Most study assignments have a collection of important concepts. Part of your work is to get to know and understand these key concepts. One way to take control of these concepts is with recalling cards.
1. Find them. You find key concepts in the headings, introductions, summaries, and questions at the end of the chapter. You also know them by their markings: Bold type and italics. If you used the Explore-a-Chapter Clipit, you may have marked some of them as Wonder Words.
2. Pick the troublemakers: those ideas that you need to know and understand much better than you do when you first meet them.
3. Take names. Use standard note cards. On one side, put the name of the concept. Include any phrase that helps you remember how the text talks about the concept..
4. Get the I.D. On the other side of the card, put reminders of what you may need to recall when you see the concept. These will usually be descriptors. But they don’t have to be words. Try for graphic reminders if you can find them. (Your word processor probably has some clipart you can use).
You will probably need several items here. If there are too many for one card, make a second card.
5. Brain check 1.0. Go through the cards soon after you make them. Look at the concept side and try to recall what is on the back. Them look at the back. Put a green dot by the items you did recall. Put a red dot by the items you did not recall correctly.
6. Brain check 2.0. Go through the cards again a few hours later. Do the same as on check 1. If possible, do this check close to bed time.
7. Brain check 3.0. Do another check the next day. The expression “know it cold” applies if you get all the answers right after leaving the cards alone for at least a day.
8. Brain booster. If you don’t know it cold, carry the cards around with you. When you have a free moment, take out one of the cards and do a brain check with it.
9. Feel good. When you are satisfied with what you can answer, enjoy your satisfaction. One of the main benefits of the recalling cards is that they tell you when you have finished. Keep your cards for later review. But you may want to keep them on your wall. With all those green dots showing. They may not be as impressive as rhino heads. But they’ll take you farther.
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