Although I got through most of these points, (we really didn't get to the last two, after all, it's only an hour workshop!) But the one that's stuck in my mind is the third one:
The working memory can hold 2 to 4 chunks of information at a time, usually in about 4 - 8 minutes. After that, the brain needs time to process, reflect and review in order for those chunks to move to the long term memory.
In a world where we're given large amounts of information to dish out to the kids in a short day, it's tough to give out just 2 to 4 chunks of information at a time, then allow the time to process that information so it can go into the long term memory. Here are some suggestions for this enormous task of taking information from the working memory to the long term memory:
1. Get them moving! I like to make movement and physical action part of the learning experience by using gestures and having the children mirror what I do.
2. Give time to review. I find the use of whiteboards work well for review. They are easy to use, very forgiving, and the kids love them. They are easy for a teacher to check for quick assessments.
3. Use hands-on activities. Math manipulatives and science demonstrations work well to get the students interested and involved.
4. Minimize directions. Break larger lessons into smaller parts, making connections between parts.
5. Use a timer. After about 4 - 8 minutes, stop for a brain break, then return for a few more minutes, then another brain break.
6. Pause after a few pieces of information and give the students time to reflect and/ or ask questions.
7. Allow the students to draw pictures of what they're learning. I'm a firm believer that drawing internalizes information. (I use it a lot for vocabulary.)
8. Use graphic organizers to arrange ideas so they can be revisited and understood.
9. Use "think pair, share" type activities where the students talk about what they just learned.
10. Use music. Putting important information to a simple tune that the children already know really helps them remember the information. Some simple tunes that everyone knows: Twinkle Twinkle, Take Me Out to the Ball Game, or This Old Man.
11. Have a gimmick. Do something clever or unique to get their attention. Tell a joke or hook them in with something clever.
12. Get their emotions involved. Emotions are very much tied to memory. (I'll bet you remember those very emotional events in your life: like your wedding or giving birth!) For some, getting up in front of the class will get the right amount of emotions going. For others, a game will do the trick.
Do you have any ideas to help those chunks of information get into the long term memory? Please include your ideas in the comments section below!