Doing well in school and in life depends on more than a high IQ. I’ve taught students who have had a range of IQ’s. Not all my students who scored high on IQ tests did well in school. Not all adults I know who are really IQ “smart” have lived up to their potential either. High IQ is not sufficient for success in school or in life. I tried to help my students in my Learning Strategies Class to understand this and would teach a unit about characteristics of successful people. We’d read about successful people to determine the characteristics they shared. I’d like to thank Angela Lee Duckworth (TED talk below) for sharing her research findings that grit is a significant predictor of success. She defines grit as the
passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Grit certainly could explain why some people who had the misfortune of being born into dire circumstances are able to rise above everything to do well in school and in life. (There I go again, wanting to challenge the definition of the good life by quoting Socrates’ and other philosophers’ definition of a good life- one of my last courses was a philosophy course and it’s still fresh in my mind.) Of course grit isn’t a sufficient condition for success either. It’s a necessary condition. Things such as having emotional support are necessary for success as well.
When I ask my students what they think success is, many say having lots of money. The more money you have, the more successful you are. Sad. But, that’s a whole other topic. Even making lots of money usually takes grit.
I should complete my MEd by the end of July. I’ve really enjoyed the journey thus far. I completed my teacher training over 30 years ago and am enjoying revisiting education issues once again after all this time. Some things have changed but somethings haven’t changed. I must confess, I’m always envious of new teachers because their training is more recent, and they know a lot of things I don’t know. A lot has happened in education in 30 years. I like to keep on top of things so I’m always eager to learn from new teachers and to share what has worked for me. I like the Board’s mentoring program because it allows
old experienced teachers like me to share with new teachers and vice a versa. Experienced teachers and newbie teachers have a lot to give one another. I bet newbie teachers don’t know how much they can help experienced teachers. I’ve retired from classroom teaching now, but I’d love to go back and share what I’ve learned with other teachers that helped me be successful in my classroom. Newbie teachers have shown me how to use new digital technology in the classroom that helped make my classes more engaging for my students. What are some things you’ve learned from newbie teachers?
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When I have students complete the their learning plans to prepare for evaluations, I review learning styles because I want them to be efficient in preparing for their evaluations. Many students are visual learners so the following chart would be helpful in reminding students what strategies to use for each learning style. I encourage students to use all learning styles and to continue to develop their less preferred learning styles. I tell my students learning styles are pathways to the brain so the more pathways you use, the better the results.
Compiled By: OnlineCollege.org
Filed Under Engaging Assignments and Activities for Students, Learning Strategies, Lesson Plans, motivating students, positive climate, Special Education, Study Skills, The way I see it, underachieving students, Useful Handouts | 53 Comments
It’s the second week of June and that means it’s time for students to start to prepare for final exams. A recent study found 84 percent of students prepare for tests and exams by rereading the material. Fifty-five percent of students in the study believe rereading material was the best way to prepare for tests and exams. But,rereading material proved not to be the best way to prepare for exams. The most successful way to prepare for exams is quizzing. Yet, only 11 percent of students reported they quizzed themselves to prepare for tests and exams. Students who used quizzing as a study strategy correctly answered 65 percent of questions taken directly from text and 70 percent of questions that required inference and making connections across concepts. That is an increase of 10 percent for direct questions and a 10 percent increase for inference questions.
A 10 percent increase is significant. I would be absolutely delighted if my students could demonstrate a 10 percent increase in their learning. In the past, I have encouraged students to create quizzes about the material as part of their study plan. But, some students were not convinced it was worth the effort. Now, I have data to share with students to support the contention that creating quizzes is a successful study practice.
I encourage my students to create a learning or study plan because it makes them responsible for preparing for exams and gives them a sense of being in control of the process. They can differentiate their study strategy to suit their individual learning preferences and strengths.
The plan includes the following headings
- What I need to know;
- When am I going to study;
- How am I going to organize what I need to know;
- How am I going to remember what I need to know;
- How will I know I have learned the material I need to know.
If you like, I can email you a copy of the handout. Just leave a request in the comment box below. I’d be delighted to share my learning plan with you. students have told me it is helpful and have gone on to use it at college.