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A Note for Students – Starting Fresh in the New Year

By Amanda Gordon, Curriculum Specialist

After a couple of weeks off during the holidays, it is always good to welcome the new year by starting off on the right foot. Below are some simple tips to help you get back into the swing of things at home and school.

Take Time to Reflect:  Think back to how your first semester went and what things you would like to do better in the second semester. Would you like to be more organized or feel more prepared for upcoming tests? Would you like to take more time for yourself or be more involved in activities? By reflecting on the past semester, you can make a plan for yourself and set goals on how to improve upon your practices in the new semester.

Make a Schedule: Getting back into a routine after the holidays can be difficult, especially after being “out of practice” for a few weeks over the break. A good way to get back into that routine is to create a schedule for yourself that includes all after school activities, homework assignments, projects, and upcoming tests. By posting the schedule somewhere clearly in your home, you can easily reference it every morning prior to heading out the door. That way, in the evening, you already know what you need to accomplish before bedtime.

Organize School Supplies:  Now is the time to take stock on what school supplies you still have and which ones need to be replaced. Go into the second semester strong with a fresh supply of pencils, paper, glue sticks, etc. to ensure you are prepared with the correct materials for all of your classes. This will help you feel well organized and not leave you scrambling for that lone pencil with no eraser you were using prior to break.

Structure your Study Time:  “The most successful students are those who take charge of their own learning and follow a simple but disciplined strategy (Make It Stick, Brown et al. 201).”  There are many ways to structure your study time to fit what works best for you, but it is important to have at least one strategy in place to help keep you accountable for the material you need to learn. Give yourself time to quiz yourself over the content covered in class and reward yourself once you’ve completed a certain amount of study time. This will help keep your mind fresh and motivate you to stay on task to finish your studies in a timely manner.