Memorization of the essential concepts

  1. Chart visualization. In order to memorize the synoptic chart that was prepared it will be necessary to pay attention to it between two and five minutes, depending on the size of the chart, focusing on the number of elements at each level, the way they are displayed, how many levels are in the chart… In other words, paying attention to detail. Cover up the chart and try to reproduce it on paper next. If the trial was successful, move to the next phase. If not, repeat the process.
  2. Repeating out loud the summary. First divide the summary text in small pieces that can be studied independently, one after the other. This can be done by questions or by paragraphs. Next, read out loud or in silence the first piece three times in a row; then cover up the text and try to repeat it without looking at it. Then check if it was right; it successful, move to the second piece. If not, repeat three more times and check again. When you have learnt three pieces by heart it is a good idea to go back to the start and check if the first ones are still remembered. You will need to read again some of them if they were forgotten. Finally the same process will be followed with each of the three studied pieces.
  3. Review. What was learnt on day one will not be of any use if it is not reviewed the next day, then after five or six days, then once a week and, finally, the day before the exam. TO REVIEW means to perform a quick read and then start checking piece by piece it you are able to correctly repeat the text that was studied. If anything was forgotten, it is necessary to study it again following points 6 and 7.

The stories we tell

There is not a long way from the stories we tell our family or friends to the stories we tell to entertain people through short stories, short novels or novels.

The kinds of stories we have built are the kind of stories that are told in commercial literature: suspense, action, thriller, crime fiction, science fiction, romance, and fantasy. Not so contemplative stories but extraordinary stories of people fighting against adversity in order to get what they want and in which their well-being is at stake.

In order to create them it is a good idea to know their parts and start experimenting with different ideas. New elements will be added then and the stories will become more complex, but it is only a start.

We can practice the basic exercise of building a character, which wants something but faces difficulty to get it. He fights against adversity and eventually accomplishes his purpose.

Let us see this again in a crude example that I make up on the air in which the only important thing is to take a look at these elements:

“Peter always wanted to work as a cab driver. After five years of hard work and requesting a credit, he bought himself a small new taxi cab that would let him make his dream come true. Before he took his car out of his garage on the first day he would start working, a man got in his way before he jumped into the car in a neighborhood around the city.

  • Peter Smith – he said with a strong voice, standing beside him.

Peter lost his breath and turned around.

  • Who are you? – Asked Pedro, aghast in front of the menacing presence of the man – How do you know my name?
  • We know everything that goes on around here. You must know that in order to drive a taxi cab you have to pay 4 grand to The Boss.
  • What? What are you talking about? I have just bought it”.

And so on.

Postscript

What would happen if we mixed the three stories of the examples mentioned before?

What if the cop in the bank is looking for a promotion? If the rival that tries to sabotage him is with the police surrounding the bank complaining to his boss? What if his rival tells the police he is an accomplice of the robbers and makes up some evidence? What if the cop found inside the same bank a woman he had not seen in ten years, the love of his life? What if the woman’s husband is one of the bank robbers who threatened her to help him in the robbery?

Study skills for high school students

The study skills are an organized set of actions that a student performs in order to achieve the comprehension and memorization of concepts, principles or facts in a permanent way. After observing the study methods of students who get good academic achievements the most effective skills have being identified.  Regular use of such skills allows novice students to make a better use of their intellectual resources and thus improving their academic results.

Study is an essential learning philosophy within the education process of young people of our time. Far from being out of fashion, it is a necessary activity to complement other learning activities such as project elaboration, opinions exchange and comparison or the use of practical activities. To study means to relate what is new with already integrated knowledge and being able to remember it at the right time; to understand it and memorize it in a permanent way.

Study skills are part of the learning strategies, which can be grouped in three sets: organization strategies, classwork strategies, and study and information memorization skills.

  1. The organization strategies contribute to doing the necessary things in an orderly and efficient way.
  2. The classwork strategies are those that make the work performed in class more useful.
  3. The purpose of the study and information memorization skills is to understand and memorize concepts, principles or facts in a permanent way.

As it is usual with other learning strategies, some of our teens need a focused learning of those skills in order to improve their effectiveness as students. Others, in contrast, acquire them by themselves.

The study skills cannot be learned as an isolated learning but their training will be done by following the orientation guide explained next while following the school curricula.

To study is a process that requires four moments:

  1. Text comprehension.
  2. Concept selection and organization in such a way that the amount of information is lower and thus easier to learn.
  3. Memorization of the essential concepts.

Invocation of what was studied.

Which stories can change people’s desires, expectations or well-being?

These stories catch our attention not only because they are extraordinary but also because they fulfill or forfeit people’s particular desires or expectations, affecting their well-being.

For instance, in the situation of the chances for a job promotion the story becomes catchier if the employee had been wishing for that opportunity for a long time. It would be even catchier if the employee depended on that promotion to save his home because he is way behind his mortgage payments. In this situation his financial well-being would be at risk.

In the bank robbery situation, the story would be catchier if the person in line were a cop. This would not only affect his expectation or visiting the bank effortlessly but his duty as a cop gets involved (to avoid the robbery). Besides this his well-being, his own life, would be at risk.

And then in the romantic example, let us suppose that the special woman the character talks about is a girl he was helplessly in love ten years ago, the love of his life, which he finds again just now. His emotional well-being is at risk.

Please view this example video:

More exercises for class

CONSIDERING VARIABLES

Let the student explore and search consciously the variables to be considered before reaching a decision or solving a problem:

Example 1: A young married couple decides to buy a table. They go to a furniture shop and, without thinking much of it, they decide to buy one of American colonial style they liked. When they come home with the table, they realize that it does not fit through the door, nor the window, nor the balcony.

What do you think happened to this couple? Why did they reach that situation?

Cases as this are frequent in daily life. What conclusion do you make of the example?

How could the problem of the couple have been avoided?

Example 2: What variables need to be considered to plan for a field trip?

Example 3: What variables need to be considered to watch television?

CONSIDERATION OF SEQUENCES

Anticipate what could happen, in the short and long terms.

Problem 1: Consider the immediate and medium-term consequences, of the invention of the gas engine.

Problem 2: What could be the short and long-term consequences of using computers in education activities?

CONSIDERATION OF OBJECTIVES OR PURPOSES

Direct attention to what you wish to accomplish and clarify the intention of actions and thoughts.

Problem 1: During a discussion on the problem of cost of life increase, different statements arise from groups of housewives, supermarket owners, the government, farmers and food processing plant owners. Which could be the main objectives of each of the groups in the discussion?