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Improving Memory Skills

Education Expert Advice from Peggy Gisler, Ed.S. and Marge Eberts, Ed.S.

Q: Although my 10-year-old daughter is an excellent reader, she has trouble following directions. Also, she has trouble with memorizing her notes before certain tests (science and math). Not all her grades in these areas are bad, but my wife and I are concerned. What advice can you offer to help her with her memory? According to her teacher, she seems to daydream in class.

A: Having good memory skills is very important to your daughter's success in school. She needs to learn how to store information. First of all, math and science cannot be learned the night before the test. Both of these subjects must be studied every day. Here are some memory techniques that may make learning math and science easier for your daughter:

  1. Use as many of your senses as you can to learn. Listen carefully in class and write down what you hear. Then recite what you have learned when you get home. This way you are using touch, sight, and sound to learn.
  2. Review what you have learned frequently. In fact, it is a good idea to schedule review sessions several times a week.
  3. Tie new information to what you already know. In math and science, it is important to think about how new facts add to what you have learned earlier. For example, if you already know two parts of a plant, relate a new part to what you know about those parts.
  4. Do all your homework. It will give you practice in using new information.
  5. One reading of notes or textbooks will rarely be enough. Read new material several times to remember it.
  6. Before tests, make up practice questions and check your answers against notes or the textbook.
Where your daughter sits in the classroom could be important. A seat in the back of the room or by a door or window may present so many distractions that it affects her ability to concentrate in the classroom as well as understand directions. She should try to sit in the front of the room.

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Peggy Gisler and Marge Eberts are experienced teachers who have more than 60 educational publications to their credit. They began writing books together in 1979. Careers for Bookworms was a Book-of-the-Month Club paperback selection, and Pancakes, Crackers, and Pizza received recognition from the Children's Reading Roundtable. Gisler and Eberts taught in classrooms from kindergarten through graduate school. Both have been supervisors at the Butler University Reading Center.

Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.


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