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Posts Tagged ‘association’

Top Ten Memory Tips

Not everyone can have a photographic memory. However, everyone can improve his or her memory by using these tips gained from years of memory research.

1. People start forgetting immediately after learning. Tip: Practice what you’ve learned within the first 24 hours, before the forgetting cycle begins to take hold.

2. People remember events or information learned recently better than events or information learned long ago. Tip: Study what you need to remember right before you need to retrieve the memory.

3. People remember information best when that information is organized in a structured manner. Tip: Organize what you want to memorize into distinctly memorable patterns.

4. Different memory techniques are more useful for different items of information. Tip: Be flexible in practicing memorization techniques—not every technique works with every subject to be memorized.

5. People remember information spoken out loud, written down, or connected to visual imagery. Tip: Practice these!

6. People remember events and information that are made exciting, interesting, or even embarrassing. Tip: Personalize what you are trying to remember to keep things more memorable.

7. The better the information is originally learned, the greater degree will the information be retained. Tip: Make every attempt to learn things right the first time.

8. Key words prompt recall of larger amounts of information. Substituting concrete nouns that are similar to key words are effective in prompting memory. Tip: A good key word unlocks memories. Use concrete words or substitute visual objects for abstract ones.

9. Frequent recitation improves retention. Tip: Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Practice. Practice. Practice. Then repeat.

10. Short study periods and small amounts of information divided by periods of rest produces better retention than cramming. Tip: Practice memorization a bit each day.

For more practical teaching resources, check out Mark’s website at penningtonpublishing.com.

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How to Memorize Using the This Old Man Technique

The “This Old Man” Technique can be a helpful tool to help you memorize many seemingly unrelated items or ideas. The “This Old Man” Technique connects the items or ideas we want to remember to the numeric rhymes and key words in the children’s song. The principles of this memory technique have been confirmed by recent hemispheric brain research. Our brains act as computer file folders, slotting newly learned information in the same file as already-learned information that fits within that same file. This technique associates ideas or items together with the rhyming numbers and key words of the song, just like our brain file folders do. If we take the time to organize new information in same way as our brains, we can improve our retention of that information.

Directions

The trick is to associate the items you want to memorize with each key word in the song in a memorable way. As much as possible, relate each key word to each other to form one connected visual. Substitute concrete objects for any key words that are too abstract to remember well. For example, substituting the concrete ear for the abstract listening would be a much more memorable object with which to pair. If you need to memorize more than ten key words, simply start over with a second set of ten, etc.

To refresh your memory, here’s the first verse of the song:

“This Old Man”

This old man, he played one.

He played knick-knack on my thumb.

With a knick-knack paddywhack, give a dog a bone.

This old man came rolling home.

The key words are “one” and the rhyming “thumb.” Not an exact rhyme, I know; however, I didn’t write the song. The song continues on with a new verse for numbers two through ten.

Here is the list of the verse numbers and their key words, with a few more concrete substitutions, that I suggest using from “This Old Man.”

  1. one-thumb
  2. two-shoe
  3. three-knee
  4. four-door
  5. five-hive (picture a bee hive)
  6. six-sticks
  7. seven-heaven (picture an angel or fluffy white clouds and say “up to heaven”)
  8. eight-gate
  9. nine-spine
  10. ten-hen (better than “again”)

Let’s say you have a list of fruit to purchase for a nice summer picnic. The list includes the following:

  1. one-lemons
  2. two-oranges
  3. three-watermelons
  4. four-grapefruit
  5. five-bananas
  6. six-cherries
  7. seven-raspberries
  8. eight-red apples
  9. nine-green grapes
  10. ten-yellow pairs

Using the “This Old Man” Memory Technique, you associate the key words of the song with each of the fruit you wish to purchase. Develop a mental picture that connects each item.

  • one-lemons-You are standing outside of your front door with a lemon stuck on your right hand-thumb
  • two-oranges-and an orange on top of your right-shoe
  • three-watermelons-with a slice of watermelon on your right-knee.
  • four-grapefruit-You are pushing the grapefruit doorbell next to your front-door
  • five-bananas-because you are trying to get inside your house, away from a swarm of angry bees buzzing around a banana placed on top of their-hive
  • six-cherries-which is in the front yard cherry tree, propped up by a cluster of branches-sticks.
  • seven-raspberries-In front of the tree stands a statue of an angel outlined with raspberry-shaped lights illuminating the-angel
  • eight-red apples-who stands behind a white picket fence, with a row of red-apples stuck on the pickets of the-gate.
  • nine-green grapes-Attached to the angel’s back is a chain of green grapes running down its-spine
  • ten-yellow pairs-to two eggs in a nest, on the ground next to the gate. The eggs look like two yellow pairs, guarded by a nearby clucking-hen

Now prompt yourself to remember each object by singing the song with each of the objects serving as the focus of a verse. Works well, doesn’t it? A little rehearsal will place these facts into your long term memory.

