Mathews 9 Learning Strategies
You are a special commodity. You makeup over 300 million people in America alone, and that makes you a part of a special population, filled with a great number of people with unique minds and talents.
Your personal gift is your own, and you can apply your gift to produce magical ideas. The one important idea you must recognize, however, is that you must elevate your mind. Place yourself in front of knowledge so that you may gain confidence to make informed decisions about critical situations and to deter yourself from negativity as much as possible, for negative actions can produce a stoppage in your excellence that may take countless hours or days or weeks or months, even years to unravel.
Knowledge is your key to open doors to your future. While you are young and able, open your mind to learning. If, in your past thinking, you have thought of yourself as the kind of person who cannot learn, or if you have tried to learn but have failed at doing so, you must recognize that, first of all, you can learn: All human beings are capable of learning.
You, personally, only need the willingness to learn and the opportunity to have a caring, smart eclectic number of people on your side to help you endure through the effort that you must provide for the learning to transport to you.
This scenario describes what a good school can do for you: A good school, built with a curriculum that is designed to promote smartness and to teach life as a whole, a good school that invests in quality teachers, teachers that will go beyond duty to help you learn, can help you bring about your innate greatness.
You are lucky if you learn in this type environment. However, if you are not so fortunate to learn in the described environment, still, please know that you can learn. You need only to push yourself to learn and to have faith that you will indeed learn, and that your destiny in life is filled with great expectations and immense wealth.
To help you harness methods to excel in school while you direct your way to excellence, practice the 9 learning strategies below.
These 9 strategies were constructed by the writer of this article after years of experience working with all types of unique student-minds—some minds wondering, some minds confused, some minds unaware, some minds brilliant, yet all minds desiring to learn.
Likewise, through the analysis of active student and teacher questionnaires, through the years of classroom instruction and assessments, and through the intensive in-depth studying of research, the writer of this article generated 9-annotated strategies for students like you to apply in their daily school lives. You may also proceed beyond school days of studying where excellence of mind becomes imminent.
Moreover, and most helpful, the writer of this article developed the following 9-strategies by studying the characteristics of human beings. By exploring human behaviors, the writer has discovered that human beings have the capacity for discerning ways to make sense out of information, and that humans may do so within their own will and determination, and with the aid of quality teachers, you as a student can reach great heights. Yet, you must realize that even without great teachers, with perseverance on your part, you, yourself, can manifest a positive difference in your own life.
With great earnestness, you are encouraged to study and apply the 9 strategies below and to recognize the elevation of your mind: Watch how your mind—your new thoughts and your ongoing knowledge—elevates into the greatness it was destined to be:
- Believe in yourself, for you are awesome. You must realize that as a human being you are already armed with the smartness designed for human beings to possess. The capacity for learning lies within all human beings, albeit unique to each being. Likewise, you are the image of a being that is Almighty. Glory lies within you from this source. Trust yourself to learn, and great knowledge will come to you. Believe in yourself, for you are awesome.
- Show effort: Learning comes from doing. While you believe in yourself, you must also apply effort to learn. You must take the steps required to master a task. With consistent practice, with uncompromised patience, and with perseverance, you will push the effort you already possess. Effort is like a week’s worth of work. Once you have “put your time in, payday is coming.” Your pay is “knowledge.” With knowledge, you will know what to do to earn the pay you desire. Show effort: Learning comes by doing.
- Read deliberately, and pay attention to words. Reading is the key. You must read from all disciplines and connect the relevance. School can help with your reading, for, as a student, you have the opportunity to partake in select classes—math, science, history, English, electives, and other extracurricular activities. These classes bring about a wealth of knowledge to you. Where time presents itself, read the books that accompany these courses. Take an active interest in your reading by listening to the sentences, the paragraphs, the summaries. Think upon the messages conveyed unto you. More importantly, acknowledge new words that you have never met before. Invite the words into your knowledge bank: Refer to Dictionary.com or Google to learn how the words are pronounced, where they come from, and how the words should be used. Through your understanding of words, you will be able to make sense out of learning. Read deliberately, and pay attention to words.
