TeachersFirst's Study Skills Resources

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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help students learn their most effective study strategies. The collection includes specific study tools, reading strategies, review ideas, and notetaking methods that students and teachers can try as lessons in themselves or --even better-- as they go about the regular curriculum. Whether you want to use a graphic organizer, create your own electronic flash cards, or simply learn how to approach a test, there is a resource to help. Learning Support teachers and teachers of gifted will also want to share these alternate ways for students to organize and retain concepts, vocabulary, and more.

Make learning how to learn part of your class routine at any grade level and in any subject.

 

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Memorize.com - Memorize.com

Grades
1 to 12
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Sometimes you just need to memorize certain facts and Memorize.com provides the easy to use resources to get the job done. The format of this site is simple and easily ...more
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Sometimes you just need to memorize certain facts and Memorize.com provides the easy to use resources to get the job done. The format of this site is simple and easily accessible to all. Choose pre-made flash cards or create your own. If you choose to create your own, you can create an account or let the system create one for you. Options to switch between flashcard, multiple choice, and matching formats are provided. Diagrams and explanatory text can also be included with your choices.

tag(s): flash cards (47)

In the Classroom

Join the site or let them create an account for you -- but be sure you remember that username, etc. so you can access it again! (email required). Read through the various options or use their "wizards" to create materials.

Create materials for review and practice with basic information, terms, and more. Students can collect and save rows or information they missed to aid with their learning. Ask your students to create their own flashcards or memory set to review before a test or quiz. Have students make practice materials for each other, as well. Learning support teachers will find their students enjoy reviewing more if they are creating something themselves, and the process of MAKING the cards is actually a review in itself.

Share this link on your website for parents to review with their student. This format is very flexible and can be used to create materials for everything from math to Social Studies.

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Memorize Now - Brad Haugaard

Grades
2 to 12
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This site allows students to enter texts of varying lengths which they would like to memorize, but it can also be much more. Working like a sort of reverse cloze ...more
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This site allows students to enter texts of varying lengths which they would like to memorize, but it can also be much more. Working like a sort of reverse cloze test, the site erases more and more of the text as the student works through it. A blank remains, marking the spot for each word that has been removed. Alternatively, students can also select "letters" to see the first word of every sentence in the item. Two ways of entering the text passage allow students to copy items from a spread sheet (like vocabulary words) instead of retyping or entering each word. This site also allows you to create flashcards to use for practice. This is a great tool to help students study and understand how they learn best!

tag(s): vocabulary (325)

In the Classroom

This site does far more than aid memorization. Reading teachers can also use it to teach comprehension skills, such as using context clues to determine meaning in a paragraph. Paste in the paragraph (perhaps a passage from a non-fiction science or social studies article) and use this tool on your interactive whiteboard for students to "figure out" the missing words. Do the same with world language texts to reverse match using subject verb agreement and to analyze missing content using inflected endings. In science class, use this site to remove clues from a paragraph explaining a concepts or terms, subtracting information and having students fill it back in as they review for test and quizzes. Learning support teachers will love this option! Enter passage students write that include new vocabulary words, letting students challenge each other by subtracting portions. Speech and language teachers can use this tool to provide practice with expressive language.

For work with memorization, use this site with popular song lyrics in class. Listen to the song first and give the students the lyrics to be memorized. Or, go to YouLyrics (if district policy allows) to get the song and see a video of it and then have the students use this site to help them memorize the lyrics. ESL, ELL, and students of other languages will enjoy memorizing songs which helps them improve their vocabulary and accent. Use this site in a group by projecting the screen on a whiteboard or projector and systematically show fewer and fewer words on the screen. Have teams of students compete against each other by writing the text as quickly as possible on two boards in the classroom. Share this link on your class website for students to use both in and out of the class to memorize new information. Share it as a personal study skills tool, as well.

