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Avoid frustrating memory loss. Retain and recall more information.
It's a classic situation - you meet someone new, and then moments later you've forgotten their name! Names, passwords, pin and telephone numbers... the list is endless - with so much to memorize is it really possible to improve how much you can remember? The good news is "yes"! Just like every muscle in your body, the adage "use it or lose it" applies, so the more you exercise your brain, the more you wil l remember.
µMnemonic¶ is another word for memory tool. Mnemonics are techniques for remembering information that is otherwise quite difficult to recall: A very simple example is the µ30 days hath September¶ rhyme for remembering the number of da ys in each calendar month. The idea behind using mnemonics is to encode difficult -to-remember information in a way that is much easier to remember. Our brains evolved to code and interpret complex stimuli such as images, colors, structures, sounds, smells, tastes, touch, positions, emotions and language. We use these to make sophisticated models of the world we live in. Our memories store all of these very effectively. Unfortunately, a lot of the information we have to remember in modern life is presented differently ± as words printed on a page. While writing is a rich and sophisticated medium for conveying complex arguments, our brains do not easily encode written information, making it difficult to remember.
Using Your Whole Mind to Remember
The key idea is that by coding information using vivid mental images, you can reliably code both information and the structure of information. And because the images are vivid, they are easy to recall when you need them. The techniques explained later on in this sectio n show you how to code information vividly, using stories, strong mental images, familiar journeys, and so on. You can do the following things to make your mnemonics more memorable:
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Use positive, pleasant images. Your brain often blocks out unpleasant ones . Use vivid, colorful, sense -laden images ± these are easier to remember than drab ones. Use all your senses to code information or dress up an image. Remember that your mnemonic can contain sounds, smells, tastes, touch, movements and feelings as well as pictures.
Give your image three dimensions, movement and space to make it more vivid. You can use movement either to maintain the flow of association, or to help you to remember actions. Exaggerate the size of important parts of the image. Use humor! Funny or peculiar things are easier to remember than normal ones. Similarly, rude rhymes are very difficult to forget! Symbols (red traffic lights, pointing fingers, road signs, etc.) can code quite complex messages quickly and effectively.
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Designing Mnemonics: Imagination, Association and Location
The three fundamental principles underlying the use of mnemonics are imagination, association and location. Working together, you can use these principles to generate powerful mnemonic systems. Imagination: is what you use to create and strengthen the associations needed to create effective mnemonics. Your imagination is what you use to create mnemonics that are potent for you. The more strongly you imagine and visualize a situation, the more effec tively it will stick in your mind for later recall. The imagery you use in your mnemonics can be as violent, vivid, or sensual as you like, as long as it helps you to remember. Association: this is the method by which you link a thing to be remembered to a way of remembering it. You can create associations by:
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Placing things on top of each other. Crashing things together. Merging images together. Wrapping them around each other. Rotating them around each other or having them dancing together. Linking them using the same color, smell, shape, or feeling.
