Friday, December 10, 2010

Is your student doing their homework effectively?

"Doing" the homework is often not enough for student's to comprehend and retain content. They must also study. Many students will also just skim the text in order to get the work done. But this causes problems because they do not get the context of the term or idea. Please encourage your student to look at HOW they are doing their homework. Doing the assignment is often not enough to truly grasp the content.

Try this:

First make sure all distractions are removed from the study area. No ipods, t.v.s, phone, etc. If there is something more interesting than the history text around, the student will want to pay attention to that!! You will be suprised, cleaning their room may suddenly become very interesting when it comes time for homework. When I do my own homework (grading) I need to remove myself from distractions. But, teenagers will usually not do this for themselves. You may need to make it a rule that your student do their homework in a certain area, like the kitchen table.

Here is something that I reccomended to the kids this week. So many of them feel that they should be geting a higher grade because they do their homework. But they still do not get the content. My hypothesis is that they are not actually reading the material. So try this with your student at home.

How to do your history notes:

Step 1: Read over the notetaking guide. Preview the objectives, key terms and ideas that I expect you to know.
Step 2: Read the section once through without taking any notes. Pay attention to all of the headings, pictures, captions, maps, etc. Really read it!! Do not just skim!
Step 3: Re-read the notetaking guide for that section. Then read the section in the book again, this time taking notes. Yes, reread it!! Do not just skim!
Step 4: Review the notes. Then write the summary for the notes, answering the objective in the summary.
Step 5: Have a parent or other adult look at the note taking guide and quiz you on the terms. You should be able to explain them without looking at the notes. Use the notetaking guide as a checklilst. If you can explain it, check it off. If not, then you need to go back and review that item. Keep going until you can explain everything on the sheet. Kind of like the old spelling list practice.

Hope this helps!!!! Remember the more times you have contact with information, the more likely it will stick in your head!!!!