Monday, January 15


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Goals are "wants" - targets that we want to achieve.

For something to be a goal, it has to:

  • be important to you, personally.
  • be clearly defined.
  • be within your power to make it happen through your own actions.
  • be something you have a reasonable chance of achieving.
  • have a specific plan of action.

When setting goals, make sure that your goals are:

1. SPECIFIC 
Your goal is right to the point.
Know exactly what you want, what you'd like to see happen, what you are striving for. The more specific the goal, the easier it will be to get it.

2.  MEASURABLE
You will know when you have reached your goal.
You can keep track of your progress and see if you are moving toward your goal. Ask: How much? How many? How will I know when it is accomplished?

3.  ACHIEVABLE
Only you know what you want.  It follows then that only you can write your goals. Your goal is something you know you will achieve. It should not be so challenging as to be impossible to achieve, nor should it be so basic that it can be achieved with little or no effort. Can you see yourself there?

4.  REALISTIC
Your goal is something you know you will achieve and it won't be impossible to reach. It is not beyond your ability.  It can be accomplished. You have the knowledge, skills and competency to reach it.

5.  TIMELY
Your goal has a clear "start" and "end" date. There is a time frame. The amount of time you have to reach your goal is reasonable - not too short, not too long. 


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Sunday, January 14


After you have researched your topic, it is essential that you plan your assignment. You are now ready to plan your first draft.

THE DRAFT

Think of the main points, jot down what you intend to include and arrange them in a logical order.
Work on your draft, adding material, deleting parts which are irrelevant or repetative.  As you edit your work, keep the following in mind:
  • your assignment will need an introduction and a conclusion
  • is the material relevant?
  • are you answering the question?
  • are you developing your ideas and offering your interpretation of the topic.
Remember to refer constantly to the question and your plan

Common Structure
Although there is no set "formula" which can be applied to all formal essays, report, reviews or any written response to a question, your assignment should include:
  • An Introduction
  • A  Body
  • A Conclusion
The INTRODUCTION should:
  • introduce your case / argument/ contention
  • define the topic / terms central to the issue
  • outline the direction / point of view your assignment will take
TIPS
  • Try to make the first sentence interesting, an example is to use a relevant quotation so that it grabs the reader's attention
  • Avoid saying  "I am going to show you / prove/explain". The reader should be able to work this out.
  • Don't write in the first person, example. "I think child abuse should be mandatory reported."
  • Avoid  using "I", "we", "you"
The BODY
This is where you develop your theme or expand your argument. Each major theme or argument will require a paragraph or two and there should be a logical sequence between paragraphs, linking them together to lead up to the conclusion.

There should be a build up rather than a series of flat, even paragraphs.  As a general rule, deal with one idea per paragraph.

The introductory sentence of each paragraph should clearly indicate the idea / topic to be discussed/ developed in that paragraph.

TIPS 
  • Do not use abbreviations in your writing.
  • Avoid using slang, jargon, colloquialisms, cliches.
  • Avoid generalizations, always support what you say with evidence, quotations or examples.
  • Know the source and context of any quotations used.
  • Punctuate quotations correctly. 
  • Keep to the point and be relevant to the topic.
  • Vary the way you begin sentences and paragraphs
  • Vary the length of sentences.  You can make strong point with a shfort, sharp sentence, or support a point with a long detailed sentence.
  • Only include relevant materials
The Conclusion

The Conclusion is a natural rounding off of all that you have to say.  It should briefly summarize the points raised in the body of your assignment, evaluate the material presented and draw a conclusion. If appropriate you may also make recommendations.

TIPS
  • Do not present new evidence in your conclusion.
  • Do not repeat your introduction in the conclusion.
  • Do not summarize your essay in the conclusion.
WHAT NEXT?
  • Read through your rough draft a number of times.
  • Critically examine what you have written.  read it as if it were someone else's and be just as honest with it.  Ask yourself " am I answering the question? Is the material relevant? Is there a logical  progression of ideas? is my expression concise, clear, fluent?  Are  my introduction and conclusion effective?
  • Check grammar, punctuation and spelling.
  • Refer constantly to the question.
  • Ask a member of your family to read your assignment and  to offer suggestion for improvement. 

