Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Inspiring Words of Study Wisdom

It's time for finals, and I'm trying to think of a variety of ways to say, "study". Since different combinations of words work for different kids, I figure if I say it in many ways, one or more may filter through to more kids. Here's what I've said so far:

* Don't let your grades just happen to you. Take charge of your grades.

* You can't expect to play a great game of soccer just by reading about soccer and watching others play; you actually have to practice. Similarly, you can't do well on a math test by just reading over what you or someone else did before on a problem; you actually have to do/practice problems from scratch.

* Study time won't just magically appear out of thin air, you have to allot time and find pockets of time and manage your time.

* Try your best, and that's all you can do. But don't just pay lip service to this phrase, if you dig down deep enough and are honest enough with yourself, did you really put out your best effort?

Hopefully, I can think of a few more to be "rah rah queen" for the next (last) class before they take their finals next week. Eek.


  1. My kids are taking midterms too. The things that I do to help them stay motivated:

    * I give them 5% extra credit for completing all parts of the review packet (which contains many textbook problems of a variety of types/topics) to the best of their ability.

    * Every day that we are doing in-class review, I make one worksheet (front-and-back) of practice problems similar in format to those on the actual exam. This keeps kids busy for about 30 minutes, as they all want to do well on at least those practice problems. What I tell the kids is that those practice problems altogether account for about 1/3 of the exam (with some variations, of course, from the practice problems), and the other 2/3 of the exam will come from their "extra credit" review packet problem types. So, even though it's counted as extra credit, I really am fully expecting them to do all problems from the review packet in order to do well on the test!

    So far, the carrot/stick combo has worked pretty well to keep the kids focused during all 3 days of the review week. :)

  2. A friend just lent me The Art of Living by Epictetus. The quote at the start of the book knocks me over because of its simplicity and truth, and I think it would be great to share with students:

    First say to yourself what you would be; then do what you have to do.

  3. Mimi, that sounds motivating. They get an extra push from wanting to figure out how to do the finals problems. If I ever get my act together and not change things at the last minute, I could get together such a group of problems.

    Mermaid, love the quote .... maybe a future poster for my room.

  4. Anonymous5:43 AM

    I usually talk about learning to play a musical instrument. Same idea.