Resources: study skills and attitudes

Here are some things I’ve made to support the development of effective study skills. There’s a session on motivation with a slideshow about the importance of self-control and an accompanying lesson plan. There’s also a session on note-making with a slideshow, a lesson plan and a short text about effective note making. These are pitched for Year 12 students but could be adapted fairly easily for other age groups.

2 thoughts on “Resources: study skills and attitudes”

  1. These resources are great, particularly like the marshmallows one. What is your opinion on seating arrangements in terms of its impact on study? Do you tend to use a seating plan and if so, are your students ‘strategically’ placed? Something I am certainly pondering over as a NQT since giving students the choice of where to sit resulted in all the quiet ones gathered at the back!

    1. Hi, Havva. Glad you find the resources useful. I would always use a room plan, for a number of reasons. First, when students select their own places these are typically on the basis on their inclination to engage, so you get a few keen and eager ones sitting front and centre, the interested but quiet going off to the sides and the ones who want to want to opt out heading off to the far corners. Second, it allows you to integrate the students. Where I teach, we have students joining in the Sixth Form as well as those who continued from Year 11. For all sorts of reasons, not least familiarity, they tend to self-segregate and a room plan helps to counter this (provided you have information on who has recently joined). Third, if you have a room plan it positions yourself as the person who is in charge of the space, not the students. This makes compliance with other expectations more likely. (Similarly, I like to use the whole room so the students don’t get the impression that there is ‘my bit’ and ‘their bit’ of the space). Regarding the positioning of individual students, I generally start with the aims of integrating new joiners and then revisit the groupings once I have an impression of students’ current attainment (I prefer mixed ability groupings), attitudes, learning habits and capacity to self-regulate so the room plan tends to get revised a fair bit as I learn more about the individuals and their social dynamics. The layout of the room matters, too. I like to have my tables arranged in groups of four, with the chairs positioned in a horseshoe with the ‘open’ end facing the board as this facilitates questioning/interaction between the students but also allows me to interact with the whole class when I want to. There’s an interesting paper on this here: https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1023%2FA%3A1009901922191.pdf

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