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Saturday, January 13


Note taking is a skill in its own right and in the senior years of secondary school, keeping accurate, detailed notes is critical for success in exams and assignments.  

You may find keeping adequate notes harder than when you were a junior student.
Why?
  1. You are likely to be less spoon feed and directed by the teacher.  Lots more information is covered in a period than for younger students.
  2. Information tends to be more detailed and complex.
  3. teachers vary in the way they use the board for note taking and covering key points.
By having a few strategies 'up your sleeve', note taking is manageable and helps you develop organized thinking skills. Try some of these strategies:
  • Always keep your notes for each subject separate by using individual folders or color-coded dividers.  Make sure you have adequate spare lined and unlined paper in each folder.
  • Rule up each page with a wide margin to the left of each page.  This margin allows you to add recall and revision comments.  To save time, prepare margins ahead of time.
  • Write on only one side of each page.  The other side can be used for revision notes or to glue in handouts or supplementary materials.
  • Get prepared ahead of time by becoming familiar with material that will be covered in class.
  • Reviewing notes from previous classes is a useful way of connecting new material with what was covered earlier, getting a sense of the "big picture".
  • Listen for cues of what's important.  Be alert for words or signals that teachers use to tell you that information is important.  This could be when the teacher shows excitement about the material, repeats ideas with emphasis or says "This is important". 
  • As a rule of thumb, when a teacher writes information on the board, it is very important.  Write down all board notes.
  • When taking notes from teacher and class discussion, concentrate on separating key ideas from examples.  Write down just the key points and examples only if time allows.  Developing this skill will be incredibly useful for dissecting information quickly in an exam situation.  Writing down every word is unnecessary and stops you from becoming an effective listener and 'digester' of information.
  • Use key heading and subheadings or diagrams to organize information.  Your teacher may indicate the key areas to be covered at the beginning of the period, jot down these as your headings.  Students learn in different ways.  For some, information makes more sense through a flow chart or diagram.  Others prefer headings, sub-headings and paragraphs.  Use a style that suits you.
  • Use abbreviations where possible.
  • Write heading and titles using a different colored pen.
  • Underline important points and words while taking notes.
  • Leave space after each section.  This area is useful for adding examples or any information you missed.
  • For each class, add the date and period on the first page and number your pages.  This will help keep your notes in the right order and keep track of any lessons you miss.
  • Keep at least half a page spare at the end of each class session. 
FOLLOW UP
Each night read through the notes you have taken for that class.  This could be the most useful 5-minute homework tasks you complete.  After reading use your half page at the end of your notes to write down:
  1. A list of key words and phrases.
  2. A very short paragraph summary of the main significance of the material.
  3. Questions to ask your teacher about any ideas you do not understand.

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Friday, January 12


Do you feel anxious at the thought of your exams? Don't panic! 

AT THE START of the school year 
Find Out: 
  • Which of your subjects has an exam?
  • What is the assessment procedure for each subject?
  • What are the expectations of the subject?
Prepare:
  • Start studying as soon as classes begin.
  • Read assignments, listen during lectures and take good classroom notes.
Two Months before the exam:
  • Develop a study timetable.
  • Within a subject, find out what topics are to be examined. What will be the format of the exam? (example: oral, multiple-choice, essay)
  • Using your study notes on these topics, begin your reviews.
  • Plan ahead, schedule review periods well in advance.
  • Keep your reviews, short but do them often.
  • If you feel anxious about the forthcoming exams, see your School Counsellor about starting a relaxation program.
One month before the exam:
  • Which of your subjects has an exam?
  • What is the assessment procedure for each subject?
  • More Review, review, Review!
The week before the exam:
  • What equipment is needed (example: calculator, paper, pen, HB pencil, etc.)
  • Check the timetable.
  • And more review, review , review!
  • Try some relaxation techniques.
The Day before the exam:
  • Revise the final copy of your study notes.
  • Do not cram
  • Confirm timetable of exam and the room it will be held.
The Night before the exam:
  • Do your final revision
  • Check your bag for equipment.
  • Set your alarm clock and get a good night's rest.
On the Day of the exam:
  • Have a decent breakfast.
  • Don't think about touching your books!
  • Arrive early and get yourself and your equipment organized.
During the exam:
  • Listen to and read all instructions carefully.
  • Scan the entire examination paper- notice how  many points each part is worth and estimate the time needed for individual questions and place yourself accordingly.
  • Sketch notes on rough working paper when information comes to mind.
  • If you get stuck on a question try to remember a related act.  Start from the general and go to the specific.  Look for answers in other test questions.  Often a term,name, date or other fact you have forgotten will appear somewhere else in the test giving your memory a boost.  Move on to the next question if memory aids don't help.  You can always go back to the question later if you have time.
  • Try to answer as many questions and give as much information as possible.
  • Ignore other students.
  • If you feel anxious during the exam, use deep breathing techniques to calm yourself down.
After the exam:
  • Accept the results and either resolve to do better next time or Celebrate!