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VocabSushi - VocabSushi.com

Grades
8 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This site helps students learn higher level vocabulary, whether they want to simply improve reading ability or prepare for college entrance tests. Registration requires an email address....more
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This site helps students learn higher level vocabulary, whether they want to simply improve reading ability or prepare for college entrance tests. Registration requires an email address. Rather than using your personal or work email, create a free Gmail account to use for memberships. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes.If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.

Once registered, students can select fitting vocabulary words to put into sentences. The sentences come from popular current newspapers. The site also has standard reading lists for the top test prep sites, including GRE, ISEE, SAT, and ACT. It keeps track of which of those words a student is working on and which he/she has learned. Students who master certain words will find new, more challenging words added to their work-on list. Besides seeing the words used in context, you can also hear the pronunciation of most words, thus making it a good tool for TOEFL test takers as well.

tag(s): test prep (96), vocabulary (325), vocabulary development (125)

In the Classroom

Save this site in your favorites on your classroom computers. List the link on your class website for students to use both in and out of the classroom. Have students work with a partner to explore this site and then create a podcast incorporating the new words that they learned. Use a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Wonder of Words - wordinfo.info

Grades
8 to 12
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This word quiz is a great way to help students prepare for SAT's or other tests that require high level vocabulary. Students are given a definition and five possible "answers." ...more
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This word quiz is a great way to help students prepare for SAT's or other tests that require high level vocabulary. Students are given a definition and five possible "answers." Simply click on the word that is being defined and you get instant feedback if your answer was correct or you're your percentage correct, and the correct answer - if yours was incorrect. One recommendation is to click on Image Quizzes for quiz words with entertaining pictures that actually do help the student find the correct word. This site also features "category/subcategory" quizzes that concentrate on related word families. The site does include some unobtrusive advertisements.

tag(s): test prep (96), vocabulary (325)

In the Classroom

If individual computers aren't available, this site would work on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Make it a class challenge. Put this site in a PSAT, SAT, or ACT preparation pamphlet/web page to help students maximize their vocabulary knowledge. It is fast and easy to use. For the most advanced second language learners, this quiz would also be helpful for preparing for the TOEFL test. This is a site you want to list on your class website. As part of your regular vocabulary study, consider having student create their own "Image Quizzes" using their personal vocabulary words, then challenge their classmates! Use a simple tool such as Powerpoint to make the quiz slides (uploadable to Thinglink, reviewed here, or other slide sharing tools) or create them online on a class wiki.

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Brainflips - Brainflips, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
7 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Use this free web site to create flashcards for teacher or individual student use. There is also a link to "Study Flashcards" that are already ready to go. There are ...more
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Use this free web site to create flashcards for teacher or individual student use. There is also a link to "Study Flashcards" that are already ready to go. There are literally HUNDREDS of ready to go flashcard packets: presidents, addition, algebra, music, and more.

If you are creating your own, you can add images, video, or audio. Study flashcards online or share with others in created study groups. Use flashcards to learn new information (question and answer are side by side,) study (shows the question and then the answer,) or quiz themselves by entering answers. Create a game with the flashcards by using a timer and score board on the site. Share flashcard sets with others by sending a URL address or create study groups to share. View public flashcards created by others by using their search feature.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): flash cards (47), presidents (130), word study (79)

In the Classroom

You can access the already created flashcards without any account, email, or age requirements. However, if you wish to create flashcards, an email and birth date is required to create an account. Users must be 13 years of age or older.

Using Brainflips: Use the Deck panel to enter flashcard deck title and other basic information. Use the Card panel to add, edit, and change the order of the flashcards in the deck. Create text or multiple choice answers for each flashcard and even enter alternative answers. Click "Insert" above the question field to add images, audio, and video to flashcards.

Safety/Security: Since an email and birth date are required, consider creating a class account for teacher use or for groups of students to use. Create teacher flashcards for class use by creating card decks and providing the URL for students to use. You may want to send students to the flashcards via a direct link to the deck.

