Reading the news is a great way to learn English and know what is going on in the U.S. For the business majors in particular, it is very important to know what is going on with the economy and political system of the U.S.

Here is a website with short, simple news stories that are easy to read: http://www.simpleenglishnews.com/

I would also recommend trying to read the NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/ and the Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/

This website has listening and speaking practice using flash and mp3 files. You could use this to practice your English!

American English Pronunciation Practice: http://www.manythings.org/pp/

Many of you have experienced the stress of too much work. Papers, tests, journals, so much at one time!

Here are a few suggestions when you are feeling stressed because of too much work:

1. Speak to your professor.

Professors can often help you prioritize what you should work on or give you additional guidance about an assignment. Sometimes, professors are willing to give you more time if you truly are trying to handle a lot of work at one time.

2. Make a priority list

Figure out what assignments are most important and spend the most time working on that. If a paper is only worth 5% of your grade and an exam is worth 25%, it is better to take time studying for the exam and less time working on the journal. Also, you might have to say “no” to your friend who wants to go see a movie or go shopping and study instead!

3. Find a tutor

In the Fall, you can go to the Academic Support Programs Office (Living/Learning Commons 244) and get set up with a tutor for one or many of your classes (for free!) For now, you can talk to any of the tutors at night in Tupper. We can help you edit assignments or make a priority list.

4. Relax

If you get anxious, don’t sleep enough, or don’t give yourself a rest from work, you will be less productive. Take breaks to walk around, exercise, and give your brain a rest from studying.

  1. INTEREST: In order to remember something thoroughly, you must be interested in it.
  2. INTENT TO REMEMBER: Your intent to remember has much to do with whether you remember something or not. A key factor to remembering is having a POSITIVE ATTITUDE that you WILL remember.
  3. BASIC BACKGROUND: Your understanding of new materials depends to a great degree on how much you already know about the subject. The more you increase your basic knowledge, the easier it is to build new knowledge on that background.
  4. SELECTIVITY: You must determine what is important and select those parts to study and learn

You can use clues in your class notes or textbook to determine what is most important to study.

5. MEANINGFUL ORGANIZATION: You can learn to remember better if you group ideas into meaningful categories

If you have a large list of items to remember, cluster similar items around a heading or category

6. RECITATION: Saying ideas out loud in your own words is the most powerful tool you have for transferring information from short term memory to long term memory

Flash cards and study cards are often helpful in learning new material as they make you a participant, not just an onlooker.

7. MENTAL VISUALIZATION: Another principle is making a mental picture of what needs to be remembered. By visualizing, you use an entirely different part of the brain then you did by reading or listening

Add illustrations, maps, or graphs to your notes to help you understand and remember

8. ASSOCIATION: Memory is increased when facts to be learned are associated with something familiar to you.

Use logical connections such as maps or diagrams

Make artificial connections through visualizations, rhymes, and mnemonic devices.

9. CONSOLIDATION: Your brain must have time for new information to soak in. When you make a list or review your notes right after class, you are using the principle of consolidation.

10.DISTRIBUTED PRACTICE: A series of shorter study sessions over several days is preferable to fewer but longer sessions.

When reading a textbook, you must be an ACTIVE reader. This means that you do not simply just read through a textbook, but take action to better understand what the textbook is saying.

Some ways to be an active reader include: highlighting important sentences or words, taking notes while you read the textbook, writing down important textbook definitions or terms on another piece of paper, and answering review questions or doing practice problems in the textbook.

Below are some important strategies to assist you in reading your textbook for class:

1. Read slowly

Textbooks require slower reading speeds than do novels, journals, or newspapers. You can also re-read the textbook many times if you do not understand the material

2. Find meanings of unknown terms

Look for definitions of words you do not know in a dictionary, class notes, or glossary at the back of your textbook.

3. Form a study group

Discuss class notes and textbook notes in a group. For most students, discussing and hearing material discussed helps fill in textbook notes, speeds learning, and promotes later recall.

4. Discuss unclear material with the instructor

Have specific questions ready when you meet with a professor. This conveys interest and effort and makes it easier for instructors to help because they see more quickly what it is you don’t understand.

Obviously, taking notes in class is extremely important. These notes are your reference when you need to study for the exam, write a paper, or finish your homework. That is why, it is important to attend class AND take good notes during class.

