TeachersFirst's Study Skills Resources
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.
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomHave your class create organizers together, such as in a brainstorming session on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Easily add images to maps for young students, ELL learners, or non-readers to understand relationships and learn vocabulary. Or you can assign students to "map" out a chapter or story or assign groups to create study guides using this tool. Use this site for literature activities, research projects, social studies, or science topics. Use this site to create family trees or food pyramids in family and consumer science. Have students collaborate together (online) to create group mind maps or review charts before tests on a given subject. Have students organize any concepts you study; color-code concepts to show what they understand, wonder, and question; map out a story, plot line, or plan for the future; map out a step-by-step process (life cycle).
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site in the classroom for organizing any long term project such as a research report or collaborative projects. Create a board for each group with a timeline and assign parts for each project. Gradually release the responsibility from one project to the next, asking students to create their own task lists so they learn time management. Teachers of learning support and gifted will love this tool as a way to teach organizational skills. Share it with parents to support their organizationally challenged students. Yearbook or school newspaper advisors may want to consider this site for organizing and assigning tasks. Share this site with your school's PTA as a resource for organizing and planning school events.
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this as a place to put web quest links and information. As a project idea, have students create a wall about their summer vacation. They can include links and other information to display. Have elementary students build a class homework board each day, having a different student add the assignment for each subject; then share the link to the board for them to access at home. "Writing down" assignments can be fun! Any activity you can do by sorting and ranking words, terms, or ideas can be done instantly (and changed later) on a Scrumblr board. Use this tool 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 or science unit terms. Create walls of pro/con for debates or high level thinking viewpoints. Post assignments, reminders, or study skills on a wall. Do you use student scribes or reporters? Use the site to create a wall with the goings-on in class. See a similar tool (and more ideas to use either tool) in the TeachersFirst review of Stixy here. Decide which one you prefer!
This is the perfect quick start tool for your gifted students to record the ideas that occur to them during class. Have them create their own boards with a "what if" column for the crazy questions that pop in their heads, things like "What if Shakespeare wrote in a different meter?" or "Would Poe and Stephen King get along?" Give permission for far-fetched questions and graffiti! Have them create pro/con boards for tough topics such as gun rights during a unit on the Constitution, including links to evidence to support the statements they make on notecards. This tool could also help them brainstorm and sequence steps for a major independent project, sometimes a real challenge for the brightest students!
Grades5 to 12
tag(s): atoms (56), cells (105), charts and graphs (198), decades (14), energy (203), engineering (128), equations (154), fractions (234), genetics (95), inequalities (27), landforms (47), measurement (160), oceans (154), organisms (21), periodic table (52), probability (133), pythagorean theorem (34), rocks (50), scientific method (67), seasons (38), solar energy (39), solar system (121), statistics (126), STEM (156), test prep (96), variables (21)
In the ClassroomIntroduce CK-12 to your students (and parents) on your interactive whiteboard and demonstrate ways to use the site at home. Be sure to create a link to the site on your class website or blog for easy access at any time. Create an account and upload your own resources and activities to create your own flexbooks for use with students. CK-12 is available in many languages. Use this site with your ESL/ELL students as a supplement to classroom resources.
Grades8 to 12
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In the ClassroomEncourage students to do a project about learning and post their results here, if policies permit. Share this link on your class web page and/or in a parent newsletter so they can better understand the nature of learning and its challenges. Use the self-assessment with any class -- without joining the site -- as you talk about study skills and finding individual strengths for studying and learning. Consider letting students form study groups based on the results. This is an ideal activity for early in the school year.
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
Includes Interaction w general public/ public galleries with unmoderated content
Includes social features, such as "friends," comments, ratings by others
Requires registration/log-in (WITH email)
Grades8 to 12
tag(s): charts and graphs (198), equations (154), factors (42), flash cards (47), functions (71), geometric shapes (170), inequalities (27), integers (41), iwb (32), percent (83), probability (133), pythagorean theorem (34), quadratics (34), transformations (17)
In the ClassroomSearch this site for lessons and activities to use on your interactive whiteboard. Use this site to review before the SATs. Provide links to various parts of this site on your class wiki or website.
Grades6 to 12
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tag(s): flash cards (47)
In the ClassroomUse this site as a learning center or station before a final assessment in your class. Have students create and practice with flashcards based on their most difficult topics, allowing them to better focus their studying. Offer this as one of several study aid options for different learning styles. Have learning support students create their own aids in small groups to test each other. This would also be a great one to post on your teacher wiki or webpage, allowing students to practice both in and out of the classroom.
GradesK to 5
In the ClassroomDisplay the handwriting flashcards on your interactive whiteboard as a student-operated center to practice letter writing skills. Choose random letters, and have students make a list of words beginning with that letter. The What's This activity would be great vocabulary practice for ELL students or speech/language students. Use the Timekillers on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) for a quick 5 or 10 minute class or center activity.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomDemonstrate the activity on an interactive whiteboard or projector, and then allow students to create their own Wridea tool. Use this site for literature activities, research projects, social studies, or science topics. Have students collaborate together (online) to create group study guides or review charts before a test. Have students use Wridea as a study guide by brainstorming all the important concepts they remember about the unit being studied in history or science, and then have them share their Wridea with another student who will add concepts that were left out. Build student creative fluency by having them use Wridea to create categories of wonder, question, and answers for research; map out a story or plot line, or map out a step-by-step process (life cycle); map a real historical event as a choose-your-own-adventure with alternate endings based on pivotal points.
