Study Strategies and Learning Styles

How do you learn something new?  How do you study a subject?  Well, there are 3 styles of learning that people use:

  • Visual-Learn by seeing
  • Auditory-Learn by hearing
  • Kinesthetic or tactile-Learn by doing or touching

Here is a guide to help you understand your preferred method of learning something.

You might be surprised at what you discover.












Let’s Talk About …………


By Daniel E. Slotnik and Katherine Schulten

Are you ready for 163 more things to ask about ?  OK, dive in:

  1. Do Apps Help You or Just Waste Your Time?
  2. Do You Keep a Diary or Journal?
  3. Should Schools Offer Cash Bonuses for Good Test Scores?
  4. Would You Like to Take a Class Online?
  5. Are Children of Illegal Immigrants Entitled to a Public Education?
  6. What Is Your Personal Credo?
  7. How Do You Personalize the Things You’re Required to Have at School?
  8. Should Students Be Required to Take Drug Tests?
  9. Do You Participate in Class?
  10. Do Attractive People Have Advantages Others Don’t?
  11. What Motivates You?
  12. Do You Support Affirmative Action?
  13. What Role Does Television Play in Your Life and the Life of Your Family?
  14. Why Do You Write?
  15. How Do You Use Facebook?
  16. What Journey Do You Most Want to Make?
  17. What Are You Afraid Of?
  18. What Have You Made Yourself?
  19. Do You Trust Your Government?
  20. What Are Your Favorite Cartoons?
  21. Who Is Your Role Model?
  22. Does Pop Culture Deserve Serious Study?
  23. Do You Have Good Manners?
  24. What Causes Should Philanthropic Groups Finance?
  25. Should Fertilized Eggs Be Given Legal Personhood?
  26. What Challenges Have You Set for Yourself?
  27. Have You Experienced Sexual Harassment?
  28. Do Leaders Have Moral Obligations?
  29. Would You Want to Be Home-Schooled?
  30. Do Presidential Candidates Need to Be Good Debaters?
  31. Do You Shop at Locally Owned Businesses?
  32. Are You a Brand?
  33. Do You Sympathize With the Occupy Wall Street Movement?
  34. What Do You Read, and How Do You Read It?
  35. Should People Be Allowed to Obscure Their Identities Online?
  36. Which Is More Important: Talent or Hard Work?
  37. Do Your Parents Support Your Learning?
  38. What Are You Grateful For?
  39. What Time Should Black Friday Sales Start?
  40. What Are You Good At?
  41. Do Photoshopped Images Make You Feel Bad About Your Own Looks?
  42. When in Your Life Have You Been a Leader?
  43. What Would You Put in Your Emergency ‘Go-Bag’?
  44. What Artists or Bands of Today Are Destined for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?
  45. Which Republican Candidate Will Win the Presidential Nomination?
  46. What’s Next for Computing?
  47. What New Emoticons Does the World Need?
  48. Should the Morning-After Pill Be Sold Over the Counter to People Under 17?
  49. Are We Losing the Art of Listening?
  50. Do You Discuss Religion With Friends?
  51. What Places in Your Past Do You Appreciate More Now, From a Distance?
  52. Would You Consider Deleting Your Facebook Account?
  53. Is It Wrong to Sell Store-Bought Pastries at a Bake Sale?
  54. What Will You Remember Most From 2011?
  55. Have You Ever Interacted With the Police?
  56. Can You Be Good Without God?
  57. What’s Your Favorite Holiday Food Memory?
  58. How Are You Spending the Holiday Break?
  59. Do You Make New Year’s Resolutions?
  60. Do You Have a Signature Clothing Item?
  61. Do Your Teachers Use Technology Well?
  62. What Would Your Personal Mascot Be?
  63. What Is Your Favorite Place?
  64. What if Your Parent Ran for President?
  65. What Game Would You Like to Redesign?
  66. What’s Your Favorite (Printable) Slang Term?
  67. Should Charities Focus More on America?
  68. What Is the Right Amount of Group Work in School?
  69. Given Unlimited Resources, What Scientific or Medical Problem Would You Investigate?
  70. Who Would You Share Your Passwords With?
  71. Do You Think You’re Brave?
  72. What Is Your Most Memorable Writing Assignment?
  73. What Would You Like to Learn on Your Own?
  74. What’s Your Response to Obama’s Third State of the Union Address?
  75. What Are the Best Movies You Saw in 2011?
  76. Should the Dropout Age Be Raised?
  77. How Should You Handle the End of a Friendship?
  78. Do You Have a Blog?
  79. Do You Watch the Super Bowl?
