5 Jealously-Guarded Secrets I’ve Discovered After Teaching Chemistry For 8 Years

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December 22, 2016

5 Jealously-Guarded Secrets I’ve Discovered After Teaching Chemistry For 8 Years

Today, I’m going to share with you the most jealously-guarded secrets I’ve been fortunate enough to pick up over the last 8 years. These are the 5 powerful secrets that in my opinion has transformed struggling chemistry students to chemistry genius within 180 days…

Without further ado, here you go:

Secret #1: Mastering Learning Patterns = Effective Learning

There are three primary learning styles – Auditory, Visual or Kinesthetic. Auditory learners learn most effectively by listening. Visual learners learn by looking at reading, seeing colorful images and mind maps. Kinesthetic learner learns by carrying out a physical activity or practice questions from assessment books. If you would like your child to learn effectively, adopt the multiple-sensory learning whereby it engages more than one sense. For example, playing a game etc (They will have to see, listen and apply) … Understanding your child’s learning style is crucial to ensure your child not only study hard but also study smart…

Secret #2 : Mastering The Skill Of Taking Notes

Practice makes perfect. It applies to anything in life… Likewise for note taking… Do encourage your child to have the habit of taking down notes in class when their teacher is speaking. A study conducted by Mueller and Oppenheimer—finds that people remember the lesson better when they’ve taken handwritten notes because our brain also writes when we write… These notes act as memory triggers and summarize what the teacher is going through in class. There is a rule called the Pareto Principle 80/20 rule. It also applies to note taking too. 20% of the notes written down will represent 80% of the message teacher trying to bring across.

Once this skill is mastered, it will be extremely useful even when your child is in JC or Poly or even University…

Secret #3: Mastering Past Year Papers (Prelim Papers + 10-Year Series)

Doing past year papers (PYP) allows your child to put their learning to test. Most students have the “I know” syndrome whereby when we ask if they understand what’s being taught in class, they will say “I know…”

But parents, when your child tells you they know, it will be better if you can test them. Knowing and doing is entirely 2 different case. For example, knowing how to play badminton, doesn’t mean you are good compared to other badminton players. So doing the PYP, let your child know their actual standard compared to the rest. This is invaluable, as the fluency in answering techniques will be refined through experience. And also, teachers will sometimes copy and paste these questions into their test so doing PYP helps them to get used to the questions they see during exams.

Secret #4: Mastering The Skill Of Practicing “Under Pressure”

There is a huge difference between doing the homework without a timeline and completing the homework within an hour. When there is a countdown timer running, your child gets to stimulate actual exam conditions. It teaches your child to perform under exam condition and get used to the “exam mood”. Once this muscle is honed, doing the actual exam itself will be a much more familiar event. Time management skills will also be developed in the process… Imagine your child spends 10 minutes on a question where he is supposed to only spend 2 minutes. It will be a disaster if he does it for 2 to 3 question! They need to learn the skill of keep moving, being able to answer the easiest questions first then go back and use any remaining time to tackle the harder problems. All these behaviors can be observed when your child is taking a paper within a certain time limit… (the best part is to get them corrected before the actual exam itself)

Secret #5: Mastering The Skill Of Catching Them Doing The Right Things (Parents)

Everyone loves to be appreciated and receive a pat on their back, especially kids. Your approval is incredibly important to your child. Finding fault with your child doesn’t help them to change.  Children, like adults, grow and change when they feel loved, accepted, appreciated, respected. It makes them want to cooperate instead of getting on the defensive mode. So if you want your child to be him/her best self, catch him/her doing things right all day long. This is my secret to motivate my students to do well in chemistry.

Try this and let me know how it goes!
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