Dr. Warren’s blogger articles on memory.

Learn about Strengthening Working Memory with Free Sample Activities

Working memory is a fundamental cognitive processing activity required for learning.  It is the part of the brain that is responsible for the transient holding and processing of new and stored information. It’s key for executive functioning skills, reasoning, comprehension, learning and the updating of memory.   Here are some sample activities that can help educational therapists, learning specialists, tutors, parents and more help to develop this skill in struggling learners.

CLICK HERE for your free download.

Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning and Dyslexia Materials.  She is also the director of Learning to Learn, in Ossining, NY.  To learn more about her products and services, you can go to www.goodsensorylearning.comwww.dyslexiamaterials.com, & www.learningtolearn.biz

Dyslexia Strategies: Improving Your Memory for Names

A common difficulty for individuals with dyslexia is word finding problems.  They may know someone’s or something’s name one day, but are unable to access the same information the next.  In fact, in those moments when they can not recall the needed name, they may be able to tell you how many syllables are in the name or even the beginning letter.  This can be a frustrating and embarrassing problem, and learning memory strategies can help.
Managing Word Finding Difficulties:
The key to improving memory is to be mindful and employ memory strategies that are in line with strengths.  By playing an active role, individuals with dyslexia can learn to organize material, employ methods and make connections to prior knowledge so new information can be encoded and then easily retrieved. 
How Can One Determine Strengths that Can Be Utilized?
The answers to the following questions, can help tailor an approach!
Do you remember what you:
  • see?  – use visual strategies
  • hear?  – use auditory strategies
  • touch? – use tactile strategies
  • say or discuss? – use verbal strategies
  • think about? – use reflective strategies
  • sequence? – use sequential strategies
  • categorize? – use simultaneous strategies
Visual Strategies:
Generate visual associations. A visual association allows you to connect a mental image with the information memorized.  
  • Say you are introduced to a woman named Mary.  You could visualize her on her wedding day getting married. 
  • Say you met a little girl named Patricia.  You could visualize giving Patricia a pat on her back.
  • There is a local garden where I love to take walks.  The woman that runs the facility always remembers my name and greets me with a smile.  After forgetting her name twice, I decided to come up with a strategy.  When she reminded me that her name was Barb, I said, “Ah, there is barbed wire around the gardens to keep the deer out.”
  • I remember the first time I met a co-worker named Vera.  She was wearing a V-necked shirt, so I made the conscious effort to visualize Vera in her V-necked shirt.
Auditory Strategies:
Create rhyming word associations.  
  • Say you met a guy named Paul.  Perhaps Paul is small.  If not, perhaps you could find some part of his body that is small – such as his nose or ears.
Create auditory associations.  A word may sound like something that reminds you of the person.  
  • For example, Rich may be a wealthy or a “rich” man.
Use the alphabet.  Search through the alphabet to see if that jogs your memory.  
  • “Does his name begin with A?  With B?…”

Tactile Strategies:
Use a pen and paper.  The physical act of writing down the names that you have to remember, can be very helpful for some individuals.  

  • When you meet someone new, you can place their name and any notes in a little notebook on your smart phone.
Verbal Strategies:
Utilize verbal rehearsal.  Some individuals are assisted when they are able to verbalize new information.  
  • After you are introduced to someone, say their name aloud and then try to use it as much as possible.
Reflective Strategies:
Make personal connections. 
  • When meeting new people, associate their name with another person you already know that has the same name.  
  • I remember the flower impatiens, because I used to get impatient trying to remember the name. 

Sequential Strategies:
Organize information in a sequence or series.

  • If you have to learn a group of names, organize them in alphabetical order.

Simultaneous Strategies:
Organize the information into categories.  Arrange the material you have to learn by placing the names into groups.

