do that evening. However, a longer nap will also disrupt sleeping patterns for that night.

More on how to develop better sleeping patterns in the next tip!

 

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP 37 – COPING WITH TRANSITION

by psalter on February 1, 2013

Many students will be experiencing some form of transition this year. Perhaps you have moved from Primary School to Secondary School. Perhaps you are now a senior student. Maybe you are trying a new subject or changing levels within a subject.

With change, can come uncertainty and anxiety. Whenever we are in a new situation, we have a period of time where we are learning and adapting. Below are some tips to help you make your transitions this year as smooth as possible

ASK QUESTIONS:
Ask lots and lots of questions. If you are unsure about something, don’t sit there in silence, ask a question. If you are uncomfortable asking the teacher directly, then ask a friend or ask the teacher after class. But be aware, there are probably many other students with the same question and they will probably be thankful that someone asks the question they also have!

FIND A BUDDY:
It is much easier if you have someone to talk to about what you are both experiencing. Someone you can check things with, even just someone to listen to you when you want to moan and groan, or celebrate! You don’t have to specifically say ‘let’s be buddies’, but look out for a like-minded person so that you can help each other along the way.

CONSOliDATE:
When you are learning new things, or have lots of new information heading your way, it’s important to take time to consolidate. This could be explaining what you are learning to someone like your parents, or it could be writing a short list or summary of what you have been told so you don’t forget it.

POSITIVE ATTITUDE:
Your attitude can make a world of difference to the type of experiences you have during any transition. Start noticing your thoughts. Are they negative or positive? You can start to take control and direct the way you think about a situation and this in turn will change how you feel. For example if something goes wrong and you notice you’re thinking something like ‘what an idiot, I can’t believe I did that’ immediately catch yourself and say ‘that’s a bit negative, after all, everyone makes mistakes, at least now I know what I need to do for next time’. Eventually you can start to have a more positive reaction to things, look for the good in situations.

AIM FOR PERSONAL BEST:
Don’t compare yourself to other people. Aim for your own “personal best”. Strive to do the best you can, to learn, to grow and develop. We all have different skills and strengths and sometimes these aren’t always evident in the school situation. So just focus on being the best student you can be and celebrate all of your strengths and gifts – whether they show up in the school arena or in your outside life.

 

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP 36 – TOP FAQs

by psalter on January 1, 2013

Having run over 3000 study skills seminars over the last 10 years, Dr Prue Salter of ELES has been asked a lot of questions about study skills. Below are the top 10 questions students ask.

1. Can you listen to music while studying?

The general rule is that if you are doing work that is not difficult, it is OK to listen to music. It makes you feel relaxed, makes you feel like the time is going quicker. However if you are doing work that requires concentration or memorisation, it is best to switch the music off (or else have Baroque classical music playing!) as otherwise it will take you much longer to learn the information.

2. Should you type or handwrite study notes?

If the exam will be handwritten, you are better to handwrite study notes. This creates muscle memory and helps you practice your handwriting skills. However many students prefer to type their study notes. If you choose to type, when you are learning your notes you need to read a section, see what you can write down without looking and check and see if you were correct. This will help you practise their handwriting skills while committing the information to memory.

3. How much work should students be doing each night?

Different schools will have different rules but general guidelines are that junior students should be doing around 1 hour of schoolwork most night, seniors between 2-3 hours most nights.

4. What if you have no homework?

In Primary school students learn to do the work their teacher tells them to do. Many students do not realise things have changed in secondary school. There are two types of work in secondary school. The first is compulsory work such as homework, assignments, and preparing for tests. The second type of work is independent learning work. If you have no homework that night, you are expected to undertake independent learning. This could be reviewing what you have learnt that week, making a mind map, reading ahead, researching an area of interest, making study notes, reviewing difficult concepts.

5. What time should students go to bed?
Although it varies, most students need at least 8 hours of sleep each night. Therefore work backwards, allow an hour or so to get ready for bed and fall asleep, then work backwards to the time you need to get up for school.

6. How do you actually study?

 Sadly many students think that studying for a test just means reading their notes over and over. This is the slowest and most ineffective way of studying. Studying involves 3 steps. The first is make study notes or summaries on what you have been learning. The second is to learn the notes by testing yourself over and over on the information to be retained. The last step is to do as much practice as possible – the more different questions you can do, and preferably under time constraints, the better you will be prepared. Remember that we all learn in different ways so there is scope to use techniques that suit your individual learning style, such as recording notes to listen to.

7. How can I get more organised?

The first step is to work out what area of organisation you want to target. Books, computer files, locker, diary, desk, folders…the list goes on. There is no point saying to a youself ‘you need to be more organised’. Instead, identify an area where there could be improvement. Then work out specific strategies to implement to address this issue. Once this issue is under control, then move onto the next problem.

8. Is it OK to do work in front of the TV?

Unless you are doing something like sticking things on a poster or colouring in, it is best not to do work in front of the TV. Instead you should do schoolwork in half hour blocks in an environment that is as distraction-free as possible.

9. I get distracted when I do work on the computer, how do I manage this?

One option is to switch off or disconnect the Internet for two half hour blocks each night. You do any necessary research prior to this time and then can focus without getting distracted by Facebook and other interests on the Internet. You can also look at self-blocking software such as Self Control (MAC) and Cold Turkey (PC). Some students find they have the self-discipline to manage technological distractions, others need a helping hand – such as putting their phone in a different room for the half hour period where they are focusing on schoolwork.

10. How can I get motivated to do my work?

There is no quick or easy fix for lack of motivation. There are quite a number of strategies to try, but they all take time and effort and persistence. Check the previous post for tips on getting motivated.

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP 35 – GETTING MOTIVATED

by psalter on December 1, 2012

There is no one approach that will work for everyone. You have to try different things and see what works for you. Here are my top 5 tips. If your school uses http://www.studyskillshandbook.com.au/ you can visit the Developing Motivation unit to see the other 9 tips.

1. FOCUS ON THE FUTURE
What do you want to do when you finish school? What courses or careers are you interested in? Having a goal in mind can give you the incentive you need to ensure you get the marks that will be necessary. If you don’t know what you want to do, then focus on aiming for the best marks you can to give yourself as much choice as possible. If the end of school seems too far away, perhaps focus on improving your results in the future.

