I will present to you aprogram that was developed by a colleague of mine and he has taught it to hundreds of students who have been successful at improving their grades and perception of studying. This is just one way of thinking about your studying, it does not mean you have to do it this way, but the beauty of it is that it teaches you how to use your memory to enhance your remember of information. To a large extent that’s what exams are about – how much you can remember the things you learned during the year. If you decide to give this system a trial over the next few weeks and carry it over to Year 12, there’s a good chance things will be able to turn around for the better. Ok so let’ s start – what I’ll do is ask you to do a test – to help me prove a point about how memory works. I’m going to show you ten words that I want you to remember, show them for about 3 seconds.
Ok – this is the order in which I would like you to write down the answers in your booklets on page one. Next to number one please write the last word in the list…etc if you can’t get it put a cross next to it. Next I’ll show you the answers as they should be. Give yourself a score out of ten.
I can put your mind at ease now and tell you that a good score on this test is about 4 or 5 and the average is about 2 or 3. It’s a very hard thing to do and in some regards that’s the traditional way of remembering things, that’s how students extrapolate information, they write notes, rehearse things and try to remember the notes for later. What I will show you soon is a different method of remember information, that is less difficult that this traditional way of memorizing or rote learning material.
You are sitting in class and a teacher is giving you information on a particular subject let’s say human biology…first of all we have something called a sensory memory…sensory memory is what we hear, see, taste, smell and touch…we remember this for a short while, we are talking seconds. IF the information is not interesting enough or important enough we don’ t hold it in memory. So the next phase of the memory model is STM and this holds information up to a minute without rehearsal or up to 12 hours with rehearsal. So if we have paid attention to the sensory information coming from our external environment we can then do something in STM store to encode that information so that it is not lost. LTM is a huge memory bank it can hold thousands of different references and cross references so we can remember things back to when we were children. It ’ s very good if we can get study into that long term store. We generally lose up to 80% of sensory memory if we are not attending to it and putting it in STM, and of that 20% that ’ s somehow trickled into STM, if you don ’ t do something in STM about 80% of that will be lost again. And that ’ s what the problem is when it comes time for exams. You are forgetting most of the information that was covered over a long period of time like 10 weeks or the whole year. So you need to keep in mind how our memory system works so that you can make the most out of your learning and studying. Now I’ll show you a memory trick that helps attach some meaning to what you are trying to remember.
This is a rhyme that I would like you to remember for the next demonstration. I’ll give you a couple of minutes to rehearse this and remember the correlation between the numbers and the corresponding rhyming words. I’ll go around shortly and point randomly to some of you and ask you to tell me what each number is…SO IT”S REALLY IMPORTANT YOU REMEMBER IT.
Next I’ll show you another list of words to remember. So this is what I’d like you to do….suppose the first word that flashes up on the powerpoint is ant, you have to match the word number one to the poem…so one is a bun and the word to remember is ant. I’m going to make an image in my head to anchor the word ant onto the word bun from the rhyming poem. So might join the word bun and ant and form a story in my head about how the ant carried off a bun from a picnic. So when I get asked to recall the first word in a list I’ll get the image in my head of an ant carrying a bun, and I know from the rhyme that bun is one and therefore the correct word in the list is ant. Now I’ll show you a list of ten words again, but I want you to use the rhyming strategy to form images in your head with the words presented, to help you remember them better. Each of you will have a different image in your heads so please don’t help each other in this exercise.
So first word is caterpillar – one is a bun – so bun and caterpillar – form an image in your head to connect those words together.
So now score yourself again – you should find that your score increased on the second test.
Notice there is a shift in how your memory output due to the strategy used on the second test. You actually used the words in the poem as a hook to remember the words in the list, so this helped you transfer the information from STM to LTM. By attaching some meaning to the information you are studying, you are increasing your chances of recalling that at a later time. What was happening before is that you had no way of remembering the things you learned in the first list. This is because you were using a very superficial strategy for remembering the words in a very linear fashion. With the alternative method we used, your memory efficiency increased significantly. As the bottom graph shows, when you initially learn information it stays in your STM for some time, before dipping down if you do not do anything with that information to help store it in LTM. At this point in time, having done some reviewing and meaningful encoding of information to be remembered, we find that with the passing of time that information still remains accessible to us.
What that rhyming strategy actually did for you is to help you utilize both parts of your brain. The left hemisphere of the brain is known to specialize in logic and sequential or linear processing – which is what you had to do for the first test. It analyzes parts and without the help of the right hemisphere it is generally very objective and rational. The right side of the brain on the other hand, looks at the bigger picture, it is more subjective, intuitive and is able to put together or synthesize parts that were broken down into chunks by the left brain. The RH is far more creative and this is the secret to combining the powers of both sides of the brain to achieve better results with studying.
There are two short quizzes that you can take at home at your own leisure that help you determine which is your more dominant hemisphere and also what learning style you tend to gravitate to.
The key to enhancing your memory is to use different strategies and borrow various techniques that suit both sides of the brain. That way you are using your full brain power to remember information. It’s also useful to know what your preferred learning style is, so that you may rely on that to make studying a less painful experience. This is only a short list of different ways of committing information to your memory – mnemonics, drawing, recording/taping, mind maps/brainstorms, chunking (LH strategy), wall posters, rhymes, colour coding.
