“Study smarter, not harder.”
Learning can be much faster and a lot more effective when you use your natural learning skills. If you want higher grades, take the Know My Style learning quiz to discover your unique learning superpowers.
Forming connections is probably the easiest and most efficient method for developing long term memories. We retain, or remember better, when we connect new information with something we already know. Emotions, stories, and places form especially strong bonds. Make up a story, associate the information with a specific location, link it to an emotion. For example, if I meet a new person named Mary, I can recall my husband’s grandmother, Mary. The connection with something familiar will anchor the new person’s name in my mind. Read more at Places, Everyone!.
Chunking is important. When we have a large amount of new information, we can learn a lot faster by breaking it into smaller chunks or groups. If you have a list of 20 items, learn 5 at a time.
Structure and organization give meaning to new information. Our brains are programmed to automatically create structure when we see something new. This is an innate human skill. Meaningfully organizing new information increases our ability to recall it. Make an outline. Put items in alphabetical order. Sort by shape.
Rote learning, also called or repetition, is a traditional learning method. Students repeat new information out loud or in writing, frequently, over and over again until it becomes memorized. The problem with rote learning is that it takes time. And it’s boring. And it’s kind of zombie-like, because students aren’t thinking. Flash cards are a form of repetition. If you’re using flash cards, read about Perfect Timing.
Learning Style Strategies
Watch or create a podcast or video. Create a picture. Write an outline. Use colored markers, pens, or pencils for flash cards, outline, highlighting. Read text and visualize an image with the text. Circle and underline with colored pens. Draw an outline around shape of the word, use colors. Compare it to a word it looks like. Write information on a picture. Place colored sticky notes in different locations. Draw pictures on flash cards. Use a dry erase board with colored markers.
Make an acronym and say it. Think of another word or phrase it sounds like. Create a jingle. Change the lyrics to an existing song. Tell someone about it. Listen to a podcast or video. Read aloud (some eBooks can read aloud to you). Memorize a brief dialogue.
Build a model (use food, toys, etc.). Act out a story (with objects or actors). Draw a picture with markers or crayons and label it. Write flash cards, sticky notes using markers or colored pencils or colored ink pens. Use a dry erase board with thick markers. Label objects with sticky notes. Label places with cards or signs. Use a dry erase board with thick markers. Type it into a document. Make up a dance.
Study with a partner. Face-time with classmates. Perform an interactive story with other people. Create a brief dialogue. Watch or create a video. Teach it to someone else. Sing it to someone. Dance together. Give a presentation.
Read about it. Write about it. Make flash cards. Create a written outline. Label a picture. Label places or objects with signs or sticky notes. Write a story. Type it into a document. Create an acronym.