While trying to think which ways I personally organize my thoughts and concepts I tried to focus on how I actively learn in class, study for tests, do homework, and read required texts.
I have discovered over my years in school that if I am not actively doing something while learning or reading then I will not be able to make a connection to it later. For example if I do not highlight or take notes I will not remember the reading later. It is extremely helpful for me to be able to look back and see what I thought was important at the time of initial reading. It is also useful for me to take notes during class so I can of course later recall upon what the teacher has said. This not only helps later but during the class itself-it keeps me focused on what we are doing or discussing. Even if I start doodling I can actually see that I am off task and remind myself to get back on track!
I am a very systematic learner and I love mnemonics, lists, bullets, flash cards and little creative ways to remember things. As a child I usually had a hard time memorizing and the listed above were always ways my mom would help me learn more efficiently. Anytime I have lists to memorize I always create some cute saying or word that I know I can remember. As soon as I get the test I write the mnemonic on the first page before even writing my name, so I will not forget when it is time to answer the related question. Flash cards are a way I use to organize vocabulary terms that will be important to memorize. These are not only useful but convenient to study with in a line, waiting for someone or riding the bus to class!
While note taking might be difficult at the early elementary level it might be appropriate for fourth through sixth graders to be introduced to it. I definitely feel that teaching students how to create their own mnemonics, find ways to remain on task during class and while doing homework, utilize flash cards and make lists of important highlights from class will be very beneficial to them as they grow in their school career.