How to Improve One’s Memory (Recall Skills): Introduction
Posted by: | on July 29, 2012
When I was a young student, I pride myself with a better than average memory. I think that was one of my assets why I passed the best school in the country. But as I grew older, I felt a change in my recall skills. I guess it comes with age (not that Im that old). Anyway, when I started teaching, I realized the difference in people’s ability to memorize and recall information. I also learned about the different ways people remember things. Some prefer seeing or watching, some prefers listening or hearing a tune, while others perform better when they can actually experience what they are learning.
So how does one improve one’s memory?
This series of post on improving memory goes not just for teachers and parents but also to your students and to your children. When I was in college, I had a very smart lab teacher. Her name is Ms. Ona. She is not just a very intelligent woman (known for getting straight one’s in class) but smart as she knows that learning is just by mere talent alone. Learning entails skills and she taught us one of the most useful skills (which I still use until now) and that is – memorizing.
At first I thought it was just a silly game but when I started remembering 30 plus more strings of unrelated words from a list I actually felt impressed with myself. Now I can only remember maybe half of that but it still is to me a very useful technique. I don’t understand why she taught us this memory technique. Maybe because soon after that, we had to memorize a ton of scientific terms which sometimes make no sense. Come to think of it, it may be probably be because of that).
Anyway, so I am dedicating this week’s post to steps to a better memory. Special Education Philippines hopes that these techniques will help you and your child take memorizing (which we do a lot in class) more fun just like what my pretty teacher did way back when I was in college. And if ever, Ms. Ona gets to read this post I just want to give a big Kudos to her for being such a smart teacher.
What is memory?
Memory is actually a process. It is the process of remembering. And if it is a process then it undergoes steps to accomplish the process from start to finish.
Why do we forget?
When we fail to remember something, it is not the fault of the entire memory but maybe one of the parts that compose your memory. This is also one of the reasons why I have included this topic in Special Education Philippines due to its connection to attention skills.
Let’s say a student of yours comes to school early one day. He sees his friends playing and leaves his things somewhere. After he plays, he can’t seem to remember where he placed his stuff. He does what he was told countless of times before when he forgets something which goes like: retrace your steps; go back where you started; check your usual hiding place, etc., but he still cant find his stuff. Why can’t he remember? There are probably three reasons why he can’t remember where he placed his things
Three components of memory:
1. Where he left his things may not have registered to him to start with. In short, he was not aware where he was when he first dropped his bag. (Is this even possible? Oh you bet it is especially for people with attention problems.)
2. It may have registered to him where he left his things but he cannot retain that memory and so after he played he cannot recall where his stuff is.
3. It may have registered to him and he may have retained this information but he cannot retrieve it properly.
Now it won’t be a problem if you have a small schoolground but if you’re talking about a big school where people can leave anything anywhere for days without noticing it then you may be facing some days for this child with no notebooks or books whatsoever. Urgh!
If recalling a similar situation is making you feel as frustrated as I am right now because you’ve seen this picture so many times you need an infinity symbol to express it in numerical terms, then maybe you can benefit from my mistakes (and some insights).
Watch out for tomorrow’s post as we discuss more about how how the memory works. For now, tell us why will it interest you to have a better memory? And will you be interested to share what you learned here to your kids or students?