Study Skills Inventory Activity

August 17, 2010 at 3:00 pm 3 comments

If you have a little time to try a classroom activity in your math class, I have a good one for you. Break your students into groups of 4, and give each group 10-15 minutes to develop a list of the skills needed to be successful in a math class. In other words, what do “good” math students do? I also ask my students to list a benefit associated with the listed study skill.

Once time has expired, build a comprehensive list on the board while going over the benefits associated with these study skills. It is a great opportunity to offer your opinions on why it is important to take notes in class, why students should do their homework, etc.

One twist I like to use is to ask for input on each study skill. For instance, when a group reports that students should take notes in class, I ask them for pointers on how to take notes. Unfortunately many students know that a particular skill is important but do not know how to do it effectively. Students know that they should study for exams, but do not know how to study for exams. This gives me an opportunity to explain to the class that these skills are important and that I will be taking the time to help with all of the study skills we have listed on the board.

If you try this activity in class, or you already do something similar to this, I would love to hear your thoughts. Please share by leaving a comment, or reaching me through the contact page at my web site –


I am a math instructor at College of the Sequoias in Visalia, CA. Each Tuesday I post an article related to Math Study Skills on my blog. If there’s a particular study skill you’d like me to address, or if you have a question or a comment, please let me know. You can reach me through the contact page on my website –


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3 Comments Add your own

  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by George Woodbury, George Woodbury. George Woodbury said: Study Skills Inventory Activity: […]

  • 2. Amanda  |  August 20, 2010 at 10:23 am

    My high schoolers have two days of orientation seminars before their regular classes start next week, and I am going to use this idea for part of the math seminars I’ll be leading. In fact, I asked one of my students what would be useful in such a seminar, and she said, “It would be great if we could talk about how to study for math, because I really don’t think I know how to do that.” Thanks so much for this and your other study skills posts – they are a great resource!

    • 3. georgewoodbury  |  August 20, 2010 at 10:52 am

      Thanks for the kind words Amanda. The time you spend discussing these ideas will not only increase student learning and success, it should also free up time later in the year because your students will be more efficient. Let me know how the seminars go.


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