Our teachers work hard to ensure that Plentywood students are challenged in the classroom. Our parents are great about encouraging that same hard work at home. However, at the end of the day, we want to be sure that every single student has the tools to study independently as well. It's so easy nowadays for our students to become overwhelmed by academic expectations, but we can proactively help ease that stress while simultaneously learning the crucial skill of studying effectively. To that end, we strongly encourage all parents and students to take a look at the information below from Montana State University's Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success.
Schedule time to complete school-work
- Before, in between, or right after classes tend to work best for students
- Make ‘official’ time in your calendar to do your school-work
- When does your mind work best? Morning or evening? Before or after eating?
- The brain must ‘earn’ information it retains. Study in ways that are slightly challenging to create a ‘desirable difficulty’ for the brain
- Test yourself. You need to find what you do not know so you can focus on studying that, rather than using time going over information you are already confident on.
- Play with information in multiple ways. For example, you can study a theory with a flashcard, writing it in your own words, explaining it out loud to someone, and listing examples of it in action.
- Start early! The longer you give yourself to learn, the better. Studying a topic for an hour a day for five days is MUCH more effective than studying for five hours in one day.
- Give yourself breaks. The brain must have time to absorb information, which only happens when it is not intaking more information. Two common time strategies: 25 minutes studying, 5 minute break. Or, 45 minutes studying with a 15 minute break.
Create a good learning environment:
- Do you study best alone, with a group, or in a public place?
- Does background noise or music help or distract you?
- Should you turn off your phone?
- Have all the supplies you need immediately at hand