2. CONSIDER THE CONSEQUENCES
Some people are motivated by gaining pleasure while others are motivated by avoiding pain. If you are one of the latter, and are trying to get yourself to do some work, think about all the negative consequences that could occur if you do not do the work. Parents getting angry, getting in trouble at school, teachers not happy, bad marks, failing a subject… sometimes thinking about what could happen if you do not do the work is enough to get you started. There is also another consequence to consider, if the work is not done, the next lot of work could be even more difficult if earlier concepts are not understood!

3. WORK WITH OTHERS
Working with friends might be just what you need to get yourself going. But choose wisely, you need to make sure you are working with people who will actually work, not with people who will just talk or muck around. It doesn’t have to necessarily be a friend either, you might work well with a parent, or sibling, or neighbour for example.

4. SEEK HELP
If the reason you are not motivated is that you don’t know how to study or how to do the work, then seek help. Even if it is just that you are not sure what is required or you don’t understand the assignment. Find someone who can assist you to make the task more achievable. Friends, family, teachers, tutors…there are lots of options.

5. JUST DO ONE liTTLE BIT TO START
Sometimes the hardest part is just starting the work, so try doing just one tiny little step, just one piece. If you have ever had the experience where you stressed and agonised over starting a piece of work, then when you finally started it wasn’t nearly as bad as you expected, remind yourself of this. Often we waste more time worrying about not doing the work than the time it would take to do the work!

The other tips at http://www.studyskillshandbook.com.au/ cover creating positive working environments, finding motivating words and posters, becoming aware of negative thoughts, chunking down the task, visualising yourself doing the work, finding out when you work best, rewarding yourself, celebrating your successes and enjoying your learning.

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP 34 – INDEPENDENT LEARNING

by psalter on November 1, 2012

Some students take a long time to realise that there are actually two types of work in secondary school. There is the obvious work, the work your teacher specifically tells you to do and that is compulsory: homework, working on assignments, preparing for tests and assessments. But students who get good results in school take a larger measure of responsibility for their learning, this means that the nights where they do not have much compulsory work, they also do independent learning. These are the additional things you do, if you have no other schoolwork to do that night, to improve your understanding of your subjects. It is what students who get good marks are doing, they are just not talking about it to their friends!

Examples of independent learning:
– Reading
– Reviewing what you have been learning at school that week
– Extra practise on questions you find hard
– Research on an area you are interested in learning more about
– Making a mind map about what you have been learning
– Making study notes on a topic
– Improving your touch typing skills
– Reading ahead in your textbook
– Improving your study skills
– Doing work from a different textbook or study guide for one of your subjects (check the school library, local library and bookshops).

Some nights you will not have time to do any independent learning. Other nights you will have no homework and will spend the whole time allocated to schoolwork for that night working on independent learning tasks. Your teacher may even give you a sheet that has suggestions of independent learning work for that subject. If you are unsure, you can always ask. This means in secondary school you can never say ‘I have nothing to do’ – this really just means ‘I have nothing compulsory to do at the moment!’.

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP 33 – EFFECTIVE STUDY TECHNIQUES

by psalter on October 1, 2012

We know that students will create more powerful memories when they use active and effective study techniques as opposed to just reading information over and over. But what do we mean by active and effective study techniques? Following are some ideas students can use to increase their range of study techniques.

Students can:

–       Write strongly visual summaries and study notes

–       3Rs – Read, Recite, Recheck

–       Write out what you remember in your own words

–       Look, cover, check

–       Make up rhymes or songs to help you remember

–       Have a parent or friend test you

–       Write out lists of questions and answer them

–       Make and use flashcards or index cards

–       Type what you remember without looking at notes

–       Put up formulas and rules around the house

–       Teach what you have learnt to someone else

–       Form discussion / study groups

–       Write out info over and over

–       Make recordings of the info you need to learn

–       Speak out loud the info you’ve read to check recall

–       Make lists of key points of part of a topic

–       Form pictures in your mind of the information

–       Keep adding to your study notes to make things clearer

–       Check if you know everything listed in syllabus/outcomes/course

In addition to moving information memory, students also need to be able to apply what they are learning so this means that they also need to do as many different questions and revision sheets and past examination papers as they can.

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP 32 – BAD MEMORY?

by psalter on September 1, 2012

 When a student says that they have a bad memory, it usually means that actually they do not encode the information they are trying to remember into their memory in an effective way.

Memory is really a ‘process’ as opposed to a ‘thing’ in your head that you are born with.

 Rather than ‘improving your memory’, you want to improve the process of memory creation to ensure memory retrieval goes smoothly! The reason why many students do not retain what they are learning is that the way they study only gets the information as far as their short term memory, and then before long it is forgotten instead of being encoded into long term memory.

 The first stage for students in improving their retention of information is to try and find ways to make what they are learning INTERESTING to themselves, emOTIONAL, ENJOYABLE and if they can’t do this then at least create the firm INTENTION to remember the information. It is all about their approach to what they are learning.

The next step in memory creation is the encoding process. To improve in this area, students need to improve:
– CONCENTRATION AND FOCUS (making notes about what they are learning, studying using techniques that suit their learning style, studying when they are most alert)
– ORGANISATION OF MATERIAL (making brain friendly notes: lists, highlighting, categories, grouping, graphics)
– MAKING ASSOCIATIONS AND liNKS between the new material and previously learned material.

 Next stage in the memory process is facilitating the storage of memories. Students can improve the way memories are stored by ensuring they brEAK THEIR STUDY BLOCKS UP with at least a few minutes break every half hour (giving the brain a chance to encode and file that chunk of content) and CHUNK DOWN the information to be learnt into manageable chunks.  Getting enough SLEEP is also essential as fundamental memory processes take place during sleep. The other thing that is really important in this stage is REPETITION AND REGulAR REVIEW. Each time a review takes place the brain fires all the neurons connected to that memory and the more often that happens the stronger the connections between the neurons and the more intense and powerful the memory that is created.

 So in summary, the top three things to improve the process of creating powerful memories are:
i)  focus, positive attitude and intention to remember are essential (reading something half-heartedly while bored pretty much guarantees it won’t be retained)

ii) an active approach to learning where students  are ‘doing’ (making notes, testing themselves using a wide range of study techniques) rather than just ‘reading’

iii) repetition and constant review of the material over a period of time.

