It’s the night after the third day of the new school year, and I’ve already had seven parent emails, phone calls, or conversations about helping kids study and keeping them organized from day one. And since I firmly believe in reassessing my own classroom practice constantly, I ripped apart my Book of Knowledge and reinvented it. Again.
Here’s the premise: teens need to be led to organize their work, and supported in study habits, until it becomes routine. I have ex-students who are now ion university who still use the BOK as a tool to keep themselves on top of their work. I make the daily how-to mandatory, and lead them through every entry, graphic organizer, and not note until it all becomes second nature. And somewhere in the process they start to find it helping them study, review, and learn.
The cover page:
It’s nothing special, but I try to add ideas about what ‘could’ go in the BOK: vocabulary, anchor charts, graphic organizers — etc.
An Eisenhower grid is a fabulous tool to help students plan tasks and prioritize assignments. The four quadrants cover tasks to be completed today, tomorrow, this week, and within two weeks. Students add individual tasks to sticky-notes and move them around the grid to help get the most urgent work done first.
These two double-sided anchor charts hold specific mini-notes for language, math, and an essay organizer.
I always begin with vocabulary. Each day in math class, I highlight new temeinology. Each night, as review, students rewrite vocabulary and definitions into their BOK. Next, I add anchor charts for each strand as we come across them. Everything from formulae sheets to matrix charts have their own spot. Everything is easily accessible when the students need to double check a process or find a better strategy.
How to help them USE it?
Every night, check the website and add any new vocabulary to the BOK. Practice that vocab at home with your child until they know every word solidly! Review the anchor charts. Have them pick a blank graphic organizer sheet from the website that focuses on vocab and fill it out based on a new word. Add the completed organizer to the BOK for review later. Focus on the language and the math literacy will follow.
How to use the language section.