As an example, you might link the number 1 with a goldfish by visualizing a 1 -shaped spear being used to spear it. Location: gives you two things: a coherent context into which you can place information so that it hangs together, and a way of separating one mnemonic from another. By setting one mnemonic in a particular town, I can separate it from a similar mnemonic set in a city. For example, by setting one in Wimbledon and another similar mnemonic with images of Manhattan, we can separate them with no danger of confusion. You can build the flavors and atmosphere of these places into your mnemonics to strengthen the feeling of location. For a detailed explanation of how to use imagination, association and location mnemonics, try these articles:
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The Link Method and Story Method ± Remembering a Simple List The Number/Rhyme Mnemonic ± Remembering Ordered Lists The Number/Shape Mnemonic ± Remembering Ordered Lists The Alphabet Technique ± Remembering Middle Length Lists The Journey System ± Remembering Long Lists
The more explorations or relations you do. telephone nos.607 or as 47. . orange. grapes. the better. the items to be memorized are divided into small and easily memorizable chunks or groups. orange can be better learned by rearranging and applying chunking as : Apple. 3 vegitables and 3 stationary items. banana. ID nos. banana. cabbage..y y y y y The Roman Room System ± Remembering Grouped Information The Major System ± Remembering Very Long Numbers Using Concept Maps to Remember Struc tured Information How to. paper. cabbage. paper. These chunks may then be learned by rote. stapler.607. 2. cucumber. ink. The number 472627607 may be memorized easily if it is grouped as 472. 26.. grapes. 3. Words like mathematics may be divided into mat +he +mat +ics. The last one is a simple strategy for recollection. Important may be divided into im + port + ant. beans. Together may be divided into to + get + her..4 fruits. This method works best when the order of the items is not important. Example: 1. 27. etc. In this method. Remember People's Names Memory Games ± Have Fun While You Improve Your Memory 5 methods Now let us discuss five simple techniques to improve memory: Four of these techniques are used to improve assimilation and thus to have longer retention.. cucumber. This technique will make us learn much faster. Chunking Perhaps Chunking is the oldest method used in memorization.. Learning and retention are much facilitated if you further explore the nos.) and for committing complicated spellings to memory. stapler -. Finding the digital root will also be helpful. 627. beans. The list Apple. by finding some relationship among these different chunks. ink. This method is found to be particularly well suited for memorizing multi -digit numbers (eg.
"Thirty days haveth September April. World War II started with Germany's attack on Poland. Bed-time Recital . The following is a very popular example of application of this technique which almost all school students are familiar with. The additional information of the World War II is used as a bridge or mediator in bringing these two words together. Psychologists doing research on Human Memory have found that the capacity of Short Term Memory (STM) for humans is 7 s 2 that is from the range 5 to 9 items. This is because one is to bring in the mediator or the bridge from relevant items one has learned. Rhyming This is also one of the popular and oldest methods in memorization. This not only improves learnability and retention but also aids in faster and effortless recollection. then the time When Febs days are twenty-nine.If possible. the word pair to be connected together is Poland and Warsaw. Again. June and November All the rest have thirty-one February has twenty-eight alone Except in leap year. Mediation/Bridging In this method. a bridge is built in between the items given to be memorized. An example often cited by memory experts is the learning of the capital of Poland. This technique is best suited for learning materia l involving word pairs or material that can be reduced to word pairs. Thus it may be a rranged as Poland SAW War first. So you should take care to keep the chunks you create within this limit. The capital of Poland is Warsaw. Here. the me diation technique calls for the learner's active participation in the learning process. organize the material as meaningfully as you can and think out relationships among each group." If possible create rhymes like this and it will not only aid in improving your memory but in improving your creativity as well. This technique makes use of the fact that we have a natural tendency to remember rhymes and rhythms. like other techniques.
and mind brings it forward when the blocking is removed. Sometimes the information was blocked when you wanted. to your pleasant surprise that information automatically pops up into your mind after some time. 2. you do your recital or rote lea rning just before going to bed. You experience a blocking that prevents you from recalling it. 3. You will surely retain the item longer and find it more easy to recall it when in need. This is because even if you stopped trying. The mind in the process of sleeping would then arrange the information in a systematic and effective way when you are sleeping. Normally you tend to try again and again but in vain. the mind is searching for that information and brings it to awareness when it is found. This is where stress plays its role in hindering recall. Steps for Memory Improvement 1. . To handle this situation you just keep away from trying to recollect it and do something else. Psychologists have also found that if you sleep after thinking about your problems there is a be tter chance that you arrive at a solution the next day. Sometimes when you try to recall you may not be able to recall it at that time even if you are sure that you know it very well. Be in a relaxed mood Write down the things that you are supposed to remember in a piece of paper. Read it aloud (if possible) once or twice and recite it two to three ti mes.In this technique. Trying by Not Trying All of us apply this method knowingly or unknowingly. Now go to sleep without worrying or thinking about anything. 4.
