Study Skills Chapter 5 Organize your Backpack

Thursday, September 16, 2021

I like to run.  Whenever I complete long runs it helps to carry water, and some type of food to replace burned calories. For many years I ran with a fuel belt. A fuel belt is a terrible-looking contraption that resembles a mix between a fanny pack and an oversized, ugly belt. However, they can hold gel packs and water, making them very practical for running. In fact, I became so accustomed to wearing my fuel belt that I could not even consider going on a long run without it strapped around my waist. You may feel the same way about your backpack. They become your portable security blanket with everything you would ever need inside. I would like to make a couple of organizing suggestions to help you get the most out of your backpack.

Organize backpack

Here is a shortlist of helpful items to carry in your backpack:



Colored pens



Post-it notes

Pencil pouch

Cell phone charger

Mini stapler

Subject binders

Portable hole-punch (these can staple into your notebooks)

Zip drive (they might seem a little outdated or unnecessary but are still helpful)

Water bottle


Breath mints/gum

Hand sanitizer



School ID

“Emergency Money” ($5-10 just in case you ever run into a situation you need a few bucks)


The biggest problem I have witnessed over the years with backpacks is students not cleaning them out.  Your backpack needs to be cleaned out at least once every two weeks, and once a week is even better. When you clean out your backpack you can follow the simple acronym DIRT.

D  Dump everything out of your backpack.

I    Inventory the items in your backpack. When you inventory your backpack you are just getting an idea of what you have inside the backpack.

R Repack the backpack with all of your essentials. Make note of any items you are out of such as pens, pencils, band-aids, hand sanitizer, notecards, etc are rep

Also place important papers, that are not trash, back in the correct notebook. This habit will save you stress and time in the long run.

T Toss out any trash.

DIRT is a great habit to begin practicing and can follow you in life. I love to mountain bike. Like most mountain bikers I wear a specialized, sporty backpack when I ride. I have learned the hard way to always keep important tools and an extra tire tube with me. In the middle of a ride, several miles from my car, my tire went flat. I realized I had forgotten to pack my pump in my bag and had to push my bike back to the car. Another time, after driving over an hour to ride a trail, my chain broke and my handy dandy toolset was left at home. I was unable to ride and had to drive an hour back home. The moral of the story is: Take some time out of your schedule and use the DIRT method to organize your backpack. This keeps what you need with you at all times and what you don’t need out your bag. 

Summary Notes:

Schedule a set time every two weeks to clean out your backpack and restock supplies.

Use DIRT (Dump, Inventory, Repack, Trash) to clean out your school backpack.

Additional Resources

Entire Free Study Skills Workbook Playlist

Chapter 4


Study Skills Book - School Organization Basics - Using a PLanner- Chapter 4

A planner can be a notebook or computer program with sections for each month, week, day, or hour that plan and organizes your schoolwork as well as other areas of your life. A planner helps you keep track of all of your academic work, test dates, homework assignments, and other deadlines you need to remember. At the school where I teach, every student has issued an agenda for the first week of the school year. They are required to keep it with them at all times.  In spite of this fact, many of our students do not take advantage of their agenda.
Let’s go over how you using your agenda can translate to school success.
Let’s go over how you using your agenda can translate to school success. The first and most important rule of your agenda is to keep it with you at all times. Take it to each class and write something at either the beginning or end of every period.
Let’s begin by answering the question. “What should I write in my agenda?”   I will go over several ideas about what to include in your agenda.  As you read over this list, make note of the items that you feel would help you stay more organized and reach your school goals.
Your daily homework:  This one is not optional. You must write homework down daily so that you don’t forget an assignment. 
Major tests and assignments:  Write these down right after you receive the class syllabus. This will take about 5 minutes, but it will be early in the semester so you shouldn’t have much homework.
Short-term to-do lists:  Write down tasks (whether academic or not) that you need to get done either today or very soon.

Long-term to-do list:  Write down tasks you need to get done, but not immediately.
Study Goals:  Write down your study goals for your current semester.
Here are some examples of study goals:
Use your planner as a journal. 
Write down your thoughts for the day, what happened, your feelings, and more.

