Mansfield Middle School
Mrs. Hodgson

8th Grade Social Studies and Language Arts

Room 306

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already used, and your password starts with an "h" and may have an added "0" at the end to get it to six digits.

Language Arts

Classes 1, 2, and 3

Social Studies

Classes 4 and 5

Additional info

 

Spelling and vocab quiz:  Tuesday, February 2.  Unit 3 roots, words 1-10, and homophones.

 

Run-on sentence quiz:  Thursday, February 4.  Use the notes I gave you (also available in Google Classroom) and the various handouts to help you study.

 

If you choose to revise your midterm essay, submit it by Tuesday, February 9.  Be sure to attach the old copy with the new, as well as the revision log located in Google Classroom.

Current Issues Quiz -- Monday,  February 1.  This will include information from the 1/26 and 1/28 broadcasts.  Notes are available in Google Classroom.

If you choose to revise your letter to President Jefferson, submit it to me by Wednesday, February 3.  Be sure to attach 1) the old copy with the new; and 2) the revision guide, available in Google Classroom.

 

Westward Trails Maps are due Wednesday, February 3.  There are multiple sources available online to assist you.  Here are two you might consider:

http://mrnussbaum.com/history-2-2/westward-expansion-for-kids/

http://unitedstateswestwardexpansion.weebly.com/trails-west.html

 

 

Friday, February 12

8:15       2

9:15       5

10:15     4

11:15     PE WL

12:05     X

Pep Rally

 

Wednesday, February 17

8:15        4

9:00        3

9:45        5

10:30     1

11:15     2

12:05     X

1:20        PE RA

2:05        PE RA

 

 

Thursday, February 25

8:20        Looking in Theater

9:45        3

10:30     PE RA

11:15     1

12:05     X

1:20        WL AA

2:05        WL AA

 

 

 

 Two optional assignments, depending on where you are with your midterm essay:

1) You will have 45 minutes in Monday's class to complete your first draft with citations.  If you think you will need additional information or notes to complete this assignment, you can gather what you need this weekend.

2) If you choose to revise your fiction, submit it no later than Monday morning at 8:05.  Be sure to follow the directions in the Google Classroom assignment sheet for revising work.  Print this sheet to submit with your original draft and revised copy.

 

The next current issues quiz is Wednesday, January 27.  It will include information from the broadcasts on January 12 and January 14, and the MLK story on January 20.  Notes are available in Google Classroom.

 Remember that you can always earn extra credit points by watching a broadcast with a guardian.  This week, you could also choose to listen to the NPR story, too.

January 19 CNN Notes

 http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/01/08/462372942/in-a-sea-of-homicide-stats-a-familiar-name-and-a-heartbreaking-story

 

History Day Students:  You absolutely, positively must sign up for a check-in this week.  See the sign on my door.  When you arrive for your check-in, be sure to:

--open the check-in form (located in the History Day 201516 folder that Mrs. McMunn created and shared); and 

-- have ready all materials ready for this week's check-in.  This week you must have your drafts ready.  

We will follow a regular schedule this coming week.

Once you've brought in the two articles and Evaluating Websites sheet, most of your midterm essay will be completed in class.  You will have no additional homework. 

 

Midterm Essay preparation:

Select your candidate for the Person of the Year essay.  Find two reliable information sources and complete the Evaluating Websites sheet in Google Classroom for Thursday, January 13.

The final draft of your story is due Tuesday, January 12, at the beginning of class.  It should be printed and ready to submit when you walk in the door.

 The Year in Review project is due at the beginning of class Wednesday, January 13.

Next current issues quiz is Wednesday, January 27.  It will include information from the broadcasts on January 12 and January 14, and the MLK story on January 20.  Notes are available in Google Classroom.

Physical features maps are due Friday, January 22.  (I'll distribute this assignment on Wednesday, January 20.)

 

 

Schedule change for Wednesday, January 20:

 

8:15      4

9:00      3

9:45      5

10:30    1

11:15    2

12:05     X

1:20        PEa RAb

2:05        RAa PEb

 

Thursday, January 7:  Spelling and vocab, unit 2, words 11-20; roots civ, doc, domin, plus the homophones.

Entries for the CT Student Writers Magazine are due to me by January 20.

 

The final draft of your story is due Tuesday, January 12, at the beginning of class.  It should be printed and ready to submit when you walk in the door.  

