8 Memory Tips to Use with Your Students

Minds in Bloom is pleased to welcome guest blogger Carmen Y. Reyes. This post originally appeared in the TpT seller forums and is reposted here with permission.

Carmen specializes in tools for helping with classroom management, communication, learning disabilities, and understanding how students learn. She is clearly an expert in her field with years of relevant experience. Her ideas would benefit teachers in every subject area and at every level. Here is her extremely informative and free 55 page document on Persuasive Discipline. There is a wealth of ideas here with plenty of examples. You can also visit her blog here.


  1. Short memorizing rehearsals are more productive than a longer isolated rehearsal. Make sure that each practice is no longer than 30 minutes at a time. It is better to have five weekly rehearsals of 30 minutes each than one longer weekly practice of 3-4 hours in a row.
  2. Memory improves when students use multiple sensory pathways to learn the material. For example, when students are learning visual material, they need to elaborate verbally on what they are seeing. On the other hand, if students are trying to consolidate verbal material, for example, from the social studies textbook, memorization is easier if they draw a diagram or write smaller bits of information on index cards that they can study visually.
  3. When the learning material is both meaningful and organized, is always easier to remember. When studying, children need to use organization aids such as timelines, outlines, bullet lists, flowcharts, cause and effect diagrams, and/or comparing/contrasting diagrams.
  4. Have children practice in highlighting, outlining, and summarizing important information (key words and key phrases).
  5. Students can remember definitions better if they use their own words and/or paraphrase, rather than trying to memorize exactly what the teacher said or what they read in the book.
  6. Memorization improves when students think of something that connects with the new information, and link the new concept, topic, or theme to what they already know.
  7. Teach students to think of examples of what they are trying to remember. The more connections they make, the more details they add to the concept or topic, and the more examples they can think of, the better their choices of memorizing and learning the information.
  8. Teach students to group the information, placing similar items together. For example, from a grocery list with 23 items, the student creates the fruits group, the vegetables group, and the meats group. The student needs to know how many items he needs to remember (23) and how many groups of items are in the list (3). It is harder to remember 23 isolated items from the longer list, but the same items are easier to recall if we put them in three groups, e.g. eight meats, six vegetables, and nine fruits.
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