Cramming facts into a memory bank is not conducive to easy absorption or future retrieval for the brain. Without organization, learned information can become meaningless, boring, and easily forgotten. It is imperative that students utilize study techniques that will effectively aide the brain in processing and grouping together learned information in a retrievable format. Students with proper study skills will recall facts more quickly and accurately and will subsequently have an easier time taking tests or organizing a paper.
SuperCamp, one of the leading academic summer camps worldwide, provides crucial learning and life skills that will help guide campers ranging from grades 4 through 12 to academic success. For any learner, a significant gap can form between subject matter and student if the learning method isn’t approached intuitively. SuperCamp equips students with a repertoire of valuable study skills and advantageous techniques that work specifically with their individual learning pattern.
Enhancing this process with a fun and inventive twist will only keep a student more engaged in the learning process. A camp favorite at SuperCamp is Mind Mapping, a method developed by Tony Buzan in the 1960’s that uses both sides of the brain. Mind Mapping employs colorful pictures and word associations to promote active learning in a way that is customizable for each individual. Anyone can use this technique to prepare for an exam, write a book report, plan an event, or tackle a challenging problem.
How does one use Mind Mapping? First, turn your page horizontally so that you have plenty of room to spread outwards. Your first addition to the page should be something that represents the main idea of the subject matter you are covering. Consider the life cycle of a plant as an example. Sketch a picture in the center of the page that accurately represents your topic; in this case, you could pair the words with a drawing of a plant. Draw tapering branches stemming from the main idea and write each clarifying points along the branches’ length: the germination of a seed, where a plant gets its food, the process of photosynthesis, and how flowers are pollinated. Be sure to include a picture with all relevant pieces of information and use at least three different colors throughout your Mind Map.
Color in Mind Mapping stimulates the imaginative portion of the brain and captures-and holds-attention. Pairing a word with a corresponding picture helps the brain form associations that can be easily recalled later. Every Mind Map should be unique in shape and construction. Some will include many larger branching points with few details, while other, more complicated topics will fill the page with supporting details surrounding the central idea. The more unique the Mind Map, the easier the information will be to retain!
Laying strong groundwork at an early age is extremely important for a student when developing their study skills. A student able to manipulate content in a mentally stimulating way will be more excited about learning and can consequently set a trend for the rest of their lives. SuperCamp graduate, James Ohnoki, felt Mind Mapping was a major turning point in his academic career. He became a more interactive learner as a result and used the technique many times to help him connect visual elements to learned content. He particularly enjoyed the drawing and coloring aspects of Mind Mapping because it gave him license to be as creative as he wanted.
Just as James Ohnoki discovered, the learning techniques students develop at SuperCamp will transform them into more interactive learners for the rest of their lives. It can effectively bridge the gap between a student and his or her coursework and start them on the road to academic success. Armed with learning techniques like Mind Mapping, students will find this path to success remarkably easier to traverse.
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