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  1. SMARTER UK – RESOURCES FOR SCHOOLS • Refer to the Smarter UK Resources for Schools pack (LINK) for associated worksheets and guidance. • This presentation includes: • Information about working memory and its limits • Activity: Remembering Patterns (see page XX of the Smarter UK resource pack, for student worksheets) • Information about sensory memory • Activity: Auditory Memory v Visual Memory • Information about memory binding • Activity: Memory Binding (see page XX of the Smarter UK resource pack, for student worksheets) • Information about Mnemonics (see page XX of the Smarter UK resource pack, for associated activity) • KEY LEARNING: • Students will learn about the limits to working memory, how different kinds of sensory memory works, the difficulties of memory binding and will have the opportunity to test their own memory. They will also be introduced to a series of techniques for improving their short term retention.

  2. The Limits to Working Memory How good is your memory?

  3. Workingmemory Working memory (also known as short term memory) is the type that helps us keep track of what is happening to us moment by moment. But there are limits to the storage capacity of visual material. Let’s test the limits to your memory. Next, you will see a series of patterned grids. After you have seen each pattern, recreate the pattern, by shading the squares on your worksheets. Your working memory begins to reach its limit as the patterns get larger and more complicated. Smarter UK

  4. rememberingpatterns Now using a pencil and your worksheet, shade the squares on the grid to recreate the pattern you just saw Smarter UK

  5. rememberingpatterns Now using a pencil and your worksheet, shade the squares on the grid to recreate the pattern you just saw Smarter UK

  6. rememberingpatterns Now using a pencil and your worksheet, shade the squares on the grid to recreate the pattern you just saw Smarter UK

  7. rememberingpatterns Now using a pencil and your worksheet, shade the squares on the grid to recreate the pattern you just saw Smarter UK

  8. rememberingpatterns Now using a pencil and your worksheet, shade the squares on the grid to recreate the pattern you just saw Smarter UK

  9. Sensory memory Sensory memory: We have 5 main senses: sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. Our sensory memory allows us to retain impressions of information from the senses after a stimulus (e.g. an image, a sound, a flavour etc) is gone. Visual memory is the ability to recall information that has been presented visually, such as a picture or object. Auditory memory is the ability to recall information given orally, such as a spoken word or music. People are often stronger in one type of memory than they are in the other. Is your auditory memory stronger, or are you better with your visual memory? Smarter UK

  10. Auditory memory v.Visual memory Is your visual memory better than your auditory memory? Or do you remember things better when you hear them? Let’s put them to the test… Next, you will see a series of objects. Do not write them down but try to remember them. Now, using a pen and paper, write down as many objects as you can remember in 30 seconds. Smarter UK

  11. Auditory memory v.Visual memory How many did you get right? Smarter UK

  12. Auditory memory v.Visual memory Now, let’s test your auditory memory. Your teacher will read out a series of 15 objects. Do not write them down but listen and try to remember them. Now, using a pen and paper, write down as many words as you can remember in 30 seconds. Smarter UK

  13. Auditory memory v.Visual memory How many did you get right? Penguin Balloon Kangaroo Bucket Telephone Sequin Microwave String Crayon Cat Iron Trousers Rattle Picture Frame Bicycle Smarter UK

  14. memorybinding Memory binding is the ability to link things in your working memory. Such as: colour shape position And to update them as they change. This is important for activities such as driving a car – where you need to continuously update your memory of what’s going on around you. Smarter UK

  15. memorybinding Now, let’s test your memory binding ability. Watch what happens next. There are three things to look out for – the shape, the colour and the shape’s position on the screen. Smarter UK

  16. memorybinding Now… On your worksheet, go to the first box. draw the correct shape in the correct position and colour it the correct colour. Smarter UK

  17. memorybinding Let’s try again. Watch what happens next. There are three things to look out for – the shape, the colour and the shape’s position on the screen. Smarter UK

  18. memorybinding Now… On your worksheet, go to the second box. draw the correct shape in the correct position and colour it the correct colour. Smarter UK

  19. memorybinding Let’s make it harder. This time there will be two shapes to look out for. Smarter UK

  20. memorybinding Now… On your worksheet, go to the third box. draw the correct shapes in the correct positions and colour them the correct colours. Smarter UK

  21. memorybinding Let’s try again. Again, there will be two shapes to look out for. Smarter UK

  22. memorybinding Now… On your worksheet, go to the fourth box. draw the correct shapes in the correct positions and colour them the correct colours. Smarter UK

