Reading, Writing and ‘Rithmatic

When is the best time to learn math?

Right after class. You need to pay attention during class, of course, but researchers have found that students who review what they just heard for 10 to 15 minutes after class are more likely to remember it and successfully apply it. In fact, reviewing right after class allows math students to recall 83 percent of class discussion nine weeks later, studies show. Retention plummets to 14 percent when students wait even one day to do a review. 
FYI: Researchers have found that it takes about 17 seconds of close attention to remember something, so don’t rush while you’re doing your review.    

When is the best time of day to take a test?

10 a.m. This is one of those times of day when most people feel alert and up to just about any challenge. And even if you skip breakfast, the stress hormone cortisol rises while you sleep, increasing your blood sugar and giving you some energy.
Tip:
If you’re scheduled to take a test in the late morning, review the material on the test right beforehand. Short-term memory is more efficient then.

When is the best time of the day for students to study something that they need to remember for a short time?

9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Short-term memory is about 15 percent more efficient in the late morning. At this time, the brain – for reasons unclear to researchers -- cares less about what’s important and interesting, so students are less likely to have a long-term memory of information studied for the first time at this time. In a study of British school children, two groups of students were read the same story, one at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. The students who heard the story at 9 a.m. did a better job of immediately recalling details of the story than did the students who heard the story at 3 p.m. But seven days later, the students who heard the story at 3 p.m. recalled more details than did the students who heard the story at 9 a.m.
FYI: College students unknowingly take advantage of this rhythm by staying up late studying, then doing a quick review in the morning before the exam. But researchers say sleep plays a key role. A good night’s sleep improves memory while too little sleep hinders the brain’s ability to encode new memories.

More Best Times:

When is the best time for preschoolers to learn?
You’ll find the answer on Page 115 of the book.

When is the best time of the day for students to study something that they’ll remember for a long time?
The answer is on Page 117.

 

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