  • I have trouble recalling the names of flowers.  One day, I noticed that four of the flowers that bloom in my garden each year all start with the letter, H.   This is often enough for me to recall: hosta, hydrangea, hibiscus, and hyacinth.  What’s more, three begin with the sound “hi!” 
Combining Strategies:
Unite two or more strategies for better results!  It will be even easier to recall names when using more than one strategy!  
  • Geranium rhymes with the word cranium (auditory) and my red geraniums in my garden are shaped similar to a brain (visual).
  • When I’m networking and meet new people online, I utilize both a visual and tactile approach. All new people are placed into a document within a table.  In the first column, I copy a picture of that person.  In the second column, I record their name and contact information.  In the third column, I record some notes about them and our correspondences.
So, if you want to improve your memory or help others to do so, be sure to try some of these mindful and multisensory approaches.  I hope you found this helpful!  If you have other ideas, please share them below this blogpost. 
Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning and Dyslexia Materials.  She is also the director of Learning to Learn, in Ossining, NY.  To learn more about her products and services, you can go to www.goodsensorylearning.comwww.dyslexiamaterials.com & www.learningtolearn.biz  
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The Key to Improved Attention and Memory for Optimal Learning

Did you know that visualization can be the key to unlocking memory abilities, attentional skills and enjoyment for learning? Surprisingly, the use of mental imagery for learning is not a new

