Study skills cannot be taught in a vacuum.  The analogy that I use with my classes is that we have to get the whole body going the same direction: the head for the study skills and the backside for getting in gear!

I use a quiz right up front for this.  One of the research studies in the behaviorist school looks at whether there is a single behavior that A students do that would distinguish them from B or C students.  We spend time in class brainstorming on what this might be – what makes an A student? Students have all kinds of suggestions from reading the textbook to just being smart! The study takes into account the IQ variable and shows that the only distinguishing feature is that “A students start early!”  So everyone decides the first day that they are going to be A students. This is the head working!

The second day I give a 10 item quiz called the A student quiz.  It is a list of things that would indicate that the students started early (e.g. brought something to write with to class, bought the book for the class, brought paper to class, and so forth hierarchically up to the scale through read the chapter assigned for today). Then the students can rate how the backside moved to get them to their goal of being an A student. 

–Lucy Tribble MacDonald, Chemeketa Community College, OR

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