 You may also like to read this article from the Sydney Morning Herald: http://www.smh.com.au/national/education/study-gains-train-the-brain-20120826-24uqu.html

 

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP 31 – MULTI-TASKING

by psalter on August 1, 2012

Multi-tasking? Myth or reality? It all depends on who you talk to.

Ask any of your friends and they will tell you they can multi-task with ease. Do homework, watch TV, listen to music and check their phone all at the same time, no problem. Ask the academic researchers though and a different story emerges.

 Dr. Larry Rosen, Professor of Psychology at California State University, explains that what is actually occurring in this ‘multi-tasking’ is ‘task switching’. Instead of doing two things at once, students are actually switching their focus from one task to another and back again, in a parallel fashion, at high speed, resulting in them staying on task for an average of only 65% of the time period and for a maximum of only 3-5 minutes at a time. Constant task-switching results in it taking much longer to complete the individual tasks not just due to the interruptions, but also because there are delays as the brain switches between tasks and refocuses.  This brief bottleneck in the prefrontal cortex delays the start of the next task and the more intense the distraction, the longer it will take the brain to react.

 A study conducted by Dr. Rosen’s team sent varying numbers of text messages to students in a lecture then tested the students on the content of the lecture. The results were surprising, it was not the number of interruptions that negatively impacted results, it was the time taken by the students to react to the interruptions. Students who responded immediately performed worst on the tests. Those who considered when to check the message and respond (ie in a part of a lecture they deemed less relevant) performed significantly better.

What we can learn from this is that students need to become more aware of their ‘task-switching’ and make conscious decisions as to when they choose to shift their focus – instead of being enslaved by their technology and at its constant beck and call. Students need to become aware that this constant mental task shifting (even thinking about the technology has the same effect as actually checking the technology) takes oxygen and brain activity away from what they are learning. Students need to understand that it is ok and even necessary to wait, that they don’t have to respond immediately and do have the ability to delay their check-in with the cyber world. It is all about learning that we can control our selective attention and choose to ignore distractions.

 We need to train the brain to stop thinking constantly about technology. However, resistance for too long can create anxiety and a fear of missing out, creating ‘continuous partial attention’ in students as oxygen is diverted to activate and maintain thoughts about social media at the expense of  classroom material.

 Dr. Rosen’s team has determined the best approach for students who find it difficult to pull back from their technology devices is to set an alarm on their phone for short regular ‘tech breaks’. They may start with 15 minutes and gradually increase this amount over time to around 30 minutes. The phone will be face down on their desk on silent mode or off, and when the alarm rings they let themselves check messages and status updates for a minute or two, then set the alarm again. Dr. Rosen’s studies found that knowing they can check in 15 minutes creates less anxiety, whereas depriving them of the phone completely did not stop them thinking or obsessing about possible e-communications which took away from their ability to focus fully on their homework. It all comes back to teaching the concept of focus.

 Finally, Dr. Rosen argues that we cannot simply remove technology and other distractions; they are too intricately woven into our daily lives. Instead students should learn metacognitive skills to help them understand when and how to switch their attention between multiple tasks or technologies.

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP 30 – IDISORDER

by psalter on July 1, 2012

Dr. Larry Rosen, professor of psychology at California State University presented at the Young Minds Conference in Sydney last month.

His new book ‘iDisorder: Understanding Our Obsession with Technology and Overcoming Its Hold on Us’ discusses changes that occur to the brain´s ability to process information and the ability to relate to the world due to daily consumption of media and use of technology. This obsession with technology can result in signs and symptoms of psychological disorders (which Dr. Rosen has labeled iDisorders) such as stress, sleeplessness, narcissism and a compulsive need to check-in with our technology.  However Dr. Rosen is not anti-technology, far from it. Instead he argues that we need to become more aware of issues that can arise from over use of technology and implement strategies to deal with these. Self-awareness and a move towards restorative balance are essential.

Some of the ideas Dr. Rosen discusses are:

–          Students need to get a full night’s sleep and ensure that mobile phones are switched off during the night. If a student wakes in the night and checks their phone, however briefly, this will interrupt the sleep patterns for that night and disrupt essential memory processing.

–          Given the pervasiveness of technology in our lives as well as the fact that technology evokes high levels of mental activity,  we need to start taking technology ‘time-outs’ to reset our brains and refresh our capacity to process information.  It is important to recognise that the constant lure of multiple technologies and our obsession with them is overloading our brain. If we want to avoid iDisorder and ensure our use of technology does not make us exhibit signs and symptoms of psychological disorders, then we need to reset our brain on a regular basis. You may decide to take a 10 minute break from technology every 2 hours or you may even decide to allocate at least one day a week where you focus your attention 100% on real life and shut off your technology for a significant portion of that day. During this time you could laugh or talk with friends or family, experience nature or do something active. The aim is to give the brain a chance to slow down and rest by doing something that does not involve electronic devices.

We live in a connected world and we can’t turn the clock back and take away all these fun new technological tools. So the message is, we need to learn to take care of our brains to avoid a potential iDisorder.

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP 29 – REVIEWING YOUR WORK ON A DAILY BASIS

by psalter on June 1, 2012

Did you know that if you don’t look at what you are learning for a second time within 24 hours you forget 80% of the detail! This is why your teachers encourage you to review what you learn each day when you get home from school.

One of the best habits you can develop is the following: each afternoon, even before you start your homework, spend 10-15 minutes reviewing what you learnt at school that day.

There are lots of different ways you can do this review, here are some ideas (and you can do something different every day):

  1. Highlight the key points in each lesson.
  2. Write down the top 3 things you learnt in each lesson (you could do this in a separate book or at the bottom of the day’s classwork).
  3. Make a mind map about what you have been learning in class.
  4. Try and explain what you did in each lesson that day to a family member (or even to the cat).
  5. Go on a Google adventure, do some quick research on one interesting thing from each lesson.
  6. Write up on a white board one main idea from each lesson (a whiteboard in your room is a great tool for secondary students).
  7. Write down for each subject a question you could ask about what you learnt that day.

There will be a fabulous payoff to doing this, more of what you learn at school will stick in your head, you will have less to learn at test time, and it will make your assignments and projects easier when you can recall what you have been learning.

