Successful Student Habit #1: Get Enough Sleep!

What is sleep for, anyway? It may seem like a waste to spend 1/3 of every day snoozing; why not binge-watch a good show or do some extra online shopping instead? Yet, research keeps pouring out about the importance of sleep. Inadequate sleep is implicated in anxiety, depression, other emotional disorders, attention issues, unhealthy weight gain and poor cognition. Sleep, literally, clears the mind. The brain cleans out toxins during sleep. That's why you feel fuzzy-headed when you're sleep deprived; your brain is full of gunk! No wonder people don't think or learn well without adequate sleep.


Set These Routines And Start The School Year Right

I don't know about you, but I feel ready to get back into the comforting structure of the school-year schedule. Routines makes life easier and less stressful in so many ways. Good routines are also the key to school success! The best students intentionally create habits that help them work efficiently, learn deeply, stay healthy, and get good grades without struggling. Here are three of the simplest, most basic routines to establish now for success throughout the school year:


For Better Student Writing, Reading Comprehension And Thinking: Teach Conjunctions

And, but, when, although and because are some of the most common conjunctions. We hear and read them all the time, yet many students don't use conjunctions in their writing, sticking instead to only the simplest of sentence forms and producing essays full of short, vapid, disconnected thoughts. Conjunctions join words or groups of words to express more complex thoughts. Without conjunctions, writers can only create very simple sentences. Adults may be surprised to learn that many students need to be taught what each conjunction means and how to use it.


Disappointing Final Exam Grades?

Many good students, despite having studied, didn't do as well as they had hoped on their final exams. Here are some common reasons: Often, the sheer length of the exam is a problem. According to Pulizter Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman, mental effort is surprisingly exhausting. Thinking hard and staying focused burns up lots of mental energy.


3 Easy Ways To Use Your Notes For Final Exam Studying

Many students take notes in class but then don't use them to study.

Actively rereading your science or history notes before review week is a great way to prime your brain to retain the material your teacher will soon be going over in class:

Read your notes out loud. This works best when you read to another person, but you can read to yourself, too.
As you read, put question marks next to...

How To Begin Studying For Final Exams

The way to begin, is to begin. -Eleanor Roosevelt   The best students don't work harder; they work ahead. Often, students put off studying for final exams because the process seems overwhelming and they don't know where to start. The good news is that just getting going is what matters. There's no need to worry about studying in a certain order, studying material that then doesn't wind up on the exam, confusing yourself, or other such concerns.


How To Help Kids Make Knowledge Stick

Kids tend to under-prepare for tests and be overly optimistic about the quality of their writing, and parents may suspect laziness or lack of motivation. However, much of the problem can be the student's fuzzy sense of what "knowing the material" means or what "a good essay" is. The ability to "know what you know" is called metacognition, and it's one of the big developmental tasks for maturing students. The younger the student, the less perspective they have on their own knowledge.   Here are some ways adults can help young learners develop their logic and make sense of the world around them:


Unfortunately, Ignorance Feels Blissful: The Dunning-Kruger Effect

In my last post, I wrote about a student who couldn't tell whether or not he "knew" the material for a history exam. At least my student was knowledgeable enough to have doubts about his knowledge. Ironically, the truly clueless often don't wonder; they tend to be quite secure that they've got it knocked! Psychologists call this the Dunning-Kruger Effect, in which ignorant people often have great confidence in their "knowledge," whereas better-informed people tend to doubt themselves.