 

 Due Wednesday, January 6:   a complete planner for Representative Haddad's essay contest.  This plan must be printed or handwritten and ready to submit at the beginning of class on Wednesday.  A copy of this planner and the ten-point scoring sheet are in Google Classroom.

Challenge option:  You may submit a completed essay to Representative Haddad's essay contest.  Submissions are due to me by Wednesday, January 13.  You may earn up to ten points to be added to your Government unit test by finishing this option.  

 

2015 Year in Review:  Due Monday, January 11 at the beginning of class.  Changed to Wednesday, January 13.   Be sure to save your work in Google Classroom.

 

Current Issues quiz:  Monday, January 11, on stories from Monday, January 4, and Thursday, January 7.  Notes are available in Google Classroom.

 

 Reminder to History Day participants:

-Bring a backpack and pencil (Dodd Ctr does not allow pen), notebook, History Day folder and printed copy of existing notes for reference (if using Google docs).

-For lunch, students should bring money for the SU or a bag lunch.

-We will be walking around campus, so students should dress comfortably and for COLD weather.

- We will meet in my room after HR and return for the end of the school day. Students are responsible for seeing teachers about missed work.

     

 You have no homework during vacation, unless you'd like to submit a piece of writing to the Connecticut Student Writers Magazine.  Consider revising your Seventeen Minute Poem for this competition.  Entries are due to me by January 20, 2016.  

 

The only required assignment this week:  go outside and play!

 

 

You have no homework during vacation.  However, if you'd like to submit an essay to  the Student Essay Challenge sponsored by Representative Haddad (54th District), you may want to use the break to work on it.  Entries are due to Mrs. Hodgson by January 11, 2016.

If you were absent on Friday, December 23, I put a copy of the essay contest information in your cubby.  You can also access a planning sheet and a  fuzzy copy of the contest here.

 No adjusted schedule for the week of January 4.

 

A complete draft of your story is due at the beginning of class on Tuesday, December 22.  It does not need to be printed.

 The first page of your story is due at the beginning of class Monday, December 14.  Please edit this draft, too, even though you might make revisions to it.

 

The Government Unit Test will beMonday, December 21.  No current issues quiz that day.  (This date has been rescheduled from December 18.) 

Posters for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights poster contest must be submitted by Wednesday, December 9.

Next current issues quiz:  Monday, December 14.  This quiz will cover just one day's broadcast (Monday, December 7.)  Notes are available in Google Classroom.  

The Government Unit Test will be Monday, December 21.  No current issues quiz that day.  (This date has been rescheduled from December 18.)

 

There is also an extra credit option available in Google Classroom.  You may add up to ten points to your mid-unit quiz on government by completing this option.

On Friday, December 18, we will have a study activity to help you prepare for the unit test on Monday, December 21.  Be sure to have these materials with you in class:

Notes from PowerPoint about types of government (monarchy, dictatorship, democracy, etc.)

Chapter 7, section 1, questions and answers.

Notes from Three Branches of Government PowerPoint.

Checks and Balances worksheet.

How a Bill Becomes a Law PowerPoint notes.

Notes from Borka simulation

Reflections on Model Congress

Preamble coloring book

Bill of Rights notes and activity materials

 

 

 Half of you will visit the Mark Twain House this Wednesday; the other half will remain here for an adjusted schedule.  If you are going on the trip and you're a music student, bring a lunch in case we hit traffic and our return is delayed.

Schedule change for Thursday, December 10:

8:15-9:00   Hour of Code in HR

9:00           Concert

10:30         PE RA

11:15          Hour of Code, Continued

12:05     X

1:20        AA WL

2:05        AA WL

 

 

Reminder:  Field trip to CT Capitol this Friday, December 11.  Please dress appropriately.  Remember to bring a lunch if you are in Group C.  

 

Quiz: Dependent and Independent Clauses. Thursday, December 3.

The "three leads" for fiction are due Thursday, too.  Please do this assignment in Google Classroom.  You don't need to print.

 

If you need to do Take 3 of the Integrating Quotations assignment, be sure to hand itin toJH by Wednesday, November 25.

Due Friday, December 4.Answer questions about Borka in complete sentences.The final product should be typed, printed, and ready to hand in on 12/4.These questions are available in Google Classroom.Please don't work on this until we've completed Borka in class.

DueDecember 3:Signed permission slip for the Capitol trip.There is no fee for this trip!