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP 28 – HOW STUDENTS GET THEMSELVES MOTIVATED TO DO ACADEMIC WORK

by psalter on May 1, 2012

The following is extracted from ‘Regulation of Motivation: Evaluating an Underemphasized Aspect of Self-Regulated Learning” by C. Wolters. (Educational Psychologist, 2003, 38(4), pp.189-205).

  1. REWARDS:
    Many students set rewards for themselves “I’ll read this section then I can eat this sandwich”. Some students use the opposite, punishments; they create consequences for themselves where they will deprive themselves if they do not do the work.
  2. SELF-PRAISE:
    Some students find that recognising their progress to themselves and praising themselves for their efforts creates a more positive mental environment and encourages them to keep going. Comments such as “Well done, you’ve solved yet another problem” can help create mental stamina.
  3. GOAL-ORIENTED SELF-TALK:
    Students who think about why they are studying or what possible future outcomes may be from putting in effort can also strengthen the effect of these thoughts by making sub-vocal statements while they are engaged in an academic activity. When faced with an urge to stop working they may focus on the thought of getting better marks, or getting into a particular course at uni or even the satisfaction of learning a new skill or developing self-discipline.
  4. INTEREST ENHANCemENT:
    This involves looking for ways to make the task to be completed more interesting or enjoyable. Even making slight modifications to make something less boring or repetitive. One student found that by writing notes in a different style it made the activity more inspiring.
  5. ENVIRONMENTAL STRUCTURING: 
    This is also referred to as resource management and is all about removing temptations and creating an environment that is more conducive to studying. It may even mean studying in a different location such as a local or school library in order to stay focused on the tasks to be completed.
  6. PROXIMAL GOAL-SETTING: 
    Breaking larger tasks into smaller more manageable chunks will help students to feel more motivated about what needs to be done. Setting specific and achievable short-term goals with an allocated time-frame can help increase students’ sense of efficacy.
  7. DEFENSIVE PESSIMISM:
    “I think about how unprepared I am in order to get myself to work harder”. There is mixed research about this approach and the negativity involved. However every student is different and for some students making themselves a bit anxious about what they haven’t done may be necessary to get them to start doing their work.
  8. emOTIONAL CONTROL:
    Thoughts produce feelings, feelings lead to actions. If we can make our thoughts and feelings more positive, this can lead to more positive actions. When students are feeling unmotivated, strategies such as taking a short amount of time to close your eyes and engage in deep slow breathing, or counting slowly backwards from 10 while thinking positive reassuring thoughts about your abilities to do what has to be done has been found to be beneficial.

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP 27 – MAKING EXCUSES NOT TO STUDY

by psalter on April 1, 2012

It is very easy to come up with lots of reasons not to do your schoolwork.

 “I’m too tired”.   “There is other stuff I’d rather be doing”. “It’s boring, I can’t be bothered”.

But these are just excuses and the way students try to justify to themselves that it is OK not to do the work.

If you are having trouble getting started when you get home each afternoon, here are some tips to help:

  1. As soon as you get home, unpack your bag immediately and lay out the work to be done in piles on your bed or the floor. Then walk away and have your break. It is easier to come back and start if all you have to do is pick up the first pile and begin.
  2. Set an alarm in your mobile phone for when you will start work.
  3. Start with something easy and achievable to get into a good rhythm and mind space.
  4. Prioritise the rest of the work for the evening, what is most important? What is most urgent? What has to be done tonight?
  5. Set yourself a reward for completing a certain amount of work.
  6. Keep schoolwork and personal life separate, don’t do work in front of the TV or Facebook, instead do schoolwork in focused half hour blocks.
  7. Choose a friend to help keep you on track. Discuss before you leave school what you need to get done that night, then decide a time to check in eg 9pm. Even though it is just your friend who is ringing to check up on you, it is amazing how much more motivated you will be to do the work when you know someone is checking up on you!

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP 26 – 7 COMMON MISTAKES IN APPROACHES TO STUDYING

by psalter on March 1, 2012

Every time you have a test, quiz or exam this year, refer back to this list during your preparation to ensure you are not making these common mistakes in your approach to studying:

  1. Not making study notes on a regular basis, instead, waiting till just before the test or exam.
  2. Not finishing the study notes early enough before the test so there is not enough time to learn them properly or do practise.
  3. Not making the study notes brain-friendly and structured in a way that makes them easy to learn.
  4. Not testing yourself to see if you know the content or not, just reading your notes over and over.
  5. Not using a wide range of study techniques, being lazy and just using the same old techniques, regardless of whether they are working for you or not.
  6. Not doing practise for exams under exam conditions (ie time limits and not looking at notes or answers).
  7. Not doing questions from a wide enough range of sources.

The aim should be that by the end of the year you have eliminated any of those common mistakes that you are prone to.

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP 25 – HOME STUDY ENVIRONMENT

by psalter on February 1, 2012

The start of a year is a good time to reassess the space where you work at home. Here are some points to consider:

  1. Natural lighting is best, but if not possible then a good strong bulb in your room and a bright desk lamp is essential. What is the lighting like in your study area?
  2. Fresh air and oxygen to the brain helps keep you mentally alert. What is the ventilation and air quality like in your study area?
  3. Your work space sets the tone for the way you approach your study. Is your desk large enough? What is your working space or desk like?
  4.  The chair you use should be comfortable (but not so comfy you fall asleep) and adjustable to reduce strain on your neck and shoulders. What is your chair like?
  5. When you are trying to memorise things, quiet is essential. No music (unless it is certain types of classical like baroque). How effectively can you keep your room quiet?
  6. Storage is essential to help you keep your notes organized and sorted. Shelves, a filing cabinet, drawers. What is the storage like in your room?
  7. It is important to keep your study area uncluttered and organized. A large pin board for notices and a calendar are useful. How organized is your study area?
  8. How many distractions do you have in your room? TV, stereo, computer, phone etc? It is always a good idea to switch off or remove distractions before you start work. How well do you cope with the distractions in your room?

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP 24 – NEW SCHOOL YEAR RESOLUTIONS

by psalter on January 1, 2012

Just like many people choose some new year’s resolutions, it is a great idea to set some targets for school this year.

Here’s what you do:

Brainstorm ideas on what you could do this year at school or at home to improve your learning, to make yourself more effective or to improve your results this year. Let all the ideas flow unrestricted. Ask your parents and family and friends for ideas. It might be things like ‘do study notes at the end of each topic’, or ‘work in half hour blocks with no Facebook during that time’. Once you have lots of ideas, it is time to focus. Cross out the ones that aren’t that great – there will be a few. Now read through what is left. Choose the top 3 ideas that if you implemented them would make the biggest difference for you. But no point just circling these, you need to take action!