This resources looks like it has a wide variety of applications suitable to upper elementary and secondary classrooms. Sign up was quick and easy, but I received a message upon completing those steps that Wridea doesn't support Internet Explorer. It "suggested" using Mozilla Firefox instead. I'm a strong advocate for being comfortable with using several browsers, so, this doesn't throw up any huge roadblocks to me, but if you do not have or use Firefox, you will need to take that extra step as well before actually making use of this tool.Rita, WA, Grades: 6 - 12
Editor's Note: the review has been updated to reflect this new information.
Grades1 to 12
tag(s): animals (291), baseball (36), biomes (100), business (58), charts and graphs (198), civil war (144), dinosaurs (54), egypt (70), field trips (13), immigrants (21), immigration (58), japan (61), maps (293), mayans (13), medieval (27), mexico (34), multiple intelligences (11), musical instruments (47), nutrition (159), olympics (49), painting (66), probability (133), religions (68), rocks (50), russia (37), sports (98), statistics (126), tessellations (6), test prep (96), virtual field trips (51), volcanoes (65), water cycle (33)
In the ClassroomImmerse your students into your studies with a close up in depth look through virtual field trips. Visit places where time, money, and mileage inhibit your dreams for bringing your students into wondrous worlds. Find ways to visit where your class has never gone before. Create a personalized field trip to meet your every need with the detailed tutorials given. Find ways to motivate your most reluctant learners. ESL/ELL learners will appreciate the visit. Reach all types of learners through a class visit. Use field trips as a whole class anticipatory guide, a center activity, a home connection, or even as extra credit. Challenge your gifted students to be guides to their own learning. Make your class go global!
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this in junior and senior level courses to help students who are college bound prepare for SAT and ACT exams. It saves time and helps kids, no one can argue with those advantages. Try using this with younger high school (or even middle school) aged students in a gifted program to provide enrichment and early practice for early test takers. Be certain to provide this link on your class website for students to access at home.
Grades1 to 12
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In the ClassroomBring Natural Reader into your language arts classroom to help all students edit written work. Bring an extra helper into your class to pronounce difficult words. This program allows students with decoding difficulties to focus on comprehension on all texts. Natural Reader offers repeated readings to improve fluency, comprehension, and confidence. Add an extra learning dimension to any textbook or written notes. Honor the auditory learners with their natural style. Learning support, ESL/ELL, dyslexic, or ADHD learners have shown marked improvement. Writing classes can benefit by having individuals, copy and paste into the text box to help edit and proofread. Add extra reinforcement with directions by recording and being available for playing multiple times. Be sure to include this link on your class website for students (and parents) to access at home.
Grades4 to 12
tag(s): area (71), business (58), charts and graphs (198), equations (154), factoring (31), functions (71), integers (41), measurement (160), operations (126), order of operations (40), percent (83), place value (55), prime numbers (33), ratios (58), test prep (96), tutorials (48), volume (46)
In the ClassroomShare videos on your interactive whiteboard as in introduction to a new concept or as review. Embed the links to videos of weekly concepts on your class website or blog. Create a link on classroom computers to current content for students to use as a review resource. Ask students to rate the most helpful videos they find and share their recommendations on a class wiki. Share this site with parents to use as a resource when helping students at home. Challenge students to create their own how-to video of math concepts. Share the videos using a tool such as SchoolTube, reviewed here.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site to introduce comparisons to your students on your interactive whiteboard or projector. After demonstrating how to use the site, create a link on classroom computers for students to make their own comparisons to be printed and shared. Divide students into 3 groups - one for each type of comparison essay - and have them create comparisons for their type, then share and compare with other students. Have students create "talking pictures" to illustrate the different types of comparisons using Fotobabble reviewed here. Use this site with gifted students as a way for them to explore subjects more deeply than discussed in class. Use this site with ESL/ELL students to help organize information easily and as a visual representation of class material.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site to promote visual literacy and as an example for reading graphs. Have students select another topic and make a similar graph of their own. Use one of the graph makers available at the site "Statistics - Johnnie's Math Page" (reviewed here). Look at paintings from different cultures and ask how color interacts with other artistic elements like shape, design, placement, etc. to convey meaning. Have students make an assortment of works of the same design, varying color choice depending on which culture is going to view the work. If you have student creating infographics, this chart is a must in selecting font colors and more to guide emotional impact of the graphics.
Grades6 to 10
In the ClassroomWatch videos on your interactive whiteboard as an introduction to new concepts or as review before assessments. You might even try "flipping" your instruction, assigning the videos to students for viewing before they come to class, then following up with applications in class. Peruse the site for videos that are relevant in your classroom. Share the link on your classroom website or blog for students and parents to access at home.
GradesK to 12
Highlights from the youngest level (ages 5-9) include Reading for Information, Sorting Shapes, Sorting Information, Kim's Game, Writing About Different Things, and others. The middle level (ages 10-14) includes Time Management, Exam Preparation, Note Taking, Revision, Memory Tips, Mindmaps, Pictograms, and others. The older students (ages 15-18) delve into topics such as Summarizing, Essay Writing, Learning Styles, Referencing, Learning from Lectures, and several others.
For professional purposes, there are also links (some PDF files) to research about the importance of teaching study skills. This site makes it easy and fun to teach these life skills! This site was creating in the United Kingdom, so you may notice a few spelling and pronunciation differences from American English.
In the ClassroomThis is one of those rare sites that should be saved in ALL teachers' favorites. Be sure to list this link on your class website.
Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students work with a partner to navigate the age appropriate activities at the site. Why not highlight a different area each month or unit of study so you have material with which to apply it (Do, Get, Remember, or Understand). During month/unit one introduce study skills using the Do link and resources. Then further investigate subsequent study skills each month/unit using the other main topics : Get, Remember, and Understand. Have students try out some of their "new skills" before the unit test. Be sure to ask them afterwards why they were successful (or not) in applying the new study approach. Maybe even add a question about the latest study skill at the end of every test.