Tips for Homework Help: Reading, Highlighting and Note Taking

Your child or teen can remember more of what she reads – and you can remember more of what you read, too, with these strategies:

* Ever wonder why so many chapters start with questions?  This is one of the best ways focus your attention and improve your comprehension.  Write down questions. Then read to answer the questions.  If you look for specific information, you’ll find it more easily and remember it more fully.

This technique is called pre-focusing.  It helps get your brain ready for the incoming information.

* Highlighting text is a passive way to remember information.  If you really want to remember, write down the passage on another sheet of paper and summarize it in your own words.

When you summarize information, you are organizing it in your brain.  This manipulation of information allows you to understand the material better.  You make more associations and move ideas and details from working memory to long-term memory. You are beginning to visualize the information and therefore you will remember it better.

Reading comprehension draws upon many cognitive skills, including attention, memory, decoding skills, vocabulary knowledge, and logic and reasoning.

* Take the time to re-write your notes after class.  Try and put in textbook references such as page numbers and key points with your classroom notes.  The next day, spend a few minutes highlighting both your own notes and passages you wrote from the textbook.  The following day review your highlights.  If you systematically review your notes you will not need to cram.

Note taking skills use auditory processing, attention to detail, working memory and processing speed.

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