Bond While Setting Goals
By: Alyssa Fraser
As our children embark on a new school year, many parents think about the hopes and aspirations we have for our children for the upcoming school year, as well as their distant ...more
Finals are Coming!
Finals are Coming!
How to Study
By: Alyssa Fraser
The first semester is quickly coming to a close. The last day of the semester is January 22. Many classes will be taking final exams in the final weeks of the semester. It is important that students study for their final exams.
Students often tell me that they feel like they know the material before a test, but when they actually take a test, they “blank.” Testing pressure and anxiety may be to blame for this, but it is also possible that while studying students fool themselves into thinking they really know the material, when in fact, they have only partially memorized it. When I say partially memorized, I mean that the information has not been effectively consolidated into their long-term memory. In order for anyone to recall information on demand at a later date in time, it must be stored in long-term memory.
If you have ever spoken with me, you probably have gathered that I love the brain. To me, learning about the brain, it’s development, and how it (adolescent brains, in particular) learns is just fascinating. To this end, I like to read books about the brain and brain research. Currently, I am reading Memory Power 101 by W.R. Klemm. Below, I have listed some tips for effective studying taken from Memory Power 101 that I find relevant to middle school students. All of these tips are supported by research.
- Skim a book’s chapter before reading the chapter.
Read and look at the headings, graphs, pictures, and captions. This “priming” of information will lead to greater recall of information once you read the entire chapter. It clues your brain in on where to focus during reading and allows it to make connections. (Brains love making connections.)
- Do not “multi task”
The brain is only able to perform one task at a time. When we try to do more than one thing at a time, the brain shifts back and forth between activities. This rapid shifting does not allow the brain to attend to one task long enough to encode and learn the information. Block out distractions and actively concentrate on what you are doing. In short, PAY ATTENTION!
- Think about what you are learning, don’t just memorize material.
Long -term memories are stored in an area of the brain called the hippocampus.We rely on our hippocampus when we are trying to recall information we have previously learned (like during a test). The hippocampus works closely with the prefrontal cortex, which is the part of the brain where complex thought occurs. When the prefrontal cortex is more engaged in thinking about, rather than memorizing by rote, what you are learning, the hippocampus is better able to recall that information in the long term.
- Test yourself.
By testing yourself, you are requiring your brain to retrieve information that you have not completely learned. Requiring your brain to retrieve and rehearse this information helps the brain to consolidate the learning into longer term storage. This is why the use of flashcards can be more helpful when studying than rereading chapters of textbooks or notes. When we reread information, our brains are fooled into thinking that we know the material. This is because the text is providing us with the information that we need and since we have previously interacted with this material, it is familiar. This gives us the false impression that we “know” the material. The use of flashcards however, forces your brain to actually recall the information it has stored. This serves two purposes; one, it is obvious when you don’t know the information, and two, the act of needing to recall the information and “work” with the information helps the brain to fully learn and remember the information. (FYI- Studies show that continuing to study all the flashcards even once they have been learned leads to more effective recall of the information than if the “learned” cards are taken out of the pile as you study. Repeated testing of information helps in longer term memory storage.)
- Begin studying far enough in advance that you can break learning up into smaller chunks and rehearse it often.
Repeating information helps consolidate that information in your brain for retrieval at a later time.Studies show that memory performance suffers when study sessions are too long. In Memory 101, Klemm “…suggests memory consolidation would be optimized if learning occurred in repeated short sessions with intervening naps and on different days with regular nighttime sleep.” “Repeating long study periods in the same day on the same task can be counterproductive.” DO NOT CRAM
- Get enough sleep.
Staying up late to fit in more study time does not lead to better scores. It is better to get more sleep, so that the brain can work optimally during the test, than it is to try and learn more material. This is why it is so important to begin studying ahead of time. Students should study a little bit every day in the days/weeks leading up to an exam, not the night before.
Information about the counseling department
What does a School Counselor do?
• Helps create a safe school environment where children can learn.
• Promotes positive attitudes among students toward self, family, peers and community.
• Assists students in learning how school performance relates to future opportunities, options and choices.
• Supports students by teaching skills for achieving success.
• Provides counseling with students individually and in groups.
• Works with students to ensure optimal attendance and minimal tardiness.
• Coordinates referrals to outside agencies.
• Helps design interventions to enhance student success in all areas of life.
• Helps students learn about anger management, conflict resolution and mediation skills.
• Helps parents, teachers, and administrators learn how to meet the needs of all students.
A School Counselor is not a doctor or a psychologist. School Counselors meet with you, the student, to help you sort through problems that might be happening in your day-to-day life. Let's face it; we are all faced with problems in our lives! Sometimes there are problems that need even more attention than a school counselor can offer. School Counselors work with other people in the field of psychology to assist students and parents in working through some difficult personal or family concerns.
How do I see the Counselor?
Ask your teacher for a pass, ask the counselor to send you a pass, request by the counselor, principal or assistant principal request, parent request, teacher request and friend request. Please contact Mrs. Dee Charbonnet to schedule an appointment.
When can I see the Counselor?
Mrs. Fraser is on campus from 7:45-2:45 pm.
Where is the Counselor's office?
Our office is in the back of the Administration Building.
How and why do parents contact the school counselor?
Concerns over student achievement, family health problems, new school registration and orientation, test interpretation, discussing special needs of their student, discussion of potential crisis, family difficulties or concerns, scheduling, 504 plans, student success team meetings, and parent Education.
Am I in trouble if I see the School Counselor?
When you receive a slip with your Counselor's name on it, it does not mean you have been called in because you are in trouble or "bad". In fact, a counselor is an adult who acts as your advocate! An advocate is someone who wants to listen to what you have to say and help you come up with reasonable solutions to making your situation better. It does not mean that your counselor can solve the problem for you; it does mean that you have a safe place that you can go to when you are not sure what to do.