Prepping For Class Saves Time. A little investment goes a long way in saving you time in school.
Prime your mind to store and retain information. Here are five reasons prepping for class makes learning in school a whole lot easier and saves you tons of time.
1. Big Picture Overview primes memory. Our memory works by associating new ideas with old ones. When students read the assignment for school, and review the notes from last class, it paves the way for new information to be connected with this big picture concept that has just been studied. It gives the students mind an overall picture of what the main themes of the class will be. Our brains naturally store and recall information more effectively when students start with a big picture concept of the key ideas, and then fill in with specific examples and applications used in school.
2. You’ll recognize and understand key terms more readily. Remember, understanding key terms, and their interconnection with key concepts is the basis for students taking brief, memorable notes in school. For example, say your Psychology class is studying Freud. Students need to know about the ego, superego, and the id, and when Freud says they develop. In reviewing ahead of time for class, the students mind has been primed to pick up on the teacher’s mentioning any of these key terms. Students will be able to listen more carefully during class, and to take more meaningful notes on how these three concepts influence each other and psychological development.
3. It allows note taking shorthand. Reading ahead allows students to check off directly in their book when the teacher covers something that is in there from the class lecture. Those students unprepared will be writing like mad; whereas students who have read ahead will simply be putting a symbol beside anything the teacher mentions from the book. I recommend the letter “c” with a circle around it, so the students can quickly notice that this is information covered in class. Anything mentioned both in the book and in the class lecture is worth making a special note of.
4. It primes active listening. Finally, coming prepared sets students up for active listening in the class. The golden nuggets that students want in your notes are contained within the key words and key concepts in 10% of the lecture. Let me cover the idea of key words and concepts in more depth here. Say you just saw a great movie and you want to tell some friends about it. How much do you tell them? Certainly, not all the dialogue, in fact, you probably wouldn’t mention the dialogue at all unless it contained a funny joke. Nope, you’d stick with the synopsis, just the highlights. You would condense a two-hour show into a five-minute description. The review you would give the movie contains the essence of the key words. That’s exactly what you’ll want to write down when you’re taking notes during the class lecture, the main ideas, not every word. Imagine that you’re going to tell a fellow classmate who had to miss class what the lecture was about. Those ideas you’d tell her are what you want in your notes.
5. Prep makes taking notes a lot easier. Perhaps the best way to take notes in school is a process of three-dimensional, one-page note taking, sometimes called brain webs or mind maps. In this process, the central idea is placed in the middle, and the main themes radiate outward with subcategories attached to their respective themes. When students have looked at the material before class, they have a much better idea of how the key points interconnect. This helps students to write your notes in a way that shows you how the concepts relate to each other. _________________________________________________________________
Hi, I’m Crystal Jonas, As a former academic advisor and assistant professor at the United States Air Force Academy, I know what it takes to make college students more successful, enjoy school whole lot more. Ask about speaking or coaching for your students or faculty. Call me at 719- 291-0366.