Tips for Making it Stick


Tips for Making It Stick

Memory strategies are used to help remember things.  Some memory strategies are useful for how we learn new information, and some strategies are useful for recalling information we have already learned.  Here are some strategies to help learn new information and make it stick!

  1. Review and repeat- The more you repeat something, the more likely you are to remember it. Repetition also helps you to remember new information if it is reviewed along with information you already know.
  2. Say it, write it- Often times it helps to use a multi-sensory approach to learning (e.g. seeing, hearing, touching, doing). Different learners learn better in some modalities than others.  Visual learners may prefer writing something down, whereas auditory learners may prefer listening to something.  Often a combination of modalities works best because this gives your brain different ways to process and access the information.
  3. Personalize it- It is usually easier to remember information that relates to you. If a child can relate to something they already know or have experienced, he or she will be much more likely to remember it.
  4. Rhymes and songs- Rhythm, rhyme, and music are great tools to help improve memory. For example, children know that “In fourteen hundred ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue” because it rhymes and has rhythm.
  5. Tell a story- Using stories helps children create a picture in their minds, making it easier to remember later. Children can make up a story using the information that needs to be remembered. The sillier the story, the more likely the child is to remember it!
  6. Prediction- If a child is actively involved in learning, he or she is much more likely to remember what is being taught. Prediction allows children to play a more active role in learning.  Ask the child what he or she knows about the topic, what they think they will learn, and what they’d like to learn.
  7. Chunk it- Chunking is a very useful tool to remember information by breaking it up into related pieces. Telephone numbers are memorized in this manner, breaking the 10 digits up into groups of 3 or 4.
  8. Acronyms- Another memory tool is acronyms, which involve 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—HOMES.
  9. Acrostics- This strategy uses the first letter of words to make a saying, which is especially useful when trying 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.”
  10. Reduce stress and brain overload, increase sleep- It can be much more difficult to remember information if you are stressed out, tired, or have overloaded your brain with information, which is why cramming for a test is not the best strategy. Children should leave plenty of time to study so that they can break information into parts and use the aforementioned strategies.  Study breaks are beneficial, to reduce the point of overloading their brain with information.  Finally, it is always beneficial to get plenty of sleep!

Have fun trying out these memory strategies and finding which work best for your learner!

Nicole Cohen MS CF-SLP


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