Study Skills

Why Everyone Should Reflect at the End of the School Year

Why Everyone Should Reflect at the End of the School Year

My first year of teaching was exhausting. Literally and figuratively. There were multiple times when I took a nap Friday afternoon and woke up the next morning.   But I survived my first year and was proud of what I had done. Yet, when I […]

Test Analysis: Why You Need to Start Using it Right Now

Test Analysis: Why You Need to Start Using it Right Now

“So, Ms. P,  what IS the Legislative Branch?” Shelly asked. On the day of the Legislative Branch test. As she began taking the test. Clearly, there were some holes in Shelly’s knowledge.   But she was not uncommon. Students would come to me right before […]

How to Stay Focused with the Pomodoro Technique

How to Stay Focused with the Pomodoro Technique

You know you have to study. There is an essay due tomorrow and a test on Friday. But when you sit down, your attention starts to . . . wander. You think about the test when working on the essay. And then you think about […]

AP Exam Prep: Make the Most of Your Time

AP Exam Prep: Make the Most of Your Time

My AP US History teacher was perhaps . . . not the best person to prepare us for the exam. I knew there was a problem when 1st quarter ended and we were STILL in the colonial period. I lived in Virginia, but come on! […]

Why Teens Need Waaaay More Sleep (And how to get it!)

Why Teens Need Waaaay More Sleep (And how to get it!)

I first realized something was wrong with teen sleep while student teaching. I taught 2nd-semester seniors (whoever scheduled that clearly hated me!) School started at 7:20 and I watched my students walk in with coffee, caffeinated sodas, and candy bars to wake themselves up. While […]

How to Create an Effective Study Group

How to Create an Effective Study Group

Did you ever watch the show Community? It’s about a group of lovably weird community college students who join a study group that changes their lives. That’s right – they create the group to study for Spanish class, but end up staying together, becoming the […]

What People Get Wrong About Studying: 5 Myths Busted!

What People Get Wrong About Studying: 5 Myths Busted!

According to Hollywood, you need the following to study: Big books, and lots of them A notebook, in which you take feverish notes and every once in a while rip out pages, ball them up, and throw them on the floor Highlighters, for feverish highlighting […]

3 Reasons Why Your Teen Doesn’t Know How to Study

3 Reasons Why Your Teen Doesn’t Know How to Study

“Um, Ms. Porzel, why haven’t we ever learned how to do this before?” my student asked while we were setting up their planners for the semester.   I was teaching a small studies skills class to 9th graders. The course was focused on organization, study […]

The Most Important Skill NOT Taught in School

The Most Important Skill NOT Taught in School

“So, based on your daughter’s participation in class, she understands the concepts. However, that isn’t coming across in tests. How does she prepare for tests?” I asked nervously. (Teachers get just as nervous at parent conferences as parents!)   “Studying doesn’t work for her,” her […]

Learn how to Improve your Study Skills

Learn how to Improve your Study Skills

If asked to pick a fictional character that most closely describes me in high school, it’s Hermione Granger, hands down. That girl and I are way too similar. Super organized, high strung about school, and bit too judgmental. (I’ve calmed down since high school.)   […]