Finals follow holidays in Hinsdale-Clarendon Hills District 86
Hinsdale South students Maria Nadupparambil and Paola Bozhilova of Burr Ridge use one of the laptops at the Indian Prairie Library to study with. | Steve Johnston~for Sun-Times Media
Eat well: The right foods can actually improve the way we think and work. Dark chocolate, for example, is chock-full of antioxidant properties and contains natural stimulants that produce endorphins while enhancing focus and concentration. Berries of all kinds improve memory and motor coordination, as does coffee.
Keep moving: Exercise, especially aerobic exercise, can improve brain function by pushing more oxygen and glucose to the brain, helping it to perform at its best.
Brain games: Also known as “mnemonic devices,” students who develop acronyms, rhymes, visuals or other shortcuts while studying help their brain to file and encode relevant information.
Chew on this: Chewing gum while studying increases alertness, improves productivity and lowers stress.
Log off: Students should consider curbing their use of mobile devices and computers to avoid distractions like Facebook and Twitter.
Study tips provided by McGraw-Hill Education, with headquarters in Burr Ridge
Updated: January 10, 2013 10:43AM
HINSDALE — Many enjoy a sense of relief once the holidays are over. But for students in District 86, it’s crunch time.
Final exams come after winter break for students at Hinsdale Central and Hinsdale South high schools. And both schools have services available to help make this stressful time a little easier.
Central senior Nina Tandle is among a group of National Honor Society members who will volunteer her time to help others prepare for finals week. Exam Jam sessions are scheduled at both high schools in the days leading up to finals, which are scheduled from Jan. 15-17.
“We’ll be helping kids in our classified subject area,” Tandle said. For Tandle, that subject area is earth science. Others will help with math, English, foreign language and history.
“We try to cover all the different areas,” Tandle said.
Carol Ciolino, library media specialist at South, said 492 students took advantage of last year’s extended library hours at South. Twenty-two students used the free tutoring services.
“During this time we provide tutoring in various subjects and healthy snacks so students can fuel up their brain power,” Ciolino said.
After the Hinsdale South library closes for the night, the Indian Prairie Public Library offers several more hours of quiet study time. Located just up the street from the high school, the library sets aside quiet study areas, as well as group study spots, to help students prepare for exams.
“We have rooms set aside,” said Sarah Joynt, youth services librarian.
Study breaks can be spent in the library’s café, where vending machines offer snacks and beverages, including coffee.
The Hinsdale Public Library has been accommodating students studying for finals for the past five or more years.
“We had over 500 teenagers use it last year,” said Tiffany Verzani, the manager of the library’s youth and adult services department. “We have a lot of repeat customers. It’s a good place to come and meet other students. They do a lot of group studying and they can reserve rooms ahead of time.”
The library has five study rooms which can be reserved and free wireless Internet access. The library also provides water and snacks, such as granola bars and pretzels, to keep the students’ energy level up, Verzani said.
The added amenities for finals are available from 3 to 8 p.m. Jan. 8 to Jan. 10; from 3 to 6 p.m., Friday, Jan. 11; from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12; from noon to 8 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 13; and from 3 to 8 p.m. Jan. 14 to Jan. 16.
The library on Sunday, Jan. 13 will be open until 9 p.m., three hours later than usual.
Final exams account for 20 percent of a student’s semester grade.
“It is a pretty big deal,” Tandle said.
But at South and Central, no one has to tackle finals week alone.~.