1—A MEMORY BOX
This never-fail game has helped many students improve their memory. Kids love putting it together and playing it, and it helps with sequential memory.
Get a smallish box with a lid as I describe in “Getting Started” in the beginning of Phonics Pathways. A cigar box is perfect. Fill it with a variety of household items such as a paper clip, a pencil, an eraser, a hair curler, or just about anything that will fit in the box. It’s fun to help gather all the items together!
Put all items in a pile next to the open box, and have your student pick one up, feel it, put it in the box, and close the lid. He/she must accurately name the item.
Now repeat this process with another item, and just keep going until you cannot name them all anymore. (Be sure to carefully “feel” each item — this tactile kinesthetic activity will help them remember what the items are.)
This game helps develop their memory for sequential information, and also is a great aid when writing from dictation or just recalling information in general. Items must be named in the same sequence they were put in the box originally.
It’s like the “Memory” game in stores but more complete because it is multidimensional. It is deceptively simple but incredibly powerful. if it is played regularly you will be amazed by their progress in recalling information!
2—SPACE STUDY SESSIONS
Researchers find that pacing study sessions promotes better retention. Proper timing between presenting class material and scheduling study sessions can dramatically affect learning, according to a study of over 1,000 people.
The longer the gap between when material was first covered and when it was revisited in study sessions, the more likely students were to remember it a year later. “Instruction that packs a lot of learning into a short period is likely to be extremely inefficient.” Hal Pashler, Science Daily.
It’s also true that shorter, briefer, but frequent study sessions result in better retention than longer study periods.
I remember studying for hours without end in school, and when we lived in Paris and I took a French class I again tried studying for an hour or two every night.
Then I put the theory to the test: I studied for shorter periods but more frequently. The shorter but more frequent study periods indeed resulted in better retention. Will wonders never cease?