I blog on Brain-Based Learning, Metacognition, EdTech, and Social-Emotional Learning. I am the author of the Crush School Series of Books, which help students understand how their brains process information and learn. I also wrote The Power of Three: How to Simplify Your Life to Amplify Your Personal and Professional Success, but be warned that it's meant for adults who want to thrive and are comfortable with four letter words.

3 Ways To Study Smart, Not Hard (Teaching Infographic)

If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking
— George S. Patton

Have you ever had a student who failed a test tell you he doesn't understand why he failed, because he studied so hard for it?

Maybe he studied for 4 hours the night before. Perhaps he started the week before and was diligent in his practice every night. Or, he kept going over the notes in his journal. Maybe he kept solving new problems looking at the example you gave in class?

Whatever the case, he felt ready. But was he? He practiced HARD, but did he practice SMART?

Smart Practice

Download the Smart Practice Infographic for Free and use it to teach Smart Practice. Here's how you can elaborate on each of the 3 ways:

Learn Actively

Discuss metacognition and the difference between recall and rereading. Talk about involving as many of our 5 senses as possible when learning. Explain that the more we do, the more neural pathways form. Check out my Free Active Learning Infographic for more.

Space It Out

Talk about the benefits of spaced practice such as better memory and understanding. Explain that when we cram the information stays in our working memory for only a short time and then is thrown out. Check out this Free Preview of my book Crush School and scroll down to "Space It Out" for more.

Mix It Up

Make sure your students understand that they should use a variety of strategies when studying such as recall, testing themselves, explaining concepts to others, drawing visuals etc. Explain that alternating between easier and more challenging content and studying in different places helps us keep focus and build resilience during test taking. Check out my Free Mix It Up Infographic for more.

To reinforce Smart Practice, it's a good idea to print the infographic and display it. If you'd like more strategies to teach students how to learn check out Crush School: Every Student's Guide To Killing It In The Classroom.

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