How to Improve Your Memory TIPS AND EXERCISES TO SHARPEN YOUR MIND AND BOOST BRAINPOWER Share RSS If our brains were computers. Whether you¶re a student studying for final exams. or a senior looking to preserve and enhance your grey matter as you age. however. The human brain. a working professional interested in doing all you can to stay mentally sharp. A strong memory depends on the health and vitality of your brain. Just as it takes effort to build physical fitness. so too does boosting brain power. so improving our memory isn¶t quite so easy. is more complex than even the most advanced machine. Read on for some of the most promising ways to keep your mind and memory in top form. there are lots of things you can do to improve your memory and mental performance. we'd simply add a chip to upgrade our memory. Harnessing the power of your brain .
scientists have discovered that this old adage simply isn¶t true. read What is Memory? (PDF) They say that you can¶t teach an old dog new tricks. Improving memory tip 1: Don¶t skimp on exercise or sleep Just as an athlete relies on sleep and a nutrition-packed diet to perform his or her best. and adapt and react in ever-changing ways. your ability to remember increases when you nurture your brain with a good diet and other healthy habits.How memory works To learn more about how the brain learns and remembers new information. it¶s probably the former. sleep deprivation is a recipe for disaster. your brain can form new neural pathways. problemsolving abilities. When you exercise the body. you exercise the brain Treating your body well can enhance your ability to process and recall information. Physical exercise increases oxygen to your brain and reduces the risk for disorders that lead to memory loss. Improve your memory by sleeping on it When you¶re sleep deprived. The human brain has an astonishing ability to adapt and change²even into old age. Improving memory tip 2: Make time for friends and fun When you think of ways to improve memory. alter existing connections. and improve your memory. But countless studies show that a life that¶s full of friends and fun comes with cognitive benefits. Creativity. You can harness the natural power of neuroplasticity to increase your cognitive abilities. but when it comes to the brain. enhance your ability to learn new information. This ability is known as neuroplasticity. Research shows that sleep is necessary for memory consolidation. Healthy relationships: the ultimate memory booster? . with the key memory-enhancing activity occurring during the deepest stages of sleep. such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. With the right stimulation. do you think of ³serious´ activities such as wrestling with the New York Times crossword puzzle or mastering chess strategy or do more lighthearted pastimes²hanging out with friends or enjoying a funny movie²come to mind? If you¶re like most of us. But sleep is critical to learning and memory in an even more fundamental way. and critical thinking skills are compromised. working.Exercise may also enhance the effects of helpful brain chemicals and protect brain cells. your brain can¶t operate at full capacity. The brain¶s incredible ability to reshape itself holds true when it comes to learning and memory. or trying to juggle life¶s many demands. Whether you¶re studying.
Keep a toy on your desk or in your car. Unlike emotional responses. Their playful point of view and laughter are contagious. chronic stress destroys brain cells and damages the hippocampus. researchers found that people with the most active social lives had the slowest rate of memory decline.´ Looking for ways to bring more laughter in your life? Start with these basics: y y y y y Laugh at yourself. seek it out and ask. Choose a computer screensaver that makes you laugh. if left unchecked. We¶re not meant to thrive. laughter involves multiple regions across the whole brain. Share your embarrassing moments. Over time. and that holds true for the brain as well as the body. The stress-busting. interacting with others may be the best kind of brain exercise. When you hear laughter. Put up a funny poster in your office. ³laughter«seems to help people think more broadly and associate more freely. Frame photos of you and your family or friends having fun. Improving memory tip 3: Keep stress in check Stress is one of the brain¶s worst enemies. The best way to take ourselves less seriously is talk about times when we took ourselves too seriously. What s funny? Spend time with fun. the region of the brain involved in the formation of new memories and the retrieval of old ones. There are many ways to start taking advantage of the brain and memory-boosting benefits of socializing. Relationships stimulate our brains²in fact. move toward it. which are limited to specific areas of the brain. Pay attention to children and emulate them. join a club. for example. taking life lightly. These are people who laugh easily both at themselves and at life s absurdities and who routinely find the humor in everyday events. in isolation. Research shows that having meaningful relationships and a strong support system are vital not only to emotional health. listening to jokes and working out punch lines activates areas of the brain vital to learning and creativity. and laughing. or reach out over the phone. but brain health.As psychologist Daniel Goleman notes in his book Emotional Intelligence. Furthermore. don¶t overlook the value of a pet²especially the highly-social dog. When you hear laughter. They are the experts on playing. brain-boosting benefits of meditation . Most of the time. make it a point to see friends more often. Laughter is good for your brain You¶ve heard that laughter is the best medicine. people are very happy to share something funny because it gives them an opportunity to laugh again and feed off the humor you find in it. Volunteer.Humans are highly social animals. let alone thrive. playful people. Surround yourself with reminders to lighten up. In one recent study from the Harvard School of Public Health. And if a human isn¶t handy.