Mnemonics are a fantastic way to use creativity in helping you memorize information. Much like the trick with the rhyming strategy we used earlier, this method uses a hook onto which you can anchor meaningful and important material to learn. So the first mnemonic – rainbow colours EGBDS/FACE - denotes the treble clef notes on the lines E G B D F and those on the spaces F A C E MVEMJSUNP - it’s a way to remember the planets in our solar system SO using the first letter of each item you have to remember you create a story to go along with it and make it easier to memorize.
Your mind will remember a picture much longer than it will a word. So, for instance, instead of memorizing, &quot;20 ways to conserve energy&quot; in list format, you could draw a picture next to each idea, say a light bulb for &quot;Turn off the lights&quot; and the recycling symbol for &quot;Recycle.&quot; This also works really well for remembering characters in novels/plays. Draw a stick figure of each character with one unique feature (beard, glasses, cane) next to the character's name so you remember who is who. This strategy is appealing to those who have a visual or kinesthetic learning style – because you are using image representations as well as movement. You can create mind maps like I’ll show you on the next slide and you have a copy of this in your booklets. You can create big wall posters of this and display them around your room, on the fridge door, create index cards or cue cards to help rehearse on the go or test yourself with friends.
Study Smart Guide: Unlockingyour Memory and Developing Effective Study Skills Prepared by: Iva Filipovska School Counsellor
Types of Cognitive ProcessingBrief DescriptionHolisitc Processing information from whole to part; sees the big picture first, not the details.Random Processing information with out priority, jumps form one task to an other.Concrete Processes things that can be seen , or touched - real objects.Intuitive Processes information based on whether or not it feels right know answer but not sure how it was derived.Nonverbal Processes thought as illustrations.Fantasy-Oriented Processes information with creativity; less focus on rules and regulations.
Brain Dominance QuizAs are Left – Brained responsesBs are Right –Brained responses
Learning Style Quiz Mostly A’s = A Visual Learning Style (Learning best by seeing and looking) Mostly B’s = An Auditory Learning Style (Learning best by hearing and listening) Mostly C’s = A Kinesthetic Learning Style (Learning best by touching and doing)
Optimising Your Memory Use different strategies to memorise information according to your learning style Mnemonics Drawing Colour coding Recording Mind maps/Brainstorms Chunking Wall posters Rhymes
Mnemonics ROY G. BIV Every Good Boy Deserves Fruit / FACE My Very Eager Mother Just Served Us Nine Plums First letter Story
Drawing and Colour Visual/Kinesthetic Use colour –red for problems; green for OK; link similar things in complex schemes Label Add symbols Display
Recording Use creative aids – e.g. iPod, iPad Auditory/Kinesthetic Make a recording Playback Label Store
DVDs and CDs Visual/Auditory Classic literature – audio books
Rhymes and Songs Auditory/Kinesthetic Familiarsongs Link words to tunes
Chunking• Break things down to smaller parts• Learn each part• Build on pieces
Daily Review•Have a filing system•Divided by subjects•Revise within 24 hours•What you canremember (Blue)•What you forgot (Red)•End of week review•Use preferred LearningStyles•Use preferred Right &Left Brain techniques
Study Tips! Seta regular time to study Remove distractions - This includes TV, radio, social networking sites. Have necessary material Record assignment due dates in a designated book/diary or on a calendar Use DAILY REVIEW!
Study Tips!Take notes in class and while researching for your assignments/projectsManage your timeStudy for tests
Make sure you have the following:Your assignment notebook,diary or calendarSolid flat surface for writingGood lightingComfortable chairTextbooksAll materials
Before Class! Think about what the lesson is going to be about What were the main points covered in the last lesson Review what your assignment was for the class Have your Homework Assignment out on your desk – ready to turn in. Prepare for every subject in this way.
During Class! Does your general knowledge provide any information about the subject being taught? What comes to mind during the lesson that may be helpful? Concentrate on the subject being taught Take notes on the main points
After Class! Review your notes and think about what was covered in class. Some people like to rewrite their notes as they study. Some people like to underline and highlight important ideas and vocabulary. Some people like to create mind maps or brainstorm ideas about what they learnt.
How to Listen Better! Form a good habit – good listening in class! Concentrate on what is going on in class – do not daydream! You can not listen if you are talking!
Learning to Listen! Good listening means you are paying attention. Try to hear what is said, not what you want to hear. Think“around”the topic and “between the lines”. Relate it to what you already know. What is the main point?
Learning to Listen! What is likely to be on the test? What is the teacher going to say next? Listen carefully to the assignment and write it down in your assignment book. Listen for these essential phrases from the teacher: “This is important…”“It is essential that you know….”“The take home message is …”
Improving Reading Skills!A good reader does as many of the following as possible: Seizes the main ideas Thinks about what the author is saying Is active, not passive Concentrates on what is being read Remembers as much as possible Applies what is being read to personal experience.
Review1. Do I believe that I have a memory?2. Do I believe that I can make it work better?3. What learning style is my strength?4. What side of my brain is dominant?5. How can I use this information to make school really work for me?6. What will I do now with this information?