Creative Studying Techniques Increase Grades and Interest: 1 - Asking
Apr 19, 2011 Study Skills 1939 Views
Okay, so you're stuck in a class that you find boring. It's a hard class - even worse. So how can you make the grade when you fall asleep in class or over your textbook? In my experience, the only way to make something more interesting is to be interested. Creative studying techniques can increase your level of interest - and once you're interested, you're bound to improve your grade - with the bonus of being interested. Asking questions is a great way to increase interest. Not as simple as it sounds.
While teaching elementary science classes I started ending class by asking kids to write down a question that they had about something we learned, discussed, experimented on, or read about that day. Half of what many kids say is questions, so I thought this exercise would be a great way to find out what they were most interested in and what material they didn't get. Much to my surprise, they had a very difficult time with this task. Literally they couldn't come up with any questions to write down.
So we practiced. I gave examples. They tried as a group to make fast lists of questions. We pretended to be detectives figuring out a mystery. We observed something for 1 minute and then closed our eyes and asked each other questions about what we'd seen. We differentiated between open-ended questions and yes/no questions. It became easier for the kids to ask questions and they began to ask more questions in class. And they became more interested as well.
I think questions come to mind when we are trying to figure something out. Questions come to mind if you are engaged with the material. So there is a circular relationship between questions and interest. Being interested helps you generate questions. Asking questions helps you generate interest.
Even if you are not interested, if you force yourself to ask questions, you begin to pay attention in order to think of questions, you think about the questions and answers and you get better and faster at asking questions. Then you may find an angle or element of the subject that truly interests you and from which your questions will naturally arise.
So... how to practice asking questions? There is only one way: just do it. But there are lots of whats, wheres and whens.
* Devote a certain amount of time everyday to jotting down questions about anything and everything.
* Devote one conversation a day to asking the other person questions. Interview them.
* Stop at the end of an article, page or chapter of reading and ask yourself a few questions about it.
* Wonder about why people do things.
* Wonder why things are the way they are in the natural world.
* Ask yourself what you would do to make the world a better place.
* Ask your friend's what they would do to make the world a better place.
* Ask how what you're learning in one class is related to what you are learning in another class.
* Ask how elements within one class are related to each other.
* Ask how the information you are learning is used in the real world.
* Ask questions in class, before class and after class.
Asking questions keeps you paying attention, finding what interests you and alerts you to your needs as a learner. For more creative studying techniques, look for my other articles. My name is Lisa Jones Bromfield and I am an RN, a musician and a former special education teacher.
Furthermore, if you or anyone you know is taking human anatomy & physiology, check out my original songs that teach anatomy & physiology. Click here http://anatomyphysiologystudyguide.com/wp-content/fbones01/ for a free download of the song, Give Me Some Bones a song that teaches bone physiology and nomenclature.
Now start asking lots of questions!!