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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Reading For All - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
10 Favorites 0  Comments
This TeachersFirst professional page includes extensive resources for Reading in the Content Areas, Graphic Organizers, Reading Strategies, Vocabulary Development, Elementary Reading,...more
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This TeachersFirst professional page includes extensive resources for Reading in the Content Areas, Graphic Organizers, Reading Strategies, Vocabulary Development, Elementary Reading, independent reading, and special topics reading lists. The page also includes a link for you to purchase books from Amazon and have TeachersFirst receive a portion of the proceeds. TeachersFirst is a free service of a non-profit since 1998. Why not shop through this link to help TeachersFirst continue its service to teachers worldwide?

tag(s): amazon (9), area (68)

In the Classroom

No matter what you teach, these resources will help you target reading and study skills for better comprehension and more.

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Math Power - Ellen Freedman

Grades
9 to 12
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This site, created by a college professor, offers a great deal of information about algebra and the general fundamentals of upper level mathematics. The site features tutorial videos,...more
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This site, created by a college professor, offers a great deal of information about algebra and the general fundamentals of upper level mathematics. The site features tutorial videos, online lessons (non-interactive), study skills tips, a learning style inventory, internet homework assignments, and more. Although the site was created for beginning college students, it could easily be used in high school algebra classes. Some of the interactives require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): equations (155)

In the Classroom

If you teach algebra or other high school math subjects, save this site in your favorites. Use the homework assignments and online lessons for instructional purposes or additional practice of newly learned skills. Share the tutorial videos on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Be sure to provide this link on your class website so students can access the site (and practice math) at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Helping Your Student Get the Most out of Homework - National PTA

Grades
1 to 8
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Here's a site that explains why teachers give homework, what parents can do to help their children work effectively, and ways to assist while allowing chldren to assume the responsibility...more
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Here's a site that explains why teachers give homework, what parents can do to help their children work effectively, and ways to assist while allowing chldren to assume the responsibility for their assignments.

tag(s): homework (46)

In the Classroom

Share this site with parents at the beginning of the year at events like an open house, or when explaining your homework policy. Print the article out to hand to them, or post the site on your wiki or webpage to let them access the information at home.

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bubbl.us - Kirill Edelman and Levon Amelyan

Grades
K to 12
14 Favorites 1  Comments
 
This simple and free online tool allows you to brainstorm ideas and create concept maps with no special software! Bubble.us features some highly interactive abilities: saving your mind...more
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This simple and free online tool allows you to brainstorm ideas and create concept maps with no special software! Bubble.us features some highly interactive abilities: saving your mind map as an image, sharing (emailing) your work with a friend, printing your organizer, creating colorful mind map organizers, embedding your work into a website or blog, and working with friends. You are able to "play" at this site without registering; however registration is necessary for saving, embedding, emailing, and other features. NOTE: the free version only allows you to SAVE three maps, so you will want to save your completed maps as images, then deleted them from your membership to make room for more freebies. Here is an example of a bubbl.us map embedded in a page. Click and drag on the background to read more, or try the zoom controls to see more or less.

tag(s): brainstorming (23), graphic organizers (42), mind map (24)

In the Classroom

Click "Start Here" to type the subject of your concept map. Hitting your Enter key creates a new level (branch) within the map. Tab creates an additional branch on the same level as the current topic. Experiment with the small icons on each "element" to change colors, drag, make new connections, etc. Save and set sharing (read-only or open access) in the area at the right. You can "send" a read-only link via email or copy the embed code from the Menu at lower right), but you cannot find the URL directly from your map. "Send" it to yourself via email to copy the actual URL.

There are countless possibilities at this mental mapping site. Demonstrate the tool on an interactive whiteboard or projector, and then allow students to try to create their own graphic organizers. Use this site for literature activities, research projects, social studies, or science topics of study. Use this site to create family trees. Have students collaborate together (online) to create group mind maps or review charts before tests on a given subject. Have students organize color-code concepts to show what they understand, wonder, question; map out a story, plotline, or LIFETIME; 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; plan a "tour" for a "thought museum." Use this mapping website as an alternative to a traditional test, quiz, or homework assignment in literature or social studies: have students demonstrate their understanding by completing a graphic organizer about the main points. To minimize the number of maps on a free account, have students screenshot or print their results to turn them in. See more ideas in the linked example above!