Memorizing using the “This Old Man” Technique will enable you to retain the memory of many seemingly unrelated items. This memory trick is useful for upcoming tests, speeches, and shopping lists. It also makes memorization fun.

For more free teaching resources, check out Mark’s website at penningtonpublishing.com.

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How to Memorize Using the Location Memory Technique

The Location Memory Technique can be an effective tool to help you memorize many unrelated items. The Location Memory Technique connects the unrelated ideas we want to remember by using memorable locations to fix the facts or ideas in our memory in a spatial relationship. This technique is especially useful because you can memorize any items in exact order.

We know from recent hemispheric brain research that our brains act as computer file folders, slotting newly learned information in the same file as already-learned information that fits within that same file. This technique connects ideas or items together, just like our brain file folders do. If we take the time to organize new information in same way as our brains, we can improve our retention of that information.

Background

The ancient Greek orators such as Socrates made use of a special memory trick that deals with familiar object locations. The Greeks would think of taking a tour of their own homes, beginning in the entryways. For each room of the house, they would picture a key word of what they were trying to remember on or next to a special object in that room. Connecting the unknown (key words) to the known (the floor plan of your house) helps place the key words into your long term memory.

Directions

Picture the floor plan of your house or apartment. Visualize a clockwise walk throughout your home, beginning in the entryway. For each room, picture the key word, or concrete object, on or next to an especially memorable object in that room. Substitute concrete objects for any key words that are too abstract to remember well. For example, substituting the concrete “bulging bicep” for the abstract strength would be a much more memorable object to picture in your dining room.

Example

Let’s say you want to memorize the “Preamble to the Constitution.”

“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Key words memorized in order will help prompt your memory. The key words are not necessarily the most important words. The are the words that will best prompt your memory of the following line(s). In the “Preamble to the Constitution,” the key words might include the following: people, in order, justice, ensure, defense, general, blessings, ordain, for

Using the location strategy, you might picture your entire family, linking arms together, in the entryway of your house (people). Next, picture a playing card royal flush (A, K, Q, J, 10) in order on the couch in your living room (in order). Then, picture a bright blue law book on the table in your dining room (justice). Now, picture a can of Ensure® nutritional supplement on top of the refrigerator in your kitchen (ensure). After this, picture a white picket fence surrounding the beanbag chair in your family room (defense). Then, picture a GI-Joe® general saluting you on top of the thermostat in the hallway (general). Next, picture yourself sneezing and then saying “God bless me” on top of the yellow desk in the front bedroom (blessings).  After this, picture a waiter asking, “May I take your order?” while standing on top of the dresser in the middle bedroom (ordain). Finally, picture a florescent orange “four” on the locked door of the back master bedroom (for).

Now prompt yourself to remember each fact by consciously picturing the items in each room. Close your eyes, if it helps. Practice walking through your apartment or home and picturing the exact location of each item to place them into your long-term memory.

Got them?  The images will stick with you for as long as you need them. A little rehearsal will keep what you are trying to memorize stay in your memory banks.

Memorizing using the Location Memory Technique will enable you to retain the memory of many seemingly unrelated items. Useful for upcoming tests, speeches, scripts, poems, essays, lectures? Undoubtedly.

For more free teaching resources, check out Mark’s website at penningtonpublishing.com.

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How to Memorize Using the Association Technique

The Association Technique can be a helpful tool to help you memorize many seemingly unrelated items or ideas. Association is a powerful memory aid. We all experience sensory stimuli that remind us of something else. The smell of fresh baked bread might remind you of your mom’s great apple pie. Hearing the end of the “Sesame Street” theme song might remind you of your wonderful pre-school teacher.

The Association Technique connects the items or ideas we want to remember to one visual theme. Recent hemispheric brain research has proved the power of associations. Our brains act as computer file folders, slotting newly learned information in the same file as already-learned information that fits within that same file. This Association Technique connects the new information you want to remember with existing information that you already know, much like our brain file folders do. If we take the time to organize new information in same way as our brains, we can improve our retention of that information.

Directions

Select a visual theme in which to place clearly objects that represents the main idea or “title” of the majority of objects, or key words, to be remembered. Place the numeric symbol that represents how many items you need to remember somewhere in your visual. Substitute any abstract objects with more concrete ones. For example, substituting the yellow “Have a Nice Day” smiling face for the abstract “happiness” would be a much more memorable object. Connect the object or key word to one part of the common visual. If the exact order is important, connect each in clockwise order.

Example

Suppose you needed to remember the following errands for Saturday afternoon:

  1. Pick up the cleaning.
  2. Mail Kenny’s birthday package.
  3. Buy a jar of mayonnaise.
  4. Buy a three-pound can of coffee.
  5. Pick up a dozen roses for Mom.
  6. Call for reservations at Luigi’s Italian Restaurant.
  7. Make a doctor’s appointment for your annual physical.

