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The Learning Skills Cycle


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Table of Contents

Preface Introduction Chapter 1: Educational Reform: Why It Fails Chapter 2: The Big Picture Chapter 3: The Learning Skills Cycle Chapter 4: Motivation/Grit Chapter 5: Attentiveness Chapter 6: Organization Chapter 7: Understanding/Synthesis Chapter 8: Memory Chapter 9: Analytical Thinking/Problem Solving/Creativity Epilogue About the Author

About the Author

Dr. W. R. (Bill) Klemm is a Professor of Neuroscience at Texas A&M University who has studied basic and applied research on learning and memory and has published 19 books, many of them for lay audiences. He is a regular writer on learning and memory for Psychology Today, maintains a blog site ("Improve Your Learning and Memory," thankyoubrain.blogspot.com), and provides teachers with lectures and workshops on learning skills.


Dr. Klemm provides teachers and students alike with a well-researched and solidly-documented resource that not only shines light on many popular misconceptions in the science of teaching and learning, but also gives profound insights into how true learning occurs and how a teacher or parent can help their struggling students transform into the confident achievers that they want to be. -- Dan Hendrix, veterinarian, home-school dad
Highly recommended! Instead of another book reinforcing what young students should know, William Klemm challenges the status quo of educating children by uncovering a plan to teach students analytical skills, problem-solving, and creative skills. He considers the whole student with an in-depth discussion about what motivates students. The Learning Skills Cycle will appeal to parents and educators who want to move beyond teaching to the test. This book, with its common sense advice coupled with scientific acuity, will help anyone foster a sense of wonder in students and also help them guide students on a journey to becoming lifelong learners. As an author of many books for children, I have a keen understanding that children need creative approaches to learning information. I believe that Klemm's book will assist educators as they seek to develop creative, nimble-minded students, ready to solve problems and face life's challenges. -- Molly Blaisdell, Author, "Rembrandt" and "The Boy Who Drew Dogs" and 30 more informative books for children
This book emphasizes a crucial but little-known aspect of education: to succeed in school students must learn to execute basic skills effortlessly and automatically. Speed is needed because short-term memory lasts only a few seconds; students must retain in memory large amounts of information in order to understand. Of the six components of the "Learning Skills Cycle" in this book, the emphasis on memory is especially novel and valuable. Schools may spend time on tasks that may be fun but that may not prepare students to deal with complex information effortlessly. Every parent should understand these learning needs and demand accountability from teachers and schools. My educational work in lower-income countries leads me to believe that the ideas in Dr. Klemm's book could have world-changing implications. -- Helen Abadzi, University of Texas at Arlington, World Bank Senior Education Specialist (Retired)
What can I add to my arsenal of knowledge?" "Arsenal" is the operative word. Knowledge is power.' As a classroom teacher for 10 years and as a homeschooling mom, I found this book to truly be an arsenal of information to help teachers and parents gain the learning strategies and tactics to empower students to become academically successful. Teach Your Kids How to Learn walks the reader through the strategies necessary for superior academic achievement. The strategies are presented in an easy to learn dialogue and apply at any academic level. Using these methods, backed by years of experience and research, anyone can help the children in their life become more effective learners. Teach Your Kids How to Learn approaches learning from a holistic perspective of a "learning skills cycle" that incorporates many capabilities that are often never taught or learned. These include motivation, curiosity, emotional control, self-discipline, ability to study effectively, remember, and critical thinking. This book will change the way you think about "learning skills" and will give you the tools you need to help students learn how to learn rather than simply what to learn. -- Sherry Rosedahl, Middle-school teacher and homeschool mom
Dr. Klemm asserts that if children aren't taught how to learn, they'll develop ineffective and rigid study routines that last a lifetime. Teaching children how to learn may be taught formally in classrooms and informally at home. Cursive writing, high-stakes testing, learned helplessness, meditation, Common Core, and other topics that relate to children's learning how to learn are addressed. Dr. Klemm's citing of research studies and personal experiences helps readers see how children should not be taught to learn to pass tests, but should be taught to love learning. I wish this book had been available when I was teaching. I would have become a better teacher by helping my students become better learners! -- Mary Sue Ribardo, Retired high school history teacher
As both a teacher and as parent of school-aged children, I found this book to be extremely enlightening and helpful. The goal of every teacher is to develop the love of learning in his or her students. In other words, teachers need to develop life-long learners. That is such an elusive thing to try to teach. We are all told to do it, but how do we do it? We are so caught up in teaching the mandated curriculum-the "what"-that we often fail to teach how to learn and how to take pleasure in learning. We also face the challenge of holding students' attention in a world that has so many distractions. Dr. Klemm's Learning Skills Cycle takes this challenging task and organizes it into easily understandable stages. From motivation, to memory, to problem solving, Dr. Klemm delves into what it takes to help a child become a lifelong learner, even helping them to develop better habits such as grit, confidence, and attention. As a parent of a child who has such trouble getting homework done, my "aha moment" was reading about how self-doubt is the root cause of procrastination. Every page of this book has valuable information for both teachers and parents. I know that I will use it as a reference to help me become both a better teacher and a better parent. -- Michele Ward, Middle school science teacher

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