Sometimes, professors and teachers talk very quickly and cover a lot of material, so that you are unable to understand or write down every word of the class. That is okay! There are some ways you can take notes to get the most important information and to make your notes shorter.

Below are some important strategies to help you take notes in class:

1. Don’t Try to Record Every Word

Summarize and abbreviate when possible. This gives more time to listen and focus on understanding.

2. Use Abbreviations

Some examples:

Because=b/c

Pound=#

Information=info

With or without=w/ or w/o

Balance=bal

Between=btwn

Difference=diff

Percent=%

3. Take or Re-write your notes using as few words as possible

You will get better with practice (and remember to review your notes frequently)

In college, managing your time well is essential to success. You will need to make sure you have a calendar that can fit all of your activities.

Steps to Making a Schedule to manage your time in college:

1. Record class times and lab times

2. Record meal times

3.Record all other scheduled activities such as meetings, your job, athletic games, or anything else that is mandatory to attend

4. Record any special activities you need to do or want to do every week (such as exercise, practicing an instrument, drawing, meditating, etc.)

5. Schedule a “preview time” before each class when it is possible. This time could be 5-30 minutes where you review your class notes or any assignments for the class.

6. Schedule a time immediately after your classes when it is possible. This time could be 5-30 minutes immediately after each class. Use this time to edit, complete, and summarize your notes. You can also start to look at homework or assignments that were assigned that class during this time.

7. Now, add study/review time for each class in your schedule. Try to schedule some study time each day for each class. This is because you learn more effectively and efficiently if you schedule your study time in shorter, more regular sessions. Also, try to schedule study time in the morning and afternoon for studying. The evening is often an ineffective time to study. Start your study period with classes you like the least or you are not receiving good grades in. That you, you can leave your favorite for last!

8. Schedule a weekly review for each class. Schedule this weekly review at the end of the week if it is possible.  This time period gives you an opportunity to review the entire week’s notes and reading assignments to see what you have been learning the past week. You can also use this time to plan ahead for the next week and determine how much reading you need to do, what projects are due, and if any test is scheduled.

Some other notes about your schedule and time management:

-Keep open some day or evening time for daily physical activity

-On your schedule, keep some time OPEN for academic or personal needs

-Schedule time, especially during the weekend, to play, relax, or do whatever you want to do.

1. What is Free Time?
“Free time” is any time that you do not have any mandatory activity. That is, free time is time that you are not in class, eating, or sleeping. In college, you will find that you have a lot more free time than you are used to. However, it is important to use this free time to do things like study, exercise, and do your homework. You do not want to simply use your free time to sleep or watch TV.

2. How can you organize free time?
You should organize your free time in a way that is right for you. Some strategies include keeping a calendar book where you can write down your classes, homework, and other free time activities all in one place. Some people prefer to use a calendar online, such as ICal or Google Calendar (http://www.calendar.google.com). Often, using different colors can help you organize your free time as well. Use a different color pen for each activity in your calendar. For example, use a blue pen for homework assignments, red for exercise, green for eating times, pink for sleeping, etc. During the workshop, we talked about different ways to keep a calendar and a to-do list.

Another option is to print out blank calendars to fill in. Printable blank calendars are available online:

http://www.printablecalendar.ca/

Please see the following link for information covered in the USPP Workshop Monday, June 21. The information discusses your class syllabi and managing your free time:

http://blog.uvm.edu/learnco/files/2010/06/syllabus-and-free-time.doc

Workshop: “How to Read Your Syllabus and manage your free time”

Monday, June 21, 7:30pm, Tupper Lounge

1. What is a Syllabus?

A syllabus is an outline, or a summary of what will be covered during a class. The professor prepares the syllabus for each class. The syllabus for each class will contain detailed information about the class, such as how to contact the professor, what topics will be discussed in class, when the exams and tests are for the class, rules in the classroom, and the grading policy for the class, among other things.

A syllabus is a contract between the students and the professor so that they both understand how the class will run, what the rules are, etc.

2. How do you use a syllabus?
A syllabus helps you plan for the class and understand how much free time you will need to spend working on the class. When you receive a syllabus, you should read it very carefully and ask the professor any questions you have about the class or the professor’s expectations. Then, you should put the dates of the tests, quizzes, and assignments on your calendar. This will help you plan for the class and stay organized.