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Back to School Tips to be Successful in Class

By Meaghan Montrose

Do you tend to drift off in class? Do you find yourself texting your friends in the middle of your teacher’s lecture? Do you have trouble paying attention to your teacher?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, now is the time to start the new school year off on the right foot. Here are some suggestions for you to stay focused and make the most of your learning experience.

1. Eat a healthy breakfast and lunch.

Feeling hungry (or overstuffed) can make you sleepy. Eating a breakfast, lunch, and maybe even a snack in between, can keep you satisfied and ready to focus on the tasks at hand.

2. Sit in the front of the class.

If your teacher gives you a choice, sitting in the front of the classroom is the best option. I know you probably don’t want to. Most students would choose to sit in the back but you will be more successful in the front. This will limit your distractions and keep you focused on what your teaching is saying.

3. Limit distractions.

Sitting in the front of the class is the first step to limit distractions, but this doesn’t mean you can’t still find something else to attract your attention. Although it may be difficult at first, you need to let your friends in the class know that you need to pay attention. This means no passing notes, texting, talking, etc.
Besides avoiding distractions from friends you need to also minimize other factors that can take your attention away from class. This might be your calculator full of games or a pen that changes color when you push a button or your homework from another class. Multi-tasking is a great skill to have, but not when you are trying to learn something. Keep the calculator away until you need it, avoid buying novelty school supplies, and do your homework at home or during a study period. Trying to do other work in class is a disservice to both subjects. You won’t be able to concentrate on either subject completely.

4. Ask and answer questions.

Participating in class is one sure way to make sure you are paying attention. Make it a point to ask at least one question during each class and to answer as many questions as you can. Make a game out of it. Try to answer every question that is asked and keep track of how many you get correct. This is sure to keep you involved in class.

5. Take notes.

By writing down notes from the lesson you are forced to pay attention and summarize the main points. Even if your teacher provided you with notes, you should still add in examples and elaborate on the provided notes. This helps in two ways: not only are you forced to listen to what is being said but it also occupies your hands from finding other distractions such as doodling.

These tips will take a little practice, but eventually it will become second nature. If you find your mind wandering in class, don’t give up. Identify the problem and get yourself focused. The rewards of following these steps are well worth it. Good luck and happy learning!

Topics: Study Skills and Learning Strategies | 1 Comment »

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  1. Carnival of Family Life: September 2009 “Fall Into Fall” Edition | Colloquium Says:
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