Tools for learning. Skills for life.
The ability to hold and mentally manipulate information impacts all academic subjects.
Working memory refers to an ability to temporarily hold information in one’s head in order to use it to complete a task. Many children who have learning differences or deficits in executive functioning have difficulty with working memory.
Working memory is called upon throughout your child’s academic day. In mathematics, it’s needed to remember both the numbers and operations to solve word problems, or in long division to remember a series of steps to properly solve an equation. In reading, students have to hold details of the plot and characters in their mind in order to comprehend the story and answer comprehension questions. Difficulty with working memory can also make following directions challenging, especially directions that require multiple steps.
Not surprisingly, if a child is unable to hold and manipulate information in the working memory, she might also struggle with paying attention, which requires the ability to use working memory to attend to specific stimuli.
At Engaging Minds, we incorporate various tools and executive function coaching to help your child with working memory. We often teach visual learners to create pictures in their mind of the task at hand as the directions are being described. This strategy helps them hold on to the information in a way that makes sense to them. Likewise, auditory learners can learn to read instructions or problems out loud a few times before trying to answer them. For other students, executive function and memory tricks like mnemonic devices are helpful, and for still others, interacting with information in multiple ways is most useful.