With the school year coming to a close, it’s time to finish up assignments, bid friends farewell, and take the thing all students fear most, finals. If you find yourself ending the school year wishing you had applied better studying habits than you did, TPS’s Study Skills is a course specifically designed to teach students helpful study tips they can use to improve their grades. Are you worried that it is too late to enroll in a course this late in the second semester? Fortunately, Study Skills is a semester course offered during the summer, fall, and spring. So, if you wish to dedicate yourself to schoolwork more effectively, consider taking Study Skills over the summer or enrolling in this helpful class in the fall or spring semester.
A specialized TPS elective course dedicated to teaching students entering middle school, high school, and preparing for college, Study Skills teaches students to effectively manage their schoolwork. Taught by Mrs. Holliday, Mrs. Harris, and Miss Cockerham, this TPS course focuses on three different learning styles visual learning, auditory learning, and tactile learning. This month, Mrs. Holliday kindly answered some common questions regarding this course:
Me: What kinds of study methods are explored in this course?
Mrs. Holliday: Our first couple weeks of class we learn about learning styles (visual, auditory, and tactile/kinesthetic) and then we work to apply our study skills into what works for students individually. We test out a variety of different study methods. Here are some examples: one-page note-taking strategies like Cornell Notes & Mind Mapping, critical reading techniques, editing skills, mnemonic methods, and memory retention aids.
Me: How many hours does an average student spend on completing homework for this class?
Mrs. Holliday: We work really hard to keep homework down to an average of 2 1/2 hours per week. We do not believe in busy work, so if something is being assigned then there is a skill to be practiced and learned in the process.
Me: What does normal class time look like?
Mrs. Holliday: Our class structure is divided up into three main parts: Discipleship topic, study skills topic, and academic topic. Class is not a “lecture,” but rather a class discussion. It is interactive and casual. We know that most students don’t get excited about our class name itself (although some do). So, we work hard to make our class time together practical, helpful, and fun.
Me: How does a student know if this course is a good class for him or her?
Mrs. Holliday: Study Skills is an excellent class for everyone. It is offered for 7th-12th grades and applicable for all academic levels. We have even had seniors take it in the summer, after their high school graduation, to help better prep them for their college studies. In addition, we have had students who are taking AP classes, as well as students who have diagnosed learning disabilities take our course. Also, it is a great class for students who have a lack of motivation or those who always strive for complete perfection. Our weekly discipleship topics bring to light stewardship and how we should rightly view our studies – something entrusted to us to manage. We propose that “doing school” is not just completing assignments, but rather an opportunity to worship our Lord through giving Him our daily best.
Me: Because this course spans one semester, when would you suggest taking this class? The spring semester, the fall semester, or over the summer?
Mrs. Holliday: There really is no “preferential” time to take Study Skills, when it comes to what semester is ideal. However, the idea behind Study Skills is that the student who learns these concepts early on in their education is more likely to receive the larger benefit and have more time in school to apply the techniques that have been learned. Just a note of clarification: our summer session of Study Skills can be a lot for some students who struggle with time management. Because this session is only 6 weeks long, it can be more of a challenging semester than the fall and spring sessions. Our course is currently going through a revamp of sorts. This year we edited some of our assignments and course content to help prepare students better for skills in math and science (no matter what level they work up to).
By exploring three common learning styles (visual, auditory, and tactile), students will learn which style works best for them resulting in an ability to utilize study time more efficiently. The first learning style, visual learning, focuses on the visual aspect of learning. Visual learners memorize material through diagrams and graphics, and many students who learn through visual learning study for tests most effectively by keeping detailed, colorful notes. Auditory learners learn best through hearing information recited out loud. This type of learner will study for tests most effectively through reciting their notes aloud, which cements the material in their head. Lastly, tactile learners learn best through experiences and hands-on activities. Studying for tests should involve short study sessions with active breaks for the tactile learner. Once students discover their study method, the Study Skills class connects what the Bible has to say about effective studying and time management. Continuing through the course, students will learn necessary management skills such as how to plan out a calendar, aiding in thoughtful time management, how to explore a syllabus to prepare for upcoming assignments, and how to read critically for best results in reading comprehension exercises. Turning from schoolwork to daily life, students will learn how to apply their study skills to efficiently studying the Bible. Closing out the course, students will discover their strengths and weaknesses in schoolwork studying. This is the current path for the course, but the Study Skills teachers may update and make changes to the class to further assist students with new studying tips. Study Skills is an important class that teaches students 7th through 12th grade how to manage their schoolwork efficiently. This course counts as one-half of a high school credit, so consider taking Study Skills over the summer or in the following school year to improve your time management skills!
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