Study Skills Newsletter

summer 2014 session

Welcome to study skills!

This is the first of many newsletters that I will use to keep everyone (parents, students, and other interested parties) updated on what we are learning in this class. In order for the concepts we discuss in the classroom setting to be meaningful, they must be reinforced at home. I will be giving the kids a lot of advice on getting organized and you can report back to me if there is any progress on the home front.

Included with your registration is a copy of the SOAR Study Skills textbook (see image below). This book is yours to keep! Please write your name in it right away so it can get back to you if it is left behind.

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Our First Lesson

"Intelligence or ability to understand the world is complex. Some people are better at understanding some things than others. For some of us it is relatively easy to understand how a flower grows but it is immensely difficult for us to understand and use a musical instrument. For others, music might be easy but playing football is difficult."

Our first step towards becoming a more organized, goal-oriented, and efficient student begins inside our own brains. The students took a simple online personality assessment that measured their strengths and weaknesses in the different theoretical "multiple intelligences" (for more info about each intelligence, click here: I collected their printed results and will return them to them tomorrow. I will only use the results of this informal assessment to guide your children as they are setting goals and as a tool to help them build their confidence. Please do not read too much into the results, as they are more an indicator of current personal interests and natural talents than any type of indicator of future success. None of this is fixed or unchangeable--in fact, the students will be learning about many ways to strengthen their weak areas and enhance their strengths.

One of these tools for changing the way they learn is a website called Lumosity ( We will set up a free account during this class and will use it periodically to help them try it out. This site claims to harness your brain's neuroplasticity (ability to learn) to train it to improve memory, attention, processing speed, and flexibility. There's even an app so users can train their brain on the go! It's actually quite fun and uses games and puzzles so that kids of all ages will enjoy the training. I highly recommend checking it out if you haven't already.

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Please Help Your Child w/ Email!

Many of the activities we will do in this class will involve using the internet and sometimes I will be sending the students links to activities and/or asking them to email me their scores. We discovered today that not all of the new students have email yet (and not all of them remembered their passwords if they did). Please help your child create a free email account (or write down their login info if they already have one) so that we can share more information electronically.

Supply List

Finally, I emailed the parents yesterday about this, but some students just signed up this morning and therefore were not yet in the system. I asked the students to bring in the items from the list below before this Thursday. We will be setting up an organizational binder system for the upcoming school year (early!) and I will reinforce how to use it properly throughout the next 4 weeks.

  • A good, sturdy, 1-2 inch binder
  • 6 plastic dividers (no pockets, if you can avoid them!)
  • A flash drive with at least 1 GB of memory
  • Extra blank paper
  • A pencil pouch with the following items:
  • 2+ pens/pencils
  • highlighter
  • white-out
  • small calculator

Meet Mr. Wheatley

I've been teaching study skills at Detroit Country Day for 7 years, but my formal training is science education. The 2 subjects are often complementary, though, as much of the topics I teach in study skills are based on scientific studies, experiments, and the latest research on how the brain works. I received my Master's in Educational Psychology from Wayne State University. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns that you might have!