The term ‘study skills’ is a vague term that is thrown around educational conversations regularly. Teachers and parents complain that students lack essential study skills- but how are they supposed to learn them? Are these skills innate?
The first step is to identify which study skills are necessary and may be lacking. This may include: note taking, test taking, reading informational text and being able to summarize or apply that information, organizing materials, reviewing notes, prioritizing activities, …..the list goes on and on.
MANY students need direct instruction in how to actually do these things but in our busy school schedules, that piece is often missing. I challenge academic core subject teachers to include as much of this in their classes as possible.
Don’t just lecture and expect students to take notes- teach them at the beginning of the year how to take notes- outlines, bullets, abbreviations, etc. Teach them the key words to be listening for “this is important, you will see this again, etc” to make sure they don’t miss information.
Don’t just give notes for a test- practice studying those notes in class. Make flash cards, quiz a partner, make up mnemonics, draw pictures of concepts, make studying interactive and fun instead of doing a test review worksheet in class.
Don’t just assign a big project with one due date. Break it down into chunks with smaller due dates along the way to help prioritization and time management.
Be creative! There are so many ways to teach students study skills by incorporating them into