This is the third post in a five-part series about Executive Function. Each post includes downloadable templates to use at home and in the classroom. The first article is about managing time. The second addresses managing materials, the fourth achieving independence, and the fifth finding balance between school and extra-curricular activities.
Teaching students how to organize class content and assignments will help them manage their workload, reduce stress, and achieve academic success.
Managing the flow of incoming and outgoing information is at the root of why study skills are so valuable and effective. Students benefit immensely when teachers show students how to:
- Pre-read using headings and subheadings in textbooks, write two-column notes to identify the main idea or topic, and take time to include supporting details.
- Actively read by highlighting, using sticky notes, and jotting notes in the margins.
- Learn to write a summary and follow a structured template for the five-step writing process. (Download the template.)
- Predict test questions and employ a variety of test-taking strategies to teach students how to manage the large volume of information related to their academics.
Two-column notes are a way for students to extract the main ideas from the supporting details of a selection or lesson. Students are often asked to fold their piece of paper in half down the length of the sheet to create a useable format for note-taking. When done correctly, these notes are helpful in studying for tests and writing papers.
“In all of our classes we teach content but never without first teaching the skills necessary to access this content.” — Robin Day-Laporte, Director of the Landmark High School Study Skills Department
- Use two-column notetaking.
- Utilize templates.
- Pre-read text to become familiar with the content.
- Set up well-marked electronic and paper filing systems.
- Clean and sort files and folders regularly.