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Learning to Learn: Strategies for Improving Memory
by Rynette R. Kjesbo, M.S., CCC-SLP
What Are Memory Strategies?
Memory strategies are tools we use to help us remember things. Some memory strategies are helpful for how we learn information, while other strategies are helpful for how we recall information that we have already learned. Using memory strategies can help children remember information like directions, facts, and assignments.
Memory Strategies
Here are some strategies and tips you can use with your children to help them learn and remember important information:
  • Review and Repeat – The more you repeat information, the more likely it is that you will remember it. It also helps you remember new information if you review it along with information you already know.
  • Say It, Write It – Involving multiple senses (e.g., seeing, hearing, touching, doing) helps you learn and remember information by giving you different ways for your brain to get the information, as well as by repeating the information.
  • Personalize It – Children are more likely to remember information if it relates to them. If they can relate it to something they already know and have experienced, they are more likely to remember it.
  • Rhymes and Songs – Rhythm, rhyme, and music can help us remember information. For example, many children know that "In fourteen hundred ninetytwo, Columbus sailed the ocean blue." because it has rhythm and it rhymes.
  • Tell a Story – Stories allow us to create a picture in our minds that is easy to remember later. Children can make up a story using the information that needs to be remembered.
  • Prediction – If children are actively involved in learning, they are more likely to remember what is being taught. One way to involve children in learning is through prediction. Ask children what they know about a topic and what they would like to learn.
  • Chunk ItChunking is a way of learning information by breaking it up into related pieces. Telephone numbers are often learned through chunking, by grouping the numbers into sets of three or four.
  • Acronyms – Acronyms can help children remember information they’ve learned by using the first letter from a group of words to make a new word. For example, the Great Lakes are Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior—or HOMES.
  • Acrostics – Acrostics use the first letter of words to make a saying. Acrostics are especially useful when you have to remember information in a specific order. For example, you can remember how to spell "rhythm" by using the acrostic "Rhythm helps your two hips move."
  • Stress, Sleep, and Brain Overload – It is more difficult to remember information when we are stressed-out, tired, or have overloaded our brains with information. Children should get plenty of sleep and should take study breaks before they reach the point of overload when learning a lot of new information.
 
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