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Improving Memory Skills, Part 2
Sharon Longert

As students move on through the higher grades the demands on memory become more complex.  As academic curriculum becomes more intricate so do the demands on remembering facts and timelines, processing information for problem solving, making comparisons and utilizing critical information.  By employing the strategies in Part I of this series, students will build confidence to continue to challenge more rigorous tasks.

  • Use as many concrete examples and experiences as possible.
  • Teach the student to rely on resources in the environment to help in recalling information such as notes, books, pictures, maps, charts.
  • Provide auditory cues to help the student to recall information by using key words, and brief oral descriptions.
  • Assess the meaningfulness.  Remembering is likely to occur when the material is related to a real experience such as a field trip, play enactment, or age appropriate reading.
  • Relate the information to students’ previous experiences or to a previously studied unit or book.
  • Give the students a series of words or pictures and have the students place them into categories or give specific categories and have students name objects, people or places that fit the categories.
  • Give the students a series of words and have them identify opposites.
  • Help memory skills by linking to familiar names, objects or experiences.
  • Use pictorial cues for linking information.
  • Encourage using word games, crossword puzzles, scrambles and word finds.
  • Have the student outline, highlight, underline or summarize critical content in texts and notebooks, important information in directions, reading assignments, math word problems.
  • Provide opportunities for repetition through different experiences to enhance memory.
  • Receiving information from a variety of sources will enhance recall – texts, discussions, films.
  • Teach explicit direction following skills- stop doing other things, listen, write important facts, wait for complete directions to be given, ask questions soon after directions are given.
  • Have students repeat to themselves information just heard to remember the information.
  • Make certain that he amount of information matches what the student can learn at any one time.
  • Reinforce the demonstration of long and short-term memory skills by giving privileges in the classroom or intangibles such as praise or handshakes.

Based on Stephen B. Mc Carney, The Pre-Referral Intervention Manual, The Most Common Learning and Behavior Problems Encountered in the Educational Environment, Hawthorne, 1993.


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