Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Study Skills that Improve Memory

Study Skills and Memory
Study Skills that Improve Memory
Sometimes improving memory isn't so much about memorizing as it is about putting strategic study skills in practice. When and where a student studies has more to do with memory than how much time that student invests. Here are some psychologically proven study skills that will improve your student's memory and set them up with good study skills for a later college degree. 

Read In Short Sessions

Your brain retains the information that you read at the beginning and the end of your study session.  Most adults only have a twenty-minute attention span, that is why we typically see commercial breaks with every twenty minutes of TV viewing.  So if you read for two hours strait then you are going to retain the information you studied during the first twenty minutes and the last twenty minutes.  That means that you have wasted the 80 minutes in between.  Try having your student study in twenty-minute intervals.
Review Your Notes Before Bed
Your brain is most likely to retain the information that you review just before you go to sleep. If your student is taking a test or final, then they should review their study notes just before they go to bed the night before
Write It All Down
When you write information on paper it is more likely to find it’s way to your long-term memory.  This is especially helpful if a student is trying to learn a long list of vocabulary terms.  Make it a practice to have your student make handwritten flash cards for every term and they will have no problem remembering. Don't take just any notepad; try to use colored legal paper.  Research studies show that your brain remembers what you write better, especially if it is written on colored paper, with yellow being the most memorable. 
Apply What You Know
One of the best ways to learn and retain a new concept is to apply the information to your daily life.  If you are studying Science, do some experiments in your kitchen.  If you identify with the information your brain will not discard it. Find creative ways to help your student apply information whether it is with project learning, creating, helping or story telling. It really doesn't matter how the information is applied, so let your student use their own creativity.
You may also want to read Teaching Children About Failure.
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