  80. Do You Cook?
  81. Do College Rankings Matter?
  82. Do You Like Being Alone?
  83. What Story Does Your Personal Data Tell?
  84. How Would You Make Over Your Mall?
  85. How Do Male and Female Roles Differ in Your Family?
  86. Should Home-Schoolers Be Allowed to Play Public School Sports?
  87. Do You Eat Too Quickly?
  88. Who Inspires You?
  89. Are You a Novelty-Seeker?
  90. Would You Rather Attend a Public or a Private High School?
  91. How Much Information Is ‘Too Much Information’?
  92. Should Companies Collect Information About You?
  93. What Do You Eat During the School Day?
  94. What Are Your Favorite Young Adult Novels?
  95. What Kind of Feedback Helps You Improve?
  96. What Are Your Family Stories of Sacrifice?
  97. What’s the Racial Makeup of Your School?
  98. Fluent in Vocal Fry, Creaky Voice or Uptalk?
  99. What Would You Name Your Neighborhood?
  100. Can Kindness Become Cool?
  101. What Is Your Reaction to the Rush Limbaugh Controversy?
  102. What Have You Done to Earn Money?
  103. What Questions Do You Have About How the World Works?
  104. What Are Your Favorite Junk Foods?
  105. How Well Do You Think Standardized Tests Measure Your Abilities?
  106. How Important Is It to Have a Driver’s License?
  107. Do Social Media Campaigns Like Kony 2012 Stunt or Stimulate Real Change?
  108. How Do You Feel About Zoos?
  109. Would You Quit if Your Values Did Not Match Your Employers?
  110. Should the R Rating for ‘Bully’ Be Changed?
  111. Are Antismoking Ads Effective?
  112. Where Is the Line Between Truth and Fiction?
  113. How Productive and Organized Are You?
  114. What’s the Coolest Thing You’ve Ever Seen in a Museum?
  115. What Is Your Reaction to the Trayvon Martin Case?
  116. What Can Other Schools Learn — and Copy — From Your School?
  117. What Do You Hope to Be Doing the Year After You Graduate From College?
  118. What Small Things Have You Seen and Taken Note of Today?
  119. Do You Know How to Code?
  120. What Movies, Shows or Books Do You Wish Had Sequels, Spinoffs or New Episodes?
  121. What Would You Do If You Won the Lottery?
  122. Do You Want to Write a Book?
  123. How Do You Celebrate Spring?
  124. Do You Spend Too Much Time on Smart Phones Playing ‘Stupid Games’?
  125. How Do You Archive Your Life?
  126. Should Couples Live Together Before Marriage?
  127. What Is Your Fantasy Vacation?
  128. Is It Ethical to Eat Meat?
  129. What Things Did You Create When You Were a Child?
  130. When Did You Last Have a Great Conversation?
  131. Why Do You Share Photos?
  132. What Leader Would You Invite to Speak at Your School?
  133. What Have You And Your Family Accomplished Together?
  134. Is TV Too White?
  135. How Necessary Is a College Education?
  136. How Much Does Your Life in School Intersect With Your Life Outside School?
  137. How Important Is Keeping Your Cool?
  138. Do You Prefer Your Tacos ‘Authentic’ or ‘Appropriated’?
  139. What’s Cluttering Up Your Life?
  140. When Have You Ever Failed at Something? What Happened as a Result?
  141. What Teacher Do You Appreciate?
  142. Do You Prefer Your Children’s Book Characters Obedient or Contrary?
  143. When Should You Feel Guilty for Killing Zombies?
  144. How Should Parents Address Internet Pornography?
  145. Does Mitt Romney’s High School Bullying Matter?
  146. Is TV Stronger Than Ever, or Becoming Obsolete?
  147. When Is It O.K. to Replace Human Limbs With Technology?
  148. How Far Would You Go for Fashion?
  149. How Often Do You Interact With People of Another Race or Ethnicity?
  150. What Would Your Fantasy Road Trip Be Like?
  151. Would You Consider a Nontraditional Occupation?
  152. How Full Is Your Glass?
  153. What’s On Your Summer Reading List?
  154. What’s Your Comfort Food?
  155. What Cuts Should Cash-Strapped Schools Make?
  156. When Do You Become an Adult?
  157. Who Would Be the Ideal Celebrity Neighbor?
  158. How Close Are You to Your Parents?
  159. How Do You Keep Up With the News?
  160. What Advice Would You Give to Somebody Who Just Started Dating?
  161. What Is Your Opinion About the Morning-After Pill?
  162. Do You Have a Job?
  163. When Should Juvenile Offenders Receive Life Sentences?

OK.  Some questions are sort of “dated”, but don’t let that influence your  quest to become a great conversationalist.  Time to get started !

