I don’t tell students to study anymore. I just don’t use the word. It is not that I don’t believe in students studying. It has nothing to do with the anti-common core movement. It has nothing to do with testing in general. I have found that these terms are ambiguous and meaningless. I am a 7th/8th Language Arts virtual teacher. I teach reading, writing, grammar, and studying.
When I asked my students what they did to prepare for a test, the answers that I got back was study and review. My follow up question was what does it mean to study. The answers back was “Mrs. Kerr - study means to study” I asked how do you study, and the answer back was reread. Now granted it, I teach middle school students, so I was not expecting well-thought out answers. However, I was expecting something more that “rereading.”
Students don’t know how to study. It is assumed that they were taught to study somewhere in their education, but I have found that they were not. Rereading is not an effective activity to prepare for a test. It is time-consuming and boring.
The students know how to take tests; however, they do not know how to study. Teachers need to take time to teach how to study. Now, I am not saying the teachers need to add one more thing to their long list of things to teacher. This can easily be incorporated into teaching. My favorite way to teach how to study is teaching the use of graphic organizers. As we are learning a piece of literature, a graphic organizer is filled out. As we are learning a new grammar lesson, a graphic organizer is filled out. I use a variety of graphic organizers. Since I teach virtually, there is no need to copying. I also keep templates online available - the students all have access to Google. The students are to keep a folder on their desktop or in cloud storage of the graphic organizers.