All Voices Matter: noting a lack of simplified textbooks

In+her+weekly+column%2C+All+Voices+Matter%2C+staff+reporter+Aviance+Pritchett+gives+her+take+on+social+and+cultural+issues.+
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All Voices Matter: noting a lack of simplified textbooks

In her weekly column, All Voices Matter, staff reporter Aviance Pritchett gives her take on social and cultural issues.

In her weekly column, All Voices Matter, staff reporter Aviance Pritchett gives her take on social and cultural issues.

Prachurjya Shreya

In her weekly column, All Voices Matter, staff reporter Aviance Pritchett gives her take on social and cultural issues.

Prachurjya Shreya

Prachurjya Shreya

In her weekly column, All Voices Matter, staff reporter Aviance Pritchett gives her take on social and cultural issues.

Aviance Pritchett, Staff Reporter

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One of the things that we’ve been taught throughout middle school and high school is the importance of studying and taking notes. We use flashcards, annotate, write on sticky notes, or practice with our classmates, and in the end we should have memorized most, if not all, of the material that we will eventually be tested or quizzed on. But those methods require you to find an environment where you’re able to concentrate.

Sure, we can use things like Quizlet that try to give you typing races or timed matching races to make studying fun, but you can only keep that up for so long. It’s even worse when it comes to classes, such as AP US History, requires you to read a large notebook and take notes from it.

From my experience in school I was never thought how to take notes from a book. It’s even harder for me because my mind is constantly going elsewhere–I daydream, I pace, I make excuses, I procrastinate.

Teachers wonder why less and less students take notes, especially as exam season comes nearer and nearer, and why our grades begin to slip. We get reading guides that tell us what to look for, and it’s a tad helpful because you aren’t just mindlessly writing down whatever you see, but it isn’t a solution that reduces the stress

In my reading guide, one chapter has 79 terms that I need to study for, and I haven’t even finished the other two chapters from before. The textbooks are droll–I enjoy history, but the textbooks seem to be 85% filler information that will not be useful to know on my tests and 15% actual information that I have to learn. It could go on for two pages about how one politician has gray slicked back hair and only wore pants on Tuesday, and only one sentence will talk about his importance to history.

Textbooks should be more interactive, or the very least simplified. Give me the important information in a few sentences or less–I don’t want to search for it, constantly reading the same paragraph and picking out the good stuff like a needle in a haystack.

There should be a change in formula and design, something to make it not only easier for students, but also more enjoyable. I love history a lot, but it’s so hard to take everything in when it feels like all of the reading that I’m doing is just going through one ear and out of the other.