Monday, December 7: Government quiz. To study, use the following:

  • Chapter 7 questions, answers, and answer key;
  • Notes about government;
  • Notes and sheet about the Great Compromise; the three branches of government, and checks and balances.

There will not be a current issues quiz on Monday, December 7, so you can prepare for the quiz on government.

 

Remember to search your closet (or someone else's!) for attire for Model Congress on Friday.See me ahead of timeif you need a tie, shirt, etc. Please don't wait until Thursday!

EO Smith Ag Ed Open House:Wednesday December 9thfrom 6-8:30.(Optional information session for students interested in this program.)

Schedule adjustments for November 30-December 4:

Monday, November 30 (to adjust for special schedules later in the week)8:15 2

9:00 4

9:45 4

10:30 WL-PE

11:15 5

12:05 X

1:20 5

2:05 PE RA

 

Tuesday, December 1

Regular schedule

 

 

Wednesday, December 2

8:15-12:05--Half of 8thgrade on field trip. Otherhalf on special schedule to be determined

12:05-2:50 As usual

Thursday, December 3

8:15-8:45 3

8:45-9:20 5

9:20-9:55 4

9:55-10:30 2

10:30-11:15 PE-RA

11:15-12:05 1

12:05 X

1:20 WL AA

2:05 AA WL

Friday, December 4

8:15-11:15 Model Congress (details to be determined)

11:15-12:05 PE WL

12:05 X

1:20-2:50 Declaration of Human Rights and social studies activity. Students will be in SS classes in various 8thgrade homerooms.

 

Language Arts

Classes 1, 2, and 3

Social Studies

Classes 4 and 5

Additional info

 

Thanksgiving break:  You have no formal written homework due on Monday.  However, in between moments of thinking of all you are grateful to have in your life, take some time to think about character ideas for your upcoming story.  Spend some time with your imaginary friends characters and get to know them.

 

If you need to do Take 3 of the Integrating Quotations assignment, be sure to hand it in to JH by Wednesday, November 25. 

Remember to search your closet (or someone else's!) for attire for Model Congress on Friday.  See me ahead of time  if you need a tie, shirt, etc. Please don't wait until Thursday!

Due Friday, December 4.  Answer questions about Borka in complete sentences.  The final product should be typed, printed, and ready to hand in on 12/4.  These questions are available in Google Classroom.  Please don't work on this until we've completed Borka in class.

Due December 3:  Signed permission slip for the Capitol trip.  There is no fee for this trip!  

Optional Revision:  If you are not happy with your American Revolution editorial, you have one week to resubmit.  You must make true revisions (not just minor edits) and submit the new copy with the old. Details about this option are available in Google Classroom, where you can find the revision log that you will hand in with your new version.  If you take me up on this offer, I will replace the new grade with the old.  (And no, you can't do worse and get a lower grade.)

 

 

 

* If you haven't yet brought your permission slip for the Mark Twain House field trip, do so ASAP.

 *The permission slip for the field trip to the Connecticut State Capitol must be returned to your SS teacher by Thursday, December 3.  This will count as a homework grade! (Hint: Easy A.  Get it in on time.)

 

EO Smith Ag Ed Open House: Wednesday December 9th from 6-8:30.  (Optional information session for students interested in this program.)

 Schedule adjustments for November 30-December 4:

Monday, November 30 (to adjust for special schedules later in the week)8:15        2

9:00        4

9:45        4

10:30     WL-PE

11:15     5

12:05     X

1:20        5

2:05        PE RA

 

Tuesday, December 1

Regular schedule

 

 

Wednesday, December 2

8:15-12:05--Half of 8th grade on field trip. Other half on special schedule to be determined

12:05-2:50           As usual

 Thursday, December 3

 8:15-8:45              3

8:45-9:20              5

9:20-9:55              4

9:55-10:30              2

10:30-11:15         PE-RA

11:15-12:05         1

12:05                     X

1:20                        WL AA

2:05                        AA WL

 Friday, December 4

 8:15-11:15           Model Congress (details to be determined)

11:15-12:05         PE WL

12:05                     X

1:20-2:50              Declaration of Human Rights and social studies activity. Students will be in SS classes in various 8th grade homerooms.

 

Monday, November 23:  Spelling and vocab quiz.  Unit 2, roots urb, public, and reg; words 1-10; homophones.  