Picture a large orange “seven” standing up in the middle of a green, grassy field. Picture yourself leaning up against the “seven” with a plastic bag containing your cleaning on your right arm and a birthday package with a bright red bow hanging from your left arm. Then, picture your right foot stuck in a jar of mayonnaise and your left foot stuck in a coffee can. In your mouth is a long stem rose. Hanging out of your nostrils is a few spaghetti noodles from Luigi’s and hanging around your neck is a doctor’s stethoscope.

Now prompt yourself to remember the errands by identifying each object. Works well, doesn’t it? A little rehearsal will place these facts into your long term memory.

Memorizing using the The Association Technique will enable you to retain the memory of many seemingly unrelated items. Useful for upcoming tests, lectures, speeches, shopping lists, and weekend errands? Of course.

For more free teaching resources, check out Mark’s website at penningtonpublishing.com.

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How to Memorize Using the Grouping Technique

The grouping technique can be an effective tool to help you memorize items that can be placed into categories. We know from recent hemispheric brain research that our brains act as computer file folders, slotting newly learned information in the same file as already-learned information that fits within that same file. If we take the time to organize new information in same way that our brains do, we can enhance our retention of that information.

The categories we develop to remember similar items don’t have to be organized by content. Any similarities can be used to classify items as a group. For example, a group of people could be classified according to sex, body size, color of skin, eye or hair color, introverted-extroverted—the possibilities are endless.

Let’s learn how to use the Grouping Technique to remember a list of nine items. You are driving into work and your friend phones to tell you that you’ve been invited to go on a backpacking trip next weekend. “Sure, I’ll remember what to bring,” you respond to your friend. The equipment list includes the following:

  • tent
  • flashlight
  • stove
  • matches
  • sleeping bag
  • fuel
  • utensils
  • ground cloth
  • food

At first glance, the equipment items might appear to be quite random and you may be thinking that you will have to sacrifice your pride and call your friend back later to remind you of some of the items the backpacking list. After all, if you are responsible for bringing the food, you don’t want to forget that item! But, instead, you take a few moments to apply the Grouping Technique and you have the list memorized perfectly. You simply categorize the items into these groups:

Sleeping

  • sleeping bag
  • tent
  • ground cloth

Light/Fire

  • matches
  • stove
  • flashlight
  • fuel

Eating

  • food
  • utensils

Works, doesn’t it? Notice that the categories do not have to contain equal numbers of the similar items. Also, a few exceptions would certainly be easier to remember than memorizing the entire list of information as random, un-related items.

For abstract concepts, try substituting them with concrete objects to place them within your groups. For example, it is easier to substitute and place the Liberty Bell into a category than the concept of “freedom.”

Memorizing using the Grouping Technique will enable you to retain the memory of many seemingly unrelated items. Frequent rehearsal of the categories and their items will place the information into your long-term memory. Useful for upcoming tests, speeches, lectures, conversations, party planning, shopping lists? I should say so.

For more free teaching resources, check out Mark’s website at penningtonpublishing.com.

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How to Memorize Using the Catch Sentences Technique

The Catch Sentences Technique can be an effective tool to help you memorize many seemingly unrelated items. This memory trick is especially helpful for memorizing items or facts in an exact order. We know from recent hemispheric brain research that our brains act as computer file folders, slotting newly learned information in the same file as already-learned information that fits within that same file. This technique connects ideas or items together, just like our brain file folders do. If we take the time to organize new information in same way as our brains, we can improve our retention of that information.

Catch Sentence Examples

Do you remember these catch sentences from school?

Every Good Boy Does Fine-for the notes of the scale: E G B D F

Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally-for the order of operations in math: parentheses, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, subtraction

King Henry Died by Drinking Chocolate Milk-for the units of measurement prefixes: kilo, hecto, deca, base, deci, centi, milli

Directions

For each key word that you want to remember, use the first letter of each word as the first letter of a new word that will fit into a memorable new sentence or phrase. You can add in other words to your sentence if they won’t confuse you. Substitute concrete objects for any key words that are too abstract to remember well.

Let’s use the Catch Sentences Technique to memorize the first ten presidents of the United States in exact order.

  1. Washington
  2. Adams
  3. Jefferson
  4. Madison
  5. Monroe
  6. Adams
  7. Jackson
  8. Van Buren
  9. Harrison
  10. Tyler

For each president, use the first letter of each name as the first letter of a new word that will fit into a memorable sentence or phrase. The more personal or unusual the sentence—the better. How about this one? “Why are jerks making money always just very happy tycoons?”

Notice that “jerks” takes care of the confusion between Jefferson and Jackson by using “je” at the start of the word and “making money” does the same for Madison and Monroe.

Now prompt yourself to remember each name by referring only to the above catch sentence. Works well, doesn’t it? Remember that adding in a conjunction, such as “and,” or an article, such as “the,” won’t throw you off and may make the sentence easier to formulate.

Memorizing using the Catch Sentences Technique will enable you to retain the memory of many seemingly unrelated items. Frequent rehearsal of the categories and their items will place the information into your long-term memory. Useful for upcoming tests, names, speeches, lectures, shopping lists? Absolutely.

For more free teaching resources, check out Mark’s website at penningtonpublishing.com.

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