What students can do to rebound in the second half of the school year
Students begin a new school year hoping to do their best in the classroom. When those hopes are overcome by academic struggles, students may need a little help to get back on track.
Students and their parents must keep in mind that no school year is derailed by a poor performance in the year's opening months. There's plenty of time for students to rebound, and the following are some ways for students to get back on strong academic footing.
· Make it a collective effort. Rebounding from a difficult start to the school year may require a collective effort on the part of students, their parents and educators. Concerned parents can reach out to teachers to learn where students are struggling and seek recommendations about what to do to help them rebound. Once those areas are identified, students, parents and educations can work together to devise a plan to help kids improve.
· Ask to move seats. A 2020 study published in the journal PLOS One found that sitting further from the instructor negatively impacted students' grades. Authors of the study, which examined the responses of more than 1,360 students, concluded that, while the evidence is mixed, students who choose to sit nearer to the front of the classroom will do better than those who sit in the back. Students who are struggling can ask to move seats if they've been sitting in the back of the class.
· Go over class notes each day. Lectures require significant note-taking, and many students scribble notes as fast as possible so they can keep up. Scribbled notes may be hard to decipher days after a lecture, but they're more likely to be understood immediately after class or when students arrive home at night. Going over notes at the end of the day or after each class, and even transcribing them from notebooks into typed documents, can help students grasp material more effectively. Typed notes also can make study sessions the night before a test more effective.
· Reserve daily quiet study time. Rebounding from a difficult start to the school year will likely require a daily commitment to performing better in the classroom. Daily study time in a quiet setting, whether that's at home or at the library, can provide the time students need to focus on their studies without distractions getting in the way. Turn smartphone and device notifications off during study time. Students can even keep a study log to track what they're studying and the amount of time they study each day. This log can be useful if students need to determine which areas require more time down the road.
A school year is long, so students who struggle at the start of the year still have plenty of time to get back on track and achieve their academic goals.