Dear 6th grade students and families,
Now that the second marking period is well under way, you are probably finding that teachers across the building are stepping up expectations just that much more. One common student concern that I hear at this time of year is that test/quiz grades seem to be dropping despite the same level of effort that has always been put into studying. In middle school, assessments become increasingly focused on comprehension and application of knowledge, not just memorization of facts and procedures. These types of assessments require a deeper, more active level of preparation.
Passive studying includes activities such as reading over notes silently, rereading chapters of a trade book, or covering up definitions with your hand while you quiz yourself on information from your notes. These types of activities are a good way to start studying, but they will not prepare you effectively enough for the higher-order thinking you’re being asked to do on many tests and quizzes. Instead, use active study strategies such as creating flashcards, drawing pictures, making outlines, typing class notes, drawing and labeling diagrams, audio-taping material, or taking timed, self-made tests that can be checked for accuracy. In short, active studying involves creating something new with the information you’re trying to learn. There is no need to spend more time on these strategies than you would have otherwise spent studying passively; just spend the same amount of time more effectively.
All the best,
Ms. Riehl :)
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