Teach Students How to Learn

One of the books I read this summer, titled Teach Students How to Learn by Dr. Saundra Yancy McGuire, presented strategies for students to improve their acquisition of material, and subsequently, their scores on assessments. Dr. McGuire encourages students to:

  • Take ten minutes to preview the lesson to be taught that da
  • Develop questions based on the preview that you expect to be answered during lecture
  • Be in class and fully engaged
  • Take notes by hand
  • Use active reading strategies such as paraphrasing after every 2-3 paragraphs and annotating your reading
  • When working through problems, use the readings in the textbook to guide, do not use the example problems. Use of the example problems should only happen after a time of researching and struggling with the material
  • Pretend you are teaching the material to someone else when studying for an assessment
  • Put together a mock exam before taking an exam

These techniques fit into the metacognitive framework (stepping back and analyzing how we each learn). At St. Ursula Academy, we are interested in creating students who are capable and independent learners. Acquisition of content is important for students, but honing the learning skills is a more critical skill to achieve. Expect to hear more about this in the days to come from St. Ursula Academy.

As we start the 2016-17 school year, the staff of The Learning Commons hopes that your daughter makes us her one-stop resource to become that capable student. We are staffed between the hours of 7am to 4:45pm (3pm on Fridays) with trained, certified faculty who represent the core content areas of English, Math, Science, Social Studies, Writing, and World Languages. Students can work with one of our staff during those hours to improve their skills, prepare for tests and complete homework. No appointment is necessary and all are welcome. Last year, 70% of SUA students worked with one of the staff. Contact Tina Johnson, tjohnson@toledosua.org or access the moodle page for The Learning Commons/The Writing Commons for details.

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