50 Ways To Improve Your Conversations

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1. Introduce yourself to others.
2. Be the first to say hello.
3. Take risks. Don’t anticipate rejection.
4. Display your sense of humor.
5. Be receptive to new ideas.
6. Ask a person’s name if you have forgotten it.
7. Show curiosity and interest in others.
8. Tell others about the important events in your life.
9. Tell others about yourself and what you enjoy doing.
10. Make an extra effort to remember people’s names.
11. Show others you are a good listener by paraphrasing their comments.
12. Communicate with enthusiasm and interest.
13. Go out of your way to meet new people.
14. Accept a person’s right to be an individual.
15. Let the natural you come out when talking to others.
16. Be able to tell others what you do in a few short sentences.
17. Reintroduce yourself to someone who has forgotten your name.
18. Tell others something interesting or challenging about what you do.
19. Be aware of open and closed body language.
20. Use eye contact and smiling as your first contact with people.
21. Greet people you see regularly.
22. Seek common interests, goals, and experiences in those you meet.
23. Make an effort to help people if you can.
24. Let others play the expert.
25. Be open to answering ritual questions.
26. Get enthusiastic about other people’s interests.
27. Balance talking and listening in a conversation.
28. Be able to speak about a variety of topics and subjects.
29. Keep abreast of current events and the issues that affect our lives.
30. Be open to other people’s opinions and feelings.
31. Express your feelings, opinions, and emotions to others.
32. Use “I” when revealing your feelings concerning a personal topic.
33. Don’t use the word “you” when you mean “I.”
34. Show others that you are enjoying the conversation with them.
35. Invite people to join you for dinner, social events, or other activities.
36. Keep in touch with friends and acquaintances.
37. Ask other people for their opinions.
38. Look for the positive in those you meet.
39. Start and end conversation with a person’s name and a handshake.
40. Take time to be cordial with your neighbors and coworkers.
41. Let others know that you want to get to know them better.
42. Ask others about things they have told you in previous conversations.
43. Listen carefully for free information.
44. Be tolerant of other people’s beliefs if they differ from yours.
45. Change the topic of conversation when it has run its course.
46. Always search for the other person’s “hot button.”
47. Compliment others about what they are wearing, doing, or saying.
48. Encourage others to talk with you by sending out receptive signals.
49. Make an effort to see and talk to people you enjoy being with.
50. When you tell a story, present the main point first, and then add the supporting details based on the other person’s interest in the topic.


From the book “How to Start a Conversation and Make Friends” By small-talk expert Don Gabor



Setting Goals


Setting Goals

Learning Objective

To help students understand what a goal is and the criteria for a SMART goal

Materials Needed

Handouts: “About Setting Goals,” “Setting SMART Goals,” and “SMART Goal Worksheet”


goal, criteria, specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timely


Thinking Skills: Reasoning ; Seeing things in the mind’s eye

Information: Interprets and communicates information

Instructions for Conducting the Activity

In the class as a whole, students read and discuss the “About Goal Setting” handout.

Write three goals on the board, one short-term, one long-term, and one more general. For example:

  • “I want to score 95% on my next English test.”
  • “I want to complete my class here and go to the community college.”
  • “I want to make a better life in the United States.”

Ask the students to identify which are short-term goals and which are long-term goals.

Then distribute the “Setting SMART Goals” handout. Review the vocabulary as needed with the students. Then using the first goal, “I want to score a 95% on my next English test,” review the SMART criteria to establish whether or not it is a SMART goal. Do the same with the other two examples. Have students explain why the first two goals meet the SMART criteria and why the last one does not.

Ask students to reflect back on the goals they set for themselves in the classroom and to write at least two of them down. Then in small groups, students discuss the classroom goals, and help each other evaluate those goals – are they SMART ?

For the ones that are not, ask students to write them again to make them into SMART goals.

Have students revisit these written goals to develop a Career and Education Planning Worksheet.

Extension Activities

  1. Have students write a long-term goal and then break it down into 4–5 short-term goals.
  2. Have students write about a goal they had set for themselves and met in the past. How did they go about achieving the goal? Was the goal SMART ?

Adapted from “Getting There: A Curriculum for People Moving into Employment,” The Center for Literacy Studies, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 1996 and from Office Arrow at

About Setting Goals

What is a goal?

  • A goal is something we set for ourselves.
  • A goal is something we aim for.
  • A goal is important for achieving success.
  • A goal can help us measure our progress, to see if what we are doing is moving us closer to or further from our ultimate ambition.
  • A goal can be small: “I will wash my car Saturday morning.”
  • A goal can be big: “I will become a nurse in the next three years.”
  • The big goals can be broken up into smaller ones:

o “I will increase my English by one level by the fall.”

o “I will pass my GED test by this summer.”

o “I will enroll in a CNA program by next spring.”

