Memory is often taken for granted. People assume they will remember the name or face of an individual.
Most people don’t realize that memory is a tool that can be sharpened.
There are several kinds of memory:
- Kinesthetic memory — stores memory of physical acts and how the body performs such acts (ex: riding a bike, throwing a ball)
- Emotional memory — stores a variety of emotional experiences (ex: first love, guilt, grief)
- Visual memory — certain sights can rekindle old memories (ex: dress worn as a child, favorite photo)
- Auditory memory — certain sounds bring back memories (ex: favorite tune, familiar voice)
How memory works:
Memory is a 3-step process of:
INPUT ⇒ STORAGE ⇒ OUTPUT
(Data) (Classify, memorize) (Recall)
Data intended to be memorized must be “fed” into the brain one task at a time in order to store it accurately.
Therefore, input and storage must be improved before one can expect increased effectiveness.
Input rules for memory improvement:
- Eliminate distractions for optimum input (do not study with a radio, TV).
- Space out memorization tasks to keep data clearly separated.
- Study memorization tasks just prior to sleep (research shows that best memorization recall occurs after a long interval of uninterrupted rest).
- Break up memory tasks into small, manageable sections of 5 items or less.
- Develop a system: Place association– make a mental picture. Rhyme association- “i” before “e”, except after “c”. Acronyms– “HOMES” great lakes-Huron, Ontario, Michigan, etc. Absurd associations– ridiculous memory cues are memorable!
- Combine several facets of memory during study. Visualize answers, recite, listen, write.
A sharp memory can be one of a student’s most valuable assets. Memory should be developed and improved through drill, repetition and careful utilization of the input rules.