Facts, spelling words, vocabulary, definitions, foreign language, root words, historical names --- all can easily be typed into this flashcard format for any subject. Plan a system of tags for sets on related material so they can be grouped. For example: tag all geography terms "geography" and all words from the same science chapter using the chapter number or topic. You can use multiple tags, too! In the computer lab, using a projector or interactive whiteboard, walk your students through making their own sets of flashcards or using teacher created flashcards for student and group use. Students or parents can then access their electronic cards at home or anywhere with a specific URL that can be placed on any teacher blog or website. No email address is needed to use the cards, only to create the cards. Include the link to your sets on your web page for students to study before tests. Collaborate with other teachers to create useful sets for all to use. Rotate responsibility each marking period among student groups in your class to create a set for each chapter/unit/week for the rest of the class to use as review. Give a special award (or bonus points) for the most creative, complete set that marking period. Learning support teachers may want to work together with small student groups to create verbal and visual card sets to accompany the chapters they are studying. Involve the students in the process so they can reinforce new content as they create their own "study materials" with color coding, images, and more.

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Study Stack - John Weidner

Grades
4 to 12
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This site is filled with study tools to help students learn information in a variety of subject areas. Stacks of topics related to geography, history, math, languages, medical, tests...more
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This site is filled with study tools to help students learn information in a variety of subject areas. Stacks of topics related to geography, history, math, languages, medical, tests (SAT, ACT, etc.), science and more are linked with collections of learning tools that include virtual study cards, matching games, word search puzzles, and hangman games. There really is something here for nearly all subject areas and grade levels! Students can select the tool that works best for them and work at their own pace until they are satisfied with their progress. If you can't find a stack to fit your needs, you can edit existing lists or create customized study stacks. The site also allows you to print out study cards, or export flash cards to study them via cell phones, PDA, or iPod. Email the stacks to peers or connect with Study Stack through Facebook. Some of the activities require Java. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): flash cards (47), greek (41), hebrew (19), latin (22), test prep (96), vocabulary (325)

In the Classroom

Encourage parents to use this site as a study-at-home tool for their students. Link your blog or website to this site by entering your url at the bottom of the homepage. Make sure your guidance counselor at your school is aware of this site as a tool for studying those college entrance tests. Be sure to save this site in your favorites.

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Funnelbrain - Funnelbrain

Grades
2 to 12
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Be smarter and use smarter flashcards! Browse, use, or create flashcards for studying in a variety of courses from basic to advanced. Take flashcard creation one step further...more
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Be smarter and use smarter flashcards! Browse, use, or create flashcards for studying in a variety of courses from basic to advanced. Take flashcard creation one step further with this free site that not only uses collaboration in the creation of flashcards, but also chooses the next cards based upon correct/incorrect answers in order to move information from short to long term memory. Add explanation, links, and mnemonics to the flashcards. Create and join groups for creation and study of the flashcards. For an overview, watch the video tutorial to learn how best to use Funnelbrain.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): flash cards (47), word study (79)

In the Classroom

Create a new group by finding an already listed school or adding your own. Create flashcards easily by entering the question, answer, explanations, and mnemonics in the appropriate tabs. Students can create a profile and join or create a group.

Consider creating a class account that has a global login and password that all students can access. Students would need to be cautioned against deleting or changing flashcards created by other students. Students would not be able to join groups using this option. All projects are public. Check your school policy for posting student work online.

Create flashcards for students to study or have students create them as an assignment. Create the original questions of the flashcards and assign students to determine the answers, find links for additional information, and add hints and mnemonics to complete the deck. Have groups of students use the flashcards for study time and for critique of the flashcard deck creator(s.) No matter the topic or subject, this flashcard site has great uses for student learning. Use flash cards for terminology, test review, or reinforcement. Have students create and critique sets as the actual assessment, replacing traditional tests and quizzes.