- Divide and conquer long reading passages. Research reveals that many learners do not enjoy reading; many learners find reading boring or difficult to endure. For the willing learner, however, reading can become manageable—even enjoyable—if the reading is divided and conquered. To prepare for a successful reading, a learner should assess the entire reading—number of pages and time allotted for reading. The learner should divide the pages by the days for reading. If, for example, 30 pages must be read within one week (7 days), the learner may divide the pages by 6, (leaving a day of non-reading to reflect), to conquer the task. Instead of reading 30 pages in one sitting, the learner can read deliberately only 5 pages daily. This strategy allows reading to become manageable. Divide and conquer long reading passages.
- Practice learning in different learning styles. You may have a preferred manner of learning. Perhaps you prefer listening to instruction rather than reviewing notes. Perhaps you prefer watching videos rather than figuring answers; or, perhaps you prefer working alone rather than working with a partner. Either preference, you learn, right? While clingy to a particular learning method that works best for you, add, nevertheless, to your learning repertoire; add another learning style to augment the depth to your learning. You can mix listening with writing. After listening, write about it. Or, after writing about it, reflect on what you have learned. In fact, learning in multiple ways will enhance your learning ability exponentially. Support a variety when it comes to learning. A multiple learning style will help you master learning creatively and conductively. Thus, practice learning in different styles.
- Spacelearn by reviewing every other day, not everyday. To enjoy learning a lesson, you must know when to leave it. Studying around the clock does not strengthen your knowledge. It does the opposite. It depletes it. The memory holds only a certain amount of storage and then the excessive storage is depleted. For masterful learning, study in intervals. Perhaps study in the morning and again at night, rather than study in the morning, noon, and night. You may also study 4 days a week instead of 7 days a week. By adding space in the time you manage to study, you allow time for the information to settle into your brain. After a pause–and the same lesson is repeated–the brain remembers. Besides, you will appreciate your effort when studying if you study in intervals, leaving time for you to enjoy other activities before you return to studying. Spacelearn by reviewing every other day, not every day.
- Apply punctuation as intended. Applying punctuation during the course of communication is vital, especially in a human-to-human interaction; equally, when you are reading, you must apply the rules of punctuation to ensure the understanding of what you are reading. For example, when speaking, and you ask a question, the tone of your question is understood to be a question, right? When you raise your voice for another to hear, the emergency tone of your voice is understood, right? When you are mimicking the voice of another, your voice changes to a similar style of whom you are mimicking, right? The same expressions must be applied to reading. Where you see a period, stop. Where you see a question mark, ask a question. Where you see quotation marks—alter your normal reading voice. Much of reading comprehension correlates to your ability to recognize punctuation marks and to use the punctuation marks in sentences accordingly. Apply punctuation as intended.
- Differentiate learning for a greater perspective. Sometimes you need to learn in a different environment other than the classroom, living room, bedroom, or anywhere else where manmade lights is the norm; artificial light can promote a type of tiredness that may impede your learning. A mentionable difference is to try nature’s light—learning on a clear, cool, no wind day promotes learning for many people. The sun is bright and can produce the right amount of light intensity for you to see clearly what you are learning. During opportune times, alter your learning locations. Additionally, although you may prefer working alone, try, nevertheless, learning with a partner or with a group. This style will only temporarily modify your learning on your own. Besides, to learn with likeminded personalities can be helpful. Think of creative ways to learn, and apply the new learning perspectives to optimize your cognitive growth. You can always revert to your normal manner of studying if none of the new learning strategies work for you (yet, the strategies will work). Differentiate learning for a greater perspective.
- Absorb and share learning with others. Being a savant (some term it ‘nerd’) is not a bad idea. Actually, it is an admirable characteristic because other people respect people that place gaining knowledge as a top priority. Learning should be every human being’s quest. Yet, the beauty of learning is the opportunity you have to share it. The world offers a plethora of lessons for usefulness. You have the capacity to learn as much as you desire to learn. The only sin would be not to share your knowledge to help aid mankind. Absorb and share learning with others.
Learning is important. Learning Mathews 9-Learning Strategies aids this importance.
Cynthia Mathews, Ed.D.
Doctor of Curriculum and Instruction
High School Instructor