I love my smartphone, tablet and laptop, but they’re not always appropriate to use. Sometimes I’m someplace that frowns upon the blue glow. I’m sure that happens to students all the time. But that doesn’t mean I’m stuck. Neither are you.
One day when passing back exams and making comments to students as I did, I complimented a girl on making only two errors on a four page German exam. The boy next to her said, “Sure. She’s smart. Of course she got an ‘A’.” Ah, a teaching moment. Love those. I said, “Okay, let’s see how smart she is.”
I asked her how she prepared for the test. She told us she studied with flashcards. “So you made them last night and studied for a while, right?” “No, I make flashcards for each new vocabulary word or verb when they're introduced, but also anything else you put on the board. I start studying them that night. I study a little each night until the day of the test.”
I turned to the boy and said, “I guess you’re right. She is smart.” From that day on, I had all my students make flashcards on 3 x 5 cards cut in half. They kept them in a small Ziploc bag and carried them just about everywhere. They reviewed the cards whenever they had a free moment.
You know there are times you’ve finished your work in a class and you’re not allowed to pull out your phone or tablet. But you certainly can take out a bag of flashcards to study. When you’re in a doctor’s office or at home watching TV, or even waiting for a bus, you can study a little. It can’t hurt, and it certainly will help improve your grades which just might help you win more free cash for college.
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