Tips to help you set goals:

  • Keep it simple – just a few sentences for each goal will be plenty.
  • Write your goals down! “The discipline of writing something down is the first step toward making it happen.” (Lee Iacocca)
  • Make a commitment to review your goals regularly.
  • Allow your goals to reflect your values. Let your sense of “inner purpose” guide you.
  • Visualize achieving your goal. See it, taste it, smell it. Feel your goal before it happens.
  • Use motivating, positive language.
  • Make your goals emotional. Use words that have an impact on you – energizing, compelling, Inspiring words.
  • Share your goals with others and ask for their support.
  • Reward yourself along the way. Even small achievements deserve recognition.
  • Create goals for different increments of time (one week, one month, three months, one year, five years, ten years, etc.).
  • Make sure your goals are yours – not just what others expect of you.
  • Be sure to track your progress along the way.

Setting goals is an ongoing process

  • You need to practice setting goals to learn how and to get better at it.
  • Keep reviewing your goals and the steps you’re taking to reach them.
  • Are your actions moving you closer towards your goal or further from it?
  • If your actions aren’t moving you closer towards your goal you need to look again at the goal you’ve set and the steps you need to take to get there.


Tips written by Chrissy Scivicque. Reprinted with permission from Office Arrow at 2_id/78/p142_dis/3.



Continue reading “Setting Goals”

How to Make Polite Conversation


Hello !  This is a common sense article about making polite conversation.  Not deep, philosophical ones, but more getting-to- know you type’s of conversation.

In this frenzied world we live in, we really need this kind of old-fashioned, thoughtful conversation to connect with someone and feel human.  (Our political leaders should be the one’s reading this and taking careful notes.)

Using the Internet to Learn About Occupations


Using the Internet to Learn About Occupations

Learning Objective

To help students become familiar with how to find occupational information on the Internet and to know what type of information is helpful in comparing occupational choices

Materials Needed

Handouts: “Career Exploration on the Internet” Versions A, B, or C


websites, Internet, licensure, certification


Basic Skills: Reading

Technology: Applies technology to task

Thinking: Seeing things in the mind’s eye

Instructions for Conducting the Activity

This activity can be conducted by having them write down 2–4 occupations they are interested in learning more about and use that list as the basis for the Internet search.

Websites for career exploration:

We highly recommended that you review each of the websites listed above to determine which site provides information in the most accessible manner for the students’ language level and familiarity with the Internet. There are three versions of the “Career Exploration on the Internet” handout.

Version A: Pre-GED/GED students

Version B: ESOL students

Version C: College Transition students

Choose the version that best meets students’ needs.

Day of Activity:

Students can do this activity in pairs or by themselves depending on their familiarity with the computer and the Internet.

Tell students that they will be learning more about the occupations they each identified through the CDM. Ask them to choose at least two occupations to research on the Internet. Select and distribute a version of the handout “Career Exploration on the Internet” that is appropriate for your students. Explain that these are common questions that people have when researching occupations. These questions are just a guide. The students should add other questions that are important to them. Review the handout with the students to make sure that everyone understands the questions.

Brainstorm other questions the students might want to have answered.

You can then model how to look for the information on the website that you have chosen ahead of time. Choose an occupation not listed by the students and walk the students through the “Career Exploration on the Internet” on how to find the information.

Note for ESOL classes: We recommend that you select two occupations to use as examples. Using the “Career Exploration on the Internet” handout, one occupation can be completed by you before the lesson. Then to introduce the lesson to the class, the teacher can take the students through the information gathering process using the completed sample handout.

Next, as a class, the students can look for and fill in the information on the second occupation. After this, the students will be better prepared to research information on their own. Then have students log onto the website and find information about their occupations. If possible, have students print out information for review later.

Note for College Transition classes: These students may have already chosen a career and educational pathway. Version C of the “Career Exploration on the Internet” handout allows them to focus on one occupation and educational pathway in more depth.

Extension Activity

This activity can be expanded upon in a follow-up lesson to help students compare the amount of education needed and the expected wage for different occupations. This will encourage students to begin to think realistically about whether a career path is right for them or not.

Have students bring their completed “Career Exploration on the Internet” handouts to class. Post four large sheets of paper around the room with the labels: “High School or GED,” “Certificate Program or Associates Degree,” “Bachelor’s Degree,” and “Graduate Degree.” Ask students to list their career choices under one of the four sheets based on education needed.

Ask them to also mark the wage of the career choice next to it.

Facilitate a discussion based on the following questions:

  • Were they surprised by how much or how little education was needed for some jobs? Which ones and why?
  • Were they surprised by how much or how little the wage was for some jobs? Which ones and why?
  • Is there a relationship between how much education/training a job requires and the wage of the job?

• Why do some jobs require a BA degree but pay less than a job requiring an AA degree ? 







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