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Chapter 10
I AM A GOOD STUDENT Study Skills Program
By: Constance M. Messina, Ph.D.
PURPOSE/BACKGROUND
How each individual learns and uses strategies for learning differs from person to person. There are as many ways to learn as there are learners. There is no one way to learn anything. Individuals have to learn how they learn. Learning does not take place in any mysterious and unexplainable fashion; neither do we learn by automatically absorbing things we read or hear without putting forth any mental effort. 

Learning is a very definite process. Each individual has his or her own style of learning. Some learn in a factual, structured, realistic or hands-on manner. They make lists, do workbook assignments, and find specific examples. They create hands-on projects or watch demonstrations of such. They are practical problem solvers and provide practical applications. Other individuals learn in a personal, interpretive, feeling or flexible way. These individuals use mapping, personal writing, role playing and artistic materials to learn. They enjoy working with others, giving interpretations and having choices. Reading, reporting, researching and considering ideas in a structured way is another approach to learning. Such individuals use reading, lecture and debating as a means to learn. They like developing ideas, analyzing information, drawing conclusions and writing short essays. Divergent thinking and solving and exploring problems in an open-ended way is another recognized learning style. This style is characterized by individuals who use brainstorming, predicting, writing creatively, creating analogies, finding alternatives, and creating options to learn and think.

All of the learning styles are based on the fact that learning is a multisensory activity. All messages reach the brain through the five senses. Learning is not a passive activity. Learning is an active process. If an individual could be like a sponge and without any effort on their part absorb the "water" of knowledge as it was poured upon them, the school would put them in a situation where they could simply sit and be educated, but that is not possible.

Education, in the final analysis, depends entirely on individuals taking an active part in the learning situations in which the school places them. When one encounters new ideas, facts or principles they are in a learning situation and as they react to those facts, etc., they learn as a result of the action in that situation. One only learns from participating in the learning situation. Learning is directly proportionate to the amount of reaction students give to a learning situation, how much they put their minds to thinking and really working at the ideas they are supposed to learn.

The difference between really trying to figure out or understand something and just day-dreaming about it is fairly evident. It is very easy when listening to a lecture or when reading to prop your feet upon the chair in front of you, lean your head back, relax your mind and body and let the flow of information come from the speaker to your ears or from the book to your eyes. Unfortunately, if students’ ears and eyes are the only parts of them that are active, their ears and eyes are going to be the only parts of them that take in the information. The information will flow to the working members, the ears or eyes, but if nothing is active except those ears or eyes it will stop right there. The information will not be taken into the brain unless the brain is active and is seeking to catch and to use the information. And unless the brain works on that information the individuals will not learn it. Anything you can do to guarantee definite mental action on your part when you are listening or reading will assist you in learning. Thus, the use of the: 
INSTANT STUDY FORMULA:
See It, Say It, Hear It, Write It.
Few things that happen to us are so vivid that they are learned in one trial. Generally speaking, in order to remember a thing we must repeat it. Materials studied for fifteen minutes a day for four days or even for fifteen minutes a week for four weeks, will be remembered much better than material studied for an hour one time and never reviewed. If you want to get the most from the hours which you study, some REVIEW will give you better comprehension and better memory than study concentrated at one time, with no REVIEW. By making, reviewing the entire learning day, a permanent part of the daily study schedule routine, learners intensify their ability to remember material. PREVIEWING, the act of exposing the learner to the proposed lessons for the next day, also helps to maximize learning.
ACTIVITIES

1. Discuss the brain. Illustrate the various sections. Discuss the five senses and how they are utilized in learning. Demonstrate techniques to learn through each of the senses.

 

2. Discuss the INSTANT STUDY FORMULA. Explain and give examples for each of the steps. Post the steps and use the formula when learning materials.

 

3. Provide ways to use REVIEW and PREVIEW. Review the previous lesson every day and at the conclusion of the current lesson, review its contents. Give students directions as to proposed lessons, to enable them to use the PREVIEW technique.

 

4. Discuss the characteristics of various learning styles and provide examples of each to enable students to establish their specific style and how best to use it to help them to become efficient and effective learners.

 Worksheet #1: What is my Learning Style?

Name:                                                          Date:

PEOPLE LEARN IN DIFFERENT WAYS:

  • Some people like to work alone. 

  • Some like to work with friends. 

  • Some people like to work in the morning.

  • Some like to work in the afternoon.

  • Some like to work at night.

  • Some like to work in a quiet place. 

  • Some like to work while listening to music. 

  • Some like to read for information.

  • Some like a bright place.

  • Some like to work with their hands.

  • Some like a dim place.

  • Some like to listen for information.

     

    1. Where do you like to study?

     

    2. When is the best time for you to study?

     

    3. Write several sentences about how you learn best. 

    WHAT IS YOUR LEARNING STYLE? 

    THE WAY A PERSON LEARNS IS CALLED HIS OR HER LEARNING STYLE.

    The next worksheet is a quiz which will help you to decide how you learn best.

 Worksheet #2: Learning Style Quiz 

Name:                                                          Date:

LEARNING STYLE QUIZ

Do you agree with these statements? Check YES or NO.

YES   NO   1. If someone tells me the directions to his house, it's easy for me to remember them.

YES   NO   2. When I study for a spelling test, I remember the spelling of the words easily if I use flash cards.

YES   NO   3. I study my spelling words by closing my eyes and seeing how they look in my mind.

YES   NO   4. If I write my spelling words, I remember them best. 

YES   NO   5. When I study for a test, I like to be alone. 

YES   NO   6. I get better grades when I study with my friends. 

YES   NO   7. If the television is on, I can't study. 

YES   NO   8. If I study at night, I fall asleep. 

YES   NO   9. I really find it easier to study early in the morning when I am fresh.

YES   NO   10. The best time for me to study is after school. 

NOW LOOK AT THE Answer Key to this Quiz (behind Worksheet #3) TO FIND YOUR LEARNING STYLE.

 Worksheet #3: My Learning Style

Name:                                                          Date:

DIRECTIONS: Use the information from the previous worksheets to complete this Table. When you are finished, you will have a picture of your learning style.

My Time of Day

 

My Ways of Learning

 

Alone or With Others

 

The Study Space (quiet or noisy)

 


What other things do you know about how you learn best?

 

Answer Key to Learning Style Quiz

1. YES means that you learn by hearing.

 NO means that you need to see the directions or walk to his house to remember.

 

2. YES means that you learn by seeing.

NO means that you need to learn by listening or writing.

 

3. YES means that you learn by seeing things in your mind.

NO means that you need to learn by listening or writing.

 

4. YES means that you learn best by doing.

NO means that you need to learn by listening and saying.

 

5. YES means that you work best by yourself.

NO means that you work well with people.

 

 

6. YES means that you work well in a group.

NO means you work best by yourself.

 

7. YES means you work best when it is quiet.

NO means you like background sound when you work.

 

8. YES means you need to study early in the day.

NO means you can concentrate on studying at night.

 

9. YES means you should do most of your studying early in the day.

NO means you can study in the afternoon or evening.

 

10. YES means you can concentrate in the afternoon.

NO means you can concentrate in the morning or the afternoon.