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January 23, 2013

Study Tips for 3rd Graders

This week I am running around getting supplies together for my 9 year old's birthday party!  I can't believe I have a 9 year old!  My husband was so considerate to remind me that now my son is halfway through his childhood years of living at home with us.  Thanks, I really needed to be reminded of that!

Anyway, while I am getting ready for party day, I thought I would show you how my 9 year old prepares for his weekly multiplication test.  We have gotten into a good routine of studying each week and using some helpful tips.

Each Friday, his class is given a pretest on the weekly number.  The most recent being the 7's.  He will then memorize and practice multiplying by 7 for the week, ending with a test on Thursdays.  He usually does fine with his studying but I like to help out in the following ways.

1.  Flash Cards - I make him a set of flash cards each week for the current number.  He usually keeps them by his bed and goes over them each night.  Sometimes, he will bring them downstairs and have his brother test him with these too.  His brother loves playing teacher so this is an easy way to have some practice.

2.  Reminders -   I like to leave reminders around so I tape a list on the bulletin board of his desk.  These are just there so he can glance up while doing his other homework.  I figure, the more he sees the facts, the more they will sink in.

3.  Post Its -   And speaking of sinking in, I also bombard him with more facts written on Post-Its and taped to the back of my car seat.  Between tennis, piano and the various other reasons he would be in my car each week, he gets to see the multiplication facts right in front of him.

4.  Yellow.  Yes, you might have noticed that the list on his desk and the Post-Its are yellow.  Well, many years ago, I remember from some videotaped study guide that yellow is supposed to be a color that stimulates memory.  I have always made a point to use yellow when possible for that reason.  Of course, when I was about to write this post, I figured I would look on the internet to see if this yellow theory was believed to be true.  I didn't find much but then came across the following website:

The Erupting - The Effects that Colors Have on You

Sure enough, they mentioned that yellow helps to "activate your memory" and "stimulates mental activity" among other things.  The site lists all the colors and explains the effect of each one.  You should check it out.

5.  Practice, Practice, Practice.  Of course with all memorization tasks, repetition is key.  Our school recommends several websites that my son practices on.

One is where we have a log on from the school to sign on and practice each week.

Another good site is where they also have to sign in with their school password.

In addition to those, I also print out a few practice tests from  If you click on the "multiplication" box in the blue section at the top and choose "five minute frenzy charts", you can scroll down and print the chart you need - example "multiply by 7s".  There are 5 or 6 different practice tests for each number.  We usually print a few and then I time my son while he works on them.  We usually do these on Wednesday nights since he final test is on Thursday.

With all that practice, he does pretty well on his final test each week and is hopefully learning some helpful study skills in the process.

Do you have any study tips for kids?



  1. I LOVE these and am saving for later!!!!

  2. What clever ideas. My son always benefited from flash cards. He used them into high school when he was learning formulas, etc.

    Happy birthday to your son. They do grow up so fast. My son will be 21 in a month and a half. Last night I had a dream that he was still a toddler, singing and dancing alone the way little kids do. It made me sad to wake up and not get to enjoy a little more time with him as a baby.

  3. My 10 year old daughter loves flash cards. She loves seeing her "know" pile get bigger than her "don't know" pile. My 7 year old boy does better using He loves getting a new "high score". But either way, I agree with you that it is all about practice!!!

  4. These are awesome ideas! Wish I had some of these when I was a 9 yr old!..and yes, *sigh* they do grow up so fast we don't need to be reminded..LOL. My brothers 3 children who I helped raise ( Im like their 2nd mom) were all born when I was 15, 18 and 20.. Now? Those babies are 22, 24, and 27.. Way to fast ..


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