How to Improve Memory Recall and Working Memory

Most students have had the experience of knowing an answer, but they are unable to access the information in a stressful moment. The brain is much like a filing cabinet, storing learned information, and if a student quickly packs information into their head in a random or disorganized fashion, uncovering the needed material can be a challenge. This can be frustrating and discouraging. However, if students take the time to sort the novel information and make connections, recollection can improve significantly. 

Executive Functioning Coaching Course

The memory collection is a list of all of Dr. Warren's products that can be used to improve or enhance memory (also often misspelled as inhance memory).

What is Memory Recall?

Memory recall is the cognitive process that enables us to retrieve information from long term memory.  It is the ability to remember past experiences and lessons. 

Can Memory be Improved?

There are a number of ways to improve memory:

  • One of the best ways to enhance memory is to learn how to encode and retrieve information in an organized fashion.  Just like it is easier to find belongings after one has straightened up and come up with an orderly system for a messy room, one's memory is faster and more efficient when one uses a systematic approach to learning. Information can be arranged sequentially (ordered sequence) or simultaneously (categorizing information under main ideas).  
  • Another way to enhance memory is to develop and utilize one's inner voice and visualizations. Using mindfulness and metacognition, students can learn how to manage their inner voice to help them encode information (using auditory rehearsal...).  Furthermore, they can learn visualization strategies that can help them use their mind's eye to take a mental snapshot of the content they choose to recall.
  • A final great way to improve memory is to use memory strategies

What are Memory Strategies?

Memory strategies are cognitive-based methods that help learners to organize and encode new information into long term memory.  Some examples of memory strategies are:

  • Hooking
  • Making connections
  • Chunking
  • Looking for patterns
  • Telling stories
  • Using rhymes
  • Visual associations
  • Auditory associations
  • Acrostics
  • Verbal rehearsals
  • Songs

We offer instruction on a number of different memory strategies in our publication Planning, Time Management and Organization for Success.

What is Working Memory?

Working memory is a critical thinking skill that is often lacking for struggling students as well as those with executive functioning disorder and other learning disabilities such as dyslexia. Part of short-term memory that is concerned with immediate, conscious, perceptual and linguistic processing, working memory  utilizes a limited workspace to hold and manipulate information.  It also accesses past memories of relevant information while processing and completing a problem or activity. 

What are the Inner Components of Working Memory?

Individual differences in working memory capacity appear to arise from three components:

  • the ability to visualize, hold, and maintain information in primary memory
  • the ability to manipulate mental imagery
  • the ability to access and apply relevant information in long-term memory

Does Working Memory Impact Academic Achievement?

Working memory is thought to be one of the best indicators for academic success. As a result, the development of working memory is fundamental to helping students to be present and mindful while in the classroom. It also helps them to encode information as well as perform mental manipulations. To assist students, executive functioning activities, memory strategies, and other cognitive remedial exercises can be utilized to help to remediate and improve working memory capacity. The use of these educational materials is key to maximizing student potential.

What are Some Products that Can Strengthen Working Memory?

The working memory collection at Good Sensory Learning offers a listing of Dr. Warren's products that remediate or exercise working memory.