Working memory is a brain function essential for long-term memory and learning. While it was once thought that the capacity of each individual’s working memory was something they were simply born with, research in cognitive science and psychology shows that we can actually work on that memory to make it better and faster.
According to Alan Baddeley, the British psychologist who popularized the concept, working memory is “a system that temporarily holds and manipulates information while performing tasks such as understanding, learning and reasoning. This memory can therefore be defined as the ability to temporarily retain data while our brain is busy with another task. In our daily lives, this memory is indispensable and for our children, it is just as indispensable for understanding instructions or texts, solving problems, calculating mentally, writing, concentrating, taking notes, learning a foreign language, etc.
If working memory allows individuals to retain on average up to 7 elements between 1 and 10 seconds, this memory capacity differs from one individual to another! People with learning disabilities or mental disabilities will retain less distinct information at a time. And for some students, the loss of information and then “dropping out” will be a direct consequence that affects learning.
Several signs can alert parents or teachers to a child with working memory problems: difficulty following instructions, forgetting a word in a sentence when dictating, slowness in completing a task, poor concentration, etc.
Scientifically proven methods from Children Learning reading ebook has helped a lot of children to improve their memory.You may try it once!
The importance of working memory in children
Enables learning by connecting new information with current knowledge
Allows complex instructions to be followed (two or three directions given at once)
Helps maintain focus and concentration on an activity
Develops mastery of reading skills and vocabulary
Promotes the ability to easily acquire mathematical skills
How to stimulate working memory in children?
1. Visualization Most people remember visual images better than verbal or written information because images are less abstract. Encourage your child to visualize what he or she has seen or heard to get a real picture of a concept. Reviewing the picture reinforces memory. By mentally imagining what is required for a specific task, the child will be able to concentrate and process the sequence of events that require its completion.
The use of pictograms or pictures, especially for children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders, gives clues little by little so as not to overload the information. They can be used in everyday routines.
By using sensory material, the child is encouraged to explore, manipulate, help visualization and thus memory.
The pictograms: combining practical advice and enriching testimonials, each book is accompanied by a CD-ROM that allows a multitude of educational projects to be made.
Ideo, starting game: the starting game will help your child follow the illustrated steps to succeed in a task.
2. Active reading Reading requires recalling stored information in order to understand the text. Active reading helps children improve their language, vocabulary, and comprehension. Once your child has read a story or book, talk to him or her. Ask him or her to tell you the story or tell you about key passages in the book. You can even tell your child that he or she can take notes in the margins to remember something important from the story. Reading aloud, with special emphasis on key words or phrases, also helps to produce mental notes.
3. Memory enhancing games Memory and card games are good ways to improve visual memory skills. Visual information processing involves looking at pictures and remembering certain details and aspects that help to remember them. Games that encourage the formation of our visual memory also help with concentration, paying attention to details and classifying information according to similar or different attributes.
Fex, Look and Match Game: This game set was created by Professor Manfred Spitzer to effectively use various executive functions such as inhibition, working memory and flexibility. The beautifully illustrated cards are used in a variety of games, all described and explained in the teaching guide: attention orientation, impulse control, immediate memory, problem solving, change of perspective…
Quadri’mnésik: This professional kit aims to strengthen the memory and attention skills of adolescents and adults, particularly working and visual-spatial memory. The aim? To reconstruct all the elements of a grid from partial grids, viewed 1 to 1, by mentally superimposing them!
4. To cut out the information and instructions Instead of giving an overall instruction, focus on one task at a time. By breaking down a set of multiple tasks into more manageable parts, your child can handle them one at a time. Your child will then work more efficiently and complete one task before starting another, while learning more easily.
5. Making connections New information received is constantly being organized and restructured by the brain. The formation of associations and connections with different details makes learning easy and effective. It also allows the retrieval of stored information or long-term memories. The use of familiar analogies for your child simplifies the memory process. If there is no information to connect to, it is highly likely that the new information will not be processed at all.
Mémoriz’action: this book proposes concrete, organized and simple tracks for memory training or re-training in speech therapy, through multimodal, indexed and progressive encoding.
6. Learning and making people learn When your child learns something new, ask him or her to teach it to you. This practice encourages him to go beyond what he has learned, to understand it and to memorize it, allowing it to be stored in his long-term memory.
7. Suggesting tools to boost his concentration Why don’t you set up some fidgets? Fidgets, small tools aimed at children and adults with attention disorders with or without hyperactivity (ADHD) or concentration difficulties, help to focus attention by offering a motor outlet for tension and desire for movement.
Your child is not holding still and has difficulty concentrating? There are solutions! Encouraging dynamic sitting will help the child to concentrate through perpetual movement and stimulating sensations, adapting to the child’s needs.
Fidget pop frog: Press this frog in your hand to see its bulging eyes pop out of their sockets.
Articulated wooden fidget: this pretty wooden fidget is made up of several interconnected elements that allow it to be triturated in all directions!
8. Nutrition and Sleep Of course, a healthy diet and sufficient sleep have a great influence on working memory. The brain must be supplied with the necessary vitamins and well hydrated. Vitamins E and B12, antioxidants and folic acid, are known to improve memory capacity. Poor sleep also has negative effects on performance and working memory capacity.
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