idea. 
Use of Visualization Throughout History:
In fact, an appreciation and recognition of visualization is sprinkled throughout history. It can be traced back as far as Aristotle in 348 B.C.  He wrote, “recollection is a searching of an image.” Again, in the 5th and 6th century, Greek and Roman intellectuals used mental images to
enhance memory (Ashcraft, 1989; Sadoski and Paivio, 2001). At that time, visualization was a common strategy used for public speaking.  Scholars used this skill, which is now known as method of loci, to organize and recall a speech by imagining and associating topics with everyday objects (Douville, Pugalee, Wallace, & Lock, 2002). Yet again, in the thirteenth century, St Thomas Aquinas spoke of visualization, indicating that we acquire knowledge by forming “phantasms” or mental images (Magill, 1963).  Finally, in the 19th and 20th centuries, a resurgence of interest in mental imagery took place in the fields of experimental psychology and cognitive psychology (Thomas, 2013). Piaget, with a focus on cognitive constructions and “mindfulness,” offered a renewed interest in the role visualization played in cognition and learning. (Douville, Pugalee, Wallace, & Lock, 2002).  Einstein was also a proponent of visualization and, to this day, is often quoted as saying, “If I can’t picture it, I can’t understand it.” 
What’s the Scientific Proof?
Most recently, scientific methodologies have been utilized to assess the validity and utility of visualization. In the past 50 years, researchers have looked at the impact of mental imagery on academic achievement. There is a host of research on this topic, and this blog focuses on some of the key studies that investigate the impact of mental imagery on learning.  
Research on the Impact of Visualization on Reading:
Research has investigated the effect of visualization on reading abilities. Studies have shown that there is a direct link between poor comprehension skills and the inability to visualize text (Gambrell, 1982; Gambrell and Bales, 1986; Gambrell and Jawitz, 1993; Steingart and Glock, 1979).  In contrast, research substantiates that students who picture what they are reading, thus painting the setting, characters and plot on the canvas of their mind’s eye, have better comprehension scores and find greater joy in the reading process (Bell, 1991; Gambrell, 1982; Gambrell and Bales, 1986; Gambrell and Jawitz, 1993; Long, Winograd and Bridge, 1989; Sadoski, 1985; Sadosi, Goetz and Kangiser, 1988; Sadoski and Quast, 1990; Steingart and Glock, 1979). Algozzine and Douville (2004) also assert that training in mental imagery aids students in generating their own mental images when reading. In addition, students who visualize while reading are better at making inferences and accurate predictions (Gambrell, 1982; Steingart and Glock, 1979). Moreover, research on the efficacy of using visual imagery has also been shown to improve deep connections that aid in memory recall and reading comprehension (Craik and Lockhart, 1972). Clearly, visualization is a necessary cognitive skill that helps readers attend to and encode literature, but mental imagery also helps learners develop their expressive language abilities.  
Research on the Impact of Visualization on Writing:
Employing visualization has also been demonstrated to enhance writing skills in students (Jampole, Konopak, Readence, & Moser, 1991). In particular, gifted students who received mental imagery instruction outperform those who did not on originality and the use of sensory descriptors (Jampole, Konopak, Readence, & Moser, 1991).  Additionally, Algozzine and Douville (2004), claimed that training in visualization helped students generate their own mental images when writing. Furthermore, Kwan-Lui, Liao, Frazier, Hauser, and Kostis (2012) reported that visualizing events described in writing, “is crucial for constructing a rich and coherent visuospatial mental representations of the text.” Finally, when Jurand (2012) researched the efficacy of visualization for a summer writing program, he reported that art projects were a successful method that helped students to visualize their ideas during the writing process, and they also served to develop the students’ imagination. Yet, reading and writing are not the only areas of academic achievement that benefit from mental images.
Research on the Impact of Visualization on Math:
Visualization hones mathematical abilities too. Dougville, Pugalee, Wallace and Lock (2002) suggested that using mental imagery can help learners to, “concretize abstract mathematical concepts in ways that facilitate more effective problem-solving.” They also noted that more advanced math imaging can be achieved through storyboarding activities where the steps of a math problem are drawn in a pictorial sequence. Dougville, Pugalee, Wallace and Lock (2002) claimed the words of their participants offered compelling evidence. Participants suggested that using mental imagery was like, “having a video camera in my brain” and like “going to a movie in my head” and that, “reading and learning was more fun” for the participant students.  Clearly, the mathematics community embraces the benefits of visualization but do the hard sciences concur?
Research on the Impact of Visualization on Science:
Even the scientific community is beginning to consider how visualization can make research more understandable and manageable to the public (Kwan-Liu, Liao, Frazier, Hauser, Kostis, 2012). When
students visualize graphic progressions and cycles, as well as webs, diagrams, and lab experiences, they can improve their understanding and memory of the content.  Although the research on visualization in the sciences is sparse, it appears clear that all areas of instruction are enhanced by learning to use one’s mind’s eye. 
Qualitative Evidence Supporting Visualization: 
Qualitative anecdotes further support the power of visualization in learning. Many of my students who love to read and also have excellent reading comprehension, claim that words, “create movies in
their heads,” which allows them to take a mind trip into the fantasy realm created by the author. Similarly, the actor, Tom Cruise noted, “I had to train myself to focus my attention. I became very visual and learned how to create mental images in order to comprehend what I read.” Some talented few have reported that they can even relive historical events, past science experiments, and classroom lectures!  Likewise, visualization is reported to help with the writing process.  Great writers, like Mark Twain, claimed to have used personal visualizations to help him write a scene by picturing the moment and then painting it with words. Twain remarked, “You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” Likewise, the writer, Holly Lisle professed, “We have to see – really see – the people and places around us as if our bodies were full-sensory cameras and our minds were film.” Even scientists report that they use visualizations to help them grasp concepts. Albert Einstein was credited with saying, “a picture says a thousand words.” He also offered advice on how to visualize in the 4th dimension: “Take a point, stretch it into a line, curl it into a circle, twist it into a sphere, and punch through the sphere.” Even if a student can visualize and use their imagination, they
may or may not be using this talent when reading, writing or listening.  Because reading, writing and listening all require attention, researchers suggest that some students find that they do not have the cognitive space to visualize when learning (Gambrell, 1982; Gambrell, & Jawitz,
1993).
Overall, mental imagery appears to impact all areas of academics. Douville and Algozzine (2004) unite the prior outcomes, and propose that visualization can be used across the curriculum.
How Can I Teach This Needed Skill?
I have found that the best way to teach visualization is through games and mindful discussions.  To help with this process, I wrote a book entitled Mindful Visualization for Education.  In fact, this blog includes an excerpt from the book, and all the full citations are available in the full document.  This 132 page downloadable document (PDF) provides a review of the research, assessment tools, over twenty game-like activities and lesson suggestions in all the subject areas as well as for vocabulary development and listening.  In addition, I offer two PowerPoint downloads that review the 10 core skills that need to be developed to optimize visualization abilities.