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UniLearning - Committee for University Teaching and Staff Development (CUTSD)

Grades
6 to 12
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This is a great site for working with writing for many levels and abilities. It is divided into 8 categories: effective and academic writing, essay and report writing, writing sentences,...more
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This is a great site for working with writing for many levels and abilities. It is divided into 8 categories: effective and academic writing, essay and report writing, writing sentences, reading, note-taking, and critical thinking. Each section has an introduction or overview and is interactive for student use. Most of the parts of each section give both explanations and examples, and also link to quick examples of words students may need reminded of (such as what a "clause" is). It is worth using for a lesson or a series of lessons. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): critical thinking (110), sentences (50)

In the Classroom

This might be a great assignment for extra credit. It might also be valuable as another way to teach something such as "critical thinking" with which many students struggle. The strategies for note-taking and the conventions for academic writing are two examples of the site that could be good teaching aids on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Why not list this link on your class website, for students to access both in and out of the classroom.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Flash Card Flash - Flash Card Flash

Grades
K to 12
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Everyone needs time savers. This site just made your life easier. Find pre-made flash cards using a search engine (powered by Google) from the best flash card sites on the ...more
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Everyone needs time savers. This site just made your life easier. Find pre-made flash cards using a search engine (powered by Google) from the best flash card sites on the web. Simply type in your topic in the search line and in seconds, you will have a list of flash card sites that feature your topic. Click on the links, and you have pre-made electronic flash cards at your fingertips. You do not need to be signed in with the flash card sites to enjoy the benefits. Some sites are easier to navigate than others. This tool may require some time "digging" for the best! Many of the sites require Flash and/or Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): flash cards (47)

In the Classroom

Share the online vocabulary words on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Students can work in pairs at a computer to enhance the flashcard learning. GED and placement test learners will find this feature most useful. Foreign language learners will find all their flash card needs are met with this site. Share this site on your class website for students to use to practice both in and out of the classroom. Use this tool with ESL/ELL students. Use this site for students to practice new science vocabulary words. Imagine the possibilities!
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Cobocards - Cobocards

Grades
K to 12
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This site allows you to create flashcards, and includes sharing and group capabilities. Many teachers will be able to navigate this free site very easily. Enter vocabulary terms and...more
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This site allows you to create flashcards, and includes sharing and group capabilities. Many teachers will be able to navigate this free site very easily. Enter vocabulary terms and definitions as well as any html (web page language), such as images and charts to create electronic flashcards and quizzes for word study to use in language or other content areas. Create individual sets of flashcards, or invite others to interact and learn the same words. Teacher or students can create groups to share word lists. As with other collaborative tools, the revision history is easily accessible.

tag(s): flash cards (47), grammar review (38), word study (79)

In the Classroom

Sharing with friends for collaboration does require the sending of an email invitation.

Explore the guided tour to learn an overview or find answers to specific use questions. Save your "sets" and decide whether you want them to be completely public, just for you personally, or shared with a "group." Create your own groups for each class or subject. Publish your cards for others to use. Published sets can be altered to create a new and personalized set.

Teachers in lower grades will want to create cards their students can use and perhaps have more techno-savvy help with the process. Content and English teachers may choose to set up their own network of users. Learning support teachers could suggest that their students create their own flashcard sets to assist learning of the concepts. Use the interactive whiteboard or projector for quick flashcard or electronic testing using your sets as a whole class or in small groups in the classroom. Collaborate with other teachers to create useful sets for all to use. Rotate responsibility each marking period among student groups in your class to create a set for each chapter/unit/week for the rest of the class to use as review. Give a special award (or bonus points) for the most creative, complete set that marking period.

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Padlet - Padlet

Grades
2 to 12
9 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Padlet (formerly Wallwisher) is a free application to create an online bulletin board that you can use to display information for any topic. Easily create an account and build a ...more
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Padlet (formerly Wallwisher) is a free application to create an online bulletin board that you can use to display information for any topic. Easily create an account and build a new board. You can add images, links, videos, and more. You can return to add more later. Installing Padlet Mini in your browser allows you to add the page you are browsing to your Padlet and gives you a shortcut to view your Padlets. Settings allow you to make your wall completely open for public contributions, completely private, or moderated by you (you approve all contributions before they show). This is a device-agnostic tool, available on the web but also available for free as both an Android and iOS app. Use it from any device or move between several devices and still access your work. App and web versions vary slightly.

tag(s): bulletin boards (17), DAT device agnostic tool (167), gamification (74), images (277)

In the Classroom

Use a Padlet to collaborate in collecting ideas, brainstorming, and more. Use this tool easily in your Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) classroom since all students will be able to access it for free, no matter what device they have. Padlet does not show which work is attributable to which student, so you may want to require that students initial their contributions in order to get credit. If allowing all students to post to the wall or make comments, you may want to discuss internet safety and etiquette and establish specific class rules and consequences. Making the setting private again will prohibit content from later being replaced by classmate "vandalism."