  1. Write the 3 things you are going to try and do and focus on this year on a big piece of paper or whiteboard and place it somewhere in the house where you will see it every day – like your mirror! Or the fridge! Or the toilet!
  2. Tell at least 3 people what you are aiming to achieve this year. Maybe a friend, a family member and a teacher.
  3. Put reminders in as many places as possible, if you have an iPhone you could create an electronic reminder that pops up each week. Write it in your school diary, in your books.
  4. Aim to have a regular time each week where you assess how you are going with these actions.
  5. At the end of the term, think about how you are going. If you have them under control, what else could you try. If they are not under control, what could you do differently?

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP 23 – END OF YEAR ‘SWOT’ REFLECTION

by psalter on December 1, 2011

At the end of year it is always a good idea for students to reflect on their approach to school. Not every student can achieve the best marks, but every student can achieve the best marks they are capable of, their own personal best. By focusing more on improving learning, and gaining deeper understanding, rather than just on marks, students often find their results improve significantly.

A great approach for students is to undertake a simple SWOT analysis:

Strengths:

  • What are your strengths as a student?
  • What achievements from this year can you celebrate?
  • What do you do really well at school?
  • What skills have you developed?
  • What learning have you really enjoyed?

Weaknesses:

  • What are your weaknesses as a student?
  • What areas could you improve in?
  • What skills need more work?

Opportunities:

  • What opportunities exist for you to improve your approach to school?
  • What could you do differently next year?
  • What could you do to have better quality learning experiences next year?

Threats: 

  • What is standing in the way of you achieving your personal best?
  • What obstacles do you need to overcome?
  • What actions could you take to deal with any threats to achieving your personal best?

 

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP 22 – MOVING RESULTS TO THE NEXT LEVEL

by psalter on November 1, 2011

Level 1:

It is pretty hard to get decent marks if you aren’t doing at least the three ‘E’s on Level 1:

  • ENROLMENT: coming to school every day, attending every lesson.
  • EQUIPMENT: coming to class with textbooks, writing paper, pens.
  • ENGAGemENT: working in the classroom, trying your best, doing what you are asked to do.

Level 2:

Got the basics under control and ready to move your results to this next level?

Then this is what you need to do next:

  • COMPLETING SET HOMEWORK: Your teachers are giving you this work for a reason! To help you understand the subject better. It makes sense to put a bit of effort in to do this work.
  • PARTICIPATING IN CLASS / ASKING FOR HELP: By participating it helps you understand better in class which means less work to do at home. It is also important to ask for help from your teachers if you do not understand something.
  • HOME STUDY ENVIRONMENT / ORGANISING RESOURCES: It is important you can find everything you need when you need it. Consider how you have set up your workspace, how you manage all the paper and all of the digital resources you receive in the senior years.

Level 3:

Now that you have got things set up, time to make your life easier, and your study more effective, with the techniques on this next level.

  • PREPARING FOR ASSESSMENTS:
  1. Use a Term Planner or Term Calendar so you can clearly see when assessments are due.
  2. Use a Diary to help plan for assessments – make a plan of work and keep track of what you have done.
  • WORKING EFFICIENTLY AT HOME:
  1. Working in half hour blocks with no distractions.
  2. Making a study plan or study timetable.
  3. Making a plan each afternoon before you leave school.
  4. Using software such as ‘Self-Control’ and ‘Freedom’.
  5. Separating school work and personal time.
  6. Allocating set times to schoolwork.
  • USING THE 1,2,3 STUDY METHOD:
  1. Avoid just reading your notes over and over.
  2. Avoid leaving study until the last minute.
  3. Instead, this is how you study in the senior years:

1. MAKE STUDY NOTES

2. LEARN THE NOTES BY TESTING YOURSELF ON THem

3. DO LOTS OF QUESTIONS TO PRACTISE YOUR SKILLS.

Level 4:

So you have decided to go all out and aim for great marks. Well done you! The nice thing about school is that it rewards hard work and effort, you don’t have to be a genius, you just have to get stuck into it. If you are ready to move your results to the next level, here are your next steps.

  • MAKING STUDY NOTES EARLY:
  1. Don’t wait until exam time. Make your study notes as you go, often at the end of a topic or section or every few weeks.
  2. File away your study notes when complete so they are ready for exams.
  3. Try advanced forms of note-making.
  • USING A WIDE VARIETY OF STUDY TECHNIQUES:
  1. The more different ways you interact with the information you are trying to learn the better chance you have of retaining this info.
  2. Explore which study techniques are most suited to your style of learning.
  • AIM FOR 2-3 HOURS OF SCHOOLWORK PER NIGHT (FOR SENIORS):
  1. Do homework first.
  2. Then work on assessments.
  3. If you still have time, continue with work on study notes.
  4. If notes are up-to-date, think what else you could do to improve your understanding of the subject, study guides, practice papers, revision books, practice essays.

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP 21 – PREPARING FOR SENIOR STUDIES

by psalter on October 1, 2011

As many senior students prepare to leave school at the end of this year and embark on further education or a new career, a whole batch of students are preparing to join the ranks of the senior students at their school next year.

As students approach the senior years, they are expected to start taking more responsibility for their own learning. For many students part of this is a realisation that they need to do their schoolwork for their own sake, to keep options open for their own future – so they start to work for themselves, not just because their teacher or parent says they have to. Other students come to realize that in order to cope with the increased workload in the senior years, they need to work more efficiently at home and in the classroom, small changes like changing who students sit next to can make a big difference to how much work is completed in class.

So for students who are commencing their senior studies next year, the final term this year is important in taking stock of your approach to school and your studies. Do you work well in the classroom? Who do you sit next to? What are your listening and research skills like? Do you have systems in place to manage your homework and assignments? Do you know how to study effectively and have you tried different study techniques?

It seems many students think they will wake up Day 1 of their senior studies and suddenly have become a ‘super student’ overnight. This does not happen! Habits take at least a month to change – sometimes longer if they are deeply ingrained.