If you have any thoughts on the use of visualization for learning, please post a comment! Also, if you have had some success with visualization in the classroom, please share your experiences.

Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning and Dyslexia Materials.  She is also the director of Learning to Learn, in Ossining, NY.  To learn more about her products and services, you can go to: www.goodsensorylearning.com, www.dyslexiamaterials.com www.learningtolearn.biz  

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Working Memory Definition, Facts, Symptoms and Strategies Infographic

This week I created an infographic on working memory.  I would love to hear your thoughts.  If you would like to share this image via email or IM, use the following link: https://magic.piktochart.com/output/5003312-working-memory-2

Here is a portion of the infographic that can be pinned on Pinterest:

Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning and Dyslexia Materials.  She is also the director of Learning to Learn, in Ossining, NY.  To learn more about her products and services, you can go www.goodsensorylearning.com, www.dyslexiamaterials.com www.learningtolearn.biz  
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Word Finding Strategies for Dyslexics with Word Retrieval Deficits

We
all suffer, from time to time, with that feeling that a name or phrase we are
trying to recall is on the tip of our tongue, but somehow we just can’t access
the needed information in the moment.  For many students this happens during stressful moments such as test taking, but for others, such as most students with dyslexia, this is a pervasive problem that requires intervention.
What
Exactly is a Wording Finding Problem?
Word
finding problems, also known as word retrieval difficulties, dysnomia, anomia
or semantic dyslexia, result in difficulties recalling names of objects,
places, and people, with no impairment of comprehension or the
capacity to repeat the words.  This difficulty can stem from the cognitive
processes of encoding, retrieving or a combination of encoding and retrieving.

What Are the Symptoms of Word Finding Problems?

A student with word finding difficulties may display the following challenges: 

  • Word Substitutions – Using another word that has a similar meaning such as utensil for fork.
  • Circumlocutions
    – Providing descriptions of the word such as, “it’s the apple that is green and sour” for granny smith apple.
  • Fillers – Filling time with utterances such as “um”, “I know it…”, or “It’s coming to me.”
  • Vague Wording – Using phrases such as “that thing on the desk”, “the thingamabob in her hair, or “the doodad on his plate.”
  • Gestures – Acting out the targeted word (e.g.
    “You know, when you do this…”).
Do
Other Learning Challenges Struggle with Word Finding Problems?
Dyslexia
is not the only learning diagnosis that struggles with word finding difficulties.
 In fact, there are numerous learning disabilities that can share this
challenge:
  • Specific
    Learning Disabilities
  • Specific
    Language Disabilities (expressive, receptive or both)
  • Attention
    Deficit Disorder
  • Executive
    Functioning Disorder