Use a Padlet to collect webquest links and information to share with students. By leaving the wall open to comments, solicit input, discussions, or viewpoints from students. They can even contribute other sources they find. Color code resources to indicate different reading levels or "high challenge" sources for your more able students. Assign a student project where students choose their theme and design a wall around it. For example, have students create a wall about an environmental issue. They can include pictures, audio or video, links, and other information to display. Use as a new format for book reports. Do your students have favorites such as music or sports? Create a wall around these favorites or hobbies. Use a wall for grammar or vocabulary words. Create walls for debates or viewpoints. Post assignments, reminders, or study skills on a wall. Do you use student scribes or reporters? Use the Padlet site to create a wall with the goings-on in class. Embed your walls in a blog, wiki or website. See a similar tool (and more ideas to use either tool) in the TeachersFirst review of Lino here. Decide which one you prefer! Unfortunately, the Padlet embedded viewer is very small but can be scrolled in both directions.

Use Padlet as a class space during snow days and school breaks. Share the link to a teacher-created, public wall where students can share notes about what they did during the snow day or respond to a thought-provoking question.

Encourage creativity and organization by having your gifted students (or anyone doing independent projects) create Padlets to collect ideas, images, quotes, and more in an "idea bin." Require them to share a brainstorming Padlet to show you the ideas they considered before they launch into a project. Have them brainstorm (and later sort/color code) the possibilities for a creative problem solving or "Maker Faire" project. In writing or art classes, use Padlet as a virtual writer's journal or design notebook to collect ideas, images, and even video clips.

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Cramberry - Cramberry

Grades
3 to 12
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Flash cards made easy --- sounds cliche, but this isn't your normal flash card! Create words and meanings, organizing them into sets. Once a set is created, you may edit, ...more
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Flash cards made easy --- sounds cliche, but this isn't your normal flash card! Create words and meanings, organizing them into sets. Once a set is created, you may edit, add, delete, or share with others. Registration is so quick; you can create flash cards within 30 seconds. This website stores your word sets, and an easy login allows you to use them instantly. As you answer the flash cards, Cramberry tracks which cards you answer correctly. It will only flash cards that are giving you problems. Coming soon: you will be able to study on the go with a Cramberry application for your iPod or iPhone! This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): flash cards (47)

In the Classroom

Be sure to save this site in your favorites. SAT tutors need to know about Cramberry. Sign up all your students (check school policy first!). You may want to use a teacher email account and subaccounts for registration to establish the memberships by "number" and to provide complete monitoring of what students do. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.

Rotate the job of "card creator" throughout the school year and have the card creator share the word set with the rest of the class. Foreign language teachers will find this a must-have for teaching new words. This site could truly be useful in any subject area that teaches new vocabulary, dates, terms, formulas, and more: history, math, science, reading, etc. Of course, ESL, ELL, and special education students would benefit from the use of this site also.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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ESL Bits - Skip Reske

Grades
3 to 8
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This site is an excellent way to help ESL and ELL students improve reading and comprehension skills using short passages of different kinds of reading. The site includes signs, ...more
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This site is an excellent way to help ESL and ELL students improve reading and comprehension skills using short passages of different kinds of reading. The site includes signs, multiple choice, true-false for details, questions on getting the "gist" of a reading, matching questions, and gap (fill-in) questions. This site is excellent for reading comprehension in the regular classroom too! Students select a "set" which contains a short sampling of each kind of question. Once they answer, they get immediate feedback.

tag(s): reading comprehension (118), test prep (96)

In the Classroom

Since the subtitle for this page is "Reading Comprehension and Test Preparation," recommend this site to ESL and ELL students preparing for standardized tests. Save it in your favorites on class computers and provide the link on your class website for students to access both in the classroom and out. The activities would also work well on interactive whiteboard.

