Sleep and memory: more evidence

From the BBC:

The mechanism by which a good night’s sleep improves learning and memory has been discovered by scientists.

The team in China and the US used advanced microscopy to witness new connections between brain cells – synapses – forming during sleep.

Their study, published in the journal Science, showed […]

How to improve your English

My advice for secondary school students (and older) is at, here:

Teaching organizational skills

This article aimed at middle-school teachers actually applies pretty well to those teaching high school and upper elementary students as well.

The ideal, of course, would be for all teachers in a school to teach good habits—teachers, talk to your colleagues and principals!

Get organized online:

If paper organizers, homeword diaries, etc., don’t seem helpful, you might give this new online organizer a try. is completely free and multilingual, including versions in several European languages as well as Chinese and Japanese. (If you are a Korean you might volunteer to help create a Korean version of the site.)

I […]

“They don’t take notes!”

Today a colleague began talking about his Grade 11 students. “They don’t take notes”, he said in exasperation. “Not a single one of them.” 

Another colleague, overhearing us, joined in. “Isn’t that their problem?” he said. “By Grade 11 they should have figured this stuff out. We shouldn’t have to tell them to take […]

Back-to-school reminders & ideas

First: read every day!

Second: use a homework diary in every class!

And here’s a good list of online tools for students. It’s intended for university students but most of the items listed are equally useful for high school students.

Getting boys organized

He had not understood that in seventh grade he was responsible for handing in his homework, instead of waiting to be asked.

The New York Times has an article, “Giving Disorganized Boys the Tools for Success”, that echoes much of the advice you’ll find here: learn to file your papers, use a homework diary, […]

Back-to-school advice

This piece from AcademHack, aimed at university students, applies equally well to older high school students who are college-bound. Start acquiring these tools and using them in Grade 11 and you will find that when you enter university you are well ahead of many of your peers.

Practice good exam-taking strategies [book excerpt]

It’s that time: end-of-year exams have either started already or will shortly. This excerpt from Good Habits, Good Students may help.

Getting Started Read the instructions and skim all the questions of the whole exam before answering any questions. Be sure no pages are missing from the exam booklet. Be sure whether you […]

The Homework Workout: exercise your mind and your body

“The experts” say you should take a short break every 20-30 minutes when doing homework. They also say you should exercise regularly. Teachers say the assignment is due tomorrow and if you don’t hand it in . . . .

What to do?

Enter the Homework Workout.

Set the timer for 20-30 minutes and […]