Learning how to learn is an important part of schooling for students of any age. But learning effective academic habits and study skills is particularly important for middle schoolers. This is because they're in a critical stage preparing for the rigor and independence of high school.
If you have a middle school-age child, you may want to help them develop some of the study and learning skills that can help them as they grow. Particular skills to pay attention include those that help with attention and retention. The following note-taking strategies for middle schoolers can help students remember information from class and can help even if they struggle with paying attention.
Write Down Main Ideas
Many students make the mistake of trying to write down every word the teacher says in class. Instead, encourage your student to write down the main concepts and the main words associated with those concepts. Students should try looking at the words the teacher writes on the whiteboard or blackboard. They should copy those words down, rather than attempting to transcribe full sentences. Trying to write too much can cause students to miss the explanation of concepts while they're focused on their note-taking.
Tell your student that they can illustrate their notes with images, charts, or graphs if it helps them. Notes should exist to help you understand and remember concepts. Pictures are helpful for jogging your memory and can be a very useful tool.
Rely On Your Own Shorthand
Students can use abbreviations or shorthand for notetaking as long as they know what the shorthand means. Even using text lingo can be a good way to shorten the amount of time needed for notetaking and to ensure students remember what they've written down.
Review Notes Quickly and Often
At the end of each school day, have your student re-read their notes. The concepts will be fresh in their mind, and they can write out further explanations if their notes aren't as clear as they'll need them to be in the future. Encourage your student not to wait too long (like the night before the test) to review notes.
If you have a middle school student who wants to develop a better foundation for learning, contact Brain Balance Achievement Centers. We can help address the underlying causes of challenges they may be facing and help get them back on track so they can succeed at school and at home.
For over a decade, we’ve helped over 30,000 children improve the critical skills needed to create a brighter path for their future. Contact us online to learn more about how the Brain Balance Program can help. You can also view the research and results of the program on the website.