Types of Memory: Working Memory Tied to Your Child’s Intelligence
This article provides information on the types of memory your child needs for higher learning. Affiliate links are included for your convenience. Integrated Learning Strategies (ILS) is a learning and academic center. As a reminder, ILS is not a health care provider and none of our materials or services provide a diagnosis or treatment of a specific condition or learning challenge you may see in your child or student. If you seek a diagnosis or treatment for your child or student, please contact a trained professional who can provide an evaluation of the child.
What happens with our memories? How do some memories stay forever and others vanish in seconds? Human memory is the process we use to gather, store, retain and later retrieve information. Did you know that there are three different types of memory storage? Each one has a unique role and the different stages act like a filter of endless information that bombards us.
3 Types of Memory
The three types of memory we each experience on a daily basis are as follows:
Each one has unique differences and provides our children with a new and different learning experience. Here is what your child may experience in the classroom with each different type of learning memory.
Because we will never need to remember everything we experience, your child’s sensory memory only holds information long enough to process it. Sensory memory acquires the information coming in through the senses. The time period ranges from a fraction of a second to several seconds. The storage with sensory memory can hold vast amounts of experiences, but only very briefly. This stage is divided into five memory types, one per each sense. This type of memory allows a visual image, touch, or a sound to linger in the mind for a brief moment after the stimulation occurs. Following this interaction, that particular mental image or sensation can be stored in the next stage of memory. After the piece of information is processed, it is either replaced by new sensory data or moved to short-term memory.
This type of memory is more commonly referred to as working memory. It is the second stage of human memory which holds about seven (plus or minus 2) items for around 30 seconds without any rehearsal or reviewing. This indicates a very limited capacity to this type of memory. Working memory is essential when our child is thinking in school, organizing information and dealing with daily functions in the classroom. For example, remembering a phone number or instructions from the teacher before you find something to write it down. You repeat the numbers in your head, but if something distracts you then you can easily forget the number.
Interesting Fact: Studies have identified that the higher capacity of working memory the higher intelligence of the individual.
If certain facts, tasks, experiences, or knowledge is processed as important to remember, your child’s brain files it in the long-term memory bin. Of course the process is more complicated than previously described, but overall, information is stored based on content and purpose of the data. Your child’s long-term memory can store large quantities of information for an unlimited amount of time. Unlike sensory and short-term memory, long-term memory is not limited and does not deteriorate quickly. Long-term memory is also divided into three independent systems.
The divisions within your child’s long-term memory include the following:
Episodic memory is the part of your child’s long-term memory that is responsible for storing information about the when and where of life’s events. It is based on time and place, storing the sensory information that we experienced (for example, your child’s memory of their first day of school).
Semantic memory is the memory system that refers to knowledge about the world. It stores general wisdom and facts. Semantic memory is like your brain’s mental encyclopedia (for example, your child knowing that the there is a northern and southern hemisphere that divides Earth).
Procedural memory is the unconscious memory of skills or how to do something. You can give your child details and steps on how to ride a bike, but until they practice doing it on their own, their body systems (muscles, proprioceptive, vestibular) will not have the tools to complete the task. Another example of this is your child learning how to tie their shoelaces.
How to Improve Your Child’s Memory
Children are bombarded with new sights, sounds and knowledge every day. Along with learning new ideas in school, they are practicing new skills daily. Helping your child’s knowledge, experiences and skills land in long-term memory can assist your child in conquering their challenges. To help your child increase their memory skills, here are a few ideas to do you’re your child at home. Many of these have worked wonders with my own children.
Put It to Music
Music brings a certain flair to boring tasks and is helpful when committing important information to long-term memory. The beat, rhythm and lyrics can help your child associate important information to a song or tune. If your little one needs to memorize something or must learn something new, put a little movement and music to the problem and it will help with their recall later.
Divide and Conquer
If there is a large amount of information or a big task to complete, divide it up into parts and help your child with the most difficult element first.
While you are in the car, at the dinner table, lying in bed or getting your child ready for school, go over details of what they are learning in class and introduce new skills or fun facts that can help them in the school. Repetition and focus on details will help secure the neural pathways to your child’s long-term memory.
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Integrated Learning Strategies is a Utah-based center dedicated to helping mainstream children and children with learning challenges achieve academic success. Our services provide kids with non-traditional tutoring programs within the Davis County, Kaysville, Layton, Syracuse, Farmington, and Centerville areas. Areas to find Integrated Learning Strategies include: Reading tutors in Kaysville, Math tutors in Kaysville, Common Core Tutors in Kaysville, Tutors in Utah, Utah Tutoring Programs
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