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Study skills

Resources and tips

Study Tips

Here's a quick way to enhance the effectiveness of color coded school supplies: Have your students make a small colored mark on the papers they have which need to be filed in their binders. Then when it is time to organize the papers, they need only look for the corresponding color binder.

As many times as we remind our students to check the board and copy down assignments, there are still times when a child ends up at home, unsure of how to do an assignment, or the due date, or even the page or problem numbers. So, a very simple tip is to have "homework buddies". After the students have had a chance to meet and get to know each other, they should break down into groups of 4 and exchange telephone numbers. Knowing 3 other numbers increases the chances of finding someone at home when you need them. This tip is especially helpful with 6th graders, and will even help foster friendships.

Here's one about homework: Have on hand a supply of "no assignment" sheets. When it is time to turn in a homework assignment, any child not having one must complete a no assignment sheet. This contains the student's name, date, class period or section and the name of the missing assignment.

Next, the child has to check the appropriate reason for being unprepared. The choices are:
*I chose not to do it
*I did it and left it at home
*I did it and left it in my locker
*I lost it
*I have a homework pass (and attach the pass)
*I was absent
*Other - with a space for an explanation

If the child does the assignment at a later time, the no assignment sheet is attached to it to explain the lower grade. If a parent request a conference, the sheets are there for them to see. It also gets rid of the problem when a child states the homework was handed in, but the teacher lost it! And, of course, the sheets can be color coded by subject. (This tip was adapted from

A really easy way for your students to make sure they do not forgot to pack any of the supplies they need for homework is to have them keep their A Pads out while packing their book bags. That way they can check each assignment and pack the proper supplies. They can even put colored dots next to each assignment to color code the homework to their school supplies.

A great idea to help students keep track of organizing their time when doing long term assignments is to have them write on the due date of the assignment in their A-pad. Then, have them number from the due date back to the day it was assigned. This will serve as a reminder when they review their assignments each night, much like knowing the # of shopping days until Christmas motivates us to get moving!

Here is one borrowed from Westmere's homework folders: The students should label the inside left pocket of the folder " papers to be left home" and the right pocket "papers to be returned to school." In that way, the students can avoid "locker build-up."


Helpful books available in the Learning Center

The resources below are available for check-out from the Learning Center with funds provided by the FMS PTA. A parent can request a book by sending a note with their son or daughter to their school librarian asking to secure the book from FMS. Please include the title(s), your name, your student's name, and your phone number when making a request.

Book titles and authors:

How to Help Your Child With Homework by Radencich and Schumm
Study Strategies Made Easy by Davis and Sirotowitz
Everything You Need to Know About American History Homework by Zeman and Kelly
Everything You Need to Know About Math Homework by Zeman and Kelly
Everything You Need to Know About Geography Homework by Zeman and Kelly
Mapping Inner Space: Learning and Teaching Visual Mapping by Margulies, Maal, Wheatly
Homework Without Tears: A Parents' Guide for Motivating Children To Do Homework and To Succeed in School by Lee Canter
Writer's Express by Sebranek, Meyer, and Kemper
Write Source 2000 by Sebranek, Meyer, and Kemper
Writer's Inc. by Sebranek, Meyer, and Kemper
Math On Call by Great Source Publishing Co.
Algebra To Go by Great Source Publishing Co.
How To Do Homework Without Throwing Up by Trevor Romain
True of False? Tests Stink! by Romain and Verdick


Online resources

The Homework Spot

Inspiration  Inspiration is a software program that allows the user to quickly and easily create a visual web of ideas. This organizational technique has several uses: brainstorming, planning, organizing, webbing and concept mapping. Another great feature of the program is the integrated diagram and outlining environments. What this means is that a students diagram can be automatically converted to an outline or an outline can be automatically converted to a diagram. Students can access the Inspiration program here at FMS on the computers in our Computer Lab. Visit the Inspiration website if you're interested in learning how to get this program on your home computer.



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