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    #246854 - 02/24/20 03:06 AM Re: Study Skills class recommendations needed [Re: madeinuk]
    Wren Offline

    Registered: 01/14/08
    Posts: 1543
    I agree that it is communication. But how do you teach good communication skills? Besides just showing your work. I had a prof in engineering that was really good at explaining, giving examples. I still remember his teaching, these decades later because it was unusual. Not just the writing equations on the board and copying it down. What is the skill set that develops good communication? I had a friend, brilliant. Practically a perfect average graduating from Physics, then PhD in related. She was offered classified jobs. She questioned how I could go into business. Two years after research, she said, now I know why you went into business. And she went into project management and consulting. That requires serious discipline in writing skills. A kid never knows where they may end up in life and the skills necessary.

    #246855 - 02/24/20 03:56 AM Re: Study Skills class recommendations needed [Re: madeinuk]
    cricket3 Offline

    Registered: 11/02/09
    Posts: 665
    This is one reason I think the oft-dreaded group projects, and presentations, can have real value. It obviously depends on how the projects/presentations are implemented, but if well done, they have great value. Itís one way where Ďdifferentiationí can happen organically, and if done thoughtfully, can be a real learning experience.
    This was done really well in my kidsí foreign language classes- they were constantly preparing videos, written work and oral presentations (for obvious reasons). For some reason, it was less well-done in English courses, though there was certainly emphasis on written work there. DD had a great class in AP bio where this was done particularly well. The lab portion had a lot of focus on communication, which took it well beyond the basic lab. For some labs, groups had to prepare posters, as in a scientific poster session, and present them. They did serious critiquing of each otherís posters, as well- lots of emphasis on reasoning, but also clear, effective communication.
    It is one of the main reasons we found the science olympiad team to be valuable, as well (and something I suspect kids also learn in other team settings, to some degree). In our experience, any smart kid can self-study advanced topics (minor hyperbole, I admit), but learning to work well together and balance workload and responsibilities, discover and respect and use each kids individual areas of strength, for the greater success of a group- that is an entirely different thing. There was a significant emphasis here on writing clearly, oral communication and managing group dynamics, motivations, egos, etc. And I agree, itís difficult to teach unless it is valued by both the teacher and the learner (and this is probably less and less common, as there is not a ready-made assessment to measure this kind of thing).

    Edited by cricket3 (02/24/20 05:31 AM)
    Edit Reason: Typos

    #246859 - 02/25/20 05:39 AM Re: Study Skills class recommendations needed [Re: madeinuk]
    cricket3 Offline

    Registered: 11/02/09
    Posts: 665
    So, madeinuk, I was re-reading this thread and feel like your original question got a bit lost.

    Do you have more specifics on what youíre looking for? You asked about a class in the title, are you asking for suggestions about a class explicitly for study skills? You mentioned perfectionism and despondency, maybe more details would help others to understand what you are looking for. Part of the problem may be as others have noted, ďstudyingĒ is kind of a broad term and has many different interpretations.

    Iím sorry but we donít have any help as far as classes go, although I do know others who have taken classes of this sort, everything from speed-reading to organizational/time management strategies to specific test prep classes, though Iím not clear if thatís what youíre asking about.

    As far as studying academically goes, as you noted in your question, our kids didnít seem to do a lot of that, though I think it really depends on what type of class/subject youíre talking about. So many classes in HS were much more about written work or presentations, I feel like there were not many typical ďtestsĒ.
    For things like math and science, the teachers did a lot of scaffolding (too much, in my opinion) where there was often a review packet or similar materials that were assigned, so everyone had to do it- this was more than enough. If thatís not happening, I think I would have her look for problems to work, either in the textbook or online, or in a review book, that correspond with the unit/material. For things like history, the AP classes did have a lot of multiple choice ďquizzesĒ- these my kids did study for, as the level of detail and volume of material was crazy. They had to take notes on the readings for class, so these were reviewed (sometimes re-writing/organizing them can help and is enough to commit them to memory). They also used material from review books specific to the subject where they could basically do practice questions or tests. I think this is a good strategy for standardized tests, too. Our library offers free practice tests for SAT and ACT testing a couple times a year, given under the same conditions as a real test, though you could certainly replicate much of this at home. I have also heard that the Kahn academy SAT materials are good, though no direct experience.

    If the issue is perfectionism, we definitely have experience with that, as Iím sure many others here do. I canít say that we managed it that effectively, to be honest. The most helpful things we did do involved finding opportunities outside of the regular classroom where learning (and sometimes studying) happened, so that it was kind of divorced from grades, the competitive atmosphere of peers, etc. We made sure to emphasize the learning and not the grade, and generally didnít put much stock in things like GPA, though that is hard to avoid if your school values it (ours is thankfully moving away from this trend, and reports only which decile kids fall into). Studying music helped for DD, though she had to wait until high school and wider opportunities were presented before she was able to stretch herself and really need/want to work hard at it. Iíve mentioned the science olympiad team before- again, this was an opportunity where motivations were related to a group effort and common good, very important for my socially-focused DD. I think athletics, even volunteering, or other challenging opportunities where kids are out of their comfort zone and want to/have to push themselves to improve can be a huge help. You want to find a way to tap into their intrinsic motivation, though that can be hard to find, I know.

    Hope some of this ramble is helpful, and that your DD finds what works for her.

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