Can
Word Finding Problems be Remediated?
These
cognitive deficits are not known to be curable, however, individuals can
learn compensatory strategies that can enable them to largely navigate
around these hurtles.  Here are a number of both encoding a retrieval
strategies that can improve word finding:
  1. Go Through
    the Alphabet:  
    Go through the alphabet and say the sounds of each letter and think about whether the word may start with that sound.
  2. Visualize a Letter Association:  To
    remember names, associate the first letter with the object person or place.  For example, when I met a woman named Vera, I noticed that she was wearing a v-necked shirt.  Whenever I saw her, I remembered her wearing that shirt and it triggered her name.
  3. Use Word
    Associations:
    Associate an idea or quality with the object.  The way I remember the name of the flower impatiens is to remember how impatient I get when trying to think of the name. 
  4. Associate a Rhyming Word: Use a rhyming word with the object.  To remember the flower’s name geranium, I think of cranium – geranium.  
  5. Visual Associations:  Associate a visual to aid recall.  I often associate a visual when using rhyming words as combining strategies can help to assure future recall.  In the example above, cranium – geranium, one may notice and then visualize that a full geranium blossom resembles the shape of a cranium.
  6. Use Visual Hooking
    Strategies
    – Using visual hints that lie within the name or word that one wishes to quickly recall.  A visual hooking strategy for the name Richard might be the recognition that the word rich is in Richard.  One could then visualize Richard as being very rich
  7. Use Auditory Hooking Strategies – Using auditory hints that lie within the name or word that one wishes to quickly recall.  An auditory hooking strategy for the vocabulary word benevolent might be that the word sounds like be not violent.  Then one can think, be not violent – be kind, and benevolent means kind in spirit.  
  8. Utilize Circumlocution – Describe the word so that others can provide the name for
    you.   
  9. Create a List or Table: Take
    a picture of the object, person or place, create a document or memo and label each image.  Make this document accessible from technology such as computers and smart phones. 
  10. Name Associations:  Associate names of new acquaintances with other people that have the same name.
  11. Visualize the Word: When you can not recall a word, use your mind’s eye to see the word written on paper.  
  12. Use Technology:  Use technology to find the word you can not recall.  For example, you can go onto Google and describe the word.  This will often guide you to the answer. 
Are
There Any Games that Strengthen Word Finding?
There
are a number of games that I have found to help strengthen word finding.
 Here are a few of my favorites
  1. Word Shuffle 
  2. Hey What’s the Big Idea 
  3. Anomia 
  4. Spot It 
  5. Scattergories 
  6. Scattergories Categories 
  7. Lumosity – Lumosity is an internet site that offers games for the brain.  Two of their games, familiar faces and word bubbles, are great for exercising word finding. 
Just remember to truly remediate your word finding difficulties and reach your full potential, you must make a conscious effort to use the strategies that work best for you. 

 
 


Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning and Dyslexia Materials.  She is also the director of Learning to Learn, in Ossining, NY.  To learn more about her products and services, you can go www.goodsensorylearning.com, www.dyslexiamaterials.com www.learningtolearn.biz  

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Working Memory: Definition, Symptoms, Impact on Academics, Solutions, and Freebie

Do you have students that continually forget to bring a
pencil to class, misplace their homework, blurt out irrelevant comments, and struggle
following multi-step directions?  These
difficulties can all be traced to working memory mishaps. 
What is Working
Memory?

Working memory is a cognitive functioning that enables students
to remember and use relevant information to complete an activity.  It also enables learners to hold multiple
pieces of information in the mind and manipulate them.  It is often described as a mental workspace that
helps students stay focused, block distractions and stay abreast of their
surroundings.
How Does a Weak Working
Memory Impact Students? 

Working memory difficulties will impact the following: 
  • Reading comprehension
  • Mental math
  • Understanding social interactions
  • Completing homework
  • Planning and preparing for activities
  • Solving multi-step directions
  • Writing essays and reports
  • Following a conversation
  • Test preparation
  • Turning in homework
  • Following and participating in group discussions

What are Some Key
Symptoms of Working Memory Difficulties?
  • Trouble comprehending a story
  • Difficulties memorizing math facts
  • Problems making and keeping friends
  • Requires many prompts to complete homework
  • Forgets needed materials at home and at school
  • Fails to follow all the directions and work is often
    incomplete
  • Struggles with organizing ideas before writing and the
    finished product is often incomplete and messy
  • Makes irrelevant comments and changes the topic of
    discussion
  • Difficulties maintaining focus
  • Misplaces things like pencils, notebooks, and homework
  • Leaving studying for tests to the last minute

How Can Students
Improve Working Memory?
Providing fun and engaging activities that require attention, mental manipulation, and following directions such as Red Light, Green Light, memory games and treasure hunts can help.  However, ready made activities that develop working memory activities can save preparation time.  Come get some FREE SAMPLE ACTIVITIES.

I hope you found this post helpful.  If you have any questions or thoughts, please leave a comment.


Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning and Dyslexia Materials. She is also the director of Learning to Learn, in Ossining, NY.  To learn more about her products and services, you can go to www.goodsensorylearning.comwww.dyslexiamaterials.com & www.learningtolearn.biz  

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Working Memory, Hemisphere Integration and Attention Building Activities

Successful learners are fully engaged, can
maintain attention and they activate both hemispheres of their brain.  However, many young learners go through their
daily classroom activities without being fully conscious of the task at
hand.  They are constantly distracted by
external stimuli as well as their own internal thoughts that take them on
“little trips” outside of the classroom. 
Although their bodies are present, their minds are elsewhere.  What’s more, when these students eventually
become consciously involved in the classroom, many have missed important
instruction and they may only be activating the dominant side of their
brain.  So, for example, if a student is
only using the right hemisphere, reading can become a difficult task, as for
most
people, the left hemisphere of
the brain is dominant for language.  For
students that fall into this profile, learning can become difficult, frustrating
and taxing.   

What Can We Do to Help Students Improve Memory, Activate Their Whole Brain and Improve Attention?

The key to developing these skills lies in improving three areas of cognition:
  1. Working memory
  2. Hemispheric Integration 
  3. Attention

What is Working Memory?

According
to Google definitions, working memory is the part of short-term memory that is concerned with immediate,
conscious, perceptual and linguistic processing.  The development of working memory is
fundamental to helping students to be present and mindful while in the
classroom.  It also helps them to encode
information as well as perform mental manipulations.

What is Hemispheric Integration? 

Hemispheric Integration is the activation of both
the left and right hemispheres of the brain. 
When hemisphere integration is poor, there is decreased communication
between the right and left sides of the brain. 
Electrically, the two hemispheres
are not communicating, there is an imbalance between the right and left sides of the brain or one
hemisphere is activated, while the other remains largely inactive.   Multisensory integration is essential for almost every activity that we
perform because the combination of multiple sensory inputs is essential for us
to comprehend our surroundings.  Dan Seigal (see link below) suggests, “A healthy and productive mind “emerges
from a process called integration.”  Both Dennison (see link below) and Hannaford
(see link below) offer
physical activities that integrate the brain through movement, but this
publication offers quick printable activities that can also activate both
hemispheres and train the brain to be mindful and present for improved memory
and processing.

What are Attention Building Activities? 

Attention building activities require students to maintain attention in order to complete the exercise. Without being fully focused, the drills are virtually impossible.  If instructors or learning specialists slowly increase the number of activities that the student completes in a single session, they will be training the brain to concentrate over longer and longer periods of time. 

Why I Created and Use These Activities with My Students? 

We
live in a society that is constantly bombarding children with stimuli to the
point that when there is no stimulation, many kids get bored.  In addition, many children do not know how to
activate their own cognition and take control of their own thought
processes.   I
created these fun, game-like activities to help students become mindfully
present, develop working memory, engage both hemispheres of the brain and improve
the capacity to sustain attention.  Many
of the activities were created with the Stroop Effect in mind.  The
effect is named after John Ridley Stroop who first researched
and published the effect in England in 1935.  Later, his findings inspired a test,
The Stroop Test.  The Stroop Test is
purported to measure selective
attention, cognitive flexibility, processing speed, and
executive functions.  If you would like to learn more about these activities as well as see some sample pages, Click Here




Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning and Dyslexia Materials.  She is also the director of Learning to Learn, in Ossining, NY.  To learn more about her products and services, you can go to www.goodsensorylearning.com, www.dyslexiamaterials.com, www.learningtolearn.biz  
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12 Memory Strategies That Maximize Learning

Most students have had the experience of
knowing an answer, but they are unable to access the information in a stressful
moment. This is a common difficulty when students are taking a test, as anxiety can block recall.  In fact, one may
be able to recall the first letter of a name they are trying to conjure from
memory but fail to retrieve the whole word.  In addition, they may be able to describe the word or concept but only
call to mind similar words or concepts. 
The brain is much like a filing cabinet,
storing information that you have learned, and if a student quickly packs information into their head in a
random or disorganized fashion, uncovering the needed material can be a
challenge.  Like finding a favorite
shirt in a messy room, a student may waste a lot of time searching for the right
word, or even worse, they may not be able to demonstrate their knowledge when
called upon in class or when recording answers on a test.  This can be frustrating and
discouraging.  However, if students
take the time to sort the novel information and make connections, recollection
can improve significantly. 
Memory strategies are tools that help
students organize information before they file it away in their minds.  The following will
introduce you to a variety of memory strategies that can assist students with
the learning process, so that they can save time, achieve better grades and
gain improved confidence in their ability to demonstrate their knowledge.