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david, TX, Grades: 9 - 12

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Kids and Reading - John Rowlinson, Kids and Reading, UK

Grades
K to 8
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Geared to teaching parents about reading, this site offers a great review of reading methods, classroom methods, special concerns (i.e. ADHD, autism), booklists, motivation, tool and...more
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Geared to teaching parents about reading, this site offers a great review of reading methods, classroom methods, special concerns (i.e. ADHD, autism), booklists, motivation, tool and techniques to use, etc. Even though it is a British site, it is totally applicable to the USA and other areas throughout the world. You will find a wealth of information to share with your students' parents at Open House and throughout the year. There are some minor advertisements at this site (all related to the topic).

tag(s): adhd (28), autism (22), dyslexia (7), guided reading (47), learning styles (19)

In the Classroom

Sign up for the newsletter to receive new information every month. Provide the link to this site in your class newsletter or on your class website, so parents can sign-up for the newsletter also (and use the free resources).

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Kids Memory - kidsknowitnetwork

Grades
1 to 8
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This site claims to improve memory with its interactive games. The highly interactive games include one that's similar to the game Memory. Others include remembering a series of numbers,...more
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This site claims to improve memory with its interactive games. The highly interactive games include one that's similar to the game Memory. Others include remembering a series of numbers, one in which you click on bulbs that light up after the lights turn off, and one that has you click on parts of faces to improve sequential memory. Most of the games have several levels so these activities can easily be differentiated for your students. The site provides specific ideas for ways teachers can use the activities.

There are some minor advertisements included at this website. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

In the Classroom

Have a team competition as students use the site on an interactive whiteboard, projector, or computer station for higher scores or better times than another team. Learning support teachers may want to try it as a memory improvement tool. Our editors really do not know if it works or not. Leave a comment on this review if you try it(TF members can do this)!

Save this site in your favorites. Use the site for enrichment, or test it out as a memory tool as you try out different study skills. You may want to list this site in your class newsletter and on your class website for students to use at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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ESL HQ - ESL HQ

Grades
1 to 6
4 Favorites 0  Comments
This site helps regular classroom, ELL, and ESL teachers prepare vocabulary review and game sheets by providing ready-made sets of pictures and flashcards. You must register, but registration...more
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This site helps regular classroom, ELL, and ESL teachers prepare vocabulary review and game sheets by providing ready-made sets of pictures and flashcards. You must register, but registration is free and is simple. The many topics and options are a bit difficult to find because of all the forums and blogs on the page; just look for the tabs across the top of the opening page and also "See this Worksheet" when you enter a subject category page. Registrants can create their own combinations of the pictures provided and leave a copy of the worksheet at the site for others to use. The pictures themselves are fairly neutral and would work with all elementary levels. Warning: this site has several advertisements that can be rather distracting. Also, due to the forums and blogs, this is NOT a good site to send students to independently.

tag(s): clip art (10), flash cards (46), printables (37), vocabulary (325)

In the Classroom

This site is a time saver when you are looking for pictures around a certain theme for your ESL and ELL students. Select whatever pictures you like and create worksheets, games, and flash cards. Have students review the pictures and vocabulary with each other after you demonstrate the activity.

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Multiplication - Johnnie's Math Page

Grades
3 to 6
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This fabulous collection of interactive multiplication activities was organized by a math specialist (former 5th grade teacher). Some of the specific topics include flash cards, multiples...more
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This fabulous collection of interactive multiplication activities was organized by a math specialist (former 5th grade teacher). Some of the specific topics include flash cards, multiples of 10, multiplication tiles, factorization, and numerous others. Most of the activities require FLASH, some require JAVA. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): factors (41), multiples (36), multiplication (221)

In the Classroom

Why not include a link to this website in your next class newsletter (and on your class website). This is a wonderful resource to use for additional practice, re-teaching skills, enrichment activities, or even advanced activities for your gifted students. All activities are ideal for an interactive whiteboard (or projector).
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Cornell-Notes.com - Ryan Stewart

Grades
4 to 12
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Create ready-to-go notetaking sheets for your students or have them create their own using this online tool that generates pdf (Acrobat Reader) files to your specifications. Once you...more
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Create ready-to-go notetaking sheets for your students or have them create their own using this online tool that generates pdf (Acrobat Reader) files to your specifications. Once you choose the options you want under Create Your Personal Notepaper (blank, ruled, etc), click Submit to see your "perfect notetaking sheet" in Acrobat Reader. Click "Save a copy" to keep it or simply print it out on the spot. Results require Acrobat Reader. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

This resource was featured in a recent New Teacher Hotline Podcast as one of the Tech Toolbox resources. Hear more about it on the podcast .

tag(s): note taking (35)

