Willingham – Outsmart your Brain

Over the course of Willingham’s  Outsmart your Brain, he teaches us many diverse techniques to help the audience on how they can do better when reading a book, studying for an exam, etc. I will now go over the two most important things I took from the text.

The first being how to study for an exam. Exams are a huge part of school, so naturally, essentially gaining a “cheat code” sounds exciting to me. One of the ways to prepare for an exam is to essentially practice, take a pre test, then practice again. This helps the student, as they are simulating the real thing. After a study session, you take a homemade test the following day. This can be done by simply answering questions on the content you have been studying. After self assessing yourself, you get the chance to analyze your mistakes, then study them after, until everything is right. This can be repeated if necessary. Overall, this is defiantly a good way to study, and I will be using this method in preparation for future tests.

The other important technique I found was how to use a study guide. This again, goes back to studying for exams. If a study guide is made, what good is it for if you have no idea how to properly use it? Well, one of Willingham’s ways is to separate the topics you have learned about. If you keep reading your notes or flashcards over and over again in the same format, it isn’t doing to much, as come test day, the order will be completely revamped, and you may forget. Additionally, the topics would all be in order, and mixing those up can challenge yourself, and get you more prepared. Building off of that, answering the questions aloud can really help your understanding. as Willingham says, it is proven that when speaking aloud, your answers will be more developed. So when that big final comes round, you will be 100% ready.

There are many other useful texts displayed in Willingham’s novel, but I found these two to be the most important and I can see myself using these to improve my marks in the future

About me

Hi I am Patricio and I live in Mexico City. I was born in the city and I haved lived there since. In my free time I like to design buildings and other similar things. I also enjoy meeting new people from around the world. I like to play videogames and also I like to read science fiction books. I like to play golf and to go out with friends.

Welcome to the English 10 class blog!

We will use this blog for Independent Reading journal entries, for Personal Writing, and for occasional responses to the literature we study together and to our class discussions and activities.

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You will learn a tremendous amount by reading each other’s work. Sometimes you will think, “Ah, that’s really good, I could do that, too.” At other times you will think, “Ah yes, I make that same mistake, but I usually don’t notice it in my own writing.” Or you may think, “Wow, my writing is better than I thought.” Together, we can learn faster and make more progress.

Sample IRJE #1: “You reason like a block of cheese.”

In The Viscount of Bragelonne, by Alexander Dumas, the old soldier, d’Artagnan, proposes a business opportunity to Planchet, who was his squire in their younger days but who now owns a prosperous candy shop in Paris. D’Artagnan’s idea is to raise a small army and restore Charles II, rightful King of England, to his throne. Planchet is reluctant to invest without understanding more about d’Artagnan’s plans.

“Since you are proposing a business deal, I have the right to discuss it,” says Planchet.

“Discuss, Planchet; from discussion comes light.”

“Well then, since I have your permission, I would like to point out that in England they have, first of all, a Parliament.”

“Yes. And then?”

“And then, an Army.”

“Good. Anything else?”

“And then, the people themselves.”

“Is that all?”

“The people of England, who consented to the overthrow and execution of the late King, father of Charles II, will never agree to put the son back on the throne.”

“Planchet, my friend” said d’Artagnan, “you reason like a block of cheese.” (p. 417)

In French, the line is more beautiful: “Planchet, mon ami, tu raisonnes comme un fromage.” It made me laugh out loud the first time I read it, and it reminded me of something my French friend Christian said to me years ago when he noticed that I was wearing a new shirt: “Tu es beau comme un camion.” “You are as handsome as a truck.”

Sample IRJE #2: “We was attacked!”

In William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, a group of English school boys are evacuated by plane from a war zone, but the plane crashes on a remote tropical island, and the only adult with them—the pilot—is killed. Soon after they meet, Ralph and Piggy argue about what happened to the pilot of their airplane, and we see right away that Piggy is more of a thinker than Ralph:

“He must have flown off after he dropped us. He couldn’t land here. Not in a place with wheels.” 

“We was attacked!” 

“He’ll be back all right.”

The fat boy shook his head.

“When we was coming down I looked through one of them windows. I saw the other part of the plane. There were flames coming out of it.” (p. 8)

Whereas Ralph unthinkingly believes that everything will work out for the best (“’He’ll be back all right’”), Piggy has kept his eyes open during the crash and is brave enough to speak the frightening truth: there are no adults left to take care of them.