  1. Make Connections: Making connections between new information and prior knowledge
    can help students learn and encode novel material in an organized fashion.  
  2. Chunking: Chunking
    allows students to organize material into manageable units.
  3. Looking For Patterns: Looking for patterns in new material can
    also aid in some learning situations.
  4. Tell a Story: Creating a story about the information to be learned can help with both memory encoding and
    retrieval.  If stories are
    humorous, it’s even better.
  5. Rhymes: Rhymes
    use a poem or verse that has a pattern of sounds, especially at the ends of
    lines.  Creating rhymes with academic content embedded can make recall an easier process.
  6. Create a Visual Association: Visual associations allow students to connect a
    mental or drawn image with the information memorized.  
  7. Create an Auditory Association: Auditory associations can help with
    learning vocabulary.  A word may
    sound like something that reminds you of it’s meaning. 
  8. Graphic Organizers: Graphic organizers are also called Mind Maps, Concept Maps and
    Flow Charts.  They are all
    illustrative ways to organize information and thoughts. They are powerful tools
    that help students make connections and see the big picture. 
  9. Acrostics: Acrostics
    are short sentences that use the initial letter of each word or phrase to be
    memorized. 
  10. Hooking: Hooking
    is a method that helps students connect the question to the answer so that
    information is stored in the same location and can be easily accessed.  This is a great strategy for
    remembering vocabulary words because the answer is embedded in the question.
  11. Verbal Rehearsal – Teaching Material:
    Some students are assisted when they are able to process information
    aloud.  Many individuals do not
    really know what they are thinking until they have had the opportunity to
    articulate it.  Being able to
    discuss new topics, or even teach the material to others, can be an effective
    way of securing information into one’s memory.
  12. Songs: Songs
    are wonderful tools that can assist students in memorizing mundane facts.
For a full free document that goes into greater detail on the above memory strategies and provides examples Click Here.

To learn more about these memory strategies as well as other helpful learning tools, consider purchasing Planning Time Management and Organization for Success.  This publication offers methods and materials that guide, and support students in the areas of learning strategies, time management, planning and organization (executive functioning skills).  It includes agendas, questionnaires, checklists, as well as graphic organizers.  You will also find advice and handouts for reading, math, memory, motivation, setting priorities and incentives programs.  These materials were created over a ten year period for my private practice.  What’s more, the materials accommodate learners of all ages from elementary to college.  Finally, I offer a free sample assessment from the publication too, as well as a free video on executive functioning.  To Access this Click Here

Cheers, Erica



Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning and Dyslexia Materials.  She is also the director of Learning to Learn, in Ossining, NY.  To learn more about her products and services, you can go to www.goodsensorylearning.comwww.dyslexiamaterials.com & www.learningtolearn.biz  
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Activities or Games that Remediate Word Finding Difficulties

Many students struggle with word finding difficulties.  This is when a student has the
knowledge, but they are not able to express it.   They may not, for example, be able to access the name
of a good friend or even an everyday object.  This can be very frustrating and when put under pressure
this difficulty tends to worsen. 
Therefore, a student may know the content for a test, but they may not
be able to access it without a word bank. 
So what can we do to help strengthen this cognitive processing area in a
way that won’t be too frustrating?
Here are 4 games that can be purchased on Amazon.com that
will help in the process.  I have had great success with all four of them!  If you know of some others, please let me know.
1) Hey, What’s the Big Idea: 

2) Word Shuffle:

3) Spot it:

 4) Scattergories: