- Posted by spectrum
- On February 6, 2017
Working memory describes retaining information in your mind for a short period (typically a few seconds) so that you can then process the next step. It is essential for focus, organisation, following instruction, problem solving and academic performance. It is also essential for executive functioning and task completion. Some people explain working memory like a bucket, the bucket catches water (working memory) and keeps filling up unless it is not needed/used frequently (in which case it evaporates). For kids that have poor working memory their bucket has a hole in the bottom. You can keep asking them to have a shower but that information drains out quickly!
Luckily there are strategies that can help improve working memory. Below is a list that you may find helpful.
If you are concerned about your child’s working memory special assessments can help to investigate where the problem lies.
Call us today to find out more on 9686 2306.
- Chunk it. Give one maths question to do at once (rather than the whole set of 15) and give feedback on the answer before they see more.
- Reduce working memory overload in structured activities. This can be achieved in a number of ways, including breaking down tasks and instructions into smaller components and using visual aids such as checklists.
- Look for warning signs of memory overload such as incomplete recall and task abandonment. As children are often aware of when they forget information, the teacher should also ask the child directly for details of what he/she is doing and intends to do next.
- Frequent repetition of instructions is critical. For tasks that take place over an extended period of time, reminding of crucial information for that particular phase of the task rather than repetition of the original instruction is likely to be most useful.
- One of the best ways to ensure that the child has not forgotten crucial information is to ask them to repeat it back to you.
- Encourage children to ask for forgotten information where necessary
- Offering encouragement to continue with complex tasks rather than abandoning them, even if some of the steps are not completed due to memory failure.
- Play games. Board and card games require working memory to apply rules, remember whose turn it is, and relate the number of spots on the dice to how many spaces you can move.