Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Study Habits: What works for you?

As you guys write another essay for me (I know, I know), I'm sitting behind my computer grading Summer Reading Projects in an effort to get ahead of the 260 essays I need to grade, and my mind wanders.  I need a break I decide.

I bet you all wonder, "What's a break for Mrs. Powers?"  Honestly, most days, it's a few Scrabble moves. Alas, the district blocks all access to games, and my iPhone doesn't have reception in the blackhole of my classroom, so Scrabble is out.  Instead, I open up my link for The New York Times. Interestingly enough, I find an article about study habits.  As I read it, I find that some of the research actually sort of applies to the situation I'm in right now.

Read this excerpt:
Varying the type of material studied in a single sitting — alternating, for example, among vocabulary, reading and speaking in a new language — seems to leave a deeper impression on the brain than does concentrating on just one skill at a time. Musicians have known this for years, and their practice sessions often include a mix of scales, musical pieces and rhythmic work. Many athletes, too, routinely mix their workouts with strength, speed and skill drills. 
OK, I know I'm not studying, but I am concentrating.  When I'm grading your papers, I want to give as much consideration and time to each of you. You deserve that.  My assumption is that you all worked equally  hard on the assignment, and you would want me to put equal effort into grading it. However, sometimes my mind wanders, and my level of attention is not as great as when I started, so I take a break.  I think it benefits you and me to do that once in a while.  Now, this research on studying says the same thing really.  Sometimes our brains need alternatives to stay stimulated, and when we do that, we actually retain more.

Read the entire article here:  Forget What You Know About Good Study Habits

How do you study? Did this article make you think about changing the way you study? Does it go against or for the environment your parents have established for you?

Directions for commenting to this post:
In your required comment to this blog, please begin with a sentence or sentences copied and pasted from the article, Forget What You Know About Good Study Habits,  which made you think about your study habits. Be sure to place quotation marks around the sentence or sentences. It can be something you agree with, disagree with, or just find interesting. Use that sentence as a starting point for your comment.