Write down questions that you have for your teacher or others while you are studying. Or you can jot them on post-it notes and put them in your agenda.  Make sure you stick them on the day you are planning to ask the questions.

Write notes that your teacher mentioned in class. 

A handy planner allows you to jot notes down quickly and refer to them later.

Additional Resources

Entire Free Study Skills Workbook Playlist

How to start a planner

Study Skills Book-Getting Organized

Chapter 5

70 Ways to be KInd to others

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

 At MooMooMath and Science, I always end my videos with the phrase " Kindness Multiplies Kindness."  In my Youtube short# above, I challenge people to be kind to others for ten days in a row.
If you agree to the 10 day challenge your kindness will be multiplied as you spread your kindness to others.

Here is a list of 70 ways you can be kind to people around you.

1. Send an encouraging text to a friend
2. Respond to texts or email promptly
3. THINK before you post on social media
    True Helpful Inspiring Necessary Kind
4. Give your teacher candy to hand out
5. Let others cut in front of you in traffic
6. Clean up your mess
7. Never make fun of anyone or anything
8. Be tolerant of religious beliefs and color of skin
9. Be a generous tipper
10. Listen to the opinions of others before making a judgment
11. Tell people happy birthday and give them a note or card on their birthday
12. Acknowledge the people no one else does. Like the person sitting alone at the lunch table.
13. When the light turns green, give the car ahead sometimes, before honking
14. Allow oncoming vehicles access to the road ahead of you
15. Offer to lend a hand if someone is struggling with a large item or piece of luggage
16. Be a courteous driver
17. Take your dog for a walk
18. If you find something that is not yours, turn it in
19. Pick up after your dog
20. Compliment the people around you
21. Encourage the people around you
22. Offer to pick up your friend's tab
23. Call your grandparents just to say hi
24. Make someone laugh
25. Write a kind note to someone
26. Complete a chore without being asked
27. Talk to the person who appears lonely at any gathering
28. Listen to others with the goal of listening and not responding
29. Call someone and listen to them. No advice, No judgment, Just listen
30. Visit a friend who has been ill
31. Send someone a greeting card
32. Give compliments freely
33. Tell people you are happy to hear from them.
34. Cheer for others
35. Speak up for others who may be missing, if the conversation turns against them.
36. Take someone to lunch and pay for their lunch
37. Decide to use a kind voice
38. Make the decision to not argue
39. Do not get upset or react when someone else is not kind in traffic
40. Offer someone your seat
41. Frame a photo memory and give it to the people in the video
42. Volunteer for an event
43. Ask someone if they want to go for a short walk and just listen
44. Thank others for their time
45. Compliment often
46. Show up when you say you will
47. Be kind to yourself
48. Learn to love yourself
49. Put your phone away and give someone your full attention
50. Don't gossip
51. Say please and thank you
52. Leave a nice note on social media
53. Ask new people to be in your group during class.
54. Give someone some positive feedback
55. Say thank you often
56. Share with others
57. Randomly text a nice message to family and friends
58. Let someone go ahead of you in-line
59. Write a thank you note
60. Say " I love you " to the people you love
61. Talk to someone at school you have never talked to before
62. Be happy for other people
63. Help a teacher out by not talking when they are giving instructions
64. Tell your teacher thank you at the end of class
65. Don't complain
66. Don't interrupt people
67. Tell your bus driver thanks for the ride
68. Put other people's interests above your own
69. Volunteer to do the tasks no one else wants to
70.  Don't make fun of other people for your own personal gain

Take the kindness 10-day challenge. Complete some act of kindness for 10 days in a row. At @MooMooMath and Science, we end our videos with kindness multiplies kindness. In each of my #shorts I like to tell a quick Kindness story in order to inspire myself and others to practice kindness. Acts of kindness make a lasting positive impact on the people around you. You can find all of my kindness stories in this playlist.

Study Skills Book -Get organized at School- Introduction plus Chapters ...

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

This book is designed to help all students improve their grades. The information can make you more efficient at school, save you time, and sharpen your study skills. The five pillars of school success can move you from a good student to a great student.

