As a future teacher, I think it is helpful to consider how I learn and think. This way I can recognize what seems to work for me as a learner. I can also see that others may not think the same way that I do. I would consider myself a very organized and strategic learner. I tend to do best when I can make lists, use mnemonics, or memorization. I find it best to use plenty of time to break up my learning. If I need to memorize something, I tend to do better when I can read and write something several times. If possible, I find it best when I can do this several times a day or in the week. I try to connect abstract ideas to something concrete and common in my life. I find that this helps me to remember the content and make it relevant. Sometimes this means using rhyming techniques or sometimes I may break up a vocabulary word into smaller words or parts of words that remind me of the definition.
As far as studying goes, I find it best to actively take notes and/or highlight. When highlighting, I will reread the content, so repetition comes into play. Making annotated notes helps me to put words into my own writing and to hopefully find a more meaningful way of understanding the content. For subject matter that doesn't come naturally (biology, chemistry, etc.), I find it best to rewrite notes instead of reading. Diagrams and charts help me understand the information much more than the readings or lectures.
Simply hearing a lecture does not usually help the information to sink in. I need to be actively taking notes or watching a demonstration. If possible, the best way for me to learn is usually by physically engaging in an activity. However, this is not always possible in all situations due to large class sizes or the subject matter.
Due to the general set-up of college instruction, readings are the usual form of assignments and are often used as a way to gain information outside of lectures. I find that reading for several hours does not always capture my attention. Because of this, I need to self-regulate and pay attention to how much information I am actually catching onto. I may need to reread certain sections, but many times I need to change subjects or take breaks. In the past, I have used a reward system that involves using a simple reward (piece of candy or a five minute break) after finishing an assignment or long reading. This keeps me motivated and focused if I can focus for those readings.