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Education

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...
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Education

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

Most sentences are not simple! When students understand conjunctions, their reading comprehension improves.

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...
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General

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...
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General

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...
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General

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...
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General

Study Gradually, Starting NOW, To Be Ready For Final Exams

Many otherwise good students didn't do as well as they had hoped on their midterm exams. They couldn't remember the quantities of material, or they couldn't pull isolated facts and procedures together and use them in a coordinated way.

What's the point of working so hard to learn, a student may wonder, if the material is just going to fall out of my head? 

The brain holds onto information which it has used actively and repeatedly. Research...
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