I work with an incredibly intelligent and talented fifth grader who recently amazed me by creating her own study strategy and implementing it independently.We have been working on improving her spelling for about two months. In addition to working on spelling, we are also working on building accountability for independent work between our sessions. A small portion of our work together includes spelling quizzes so when we first started working together, I asked her to study for our quizzes as her homework. She asked me how to study and I responded, “Study in a way that works for YOU.” I usually work with students to identify learning patterns that work for them and explicitly teach study strategies that will work, but I was curious to see what she would come up with.
Three weeks later, I noticed that she had scored 100% on all of her quizzes. I knew the words were quite challenging for her so I asked her to share her study secrets with me. She brought over her iPod and played me her recordings. She devised an entire study strategy independently. Listen below to hear one of her recordings:
Step 1: Write a list of words with correct spellings in spelling notebook.
Step 2: Use a voice recording device. This student used her an app on her iPod – I believe it was iTalk Recorder.
Step 3: Record your voice saying the word, a sentence and then a 3-6 second break.
Step 4: Test yourself by playing back the recording and spelling the words on a fresh page in your notebook. Check your work by referring back to your correct word list.
What I am most inspired by is the initiative she took not only to study but to self-test to see if she had mastered the material. She said she would sometimes self-test 2 or 3 times to make sure she really knew her words. I am over the moon that she took the time to do this and that her parents gave me permission to share it with the world.
On a different note, here is another reason she is so awesome! On Halloween, when many kids were simply eating their candy, Little Miss Creative was graphing her candy!