• Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Archives
    Archives Contains a list of blog posts that were created previously.
  • Login
    Login Login form
Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in study skills
Posted by on in Teens and Tweens


… but learning isn’t.

I wrote my first book, Crush School: Every Student’s Guide To Killing It In The Classroom after realizing that most interesting education books are written for adults, and the ones students are forced to use in class mostly suck.

They’re not just uninteresting. They are dull and written in some weird code no one can, or wants to understand. And, they make your backpack look like you’re about to set off on a two week long hike in the wilderness, which would be cool if you’re into that sort of thing, except for the fact that you’re surrounded by concrete, glass, and steel. You’re not a horse either, so what’s the deal? I mean really…

And here’s one more unpopular opinion coming from this teacher. Most of the stuff in those books is useless. Most of the so-called knowledge can be googled. Some of this information will be outdated before you hit work. A lot of it is irrelevant right now.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Assessment

I know you've heard it a thousand times before. But it's true - hard work pays off. If you want to be good, you have to practice, practice, practice.” -  Ray Bradbury

Many studies report that there is little gain from homework, yet I'm not ready to give up on math homework altogether as I believe homework still has value with regard to building good study habits, practice, and independent or family time to think deeply about math ideas. 

I do want to heed the homework research and results though by treating homework routines with greater care, differentiation, and simplicity. I don't want homework to turn into added struggle for students or families. Therefore I will establish a positive homework routine beginning on the first day of school. 

The routine I'll foster includes the following actions and goals:

Last modified on

Posted by on in Education Resources

Notes... You can take them by hand on paper or you can use a device and take them digitally. There's recent research that finds taking notes by hand leads to improved memory while learning and better test performance. This is because the pen/pencil users tend to paraphrase more, while the laptop users copy notes verbatim being able to type fast enough to keep up with the lecture. Thus, traditional writing is an ACTIVE learning activity, while typing is largely PASSIVE.  Here's a recent NPR Article: "Attention, Students: Put Your Laptops Away" that discusses the study published in Psychological Science, in which Pam A. Mueller of Princeton University and Daniel M. Oppenheimer of the University of California, Los Angeles tested how note-taking by hand or by computer affects learning.

While I am a proponent of taking notes on paper, I do realize that digital note-taking is here to stay and it is improving to include more active learning strategies. One such example is Sketchnoting, which requires a tablet such as an iPad, a stylus, and an app such as FlipInk or Adobe Draw. THE METHODS PRESENTED BELOW CAN BE USED IN BOTH TRADITIONAL AND DIGITAL NOTE-TAKING.  The trick is to MAKE NOTE-TAKING AND LEARNING FROM THE NOTES INTO ACTIVE BRAIN ACTIVITIES. The infographic below describes the 7 components of awesome notes and explains how to use notes to learn more effectively, so pass it on to all teachers, parents, and students out there!


This was Infographic #7 in my BRAIN-BASED LEARNING SERIES. Please check out Infographic #1 to learn how to Leverage Sleep to Maximize Learning, Infographic #2 to get Strategies on How to Fight Procrastination, Infographic #3 to maximize Memory Retention, Infographic #4 to learn about how to help students Make Sense Out of Nonsense, Infographic #5 to help students become better Problem-Solvers, Innovators, and Creators, and Infographic #6 on leveraging our 2 thinking modes in learning.

Thanks for reading/looking and I hope you find this information helpful. Please share it with other educators and especially young learners who can greatly benefit from knowing how to take notes and use them to study. They might even like it. I will feature the 8th Brain-Based Learning Infographic: "Brain Hacking 303" in my next NEWSLETTER, so please SIGN UP if you would like to receive some tips on how to help your students become better learners.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Teaching Strategies


Part 1: Preach Like Brother John 

"No generation in history has ever been so thoroughly prepared for the Industrial Age" - David Warlick


I think it's safe to say that the industrial times ended at least a couple of decades ago, but the U.S. Educational System ("The System") is still at it: working hard to pump out generation after generation of Industrial Age Superstars. I mean, Henry Ford would be proud. Perhaps, he'd hire them on the spot too.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Classroom Management

Disorganized students come in various guises: younger students, older students, male students, female students, well-mannered
students, disruptive students, and, all too often, failing students. What these different students do share, however, is the tendency to be disorganized and overwhelmed. They are the ones still looking for their homework when everyone else has turned theirs in. They are the ones who never have a pencil or paper. They are the ones whose backpacks are stuffed with wadded up papers, broken pencils, and overdue assignments. Fortunately, there is a great deal that caring teachers can do to help our students become more organized and successful. If you are currently teaching a student who needs help with organization, here are
some simple strategies that may help.

Don’t let the problem grow. As soon as you notice that a student is disorganized, spend time working together to help that student
become organized. Think in terms of small increments each day instead of an overwhelming clean-out once in a while.

Make getting organized and staying that way part of the daily culture of your class. When students are aware of the expectations that their teachers have for them, then they are more likely to rise to those expectations. Good organization should be everybody’s business. The few minutes that you spend on this each day will reap big benefits when students can find
work quickly.

Insist that students copy down their homework assignments in a planner. They should do this even if you allow them to photograph their assignments from the board or if it is posted on a class website. Using a planner encourages students to plan their work instead of just copying down homework in a rush.

Assign students to study teams or, at least, allow them to work on organization with a partner. Many students benefit from working with a study buddy so that they can check each other’s folders, binders, and book bags before leaving class. They can also take notes for each other and gather assignments when a team member is absent.

Last modified on