  23. memorybinding Let’s make it even harder. This time there will be three shapes to look out for. Smarter UK

  24. memorybinding Now… On your worksheet, go to the fifth box. draw the correct shapes in the correct positions and colour them the correct colours. Smarter UK

  25. memorybinding Let’s try again. Again, there will be three shapes to look out for. Smarter UK

  26. memorybinding Now… On your worksheet, go to the sixth box. draw the correct shapes in the correct positions and colour them the correct colours. How many did you get right? You probably found it more difficult as more shapes were introduced as your memory had to work harder to combine the different elements. Your brain also had to update its memory, from the previous shapes, colours and positions it had seen. Smarter UK

  27. Memory Techniques How can we improve our retention?

  28. Mnemonics Mnemonics are memory tricks, or techniques which are used to help us remember something. You may need to memorise a list of objects, a string of numbers or a sequence of information. Techniques you can try include: • Sentence acrostics • Acronyms Acrostics are similar to acronyms, taking the first letter of each word you wish to remember. But rather than creating a word, that letter is used to create a new word, which forms part of a sentence. e.g. If you wanted to remember a list of neurotransmitters: Dopamine, Glutamate, Oxytocin, Acetylcholine and Norepinephrine. You might remember it as: Don’t Go Out At Night. Acrostics are also useful, for remembering strings of letters e.g. when learning the notes on the lines of the treble clef, music students might remember: Every Good Boy Deserves Favours instead of EGBDF. Acronyms take the first letter of a group of words, to form a new word – this is especially useful for remembering words in a particular order. ASAP (As Soon As Possible) or DIY (Do It Yourself) are examples of acronyms that might be familiar to you. Acronyms are even more useful if they also spell out a word e.g. the health campaign for helping someone suffering from a stroke, uses the acronym FAST, which stands for: Face Arm Speech Time to call 999 Smarter UK

  29. Mnemonics • Linking • Chunking • The linking method uses our visual memory, to imagine associations between two words. We might associate words in our heads by: • Stacking them on top of one another • Colliding them • Wrapping them around one another • Matching them by shape or colour • For example, to remember that there were six monkeys, you might imagine a large number 6, with a monkey dangling from it. Chunking is a great way to remember numbers. People can only really only hold an average of 7 items in our working memory. But chunking means we have fewer items to remember e.g. If we wanted to remember a string of eight numbers: 49217356 , we might find it difficult. But, if we split those numbers into 29, 21, 73, 56 – the number of items we need to hold onto in our memories is reduced to just four (larger) numbers. Chunking is made even easier if the chunk of numbers we remember is familiar to us e.g. the current year, or your year of birth. Smarter UK

  30. Mnemonics • The journey method • The story method The journey method requires a highly vivid visual memory. It involves the use of a path (or journey) that you are very familiar with e.g. your route to school, or moving through your house. If you can master it, and use a sufficiently long journey, you can remember very long lists of information. Thinking of landmarks at each step of your journey e.g. your front door, a statue, a roundabout, the car, the gates to school etc, you associate one of the things you need to remember, with each landmark on your journey. For example. If you want to remember an apple, banana, carrot, orange and strawberry, you could place these fruits at different points along your journey from your bedroom to the car e.g. you might imagine an apple on your pillow, a banana skin at the top of the stairs, a carrot dangling from the front door, an orange tree planted in your front garden and a punnet of strawberries on your seat in the car. • In order to remember a list of words or objects, you could try a storytelling approach. Using your imagination, picture the words or objects you want to remember by placing them in your story • e.g. if you wanted to remember the words: • Queen • Pepperpot • Table • Hat • Joke • Chair • Your story might go like this: • The Queen lost her crown, so she picked up a pepperpot, from the table, and wore it like a hat. The king thought this was a marvellous joke and laughed until he fell off his chair. Smarter UK

  31. Mnemonics • Practice! • Rhymes & songs Repetition is a great way to remember something. Chanting a sequence, whether out loud, or in your head, will help you to hold on to the information. Rhythm, repetition and melody are a great way to aid retention. Do you remember the rhythm you used when learning the alphabet? It relies very heavily on auditory memory. Some rhymes are useful for helping us to remember a series of information e.g. the number of days in a month: ‘30 days hath September, April May and November…’ Using a familiar tune can also help us to remember information, particularly if we want to remembers something exactly. E.g. if we wanted to remember a speech or the lines of a play, we could memorise a sentence to the tune of ‘Twinkle, twinkle little star’. Smarter UK