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Good Students Need Good Study and Organizational Skills
by Judith Stern, M.A.
Educational Consultant

Over the years, I have worked with many middle school and high school students, as well as those beginning college careers.  We inevitably end up having a discussion about being smart is not the same as being organized.  Learning to use both your intelligence and strong study skills together help reduce stress, improve assignment quality and increase productivity.  Adolescents and young adults often tell me that nobody ever really taught them how to do the many learning skills that are an important part of being a good student.  Let's look at some of the most important ones:

Time Management

Organizing Materials and Belongings

Reading

Learning to Study

The good news is that all of these skills can be learned and strengthened.  With increased skills, students feel more confident and are able to manage the many demands placed upon today's students. 

About the Author:
Judith Stern works with individual and small groups of students from grades 6-12 in the Rockville/Metropolitan Washington D.C. area to improve their organization and study skills throughout the year.  At the end of each summer, she runs a study skills series for students to help them get ready for their return to the school year.  She also consults with parents and schools on learning and attention issues. 


Helping Students Organize for the New School Year
by Judith Stern, M.A.
Educational Consultant

Sometime around mid-summer, students, parents and teachers begin thinking about the upcoming new school year.  Although the types of thoughts may vary, there is no question that getting off to an organized start is an excellent strategy.
 
Getting students back on to a good sleep schedule should begin a week or two before school begins, so that kids are ready to catch that early school bus each morning.  Cleaning and organizing a child/teen's bedrooms helps create a less cluttered environment for storage, clothing and school materials.  If a student uses a desk in the bedroom or another spot in the home, this is the time to clear it out and stock with papers, pencils, rulers and scissors. A three-hole puncher is important for middle schoolers and high schoolers.  Make sure computers and printers are in good working order.  For older students, develop a filing system, whether it involves a filing cabinet or a rolling file container, so that papers can be stored safely, rather than overflowing in a binder.

Include students of all ages in a time to organize their clothes for the school year.  This may involve trying clothes on, giving away those that no longer fit and making room for new items of clothing.  Whether a child has his/her own bedroom or shares with others, the room should be cleared and organized before school begins.  Younger children may need some parental support in accomplishing this large task, but all students should be involved in this activity.

Establish a place where school books and library books will be consistently stored, so they are easy to find.  Create a specific place where backpacks and jackets should be placed whenever the child/teen walks in the door.

If your child takes a snack to school, develop a system that works well for your family.  You can try keeping healthy snacks in a clearly marked space (cabinets and refrigerator) and have your child pack that the night before.  When the supply is running low, encourage your child to add suggestions to the family shopping list.  Kids really do get hungry during the school day, so make sure to keep some non-perishable options always on hand for those days that the shopping just didn't get done. Have a happy and organized school year!

About the Author:
Judith Stern works with individual and small groups of students from grades 6-12 in the Rockville/Metropolitan Washington D.C. area to improve their organization and study skills throughout the year.  At the end of each summer, she runs a study skills series for students to help them get ready for their return to the school year.  She also consults with parents and schools on learning and attention issues.


Time Management A Discussion with High School Students

The following is a summary of class discussions held with several classes of ninth and tenth graders regarding problems they experience with homework stress and time management. We  talked about the problems they found in trying to manage time appropriately.  We then worked together to come up with some viable solutions.  This is a good activity for students confronted with heavy course loads and after-school demands.  It is useful as a single discussion or as part of a series of study skills sessions. Judith Stern is available to conduct these discussions, as well as to train teachers and counselors on this topic.

Problems Discussed: 

Solutions:


Helping Reinforce Spelling Skills

Practicing spelling skills does not need to be a boring task.  You can  motivate children to practice spelling words in a variety of formats through strategies that are multi-sensory and engaging:

Use song and movement to practice spelling words

Other ways to practice, study, and learn the spelling of words

 

 

© 2017, Judith Stern, M.A.

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