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP 20 – APPLICATIONS TO HELP MANAGE ONLINE DISTRACTIONS

by psalter on September 1, 2011

Distracted by Facebook, YouTube, email or other websites you waste lots of time on? Students have found the following applications really useful. And they like the fact they get to make the decisions about how and when to use them.

FOR MACINTOSH USERS:

“SelfControl” is a free downloadable application which blocks access to incoming and/or outgoing mail servers and websites for a predetermined period of time.

For example, you could block access to your email, Facebook, and twitter (you choose the websites etc to be blocked) for 40 minutes (you choose the time), but still have access to the rest of the web so you can do research etc.

Once you start the time, it cannot be undone by the application, by deleting the application, or by restarting the computer – you must wait for the timer to run out.

Students have found this is a great way to manage technology distractions, set the timer for 30 minutes and do 30 minutes of effective work without being distracted by your technology!

Download at http://visitsteve.com/made/selfcontrol/

FOR PC USERS:

You can download a similar program called “Freedom” for a small fee. You can even try it out 5 times for free then after that you are charged a $10 one-off licence fee.

Freedom is a simple tool that locks you out of all networking (Internet browsing, email, etc.) for anywhere from 15 minutes to 8 hours.

And once you invoke it, there’s no way to quit out of it, short of rebooting your computer.

This is not as good as the Mac program above as with that program even rebooting does not work! However as rebooting is a pain, it is likely you will stick it out and keep working when it is only for another 15 minutes or so.

The other issue is it locks you out of the Internet completely, whereas with the Mac software above you get to choose which sites you are blocked from but you could keep researching on the web – not the case with this software. However if you are distracted by everything on the internet, then maybe this is the software for you!

There is both a PC and MAC version of the Freedom software. Download at http://macfreedom.com/

And now there is also a free version now for PCs you can check out: Cold Turkey http://getcoldturkey.com/faq.html

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP 19 – TYPING VS HANDWRITING NOTES

by psalter on August 1, 2011

Should students type or handwrite their notes?

Short answer, you are better off doing whatever the exam or test will be. So if the exam is handwritten, it is better to handwrite notes. This creates muscle memory, it sets up a pattern in the brain of what you will be doing in the exam. If you do not have exams, then it does not really matter, you can choose to either type or handwrite your notes.

For students who do have written exams, you are better off getting used to writing as much as possible, especially as these days students do less and less pen to paper and more and more on the keyboard.  It is also argued that by writing the information, you set up pathways of familiarity and recognition in your brain that will kick in when you are in an examination situation.

On the other hand, some subjects have so much content that to try and wade through it with handwritten notes would take forever.  A good compromise for students who would prefer to type is to start making initial notes on the computer as this allows you to cut and paste, group information and rearrange it with ease. Once you have a core set of notes completed, you may like to further summarise some sections on paper using a more graphical or visual form of note-taking such as mind-mapping. And when you are learning the notes, read a section, then see what you can write without looking, this way you will be testing if the information is in long-term memory and practicing your handwriting at the same time!

Given that students now have to be masters of both the pen and the keyboard it is important to develop both legible handwriting and touch typing skills.

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP 18 – IMPROVING STUDY SKILLS

by psalter on July 1, 2011

‘Study skills’ can be found under a variety of different labels in schools: effective learning skills, learning to learn skills, metacognitive skills, self-regulating skills, independent learning skills. Whatever label you like to use, study skills refers to the group of transferable skills that help students work more effectively at home, manage their workload, and study efficiently for tests and exams. These are skills that help students reach their personal academic potential at school and beyond.

Equipping students with skills that help them navigate the mire of school academic expectations and assessments is but one ingredient in the recipe of students achieving their personal academic potential. Other contributing factors are, for example, teachers, teaching style, parents, individual ability, motivation and a supportive learning environment – just to name a few! However, fostering the development of study skills gives students a greater chance of reaching their academic potential in a more efficient and effective way than those without these skills.

How do students develop these skills? Some students may develop these skills in primary school, some through sharing or modelling with friends or relatives. For some it is through personal trial and error or assistance from parents.  Teachers also embed many of these skills into their curriculum and the school looks for opportunities to develop these skills whenever possible.

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP 17 – IMPROVING TYPING AND HANDWRITING SKILLS

by psalter on June 1, 2011

So you don’t have much homework tonight? Assignments and study notes up to date? Have you ever thought about spending a bit of time each night learning touch typing?

Touch Typing is when you can type without looking at the keys while you type. This means you can type much faster than if you had to look and see where each key is, and it means you can keep looking at whatever it is you are typing instead of the keys. This is an incredibly useful skill to develop – it will help you at school and later in life as well, improving your efficiency and speeding up work on assignments and essays. Once you learn touch typing, you will know where the keys are located on the keyboard through your sense of touch and you will be able to look at the screen or whatever you are typing rather than the keyboard. There is lots of free software to help you develop your touch typing skills available on the web.

But don’t neglect your handwriting skills either. As long as you have to submit handwritten work or handwrite for tests and exams it is also important to improve the legibility and speed of your handwriting. Check out this site for a very cool tool: www.ringpen.com

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP 16 – CARING FOR YOUR NOTEBOOK COMPUTER

by psalter on May 1, 2011

FOOD AND DRINK: Food and drink don’t go well with computer screens and keyboards. Keep drinks especially well clear.

CASES: Notebooks don’t bounce, so keep them in their protective cases/covers and don’t use them on unstable surfaces.

BAGS: If you have your notebook in a bag or backpack be conscious of their fragility and breakability. Don’t throw your bag around, drop it or place things on top of it if your notebook is inside.

HEAT: Don’t leave a notebook in a car for too long, especially on a hot day. Notebooks don’t like extremes of weather temperature.

PETS: Be aware that pets may like to chew through power supply cables.

TRIPPING: When you are using your power supply, be aware of trip hazards. The cables inside the power supply are also easily broken so even though it may look as though it is OK, it could stop working.

DUST: Avoid dusty or smoky environments. Don’t store the laptop somewhere dusty (like under your bed) as the air filters can get blocked.

AIR VENTS: Work out where the air vents are on your computer. Make sure you don’t block the vents when the computer is on or it may overheat.

STORMS: You should always unplug the computer from the power outlet during a lightning storm. Otherwise your data may get fried!

