Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Book Review #1 / Study Skills

Dear Friends:
This summer I had the opportunity to read the book, The Everything Guide to Study Skills by Cynthia C. Muchnick. The book was published in 2011 by Adams Media in Massachusetts. It gave wonderful ideas for students on how to implement methods for success into practice. Below are some of the ideas I wanted to pass along:
· Study Groups / Partners: This is a study strategy that can increase the engagement of the brain. Different parts of the brain become stimulated when talking with others. When the brain is more engaged on an interactive level then it is making more connections than when one is studying alone. These connections will assist with moving the material into long-term memory.
· Body Language: Make sure to try and sit as close to the speaker as possible when in class. The physical proximity to the speaker will increase an individual’s attention to the material. Sit up straight; slumping in your seat will increase your sleepiness because your body feels like it is resting.
· Study Time: A trick the book mentioned was to move up the actual deadline in your planner and in your head. This will allow you to have the work completed prior to the original deadline.
· Effective Reading: The book emphasized the need to become an effective reader. In order to be an effective reader you need to be an active reader. Some suggestions on how to be an active reader:
~Know where you are headed and why: Set a purpose for reading
How is the information fitting into the overall subject or course topic you are studying?
How does this material build upon past information?
~Outline as you read: This will allow you to be an active participant and when you are finished you have a study guide to use later.
~ Key terms: Paraphrase the book’s definition by putting the definition into your own words.
~ General Themes: Notice the author’s opinion and ideas that are mentioned more than once.
~ Response: After reading, think about what was just read. Write a response which should simply be your reactions to what was read (not a summary).
This serves merely as an overview of some of the material that I found useful for students, but the book is an easy read for both students and parents. It offers much more information than I was able to include in this blog, and I encourage your exploration of the material. Happy Learning!
Kim Turse, M.Ed.