In the Classroom

If you require a notebook for your course, this is the perfect tool. Share the link from your teacher web page so students can create their own, customized sheets. Be sure to demonstrate how it works, then "write" a sample set of Cornell-style notes by sharing it on your interactive whiteboard so students can see how to use them! Learning support and study skills teachers will love this one. Middle school science and social studies teachers should encourage a consistent note-taking system like this so all students can find what works for them. Perhaps try different variations until students figure out which is best.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Tools and Templates - Education World

Grades
K to 12
13 Favorites 0  Comments
This website is full of templates that are ready to use, just download and print. Many templates can be customized. Topics are too numerous to list. Sample topics include ice ...more
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This website is full of templates that are ready to use, just download and print. Many templates can be customized. Topics are too numerous to list. Sample topics include ice breakers, back to school, graphic organizers and parent-teacher communication.

tag(s): back to school (58), calendars (45), classroom management (145), graphic organizers (42)

In the Classroom

Check out the icebreakers for the first day of school, and back to school sections for many ideas and ready to use templates. Remember that if you want to SAVE a file from a download, you should RIGHT-click the link and choose "Save Target As" to save it to your computer.

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Learning Style Inventory - Brett Bixler

Grades
5 to 12
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This visually "plain vanilla" learning style inventory, created by an instructional designer at Penn State, is simple enough to use in a middle or high school classroom without explaining...more
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This visually "plain vanilla" learning style inventory, created by an instructional designer at Penn State, is simple enough to use in a middle or high school classroom without explaining elaborate personality traits and indexes to preteens and young adults. (There is one unfortunate mention of smoking, since the inventory was designed for college students. You may want to point it out and make an active disclaimer. about not promoting smoking!). This free, simplified inventory is short enough to complete and discuss during one class period. NOTE: the results of the inventory come up in a small pop-up window. Make sure your pop-up blocker is not preventing you from seeing them. The Google and Yahoo toolbars block pop-ups! In Internet Explorer, you can temporarily turn off the blocker by RIGHT-clicking on the narrow yellow bar that appears at the top of the web page window.

tag(s): assessment (104), learning styles (19), multiple intelligences (11)

In the Classroom

Regular ed and learning support teachers from middle school up will want to share this resource with students and parents to help students find the most effective ways to study and retain knowledge. Include the link on your teacher web page (with a note about the unfortunate mention of smoking!) or plan a start-of-the year in-class time to help students get off on the right foot. Even teachers of gifted (whose students are notorious for inconsistent study methods because they have not "needed" to study) will find this resource helpful when students "hit the wall" in challenging courses. As part of a study skills unit, have students self-assess and create a single database of the class members' learning styles and subject strengths so they can find peer-tutors during study halls.

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Braingle: Brain Teasers, Puzzles, Riddles and More - Braingle

Grades
3 to 12
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Exercise your gray matter by solving one of the 12,000 'braingles' at this site. It purports to be the largest collection of puzzles, riddles, mind games, etc, on the ...more
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Exercise your gray matter by solving one of the 12,000 'braingles' at this site. It purports to be the largest collection of puzzles, riddles, mind games, etc, on the Internet. Once you explore the site, you trust their word. The site is mobile phone and wii-friendly. Don't miss the section with SAT vocab (in Mentalrobics). There are articles on study skills and strategies such as clearing your mind before studying, "chunking" when reading, or various strategies to memorize material. Engage students into math and reading exercises through the endless riddles and puzzles at this site. They won't even be aware they are 'reading' or 'solving math.'

tag(s): brain (71), puzzles (206), riddles (15), vocabulary (325)

In the Classroom

Start class with a "warm-up" brain teaser. Or include this link on your teacher web page (with a caution about parental supervision for younger ones). Site creators claim the entire site is family-friendly, safe for classroom use. Portions of the site require membership, and the membership level that displays ads is free. You may want to set up a CLASS account and use it under controlled circumstances since there are forums and chat rooms, however. Or ask your tech folks to block the portion of the site that includes "community" in the URL (http://www.braingle.com/community/) to avoid having to deal with forums, chat rooms, etc.(If you are lucky enough to have such helpful tech support, make them cookies once in awhile!)
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Kids Homework Hub - Scholastic, Inc.