 

 

 

 Tuesday, November 24:  Current issues quiz on broadcasts from Monday, November 16, and Wednesday, November 18. I've posted the notes in Google Classroom, and you're also welcome to watch the broadcasts again.  In addition, I recommend you study by quizzing yourself with the questions I've provided under each story.  

 

Weekend:  Think about Borka.  Talk about your group's needs with your parents.  See if you can bring back a form of government that will best serve you and all Borkans!

 


 

 

See below for this week's schedule changes.

Due Tuesday, November 17:

 

1) Be prepared for the dependent and independent clause quiz.  Use your packet to review.  You may also want to try these sites:

http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/quizzes/indep_clause_quiz.htm

http://esl.fis.edu/grammar/multi/clauses.htm

2) Return your information essay.

3) If you are revising your information essay, be prepared to submit it with the original copy.

 

 

 

 

Your next Current Issues quiz will be Monday, November 16.  It will include broadcasts and notes from 11/3, 11/9, and 11/13.  You can find the notes, as always, in Google Classroom.

 

Read Chapter 7, Section 1 from your textbook, and answer the questions provided in class.  (You can also find these questions, as well as a PDF of this section in the textbook, in Google Classroom.)  Your typed, printed answers are due at the beginning of class on Friday, November 20.  

 

 

 Reminder:  Field trip to The Bushnell in Hartford this Wednesday, November 18.  

Next week's schedule changes due to parent conferences:

Monday, November 23

 

8:15

1

9:00

2

9:45

3

10:25 (not 10:30)

PEb WLa

11:15

C/X

11:40

D/X

12:05

HR for Dismissal

 

Tuesday, November 24

Closed for X:  PE and RA

8:15

4

9:00

5

9:45

WLb RAa

10:25 (not 10:30)

HR for Activity

11:15

C/X

11:40

D/X

12:05

HR for Dismissal

 

Wednesday, November 25

8:15

PE a RA b

9:00

Career Day (specifics to be determined)

 

9:45

10:25 (not 10:30)

11:15

C/X

11:40

D/X

12:05

HR for Dismissal

 

 

 


 

Language Arts 1, 2, and 3

Social Studies 4 and 5

 

 Due Tuesday, November 17:

 

1) Be prepared for the dependent and independent clause quiz.  Use your packet to review.  You may also want to try these sites:

http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/quizzes/indep_clause_quiz.htm

http://esl.fis.edu/grammar/multi/clauses.htm

2) Return your information essay.

3) If you are revising your information essay, be prepared to submit it with the original copy.

 Your next Current Issues quiz will be Monday, November 16.  It will include broadcasts and notes from 11/3, 11/9, and 11/13.  You can find the notes, as always, in Google Classroom.

 

Read Chapter 7, Section 1 from your textbook, and answer the questions provided in class.  (You can also find these questions, as well as a PDF of this section in the textbook, in Google Classroom.)  Your typed, printed answers are due at the beginning of class on Friday, November 20.  

 

 

 

Spelling and Vocab Unit 1, Part 2 Quiz:  Tuesday, November 10

Roots:  arch, polils, demos, crat

Words 1-11 and the homophones

Integrating Quotations Take Two:  Due Thursday, 11/12 for Classes 1 and 3; due Friday for Class 2.

 

 

Your next Current Issues quiz will be Monday, November 16.  It will include broadcasts and notes from 11/3, 11/9, and 11/13.

If you'd like to complete the optional extra credit assignment for My Brother Sam Is Dead, please submit it by Friday, November 13.  

The final draft of your essay is due this Thursday, November 5 (Classes 1 and 3) or Friday, November 6 (Class 2).  It should be printed and ready to hand in when you walk in the door! 

Links to help you study for the dependent/independent clause quiz (and to help you become a master at fixing run-on sentences):

http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/quizzes/indep_clause_quiz.htm

http://esl.fis.edu/grammar/multi/clauses.htm

 

American Revolution unit test this coming Friday, November 6. 

To prepare, study:

-- flash cards in Quia;

-- your maps so you can locate the 13 colonies;

-- Chapter 5 questions and answers;

-- notes from the research presentations.

 

Tuesday (10/27) or Wednesday (10/28) night:  Spend 20-30 minutes revising your essay for wordiness and relative pronouns.  (Wait until after Tuesday's class to do this.)

 

 Research projects are due Monday, November 2.  Please have all materials with you in class each day this week so you can maximize your time in completing this assignment.

