Jan
24

Second Semester; a Fresh Start

Author // Cathy
Posted in // Cathy's Blog

Once mid term exams are over, take the time to pause and reflect. How confident were you in your knowledge of each subject?  How well prepared were you when it came time to study for your exams? Were your class notes, tests and handouts already organized by subject or unit, or did you have to scramble to find what you needed? Were you desperately trying to learn topics at the last minute, or methodically refreshing yourself on what you had already learned?  Were there questions or topics on the exams that took you by surprise or you simply did not know? Be honest with yourself, for answers to these questions shed light on what you may need to change as you move forward to better support your leaning style.

Learning is a process. The ultimate task of high school is figuring out how you learn best, then putting that knowledge into action. If you are having a hard time staying focused or following along in class, what can you set in place for yourself now to make next semester more manageable?  Can you meet with your teacher earlier? Use your textbook more? Do additional practice problems (ask your teacher for more if your book doesn’t have them, or go online to a well reviewed teaching site).

If your binders are simply a receptacle for every paper that comes your way (despite your good intentions last September), try setting up a simpler system you will actually use on a daily basis. Perhaps a folder for each unit would work better (and lighten your backpack!). What about putting all papers on a given unit in your binder as you receive them – that way everything you need to study for a given test will be together. Think about what system would work best for you.

Contrary to popular belief, studying for final exams starts now, not in mid June when the weather is fine and summer is beckoning. If first semester did not go as well as you had hoped, don’t despair! You still have the second half of the school year in which you can gain more solid footing. Start now with the one or two steps that feel most helpful.  Remember, you are your best teacher.