School gets more hectic once a student hits middle school. Students have more tests, quizzes, homework assignments and projects than they did in elementary school. Teaching solid study skills early in middle school can make the transition easier. Learning how to set goals, stay organized and concentrate are all vital study skills for middle schoolers.
For students to be successful in the classroom, they need to learn the process of setting and achieving goals. With the increased demand on their schedule, each day is now filled with school, homework, lessons and other activities. A middle school student needs to learn how to prioritize her time to ensure that all necessary things get done. Students can start by making a list of things to do and ranking them in order of importance. After they have listed their activities, parents can help them review their choices and discuss any consequences that may result from their prioritizing.
With so many different subjects, students are carrying multiple textbooks and notebooks to and from school. Misplaced, lost or forgotten papers derail studying. You can sit with your student and create a system that he will follow, in which all papers and assignments go into a folder or binder. Take the time to help your student learn the organizational system. Keep this process goal-oriented by checking through the folder each day and assessing if all required materials are included. Gradually place the primary responsibility for maintaining the folder on your student.
Note Taking Skills
In middle school, students are asked to memorize and repeat information more than in elementary school. Teaching middle school students how to take notes during class can make it easier to review for upcoming tests. Set daily note-taking as a goal for your student. Each student’s note taking method will be unique and you can allow your student to experiment with traditional outlines, bullet point lists or even her own form of shorthand. Review the notes together to check for any superfluous information or important missing facts.
Learning how to maintain concentration can be difficult for a middle school student. Rarely is a student provided with a silent environment to study, so he needs to learn how to overcome distractions. Each person focuses differently, so encourage your student to find where he is the most comfortable, such as a desk, bed or kitchen table. Set a goal of studying for 10 to 15 minutes without interruption, followed by a short break. Gradually build the study time by 10 minute increments. The small breaks help him retain more information without getting burned out.
- Scholastic: Everyday Study Skills
- Teaching Today: Note-Taking: An Essential Learning Tool
- University of South Florida: Carlos P. Zalaquett, Ph.D: Study Skills
- RTI Toolkit: A Practical Guide for Schools: The Academic Enabling Skills: Interventions for Middle and High School Students
- Psychology Today: Keep Your Middle Schooler Organized
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