10 Study Tips for Online Middle School
Online learning is a great way to perfect academic and life skills, and more middle schoolers are making the transition to online middle schools like Dwight Global Online School, an accredited, highly ranked, online private school for students in grades 6-12 worldwide.
“Dwight Global is dedicated to helping students develop the key skills they need to be successful, life-long learners," said Dwight Global Middle School Director Sara Crucet. “In the classroom, students are challenged to think critically, apply their knowledge in authentic ways, and solve the global problems of the future.”
With the checklist of tips below, students can feel confident they have the information they need to succeed in an online middle school program.
1. Get organized!
An important first step in online learning success is getting organized, and devoting time to staying organized.
First, set up a space within your home where you can work with minimal distractions. Have everything you will need nearby and on hand for your classes. Check each teacher’s requirements and make sure you have everything you need to begin. Find a system that works for you for keeping track of your class schedule and upcoming deadlines. Some students use an electronic calendar, where others may use a more traditional, printed day planner.
Each day, make certain the next day’s assignments are completed. Spend time thinking about what the next class will involve, so you are prepared mentally for potential class discussions or quizzes.
Good preparation goes a long way when it comes to academics, group projects, studying for tests, and writing reports.
If you have a busy period coming up outside of school, or if you have to travel to be away from classes for a time, ask your teacher ahead of time for advance work. Proactively stay organized before you leave, during your trip, and when you return.
3. Determine your learning style
Think about how you accomplish your best work.
Are you a morning person who works best in the early part of the day? Maybe you are a night owl, or find midday is your most productive period.
Do you prefer visual aids like graphs and maps and written material to memorize information? Or, do you learn best from hearing the material out loud? Maybe you find a combination of both works best, and that different subjects require different methods of learning.
At Dwight Global, students have a blend of scheduled, live classes and asynchronous lessons. Dwight Global’s instructional model gives every student the advantage of working when they are freshest, and when they can focus most intently. Use your most productive time to finish school work, and spend your less productive hours socializing, resting, or exercising.
4. Learn to advocate for yourself
Communication is important in online learning, and part of communicating is reaching out to create connections and make friends, to get to know your teachers and administrators, and when you need help.
Dwight Global faculty and administrators are readily available to answer questions, guide students to the best sources, and help in any way. If you struggle with a topic or need clarification on an assignment, reach out to a classmate or teacher for guidance.
If you need extra support, contact the learning resources center or request extra help from your teacher. Connections like these are essential to feeling part of a strong school community. Send an email, request a meeting to discuss a school assignment, or simply send a message to get to know your fellow students and teachers.
5. Get involved
You have much to offer your school community.
Practice making the first move. Get involved, ask questions, sign up for extracurricular activities and try out things you never thought you would like. If you end up changing your mind, that is fine, too. You will learn in the process and can move on to something else.
Becoming involved in your school will make you feel an integral part of a community, and will help you feel comfortable when reaching out to teachers and administrators.
6. Practice communicating
Mastering your communication skills during classes and outside of school will feel productive and create confidence. Learning to communicate verbally and in writing is an essential skill in school and in life.
When writing, ask a teacher or content tutor to look over your work before you submit it. Practice oral presentations and speeches in front of a mirror or a camera recording, so you can see yourself and make adjustments if need be.
Part of good communication is also being a good listener. Notice your verbal communication skills. Be mindful of listening to what others are saying, stay present, and try not to interrupt others.
7. Participate every day
Active participation in and outside of the classroom is a terrific way of taking responsibility for your own success in school. In class, speak up, and make connections between what you are learning and your own life experiences, books, movies, or music. Dwight Globa’s seminar-style, discussion based classes make for a collaborative and interactive remote learning environment.
Follow up on a classmate’s comment during class, check in with a classmate or teacher after school to let them know your thoughts, and simply ask questions in class or outside of it through email, message boards, and in meetings.
Find your voice, and use it, for a great online middle school experience.
8. Connect with others
The best online schools promote a sense of community through in-person and online experiences. By fostering connections with classmates and teachers, you expand your network, open the door to future opportunities, and create lifelong friendships.
It will be easier to ask questions in class or say "I don't know" if you are comfortable with classmates and faculty. Extracurriculars, book groups, clubs, and social events will help you feel an integral and important part of your school.
Unlike most online schools, Dwight Global Online School invites students to in-person experiences on Dwight School campuses worldwide, such as STEAM weekend, orientation, and school performing arts or music events.
These in-person events create lasting memories and make students feel a part of something special. Creating solid friendships and school relationships will go a long way toward making your online school experience a deeper, more meaningful, and memorable one.
9. Set goals
Set academic and personal goals at the beginning of each semester, and post them somewhere so you have a constant visual reminder. It may be helpful to talk over your goals with a parent, teacher, dean, or friend.
For example, your long-term academic goal may be to take the highest level of mathematics by graduation. In that case, plan backwards so you know which classes to take before your goal is reached. Or, maybe your goal is to master a five-paragraph essay, or create and present a speech in public, or learn how to converse fluently in another language.
Your goals will change, so update your list and set new goals often. Create a method to check off your goals on a list, and celebrate your accomplishments along the way.
10. Avoid distractions, take breaks, and exercise!
While you are focusing on learning, be sure to limit distractions like your phone, TV and video games. Close unrelated or extra tabs open on your browser and put your phone on silent and leave it out of reach.
Taking breaks from the screen is crucial to your learning success. Make time after each class or study period to get up and stretch. Take time to have a snack, and get outside whenever possible to look up at the sky, walk outdoors, and get some exercise.
Learn more about Dwight Online Global School and its highly respected middle school program here.