It is no secret that to retain information one must study. Whether it is for a test in school or a new workflow at a job, a person needs to have a method in place for learning new material. Unless gifted with a photographic memory, you need to have study techniques in place to absorb new things so that you can recall them later when you need them. Skills like note-taking, retrieval practice, creating associations, and finding patterns—are all necessary steps one must take to build content knowledge.
Study Skills Curriculum In School
Every student is different when it comes to studying. Some might find it easier to remember content with notes in a free-flow form, others may require a more structured format for organizing materials based on subject matter and topics, and some might further yet need interventions to figure out how best to make things stick. But how is a student to discover their most productive and functional method of studying if study methods are not practiced enough to evaluate whether they are effective and this process is not directly taught by educators in a school setting? In a poll of educators in a school, grades 4-6, 85% of teachers believed that the previous grade level was responsible for teaching students how to study.
Clearly, there is a disconnect between educators in regard to study skills lessons and when they become relevant. Students benefit from learning to study at each grade level as content changes, study activities should also change however, the truth is that students are very rarely taught how to study and often don’t figure it out until college. Can you imagine going to work daily without having been trained on how to do your job? Frustrating, to say the least. When kids move from elementary to middle school and then on to high school, the importance of studying becomes significantly more vital. As students matriculate into higher grade levels, we often see a drop in their grades because study expectations have gone up while study skills have remained static.
The Problem with Teaching Study Skills in School
We are fully aware that there are amazing teachers everywhere that care for the success of their students and are burdened with standardized tests, curriculum objectives, administrative expectations, and often large class sizes—the truth is that educators have a lot on their plates. How could it be possible to add one more learning target with these roadblocks and does every student need to learn study strategies?
How Effective Students Can Help
At Effective Students, we understand the importance of preparing students for the rigorous study routines expected of them later on in their high school and college years. Our staff of highly trained educators realizes that there is a demand for support within this portion of teaching, so we are here to assist. We partner with schools to help them enlist students in the process. Through simple, powerful mini-lessons, teachers lay the groundwork for students to be vested in systems that result in successful personal outcomes so they develop independence in solving academic challenges.
Our study skills curriculum with lesson plans takes the burden off teachers giving students the processes with accountability tools that lead to independence and academic success. Clear checklists, video lessons, handouts, and metacognitive exercises equip students to track their study methods and habits.
TESTIMONY FROM ONE OF OUR ADMINISTRATORS
The goal is to help students build strong and organized academic management skills. Learning executive functioning skills helps students achieve more academic success. However, my biggest takeaway is how this program can actually bleed over into other aspects of a student’s (or really anyone’s) life. The key for any of us – the student or not – to be successful in life is to use strategies to stay organized, admit and learn what we don’t know, analyze and forecast our time and learn how to adjust when certain strategies or actions are not working. The ability to internalize these skills as early as we can in a student will help them STAY successful as college students as well as working, professional adults. I love the intentionality of learning and infusing any person’s life with these skills and strategies as well as the idea of having the courage to admit and learn what you don’t know. There is power and confidence to be found for anyone to organize their work, identify and forecast their week and use skills/actions to learn what they don’t know. So empowering!
In addition to helping schools, we give parents the opportunity to reach out directly to us to advocate for their own child’s success. We know how busy it is between a full-time job and the responsibilities that come with having a family which is why we provide individualized resources for students and parents as well as academic coaching support that teach your children the best ways to study.
At Effective Students we offer the following study skills lesson plans that can go a long way in setting the foundations for strong study behaviors:
- Study Skills Class for Middle School
- Study Skills Class for High School
- Study Skills Class for College Students
If you are an educator, parent, or student who struggles with studying, we invite you to contact us to see how we can help. Whether it be online workshops or meeting with an academic coach, Effective Students will use our resources and experience in the field to help produce successful outcomes for your students.