It can be SUCH A CHALLENGE to get my special education kids to study for tests. It’s like pulling teeth to get them to study for a vocabulary/spelling quiz and trying to walk through drying cement to get them to study for anything bigger. I ran across these study tips on A Geeky Momma’s Blog that I am excited to try with my students for their next quiz or test. Some I had heard of before, but others were brand new and I am excited to share with you!
Rewarding with treats: I have heard before that if you chew one type of gum while studying, make sure to chew that same type of gum when taking the test. I had never heard of using small treats. I plan to use this for reading content that may not necessarily be directly studying for tests. Once again — SO difficult to get some of my students to read, so maybe this can be a small motivation for them. Any thoughts or experiences (good or bad) about using food as rewards? I know it is important to keep in mind the school’s health rules.
Teaching Others: Sometimes when I don’t completely feel comfortable with teaching a specific concept I refresh myself with my notes then as I’m teaching it to students, I realize that I am more comfortable with it than I thought I was. Why shouldn’t it be the same for students?! Teaching scientific notation to a classmate just might boost a student’s self-esteem once they realize they know it more than they thought they did. Also, I think it would be beneficial for the student being taught by his/her classmate because that classmate is teaching using very familiar vocabulary and language at their level. Very beneficial for all! Here’s an article that enhances this concept for me – The Protege Effect. I especially liked how this article discussed feedback from the learner to the student teacher. I can’t wait to use this more with my students.
Making Connections: Some content can be so hard for students to learn and a lot of that deals with not being able to personally connect with it. All through college I was told to make content relatable to students, but how often is this actually done? It can be so hard! Something this blog taught me was the it can be very simple…maybe that’s where I’ve gone wrong in the past. Keep the connections simple! I plan for my students to make their own connections to vocabulary or concepts. That way, (hopefully) they will be able to remember content better since they are making their own connections.
Use Blocking Apps: Has anyone else ever heard of these!? Computers can be so awesome for students, but also such a pain because they get so distracted from what they are supposed to be doing. I plan on using this ASAP both for studying and other assignments that need to be done on the computer. Some examples of these that I found are Hey Focus, Self Control App, and Focus Me.
A few more were listed on this blog post, but these were four that really stuck out to me and seem easy enough to implement soon! What study tips have you used to help struggling, unmotivated students?