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Thursday, January 11


You might be wondering why do you have to take so many tests.  The reasons behind testing are not to scare or punish you.  Test do several different jobs.

Tests help your teacher find out if a lesson has been successful.  If many students perform badly on a test, something is wrong.  The teacher may need to reteach the material in a different way.  Test also support learning.  They highlight the information being tested, which reminds students about important facts.  You should look at a test as an opportunity for success.  If you study and know the material, you will do well.

Types of tests
Success in testing goes back to how you learn.  If you are a verbal learner, you might find taking an essay test easier than a logical learner would.  Logical and visual learners might do better on a attest that requires reading graphs or charts.  No matter how you learn, you can improve your chances if you develop test-taking skills.
  • True or False - A true/false test presents statements and asks you to work out if the statement is true or not. When you take a true/false test, look out for words that make the statement either all positive or all negative.  Underline words such as all, always every, everyone, none, never, or no one.  Think carefully about whether the statement could possibly be true before answering these questions.
  • Multiple Choice - A multiple choice presents several possible answers to a question.  You must choose the correct answer.  Read the question carefully.  You might be asked which word does not have the same meaning rather than to find a synonym.  Review the choices and cross off answers you know are wrong.  Then, pick the answer you believe is correct.  
  • Fill in the Blank - A fill-in-the-blank test gives a statement with some information missing.  You must provide the correct information.  Read the sentence to yourself and see if you know the word that goes in the blank.  Use the clues to help work out the answer.   
  • Short answer and essay questions - Short answer and essay question test ask you to write your answer in full sentences.  A short answer is usually one to four sentences.  An essay response may be several paragraphs.  Read the entire question and think about your answer.  Underline the key elements of the question.  You might make a short list of key items you wish to include in your answer in the margin of the paper.  Allow yourself plenty of time to write your answer.
  • Standardized Test - in addition to tests given by your teacher you may have to also take standardized tests.  Standardized  tests are given in many schools and on many subjects.  they may include true/false, multiple choice or other types of questions that are answered on a specially designed answer sheet.  These test usually cover maths and reading skills. They are given to find out what students know at a certain age.
You can not study for these tests but you can prepare. It is good to have a good night's rest and eat a good breakfast.  Take your time during the test, reading all directions fully before answering. 
  • Memorizing or reasoning - You will take many tests that require you to memorize material.  Such test include spelling words and definitions, history dates and math formulas.  Flashcards work well for items that need to be memorized. Mnemonics or jingles will also work for memorizing.  True/false, multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank and matching tests usually require you to recall an answer from memory. 
Some tests require reasoning, such as working out an answer or drawing a conclusion.  In a science test, you might need to explain why or how something happens.  A math word problem also requires reasoning.  Short answer and essay questions usually need an answer that you reason out.  

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Wednesday, January 10


Visual learners are learners who prefer to process and learn information in visual forms such as pictures, charts, lists, paragraphs, or other printed formats.  They learn and remember best by seeing and visualizing information.

The following are additional characteristics of  visual learners:
  1. Can easily recall information in the form of numbers, words, phrases or sentences.
  2. Can easily understand and recall information presented in pictures, charts or diagrams.
  3. Have strong visualization or visual memory skills and can look up and "see" information.
  4. Make "movies in their mind" of information they are reading.
  5. Have strong visual-spatial skills, that involve sizes, shapes, textures, angles and dimensions.
  6. Have a good eye for colors, design, visual balance and visual appeal.
  7. Pay close attention and learn to interpret body language(facial expressions, eyes, stance)
  8. Have a keen awareness of aesthetics, the beauty of the physical environment and visual media.
Visual learners often favor creating and using visual strategies when they study.  Having something that they can see examine for details and memorize as a mental image is important and effective for visual learners.