For the last twenty years, I have taught science in public schools. Every year I have poor students, good students, and a few great students. Over the years I have observed what great students do and how they achieve great grades. This book is about teaching you those habits great students apply to their studies innately, without even having to think about it.

The 5 Pillars of School Success


*Workspace (both stationary and mobile aka backpack)

*Time management

*Study Aids (Including specific tips and memorization techniques)

*Test-taking Strategies & Project strategies 

Summary of Introduction and Chapters 1,2,3
The phrase “work smarter not harder” is used often these days, but how do you accomplish this? SAT is an acronym to help you remember how to work smarter not harder.

Getting organized for School Success
The good news is that organization is a skill that can be learned. Just like learning to ride a bike, hit a golf ball, or play the cello, investing time and energy into learning the skill is required.

S - Study

A - Adjust

T -  Test


The first step in working smarter is to study what your current actions are and ask yourself two questions:

Can I improve what I’m doing?

Can I complete the current task more quickly without decreasing the quality of the product?


Once you have identified a weak area, adjust what you are doing. This step requires some research into the best practices that other people are using.


After you have studied and adjusted, test your new idea. It has been said that you don’t learn from mistakes, but rather from reflecting on mistakes.

* Here are more reasons to be organized:

* Saves time

* Saves money (Don’t lose as much stuff)

* Lowers stress

* Increases productivity

* Moves you away from living in panic mode

We are going to focus on four areas that need to be organized in order to maximize your success in school.

*These four areas are:



*School Supplies (notebooks/backpack)


Effective Workspace:

Every successful person needs a workspace, an area where they can get away and concentrate on getting work done. This space should be relaxing and calm, yet also highly productive.

Here are some pointers for setting up your workspace.

Start with a clean slate. This is the same process I use when I clean out my garage. I take everything outside of it so I can then evaluate each item and figure out how I’m going to store it.


Now start putting items back. As you place them back, ask yourself, “Do I use this item often?”. If you answer YES, then place the item near, in, or on the desk. If the answer is NO, then it does not need to be within reach. Place books or notebooks neatly on a shelf. 

Summary Notes

*Anyone can learn to be organized. Organization is a learned skill.

*Successful students are organized students

*Setting up an effective workspace is key.

*In order to save time and stress, stock your workspace with supplies and designate a place for all of your supplies.

Additional Resources


How thinking like a Scientist can help you succeed in LIfe

Thursday, September 9, 2021

The scientific method is a systematic way to find answers to questions or problems. Although it sounds Scientific, in reality, it just outlines how many people solve problems in everyday life. You have a problem, you think of a solution, you see if it works, and if you didn’t find a solution you start over. The steps of the Scientific Method follow a similar path. Let’s take a look.

Steps of the Scientific Method

 Step 1. Identify the problem what would you like to know. Problems are written in the form of a question.

For example, Can dogs learn how to count?

Step 2. Research the problem. This can take many different forms. Research can be in the form of looking on the internet, talking to other people, reading scientific books, magazines, or watching a show.

Step 3. Form a hypothesis that is an educated guess. The hypothesis should be based on

research or life experience. Many times it is written in an “ if-then statement.”

For example, If dogs are trained properly then they can count to ten.


Step 4. Experiment The experiment should be designed to test the hypothesis and during the experimental observations are used to collect measurable data.

The experiment will include three variables, the independent, the dependent, and the control variables. The independent variable it is the part of the experiment that you change to see how it affects the dependent variable. The independent variable is always graphed on the x-axis. The

dependent variable is the part of the experiment that changes in response to the independent variable. The dependent variable is always graphed on the y-axis. The control variables are variables that should be held constant and are used for comparison. In addition, a large sample size increases the accuracy of the experiment and results. 

Many times you need to repeat the experiment several times to ensure against errors that may be introduced.

 Step 5 Results is the data that you have gathered.  Quantitative data is data that is

Numbered or counted, and qualitative data includes illustrations and photographs is data that is


Step 6 The conclusion, which is a summary of the overall results, and you state whether or not you accept or reject your hypothesis and then describe if there's any practical application to what you have learned. 