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP 15 – TERM PLANNERS

by psalter on April 1, 2011

A great idea at the start of every term is to print off the term planner. These can be found on the Freebies page of www.enhanced-learning.net. Simply fill in the dates for the term, and place the term planner somewhere visible at home – for example above your desk on a noticeboard.

As you are told about a test or assignment, write these onto the appropriate date on the term planner. Highlight tests in one colour and assignments in another colour so they stand out clearly. Cross off each day as you go, so you have a clear picture of how the work is spread out over the term and how long until things are due.

Writing these due dates in your diary as well is essential of course, but it does not give you the overall picture like a term planner does. This is a good thing to do at the start of every term right from the start of secondary school through to the end (and beyond to university as well!).

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP 14 – BARRIERS TO ACHIEVING GOALS

by psalter on March 1, 2011

The start of a new year is always a time for new year’s resolutions. But how many of us set goal after goal that are just left by the wayside? There are a number of reasons why goals are not achieved:

– No action plan created of steps to take to move towards the goal.
– No true commitment to the goal or personal stake in the outcome.
– A negative attitude, lack of self-confidence and negative self-talk.
– Not rewarding yourself along the way for milestones achieved.
– Trying to spread your focus across too many goals.
– Fear of failure that becomes paralyzing and prevents action.

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP 13 – STRETCH YOUR BRAIN

by psalter on February 1, 2011

With the start of the year fast approaching, take the time to ask yourself these questions:

• How well did I do last year at school?
• Did my particular style of thinking or approach produce more or less than I had expected?
• What could I have done differently?
• What might I change to help me improve this year?

Take a piece of paper and write down the top 5 changes you want to make in your approach to school this year.

The holidays are also a perfect time to stretch your brain. The best thing you can do for your brain is to try something new, this will build new neural pathways in your brain. So these holidays, try at least one thing you have never done before, Sudoku, start learning a new language, try a new sport, take up a new hobby, even brushing your teeth with the opposite hand can have a beneficial effect on the brain.

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP 12 – PREPARING FOR EXAM BLOCKS

by psalter on January 1, 2011

Follow these four simple steps to preparing for tests and examinations:

1. Fact Finding – find out all you can about the upcoming test and what you need to study by asking your teacher politely at an appropriate time.

2. Get Organised – get your notes and papers organised and make sure nothing is missing. Then start working on study notes, you want to do this as early as you can.

3. Plan Your Time – now decide what you will study when by allocating a few subjects per night to focus on, it is a good idea to write this plan in your diary.

4. Start Studying – this means learning the content by testing yourself over and over on the content. There are many different ways you can learn the information. The key is to make sure you don’t just read the information, you have to test continually if it is in long term memory. You also need to make sure you do lots of practise, This means finding questions you can do to see if you remember what you have studied and if you can apply it. You should do these questions without looking at notes or answers and under time limits, trying to simulate the exam conditions as much as you can. That way you can find out what you can and can’t do and fix up the things you don’t know how to do yet. Keep a list of questions you need to ask your teacher about and always ask them for extra revision sheets if you need them.

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP 11 – WHAT ARE STUDY SKILLS?

by psalter on December 1, 2010

Study skills are known by lots of different terms: effective learning skills, learning to learn skills, metacognitive skills, self-regulating skills, independent learning skills. Whatever you like to call these skills, they are the generic skills that help students work more effectively at home, manage their assignments and study efficiently for tests and exams.

Some of these skills you will develop as part of your experiences in particular subjects. Other skills are more focused on the way you approach your work at home. But why are these skills important?

Well firstly getting higher marks will certainly give you more choices about what you might do when you leave school. There is also a strong sense of satisfaction in knowing that you did your best so you can walk away without regret.

However the importance of developing study skills goes way beyond these two reasons. The study skills you develop at school are actually lifelong learning skills. Regardless of whether you stay in the same career for your whole life or change careers 10 times, you will continually have to be learning. You will have to be certified, meet certain regulations, learn new elements of your job, study to move to the next promotional level – you are going to be learning for your entire life, it doesn’t stop just because you leave school.

Through developing good study skills you are also developing personal management skills – how to make yourself do things when you don’t want to do it, how to ask for help, how to manage and organise your resources – all sorts of things that will contribute to your future success. People with strong learning skills and self-management skills are more ready to face the challenges of succeeding in what can be a very competitive world. So each time you manage to get yourself doing something you didn’t feel like doing, celebrate another success in the development of your personal strengths and abilities!

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP 10 – CORRECT SPELLING AND GRAMMAR – WHO NEEDS IT?

by psalter on November 1, 2010

So why is it so important to use correct spelling and grammar in your writing? Very simple, people will form an impression of you through the quality of your work. How many times have you seen a website with incorrect spelling and it seems a bit dodgy? Imagine how embarrassing it would be in a job if your colleagues and boss had to correct your spelling and grammar all the time? Or a client rang to complain about all the mistakes in a document you sent? Correct usage of English ensures that you present a professional appearance to the world. It does not mean you have to use big fancy words, you just have to use the words you choose to use correctly!

So how can you improve your spelling and grammar? Start to pay attention. Pay attention to what you read and what you write. When the spellchecker on your computer corrects you, don’t just hit accept, instead look at how you spelt the word, and how it is supposed to be spelt, so you will know for next time. If you know you have a particular weak area, for example commas or apostrophes, always ask someone to check these for you and try and learn when what you have done needs to be changed.

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP 9 – HOMEWORK VS STUDY, WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

by psalter on October 1, 2010

In Primary school life was different, you just did the work your teacher told you to do. So if you had homework and assignments, you did them then stopped. But in high school you don’t just do what your teacher tells you to do. Instead, you are supposed to aim to do schoolwork for a certain amount of time each night. For junior years this may be 1-1.5 hours per night and in the senior years as much as 3 hours per night – this will vary between individuals and between schools. This is where the general concept of study comes into play. If you have no more homework or assignments, then you are supposed to actually go looking for what else you could do to help you improve your understanding of what you are learning at school – and it is this that is often referred to as ‘study’. Basically it means doing things that will ultimately help you get better marks at school. So each night, you do your homework and assignments first, then spare time from the total time allocated for schoolwork is to do some study. This might mean going back and reviewing what you did in class over the last day or even over the last week. It might mean doing extra questions on areas you find difficult. It might mean making study notes. It might mean doing questions from an additional textbook or study guide. It might be making flashcards on a topic. It might also mean developing your own study skills!