The following visual strategies for visual learners strengthen and utilize visual skills. Are you already doing these strategies or you might like to try these strategies .


  • Highlight textbooks and notes. Used colored highlighter pens to create a stronger visual impression of important facts, definitions, formulas and steps. 
  • Write notes in textbooks. Write questions in the margins, highlight the answers and then picture the answers as you review the questions.
  • Create movies in your mind. Use your visual memory as a television screen with the information that you read.  (and hear) moving across the screen as a "movie with the cameras rolling"  Practice reviewing or replaying the movie in your mind.
  • Use color coding. Color-code different levels of information in your visual tools, your textbook highlighting, your time management, schedules and your notes.  Using different colors facilitates the process of memorizing and recalling visual images.
  • Visualize information.  Visually memorize pictures, graphs, study tools or small sections of printed information.  Practice looking away, visualizing and then checking the accuracy and details of your visual images.
  • Add pictures.  As you expand chapter visual mappings, hierarchies and other visual study tools or as you review your notes ad study tools, add pictures that depict the information.  The pictures become association cues to assist recall of the information stored in memory.

  • Write to remember. Copy textbook information into notes because information written in your own handwriting often is easier to visualize and recall than printed text.
  • Make writing a habit.  Create the habit of writing directions and other important information in notebooks, on small note pads, or in electronic devices as words you write frequently are easier to visually memorize and recall. 
  • Be observant.  Pay attention to details of objects and people.  Observe nonverbal clues for body language that signal attitudes, feelings or important points. 
    Posted by Questa Learn On 1/10/2018 No comments READ FULL POST

    Tuesday, January 9


    Kinesthetic learners are learners who prefer to process and learn information through large and small muscle movements and hands-on-experiences. Large and small muscles hold memory, so involving movements in the learning process creates muscle memory.  

    The following are additional characteristics of kinesthetic learners:
    • Learn best by working with physical objects and engaging in hands-on learning that involves feeling, handling, using manipulating, sorting, assembling and experimenting with concrete objects.
    • Can recall information by duplicating the movement or hand motions involved in the learning process.
    • Learn well by using large muscle or full body movements, such as movements used when working at large charts, working at chalkboard or white board, role playing, dancing or performing.
    • Work well with their hands in areas such as repair work, sculpting and art.
    • Are well coordinated with a strong sense of timing and body movements.
    • Have a strong awareness of their need or interests to add movement to study and work situations.
    • Are able to focus better when they can engage in movement, which may include wiggling, tapping hands or feet, or moving legs when sitting.   
    Kinesthetic learners often prefer to use strategies that engage their small and large muscles in the learning process.  The following essential strategies for kinesthetic learners strengthen and utilize kinesthetic skills.
    • Use hands-on learning. Handle objects, tools or machinery that you are studying.  For processes such as computer applications, repeat the hand-on learning applications several times to create muscle memory.
    • Create hands-on study tools. Create flash-cards that you can shuffle, spread out, sort, categorize and review.  Copy charts, diagrams, visual mappings or hierarchies; cut them apat and practice reassembling the pieces.
    • Get out of the chair.  When you study, engage large muscles by using exaggerated hand expressions or body movements.  Pace or walk with study materials in hand.
    • Work standing up.  Work at a chalkboard, white board or flip chart to list, drw, practice, or rework problems.  Use poster paper to create study tools, such as large visual mappings, chart or timelines. 
    • Used action based activities. Create ways to add action to the learning process; for example, if you are studying perimeters, tape off an area and walk the perimeter.
    • Use a computer or electronic devices. Type information and create notes, tables and charts on the computer.  Enter or access information on electronic devices.  Keyboard strokes help create muscle memory that you can use to simulate the actions and recall information. 
    Posted by Questa Learn On 1/09/2018 No comments READ FULL POST
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