 

Unit Test:  Friday, November 6.  To prepare, study:

-- flash cards in Quia;

-- your maps so you can locate the 13 colonies;

-- Chapter 5 questions and answers;

-- notes from the research presentations.

 

  Have a completed draft of your information/argument essay due at the beginning of class on Monday, October 26.  If you don't have a printer at home, be sure to print it in homeroom in the morning.  You should have a printed copy with you when you walk in the door to class!

 Tuesday (10/27) or Wednesday (10/28) night:  Spend 20-30 minutes revising your essay for wordiness and relative pronouns.  (Wait until after Tuesday's class to do this.)

 

 

 Current Issues Quiz:  Monday, October 26

American Revolution Research Project due:  Monday, November 2.  (See assignment sheet handed out Friday, October 23.  You will have class time to work on this Monday and Wednesday.  I've also distributed the assignment to you via Google Classroom.)  

 

If you have extra time, you might consider studying some of the flashcards in Quia, labeled "American Revolution" and "Explorers."

 

 

 Have a completed draft of your information/argument essay due at the beginning of class on Monday, October 26.  This week (10/19-23) you will have class time to work on this.

Map Activity due:  beginning of class Friday, October 23. 

 

 American Revolution mid-unit quiz:  Tuesday, October 20.

Next CI quiz:  Monday, October 26.  Remember that I'm no longer posting notes on this homework page.  Instead, you can access them through Google Classroom. 

 

 

 

No current issues quiz during the week of October 19.  Instead, you will have a mid-unit quiz on the American Revolution on Tuesday, October 20.  (Remember that we will have all classes/no blocks on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.)  

To prepare:

1) Play this review game for twenty minutes each night!  http://www.quia.com/jg/2716738.html

2) Review your answers from Chapter 5, Sections 2 and 3.

 

Due Wednesday, October 14 (Class 2) or Thursday, October 15 (Classes 1 and 3):

--Information reliability checklist for information essay research.  

 ---All notes, either Cornell or on index cards with Works Cited information.

Current Issues Quiz:  Wed, October 14.

 Please note:  I will no longer post the notes here on the homework page.  Instead, I will share them with you as an announcement in Google Classroom.  

 If you'd like to review this week's broadcast, you may do so and earn extra credit:  Tuesday, October 6, and Thursday, October 8.  Use the link above to get to CNN Student News.

Tuesday, October 6 (Classes 1 and 3) and Wednesday, October 7 (Class 2): Spelling and vocab quiz:

Unit 1, roots bene, mal, and equi.  Know the parts of speech, definitions, and correct spelling for words 1-9.

 

Class 2 students who were on the German Exchange field trip:  Please don't worry about this quiz over the weekend.  I'll give you what you need to know on Monday.

 

Monday, September 28:  

Read and EXAMINE the sample research essay about cell phones, and answer the questions on the yellow paper.

Purpose:  to examine MLA documentation.

 

Due Thursday, October 1 (Classes 1 and 3) or Friday, October 2 (Class 2):  Complete the allusions/mythology activity (purple paper).  

1)  Current Issues Quiz Monday, October 5.  Review the broadcast for September 29, 2015.  Here are the notes.  

 

2)  Due typed and printed when you walk in the door Wednesday, October 7:

Read Chapter 5, Section 2 of your Social Studies textbook.  

Fully answer questions 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 4, 5 and 6 on page 149.  

Read Chapter 5, Section 3 (From Protest to Rebellion), p. 150-153. 

Fully answer  “Check Your Progress” questions (p. 153) – 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 5, 6, 7.

 Be sure to use complete sentences and TTQA.

 If you have a hard time accessing the online textbook, you can use this black and white PDF of the assigned sections.

 

Friday, September 25:  No homework this weekend.

 

Quiz:  Friday, September 25.  Study the seven note cards that you created from the "Exploring the Explorers" activity.  If you're not sure about the content on your note cards, please come to 306 for X on Wednesday or Thursday.  I have the information posted on the back bulletin board.

 

Current Events Stories to Review:

--- CNN Student News September 22, 2015.  

Notes from September 22 broadcast.

---CNN Student News September 24, 2015

Notes from September 24 broadcast

 

Thank you, Amber O., for the polite reminder about the notes!

 

 

 

 

1) The final draft of your Where I'm From poem is due by the end of class on Friday, September 18.  Make sure you have revised and edited to:

-- replace forms of "to be" with active, vivid verbs;

-- replace generic nouns with specific selections;

-- remove cliches; 

-- be sure all/most parts of your life are reflected in this poem.

