Catlin Gabel Provides Parents with Top Six Study Tips to Prepare Students for School After Summer of Fun and Sun

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Press Release

Sep 3, 2002

For Immediate Release

Contact: Karen Katz

503-297-1894, ext. 305

Catlin Gabel Provides Parents with Top Six Study Tips to Prepare Students for School After Summer of Fun and Sun

Learning Specialist Kathy Qualman Offers<br /> Recommendations to Strengthen Study Habits

Portland, Ore. – September 3, 2002 – Catlin Gabel learning specialist Kathy Qualman today issued her Top Six Study Tips which have been proven to strengthen study habits and will help parents prepare children for school this fall. With over 19 years dedicated to child development, Qualman spends her time at Catlin Gabel working with students and parents to instill and enforce study habits, ultimately providing children and teenagers with an invaluable life skill.

Tip #1: Learn more about how your son/daughter learns. Qualman recommends parents pay attention to when their children are successful at learning and strive to understand why. She recommends parents pay attention to the methods of learning: Was it visually demonstrated, was it explained, practiced and reviewed over several days? Was it discussed, studied alone, were notes taken or lists written? Does your son/daughter understand and remember better if he/she heard it from someone else, read it, said it, wrote it, acted it out or experienced it? Try to repeat the conditions and process that lead to success.

Tip #2: Create a study space that promotes learning. Qualman places high importance on establishing a space that is quiet with few audio and visual distractions, comfortable with good light, and offers a work surface large enough for books, papers, files and computer. She recommends making sure there are basic supplies on hand (files, paper, highlighters, index cards, pencils, ruler, etc.)

Tip #3: Teach children how to work efficiently. Qualman advises parents to encourage their son/daughter to use an assignment book (paper or electronic) to help prioritize and shorten overall study time. She recommends parents help their son/daughter organize his/her notebook according to specific system. For example, keep all assignments and notes in class sections chronologically or by topic. In addition, consider putting all handouts in appropriate sections (not crumpled between pages of a book) and always keep the assignment book within reach.

Qualman encourages students to keep every class paper and test, advising that every few weeks students should transfer "old" papers out of their binder and into subject files kept at home. This way, they will never have to worry about losing something important. Students can discard whatever they like at the end of the year. Parents can encourage this process by offering to help with cleaning out the binder every few weeks.

Tip #4: Time Management - The ultimate study skill. Qualman emphasizes the importance of setting predictable study hours each day that will not be interrupted by telephone, T.V., computer games, or instant messaging. This discourages procrastination and piled up work.

If your son/daughter finishes early, encourage him/her to get in the habit of using the left over

allotted study hours for review or reading ahead. Plan to take five minutes breaks at these regular intervals, as your son/daughter will concentrate better and finish faster. Set a stopping time at night to encourage concentration and efficiency. Break long assignments into individual tasks that can be done at separate times and learn to include your social, sports, and family life into your over-all study time plan for each day. Finally, as each task is completed cross it off your planner or assignment book and reward yourself with a 5 minute break (or a revitalizing snack).

Tip #5: Develop reading skills - Enhance comprehension and memory. For children who are in middle school or high school, Qualman recommends learning the SQ4R study system for textbook reading. The system teaches the student to survey the selection before beginning, and then develop questions to guide reading and the organization of information for easier memorizing and taking notes for review. Qualman also hints students should pay attention to charts and diagrams as they can be shortcuts to understanding. She encourages students to stop reading every now and then and put what they have been reading into their own words. This is an instant comprehension check and a good memory tool. In addition, she recommends learning how much time it takes to comprehend a page of challenging reading and then planning study time accordingly. Develop a method of highlighting, or note-taking in the margin that will draw attention to new vocabulary words or concepts that are essential to understanding.

Tip #6: Learn memory enhancing techniques. Qualman recommends parents encourage students to spend ten minutes in review of previous assignments. These "refresher shots" are the secret of long term memory. This habit of frequent review also results in less time needed for studying for a major test or paper. Cramming for tests results in only short-term remembering or retention. For best results, students should review information 3-4 times for short periods of time over a 4-6 day period for test preparation. In addition, she advises that mnemonic memory techniques work for many people. Qualman recommends reviewing Super Memory Super Student by Harry Lorayne for more tips.

About Kathy Qualman Kathy Qualman is one of 10 teachers belonging to the “Brain Group” at Catlin Gabel School. The “Brain Group” was founded in 1999 and is comprised of teachers who study the latest in brain development as it pertains to learning. Each Spring over the last few years several members from the “Brain Group” attended a conference on brain research hosted by Harvard/MIT.

Qualman became fascinated with the process of learning after her eight year stint teaching reading skills to children attending public schools. Qualman chose to work at Catlin Gabel for the invigorating and hopeful environment full of fine young people, parents committed to raising their children well, and faculty who share a passion for teaching. She received her teaching degree from Boston University.

About Catlin Gabel Catlin Gabel School is an independent, co-educational day school, dedicated to student individuality, academic excellence, multiculturalism and life-long learning. The school’s dynamic pre-kindergarten through twelfth-grade curriculum combines academics with arts, physical education and a strong sense of community service. Catlin Gabel is independently governed by a Board of Trustees and is not supported by tax or church monies.