Thursday, January 6, 2011

Studying -- What Works for Your Student?

This school year has been a little bit challenging at times. More (a lot more in my book) is expected of 3rd graders and that's a good thing, I'm sure. Definitely more reading on your own, more studying for tests on your own, more responsibility to keep track of schedules and tests -- no more spoon-feeding -- that's for the little kids, right! Of course, that brings on its own challenges of trying to assist and figure out how to help your own little student plan ahead, learn and study effectively. Do I sound like a teacher?
I really wish I was one and had gotten my teaching degree!

Initially, I thought the best way to help my 3rd grader was flash cards. Flash cards worked great last year for learning a kajillion Q&As, prayers and sacraments for First Communion. So, I figured definitions on flash cards would work for science and social studies. Instead, I found out after a couple of not-so-good test results that we needed to try something different. I talked to her teacher and found out that she prepares a Jeopardy-like study guide for each Social Studies chapter. They go over it in class and each chapter is on the electronic blackboard thingy. (Yeah, I'm really into technology. What? Thingy isn't a technical term!?!) I printed it off and Maddy and I played [studied] jeopardy. Guess what -- her test results soared!! Since it worked for Social Studies, I thought I would try it for Science and made up our very own Science jeopardy from each chapter. Yep, bingo again -- worked like a charm!

Also, important to note, we have a tutor who comes once a week for an hour and works on whatever is needed -- generally math, but often social studies and science and reading comprehension. She is so sweet and special and Maddy loves her time with her. And, please don't think I'm standing over her with a paddle saying "study study, study" we don't do that -- I don't want to freak her out and make her hate school, after all.

Math is, of course, a little different and takes some repetition, ok, a lot of repetition. To help with the drudgery of timed-tests, we also use a dry-erase board and/or her new Glo-Doodle. Turned out that once she learned division, multiplication came a lot easier. So, to any struggling parents out there trying to help your student study for tests or learn materials-- jeopardy-type questions/answers worked for us -- it might work for you and your student!

Hey, do you have any tips of studying strategy your use with your student? Please share!


Love Letters To China said...

My daughter is going into 3rd grade next year. I've heard horror stories of how hard it's going to be compared to 2nd. I would love to hear any and all tips you have found helpful. I've been very fortunate so far that she's been able to keep up with everything quite easily. The only area she needs a little more help would be math. Once she understands the concept, she's fine. It's just learning it and trying not to get so frustrated when something isn't correct the first time.

Good luck with the remaining school year. Would be great to hear what others share with you on a follow-up post if you have a chance to write one.

Hope you're having a great day!


paige said...

i am not the award winner when it comes to helping my girls study. i am actually quite awful.
i think i was spoiled with savannah needing little to no help or accountability as she is your typical first born=very motivated & responsible.
now i have at least one in my home who has study habits that are horrible and i just seem to fuss at her. how's that for great technique.
3rd grade for caroline was quite the doozy with a ridiculous amount of homework. this year i sat down with her intense teacher & explained that while i'm married to a school administrator & i expect my girls to do well in school, i will not sit here with cek for hours after school. she's there all day for crying out loud and i want her to have down time & enjoy being 9. but these days i understand academics have become quite intense. it's a hard balance.


how bout all that!

Casey said...

Third grade is tough! I think one of the harder years for Liam. We've used games, flashcards, technology, you name it!! I used to play jeapordy with my high school students too!! They loved it.

Our school uses agenda books too for keeping organized for upcoming tests, etc. I go into the agenda with Liam and break up tasks into smaller units for him so he knows how to think ahead and complete smaller units of study a night.

It gets easier in 4th! :)

Number 6 and no more counting! said...

sorry I have no great advice for you my friend. I went through a bit of this when my son was in school and I did find it difficult.


Chasing Dreams Photography said...

With Livi (2nd Grade) who struggles in reading we have had to find her strengths..we found that Livi is a very visual learner. So we are going with it. Livi has several programs that help her....brainpop, time4learning and several other visual aids (ipad with text to speech). Because Livi is in LD reading and math the school has allowed for us to curb her homework and means of studying (we did this for our son who was dyslexic years ago). We play hide the word (to practice spelling test), and other silly games that mommy makes up LOL but they work...I fear next year LOL

Jodee Leader said...

Crap! This post frightens me! I am already dreading 3rd grade! I guess this year is easy peasy because we only have weekly spelling tests to study for. I will have to remember some of these studying ideas for next year!

Karen@StrictlySimpleStyle said...

My sister, mother to seven children, home schooled them all and swears by one thing-teaching each child according to their interests. For instance, her second daughter loved music so they would incorporate it into whatever they were learning. They'd make up silly songs to go with the lessons. Another daughter loved cooking and they used recipes to teach fractions.

What are your daughter's strengths and interests? Could you find a way to incorporate them to make studying more enjoyable?

Lisa said...

All of Jake's issues began in third grade!! With him I have to help him memorize facts or a study guide that the teacher gives. I do have to spoon feed him. In math he is fine but it has gotten to the point where I don't understand the new math and my husband, who is a computer programmer and logical, has to assist. I keep waiting for the day that Jake will be responsible to take charge but we aren't there yet!!

Tracey said...

Hi Janet! Happy New Year! I hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas!!! My oldest is in 3rd grade, but she is very self motivated when it comes to studying and doing her homework...I will be totally lost when my other 2 get older as I am so spoiled now with not having to interact much when it comes to school work! Good luck!!

Hugs ~

:) T

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

Oh yes, things start to really change in third grade! Luckily for us, we were already working with a tutor. We also used flash cards and they seemed to work for Nick.

BTW, they used that same jeaopardy game at his school!! All the kids loved it! What a fun way to glad it is working for Miss Maddy!