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP 8 – METACOGNITION

by psalter on September 1, 2010

Every now and then you might hear students ask their teacher ‘what is the best way to study?’. There is a very short answer to this – there is no best way! An important lesson for students to learn is that everyone learns in different ways, everyone has different approaches and preferences, and what works well for one person may not work well for another. This truth applies to all aspects of effective learning – time management, research skills, writing skills and so on. There are certainly good techniques and strategies available in all of these areas, and also approaches that work well for the majority of students; however it is essential that all students try different techniques to see what works best for them. Your preferences could also change over time, so it makes sense to at least once a year stop and reflect on your approach to your schoolwork, what did you do, what worked, what didn’t, what should you change, what should you keep, what new things could you try. This is what ‘metacognition’ is all about. It means taking the time to try and understand more about the process of learning and your role as a learner. Students who take a metacognitive approach to their learning definitely improve their results much more than those who do not.

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP 7 – WORKING WELL AT HOME

by psalter on August 1, 2010

Unfortunately lots of students do not work effectively at home. Some students come home after school and just sort of ‘wait’ until they feel like working. And what happens is that they never feel like it so they just don’t get started!

Other students start work not long after they get home, but they drag their work out over the whole night doing work in front of the TV, or the computer. It takes them the whole night, but they hardly get any work done and they don’t feel like they have had a break at all.

A much more effective way is to keep your school work and your personal life separate. Don’t do your work in front of the TV, don’t do it while on social network sites or while using chat, instead work in 20-30 minute blocks of time.

Learn to really focus and concentrate on what you are doing for a block of time. You will be amazed at how much work you get done and how productive you are during this time. Then at the end of that half hour period you have a proper break and really enjoy your free time.

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP 6 – MANAGING WORKLOAD

by psalter on July 1, 2010

There are some simple steps students can take to improve the way they manage their workload and avoid the stresses of last minute work. At the start of every term all students should ensure they have a term planner on the wall at home with due dates for tests and assignments clearly marked. Due dates should be written into a diary as well and highlighted. But writing due dates into the diary is only the first step. After receiving details about a task, students should ensure they understand the requirements of the task (and ask if unsure) then brainstorm the steps to complete this task. These steps then need to be scheduled into the diary, written in as homework so there is a plan to complete the work over the available time. This plan is just a guide of course; students can complete the work earlier! But by scheduling the steps to be done as homework, students are much less likely to leave the task to the last minute and can reschedule steps if they have too much other homework that night.

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP 5 – USING CLASSTIME

by psalter on June 1, 2010

What are the advantages of using classtime efficiently? Well, you will complete more work in class and so have more free time at home, your teacher will be pleased with your application and so will your parents when they read your report, and of course, you will learn more! And if you don’t use classtime efficiently? Well you will have to do more work at home, you will find you don’t always understand the work, your teachers will have to be continually disciplining you and you may even make it harder for other people in your class to learn. The benefits of working in class are clearly obvious! So what does working effectively in class mean? It means listening, contributing, staying on task, and working to the best of your ability. It means learning to focus and concentrate and developing the discipline to do work even if it is not your most favorite subject!

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP 4 – HOW DO YOU STUDY

by psalter on May 1, 2010

A number of students have submitted questions asking how you actually study for a test. Do you just read through what you did in class? The answer is definitely that you have to do more than just read if you want to remember and be able to apply the information. Firstly you should make some point form notes on what you read in your textbook and classnotes. This will get you to think about what you are reading. Once you have condensed the information you need to learn into a set of study notes, you then need to start memorizing this information by testing yourself on it. Read a section, then see what you can say out loud or write down without looking. You will need to do this over and over until you find you can easily remember the information. But that is not enough either! You also have to see how well you have understood what you have learnt and whether you can apply the information. This means doing as many questions as you can and checking your answers – going back and doing questions out of your textbook or from revision sheets, doing practise essays, whatever types of questions you will have to do in the test. And of course, you then ask for help on anything you can’t do or don’t understand.

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP 3 -– PROCRASTINATING

by psalter on April 1, 2010

Do you ever find yourself procrastinating? You mean to start work on an assignment, but you just keep putting it off until it ends up being a mad rush the night before. Setting work targets with rewards at the end of each completed step is a well-known strategy, but an example of a less commonly known technique is the ‘two-fer’ concept. For this technique you have two tasks, one you don’t mind doing and one you have been procrastinating about. Decide on a set period of time that you will work for. During this time, if you have any trouble working on one task or reach a point where you have a bit of a mental blank, you should then switch to the other task and alternate between them. Of course it is better to focus solely on one task but if this isn’t working by alternating between two tasks at least you are being productive for the whole period of time and forcing yourself to do some work on the less favoured task.

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP 2 – ASKING FOR HELP

by psalter on March 1, 2010

One of the qualities that make a student more successful is the ability to ask for help when it is needed. Some students are great at this, they regularly ask questions in class or ask for additional help when they are having difficulties. Other students wait until they are weeks into the topic and it becomes a major struggle to fix the problems in understanding that have compounded. A simple idea that really helps is to have a post-it note inside each of your books or textbook and this is where you make a note about anything you can’t do or anything you don’t understand. You then ask your teacher in class when there is time or ask to see them briefly at lunch or after school. Cross off your issues as they are resolved and don’t let your list get too long!

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net


STUDY SKILLS TIP 1 – MUSIC WHILE STUDYING

by psalter on February 1, 2010

Should you listen to music when studying? In an ideal world we would probably say no music (except classical baroque music which actually can help your memory) while you are doing schoolwork. But a good compromise is as follows. If the work is not very difficult, and fairly routine, then have whatever music you like on. It will make you feel relaxed and help you stick to completing the work you need to do. But if the work requires higher order thinking skills, i.e. studying for a test, trying to understand something difficult, doing an essay plan, trying to learn or remember anything – then switch the music off. Otherwise it will end up taking you much longer to complete the task (even though you are convinced it is not affecting you!). Just get in the habit of stopping and asking yourself each time before you start work whether it is the type of work that requires you to really focus and concentrate and if it is – switch the music off for awhile. The same approach goes for doing work in front of the TV.

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au you can learn more about how students can achieve their personal best at school by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here. This tip is also emailed to the main contact teachers for the subscribing schools to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au to use in their school newsletters.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net