Remember to ask lots of questions when trying to learn something – no matter the course.
This was not a strong area for me when I was younger. In grade school, some of the teachers thought I was mute because I never spoke!
So, you may need to work at it, but asking questions is essential to getting the most out of your lessons.
There is the obvious advantage of receiving a response to your question.
This can help.
There are, however, even more benefits to asking questions.
In order to ask questions, you need to devise questions. In other words, you are thinking about the topic and searching for answers.
You are taking an active role in your learning!
Asking questions is not a weakness but a strength. The responses can lead you to further investigation and a fuller understanding of the material. Of course, all of this will keep feeding your interest and engagement which can spur you on even further.
In addition, a student who asks questions shows the teacher that he/she is interested enough to be bothered to look beyond doing the minimum.
Teachers love to see students gaining knowledge and becoming engaged with the topic.
Teachers and tutors are human, too.
No – Really! They are!
They like to see that their hard work and effort is being valued.
If you are interested, this helps them to become even more ready to aid in your thirst for knowledge – a nice positive cycle.
Try to prepare ahead.
Both your interest and your retention rate will soar if you have read, in advance, material that your teacher will be presenting.
Do more than the bare minimum that is required. Try to read supplementary material.
It is easy with the internet these days (just be careful that you are on a reputable site) to find text and videos to explain almost any topic!
It is essential to look back at the notes you take in school each day, and to review them again before the week has ended.
Simple as that sounds, it is often the difference between average and excellent marks, or between passing and failing, in some cases.
Short, frequent reviews produce stronger results in the long-term.
(P.S. All-nighters are never required!)
Make out a study schedule for one week, allowing yourself breaks to reward yourself.
At the end of the first week, make an honest assessment of how well you did.
Revise it (in necessary) – and then try to stick to it for the rest of the school year (or term/semester)
When doing homework, choose a location with good lighting, preferably with a firm chair and working surface and where interruptions will be at a minimum.
1. Listen carefully to what your teacher(s) has to say.
Everyone will be excited, and lots of noise and activity may be taking place, practise “tuning out” the buzz of activity when the teacher is making a point so that you don’t miss it !
2. Write down any important information.
- what supplies does the teacher require you to have
- do you need a separate binder for each subject or dividers in one binder
- will you be keeping a journal for this course
- are there certain methods she/he wants you to use for taking notes (if so – what are they – make a note of it!)
- are there any papers, notes, notices on the board, or other information that you should pick up
- is there an outline of the course material
- is there a list of reading materials (books)
Note: Use your student planner !
If there is anything you don’t understand, try to ask the teacher.
After you receive all this information, make sure that your parents / guardians receive this information promptly to that they can help you gather the materials required.
REMEMBER: Check back with this list over the next couple of weeks to make sure that you have gathered the correct materials and information and to make sure that you are following proper procedure (for taking notes, etc.).