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Topic Archives: Memory

The Best Flashcard Apps and Memorization Strategies

April 5, 2017

Spring is here. If you’re a student, that means…Finals are coming. And plenty to memorize. Flashcards remain one of the most effective study tools. Picking the best flashcard app, and using it correctly, can save you A LOT of time. The best flashcard apps will have some key features, so be sure your choice has the following: Create your own flashcards: The process of creating the flashcards helps you learn. And when you create your own, you know you are studying accurate information. Never rely on open-sourced flashcards. Random order: You want to mix up the order of your cards each time through the stack. Otherwise, you might remember the information only in order. Rest assured, the test questions won’t be in the order you studied, so mix… Read More

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Play Hard, Study Hard: What Cognitive Skills Tell Us

November 30, 2016

Research on cognitive skills gives powerful insight into what we should generally expect from children behaviorally, emotionally and academically at every age. Scientists from University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine Brain Behavior Lab evaluated nearly 10,000 children ages 8 to 21. They began with fMRI scans and then moved to an online assessment to analyze brain development at every age. Their data is fascinating. What We’ve Known About Cognitive Skills We’ve know for a long time that childhood is a period of rapid brain development. It is important that students shouldn’t be coasting and they shouldn’t be stretched too far beyond their comfort zone. In other words, they should be working in a state of “desirable difficulties” according to Dr. Robert A. Bjork. What’s News About Cognitive Skills from the Brain… Read More

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Kids Sports Success: Why Executive Function Skills Might Be the Key

July 6, 2016

Do you have an athletic kid that isn’t making the “A team”? Learn why some of the same hidden skills that can affect classroom performance also might be affecting your child’s playing and interfering with your kids sports success. Listening Does the coach need to call your kid’s name in the group to make sure she’s listening? If your child doesn’t actively listen to the coach, she’s probably not absorbing as much feedback as her teammates. And chances are, she’s making mistakes as a result. Why doesn’t she listen? The first thing to check is your child’s hearing. If she can hear you just fine, you might want to check if she is having difficulties with auditory processing, working memory, or attention. What can I do? … Read More

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Identify Learning Difficulties: Observation Checklist

June 28, 2016

Are you worried about your student’s grades or difficulties in school? The best way to help is to start with an accurate idea of what exactly is the problem. Use this checklist to identify it. Then click on the skill in parentheses to learn more. Once you know the underlying reason your child is struggling, use your Mindprint Toolbox to figure out exactly what to do next. Executive Functions Does she have trouble staying focused for longer tasks or those she has less interest? (attention) Is his work inconsistent or have random errors? (attention) Does he have trouble following directions? Completing multi-step tasks? (working memory) Does she have difficulty with planning? Staying organized? (working memory) Does he have over-react to transitions or unexpected… Read More

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Let’s Not Forget the Forgetting Curve

April 6, 2016

  You are probably familiar with the concept of the learning curve. When it’s steep, learning is a challenge. When the learning curve is shallow, learning comes easily. When we say a student is smart in subject, we often mean they have a shallow learning curve. Most of school focuses on getting students up the learning curve, testing them to be sure they made it, and then moving on to the next topic.   But in reality, learning doesn’t stop with understanding. Deep learning encompasses understanding, storing, and recalling the information as needed for problem solving. If students know their facts or strategies and then forget, they need to struggle right back up the learning curve when they need to use that information again.* Who among us hasn’t had their mind go… Read More

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7 Reasons for Test Anxiety and What To Do About It

January 11, 2016

  There are a variety of reasons for test anxiety. The best news is that a little bit of test anxiety is good thing. It provides an adrenaline rush to work efficiently. But too much stress produces a full rush of hormones that interferes with the ability to think clearly and rememberwhat you know. If test anxiety is a problem, read on for the seven most common reasons for test anxiety and what to do about it. The very first step is to recognize that the reasons for test anxiety are different for every student. The trick is to figure out which one is the reason for your child’s test anxiety. Subject-Specific Anxiety Sometimes kids develop test anxiety around one subject but not another, similar to how they might have anxiety around… Read More

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5 Common Misconceptions about Teens and Sleep

September 12, 2015

We hear it all the time. Teens need more sleep. They burn the candle at both ends, with early start times for school followed by hours of after school activities and homework. When I taught high school, I saw my students in first period at 7:45 a.m. and dismissed the last class 2:45 p.m. And guess what? These teens were exhausted at both ends of the day. They wanted coffee. Did you drink coffee in 10th grade?! As adults, many of us empathize with the adolescent’s desire for more sleep. We’re tired, too. But do we really understand the unique problem teens face when it comes to their sleep deficits? Because in reality, the teen brain is very different from the… Read More

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Know Your Child: Working Memory

December 5, 2014

I like the name “working memory.” I need my memory to get work done. Working memory is an executive function, meaning the work it does is quite important, although, I admit, I don’t get a corner office when I do it. Instead, my working memory makes sure I soften the butter, add the eggs, and after a few interruptions, still remember to add those chocolate morsels. If only life were a bowl of cookie dough. In reality, the stakes are often much higher. Consider this example from an article on Understood.org: “Imagine a teacher reads a word problem in math class. Kids need to be able to keep all the numbers in their head, figure out what operation to use and create… Read More

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Slow Processing Speed: What a Parent Needs to Know

November 3, 2014

If grades, performance on standardized tests, and anecdotal observations about your child’s behavior aren’t getting to the heart of your concerns about how your child learns, this series on cognitive skills is exactly what you’re looking for. In the shoes of a child with slow processing speed The child whose only weakness is processing speed can feel like she is constantly living the fable of the tortoise and the hare. Given the time to listen, understand, and react, this child can excel. But trying to race to the finish is probably not an option. Depending on the child’s personality, he may be completely comfortable with his slower pace, though he may want to scream to the world, “stop rushing me,… Read More

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Now You See it, Now You Don’t: Cognitive Blindness

October 25, 2014

By Sarah Maraniss Vander Schaaff A few days ago, my six-year-old brought home a book from school that was considered a “right-fit”. Her assignment was to read the book to me out loud. We’ve been doing this since the start of the school year. It was a routine assignment and from what I could tell from the book’s jacket, a routine kind of book for a typical first grader. But this was not routine. A few pages into the story, she lost much of the fluency I would have expected given the book’s vocabulary. And why? Because she was distracted by the pictures. “That man is not wearing a helmet,” she said, looking at a man on a motorcycle depicted… Read More

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