You can apply these steps to many areas of your life. Here is a couple of example problems from my life that I could use the Scientific Method to help solve. As you look over this list try to think of areas that you could use in your own life.

Why does my pool keep growing algae in the deep end?

How can I run a mile faster?

How can I increase my number of views on YouTube?

An advantage of using the Scientific method is that you look at data and then make a decision if you need to pivot or not. Often if you make a pivot in life it leads to the solution to the problem you are trying to solve.

The Science of Running Faster

Monday, August 2, 2021

It is estimated that 11 million people will run a marathon this year. Cross country is a very popular sport in many countries, and track and field is a worldwide sport. How do these people get faster and run for longer periods of time?
In this video, I will explain what happens to the human body as it trains at three different levels of intensity and why these three levels of intensity should be included in your training.
If you take a look at this pyramid you will see the three levels of intensity.

Science of Running

The base which makes up the bulk of your training is aerobic. It is easy running. If you average 7 minutes per mile in a 5K race your easy pace is roughly 9 to 10 minutes per mile.
Tempo pace is found in the middle and the 14 minutes 5K person their tempo pace will be roughly 7:40 minutes per mile. 
At the top of the pyramid will be an anaerobic pace which would be 6:30 minutes per mile pace or faster.

Let’s take a look at changes created in the body that are caused by easy running.

cardiovascular muscles

Easy steady running is the best type of training for cardiovascular improvement with the least amount of discomfort. Time spent running is more important than the intensity. This easy running strengthens heart muscles and increases the stroke volume of the heart.

In addition, this type of running creates changes on a cellular level. The cells used in running will have an increase in the number and size of the mitochondria, which are the factories where energy is created in the form of ATP.


In addition, there is an increase in oxidative enzyme activity which increases how quickly oxygen is processed.

Also, there will be an increase in the number of active capillaries delivering oxygen to the muscles.

The muscles used in running become better at conserving glycogen “ sugar” which is used to create energy and converting fat to energy.

Tempo Pace

Runners must also be able to clear lactic acid in the blood.

Blood lactate accumulation is a function of how much lactic acid is being processed by the exercising muscle and how much is being cleared by muscle, heart, and liver. Tempo-paced runs of 20 minutes or more help improve your body's ability to clear lactic acid.

If you can hold down blood lactate accumulation you can run at a faster pace for a longer period of time.

Anaerobic conditioning creates the following changes.

This type of running increases your Vo2 Max which is the maximum rate of oxygen your body is able to use during exercise. The oxygen is turned into energy called ATP at the mitochondria.

This is intense running but for a short period of time.

When you train consistently in these three areas easy, tempo, and anaerobic you will become a faster runner.

You may also enjoy

Difference between an Atom, a Molecule, and a Compound

Monday, July 19, 2021

Let’s learn the difference between an atom, molecule, and compound.

The smallest unit of matter is an atom.

Each atom is made of smaller particles known as subatomic particles.

an atom

In the nucleus, or middle of an atom are two subatomic particles the proton and neutron

The positively charged particles in the nucleus of an atom are called protons

The number of protons in the nucleus is the defining property of an element and is referred to as the atomic number.  

The uncharged particles in the nucleus are called neutrons.


Orbiting the nucleus of an atom is a cloud of negatively charged particles called electrons.

The electrons are much smaller in mass than protons and neutrons.

The mass of an atom is based on the sum of the mass of the protons and neutrons.

A molecule is when you take individual atoms and physically connect them together. The atoms are stuck together by either sharing the electrons which is a covalent bond or by transferring electrons which is an ionic bond. A molecule like ozone can be two or more of the same atom.

molecule definition

For example, when you stick two hydrogen atoms to one oxygen atom you get water.

In addition, you have compounds. A compound occurs when you combine elements together chemically, but for it to be a compound, those elements must be different.

An element is a pure substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons Chemical elements cannot be broken down into simpler substances by chemical means. You can find all of the elements on the Periodic Table of the Chemical Elements.

periodic table elements

An example of a compound would be sugar. When you combine carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen you get sugar.

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