Share the "Signs" link with your students. Challenge students to create their own signs, similar to those used at this site. Have cooperative learning groups create interactive posters featuring their signs using a tool such as (PicLits - explained here). Share the "PicLits" on an interactive whiteboard or projector.

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ADD Student - Brenda Nicholson

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
This site, created by Brenda Nicholson, a mom and trained ADD coach, offers a blog-like format with reference information and more -- all related to ADD. If you have ADD/ADHD ...more
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This site, created by Brenda Nicholson, a mom and trained ADD coach, offers a blog-like format with reference information and more -- all related to ADD. If you have ADD/ADHD students in your classroom, you may want to save this gem in your favorites. There are links for ADD students, life skills, organization, time management tips, RSS feed newsletters, a search engine, and other topics. Although the site includes podcasts, they do not seem to be working at the time of this review. You will definitely want to steer the parents of your ADD/ADHD students here. Be aware there is some commercialization of products (books and coaching) by the web owner, but the advantages warrant a "thumbs up" for this site.

tag(s): adhd (28), organizational skills (129)

In the Classroom

Post this link on your class website among parent resources or for students to access discreetly. This site offers tips to help ADD/ADHD students that are really useful to ALL students. Pass this site along to your special education staff. If you feel a parent needs additional information on this subject, the sister site to ADD Student is ADD Moms .

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Study Guides and Strategies - Joe Landsberger

Grades
K to 12
10 Favorites 0  Comments
 
If you haven't been to seminars, college classes, or professional development lately, you may feel a little rusty on innovative study guides and strategies that will enhance learning....more
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If you haven't been to seminars, college classes, or professional development lately, you may feel a little rusty on innovative study guides and strategies that will enhance learning. This site explains with clear language and no-frills web pages hundreds of ways to help our learners, from online test taking, memorizing, to managing stress and so much more. Another perk from this site is that it is available in over 20 different languages, so even limited English speakers can learn these helpful techniques. From this web link, you enter the "visitors center" where you grasp the impact this site has had on education. Millions of visitors benefit from its resources each year. Click on "index" at the top to access the page full of study guides and strategies options.

Each content area has successful resources that you can use.

Content areas include Preparing, Learning, Studying, Learning with Others, Online Learning/Communicating, Classroom Participation, Project Management, Research, Reading Skills, Preparing for Test, Science and Technology, Math, Resources, Vocabulary/Spelling, Writing Styles, Writing Basics, and Taking Tests. There are over 100 individual topics to explore: Time Management, Avoiding Procrastination, Learning with ADHD, Effective Study Habits, Peer Mediation, Problem Based Learning, Netiquette, Public Speaking, Citing Websites, SQ3R, KWL, Overcoming Test Anxiety, Ten Tips for Terrific Test Taking, Prefixes and Root Words, Seven Stages of Writing, and countless others!

There are some basic advertisements at this site. Flash and Acrobat Reader are needed for some of the links and can be obtained here: TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): graphic organizers (43), organizational skills (129), spelling (166), stress (15), time (141), vocabulary (325)

In the Classroom

This site is one to save in your favorites! There is so much here, it is hard to know where to begin. The language offerings provide opportunities for ESL and ELL students to learn study skills in their native language. This site could also be used in world languages classes.

Why not highlight a "study skill" each week using your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students TRY it. Most of the topics provide interactive learning or another assignment to help students practice the skill. Have students work individually or with a partner to explore the "topic of the week." These life skills are so necessary, but hard to fit into the already crammed curriculum. This site does a nice job of integrating the study skills with curriculum content. Have students create their own multimedia projects about study skills using a current unit of study from your class.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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