Grades
1 to 7
1 Favorites 0  Comments
Students, teachers and parents will find helpful information for getting organized, taking notes, writing and plagiarism, test taking tips, and research. Be sure to check out the special...more
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Students, teachers and parents will find helpful information for getting organized, taking notes, writing and plagiarism, test taking tips, and research. Be sure to check out the special sections for teachers and parents. Flash and Acrobat Reader are needed for some sections of the site. Get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): homework (46), note taking (35), writing (363)

In the Classroom

For younger students, share the site with parents (such as to help first graders study spelling words). For upper elementary and middle school, introduce the site on a projector or interactive whiteboard at the start of the year or as you start major projects. Whether you teach regular ed or learning support, these tips will help your students be better organized and use their study time wisely. Include this link on your teacher web page and ask students to try out different strategies as they study for tests or complete long-term assignments. You might even give points on the test or project for a student reflection telling you which study strategy they tried and how it worked for him/her.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Inspiration Quickstart Tutorial - Inspiration

Grades
K to 12
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Learn to use Inspiration, the software that makes graphic organizers (and outlines)that make sense to your visual learners, using this printable pdf tutorial. You need Acrobat Reader...more
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Learn to use Inspiration, the software that makes graphic organizers (and outlines)that make sense to your visual learners, using this printable pdf tutorial. You need Acrobat Reader to open and print it. The page provides a link to get Acrobat Reader, if you do not have it.This tutorial is supplied by the software manufacturer.

In the Classroom

This site can also be used to help students develop study skills or determine what helps them learn best.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Learn English Kids - British Council

Grades
K to 6
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This ESL-focused site provides stories, activities, links, games, and plenty of opportunities for writing practice. Children can listen to the stories as they read them. Teachers can...more
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This ESL-focused site provides stories, activities, links, games, and plenty of opportunities for writing practice. Children can listen to the stories as they read them. Teachers can print flashcards for survival English vocabulary such as clothes, food, parts of the body, jobs etc.; accompanying activities provide reinforcement for vocabulary. Learn English Kids changes weekly, offering weekly activities, opinion polls, learning through songs, playground fun, and more. The read-aloud stories are a wonderful option for beginning readers and even non-readers. Both spelling and pronunciation are British.

Speech/language clinicians will join ESL and primary teachers in using the many activities on this site. It even has sorting activities such as fruits/vegetables (see "Food"). Although the interface is graphically appealing, by clicking on "Topics," users can find activities, songs, and games all organized by subject. There is also a large section for parents to help their child at home. Requires Flash plug in. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): flash cards (46), holidays (147)

In the Classroom

Make a shortcut to an activity each day on your classroom computer (RIGHT-clicking in the middle of the page will give the option to Create shortcut). This will give students an easy way to open today's activity, especially if you RENAME it with the student's name or place it in a certain corner of the desktop. Longer stories require the Real Player plug in. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page. In these stories, Students can double-click a word to find out its meaning!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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43 Folders Cornell Notes - 43 Folders

Grades
6 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
Looking for a simple way to teach note-taking skills? This wiki web site provides a template and simple instructions for taking notes Cornell style. The template contains a ...more
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Looking for a simple way to teach note-taking skills? This wiki web site provides a template and simple instructions for taking notes Cornell style. The template contains a 4 section layout that includes a section for demographics such as name and topic, a section for simple, bullet-style notes, a section for review questions based on the notes and lastly, a section for a summary. Simple and easy - a tool every student can benefit from utilizing.

tag(s): note taking (35)

In the Classroom

Special Ed teachers will find this system quite helpful for their struggling students. Consider teaming up with content-area teachers to require it of ALL students! Teachers may want to use the template in their own graduate coursework, as well.

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Gliffy - Gliffy, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Research verifies the power of graphic organizers in promoting strong thinking skills and comprehension for all ages. Gliffy is a FREE online tool for creating graphic organizers without...more
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Research verifies the power of graphic organizers in promoting strong thinking skills and comprehension for all ages. Gliffy is a FREE online tool for creating graphic organizers without purchasing ANY software. The free use is limited to 5 "maps," however, so you will have to delete old projects. Individuals or groups can create the organizers or the class can create them together, such as in a brainstorming session on a projector. You can export the graphic organizers to a blog or "publish" them on the web -- all for free.

tag(s): graphic organizers (42)

In the Classroom

Play with the tools and toolbars to create diagrams, access help and FAQ to collaborate, publish, or embed diagrams in your blog or other web page. Collaborators need individual email accounts to gain access.

Assign students to "map" out a chapter or story or assign groups to create study guides using this tool collaboratively. Create a whole-class concept map from a brainstorm to determine prior knowledge at the start of a unit. Then have students add to it throughout the unit. Your students are certain to enjoy this tool and be forced to THINK in the process. This would also be a great tool for group projects in YOUR grad classes!

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