 

2) The finished poster is due at the beginning of class on Tuesday, September 22 (Classes 1 and 3) or Wednesday, September 23 (Class 2).   I recommend working on this during an X block, if possible.  

 

 

CNN September 14 broadcast:  http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/13/studentnews/sn-content-mon/index.html 

(I'm having problems activating the links.  If this doesn't work, please go to CNN News for Students and find the September 14 broadcast.)

Notes from 9/14/15 broadcast.

 

 

CNN September 16 broadcast:  http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/15/studentnews/sn-content-weds/index.html

 

Notes from September 16

Current Issues Quiz Monday, September 21

 

 

 

Due at the beginning of class Tuesday, September 15:

Spend 20 minutes revising your Where I'm From poem.  Goal:  Eliminate all forms of the verb "to be."  (You're allowed only one in your final draft!)  Forms to eliminate:  is/are/was/were/being/been/am)

3) Finish completing the yellow peer review form for your partner by the beginning of class on Thursday.

 Due at the beginning of class Wednesday, September 16: 

-- Write a full paragraph to answer the last question in your explorers packet;

--create seven note cards, one for each explorer in the chart, indicating three bullet points of the most important information about him.  Hint, hint:  These note cards will be very useful when you study for your midterm exam!

Posted September 8, 2015

Weekend:  Spend at least twenty minutes revising your poem for specificity and breadth. 

 

 


--Write five metaphors on the metaphor activity sheet.  Due Thursday, 9/10 (Classes 1 and 3) or Friday, 9/11 (Class 2).

 

-- Finish typing your Where I'm From poem draft.  Due Thursday, 9/10 (Classes 1 and 3) or Friday, 9/11 (Class 2).

 Posted September 9, 2015

Current Issues Quiz:  Monday, September 14

For your review:

CNN September 8  and Notes from 8/18 and 9/9

 

CNN September 10

 Notes from September 10: Notes from September 10

 

Posted September 2, 2015

Bring in a few artifacts (three or four pictures, magazine clippings, leaves, ticket stubs, etc.) for your poster.

 

A completed draft of your Where I'm From poem is due at the beginning of class on Tuesday, September 8.  It does not need to be typed.

Posted September 2, 2015


Your next current issues quiz will be Tuesday, September 8.  Here are the links for the videos for review:

From 9/1 and 2:

http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/31/studentnews/sn-content-tues/index.html

Notes: /filestorage/6715/6788/SS_CI_9-1_Notes.docx

 

From 9/3 and 9/4:

http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/02/studentnews/sn-content-thurs/index.html

 Notes: /filestorage/6715/6788/SS_CI_notes_9-4.docx

 

 

Posted August 28, 2015

No homework this weekend.  However, you should start to gather artifacts (ticket stubs, photos, trinkets) that you can use for your Where I'm From poster.

 

 

 

Posted August 28, 2015

Your first current issues quiz is Monday, August 31.  If you'd like to review the story, check this link:

http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/26/studentnews/sn-content-thurs/index.html

You may earn 5 bonus points on this quiz by watching and discussing the broadcast with an adult.  Bring in a note to indicate you have done so.

 

This week's study tip from The New York Times:  Change your location!  Study the same information multiple times in different locations.

 

Many study skills courses insist that students find a specific place, a study room or a quiet corner of the library, to take their work. The research finds just the opposite. In one classic 1978 experiment, psychologists found that college students who studied a list of 40 vocabulary words in two different rooms - one windowless and cluttered, the other modern, with a view on a courtyard - did far better on a test than students who studied the words twice, in the same room. Later studies have confirmed the finding, for a variety of topics.

The brain makes subtle associations between what it is studying and the background sensations it has at the time, the authors say, regardless of whether those perceptions are conscious. It colors the terms of the Versailles Treaty with the wasted fluorescent glow of the dorm study room, say; or the elements of the Marshall Plan with the jade-curtain shade of the willow tree in the backyard. Forcing the brain to make multiple associations with the same material may, in effect, give that information more neural scaffolding.

"What we think is happening here is that, when the outside context is varied, the information is enriched, and this slows down forgetting," said Dr. Bjork, the senior author of the two-room experiment.  (http://lifehacker.com/5631680/change-up-your-study-spaces-for-better-recall