How to Help Students Remember

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One of the biggest struggles for teachers is getting students to remember what they learn in their classes.  

Memory is a survival skill that is designed to both store information and improve decision making in a dynamic, fast paced environment.  Research shows that without a connection to the material or reinforcement, information is forgotten as quickly as 56% forgotten in one hour, and 75% forgotten after 6 days.

Here are 5 ways that teachers can increase memory retention in their classes:

  1. Peer Learning

Having students explain what they are learning to their peers, helps to reinforce the concepts they have already learned.  The more times you get your students to access that information, the more likely they are to remember it long term.

2.  Teach the concept multiple times

By spacing out your lessons covering a certain concept, students get a change to reinforce important lessons throughout the unit.  Reviewing learned material exposes the students to known information, consequently improving their understanding.

3.  Practice Tests

Having your students complete practice tests can reduce test anxiety and improve retention.  The practice test should be low stakes, such as a Kahoot quiz or an ungraded pop quiz at the start of a class.

4.  Mix up the lessons

Grouping the same types of problems together doesn’t force students to identify how the problem should be solved.  Mixing up the problems makes students think on their feet and enhances their problem solving skills.

5.  Use Images

Presenting information in multiple ways is another valuable way to reinforce information.  Using a visual aid will help students to organize the information in their memories by associating it with an image.


Story via edutopia