In fact. Meditation also can improve focus. an area of the brain associated with feelings of joy and equanimity. see Relaxation Techniques for Stress Relief: Relaxation Exercises and Tips. and ³healthy´ fats will provide lots of health benefits. sardines. some of the symptoms of depression include difficulty concentrating. Meditation works its ³magic´ by changing the actual brain. halibut. Studies show that meditation helps improve many different types of conditions. diabetes. but such a diet can also improve memory. But for brain health. You probably know already that a diet based on fruits. mackerel. and Help Improving memory tip 4: Bulk up on brain-boosting foods Just as the body needs fuel. especially cold water fatty fish such as salmon. To learn more about meditation and other brain-boosting relaxation techniques. Brain images show that regular meditators have more activity in the left prefrontal cortex. and high blood pressure. it¶s not just what you eat²it¶s also what you don¶t eat. More and more evidence indicates that omega-3 fatty acids are particularly beneficial for brain health. whole grains. tuna. seeking treatment will make a big difference in your cognitive abilities. so does the brain. and herring. including memory. making decisions. anxiety. concentration. Symptoms. creativity. If you are mentally sluggish because of depression. eating fish may also lower your risk of . including depression. Meditation also increases the thickness of the cerebral cortex and encourages more connections between brain cells²all of which increases mental sharpness and memory ability. Causes. and remembering things. vegetables. chronic pain. y Get your omega-3s. and learning and reasoning skills. depression takes a heavy toll on the brain. Get depression in check In addition to stress.The scientific evidence for the mental health benefits of meditation continues to pile up. Fish is a particularly rich source of omega-3. The following nutritional tips will help boost your brainpower and reduce your risk of dementia. Read: Understanding Depression: Signs. In addition to boosting brainpower. trout.
white bread. For mental energy.´ The more you work out your brain. whole milk. and fruit such as apricots. fresh grapes and berries. . mangoes. instrument. Red wine appears to be the best option. Swiss chard. But in moderation (around 1 glass a day for women.Colorful fruits and vegetables are particularly good antioxidant superfood sources. pumpkin seeds. Other non-fish sources of omega-3s include walnuts. flaxseed oil.Anything that takes some mental effort and expands your knowledge will work. the better you¶ll be able to process and remember information. When you need to be at the top of your mental game. Improving memory tip 5: Give your brain a workout By the time you¶ve reached adulthood. No matter how intellectually demanding the activity. or sport. cheese. For energy that lasts. Try leafy green vegetables such as spinach. but not so difficult or unpleasant that you dread doing it. and execute familiar tasks with a minimum of mental effort. brown rice. your brain has developed millions of neural pathways that help you process information quickly. 2 for men). oatmeal. Keeping your alcohol consumption in check is key. It s challenging. substances that protect your brain cells from damage. 3. romaine lettuce. consider turning to fish oil supplements. solve familiar problems. butter. You have to shake things up from time to time! Memory. the more likely you ll be to continue doing it and the greater the benefits you ll experience. Limit saturated fat. you aren¶t giving your brain the stimulation it needs to keep growing and developing. Examples include learning a new language. and soybeans. but simple carbs (sugar. since alcohol kills brain cells. ground flaxseed.The more interested and engaged you are in the activity.If you re not a fan of fish. choose complex carbohydrates such as whole-wheat bread. requires you to ³use it or lose it. Research shows that diets high in saturated fat increase your risk of dementia and impair concentration and memory. Just as a racecar needs gas. if it s something you re already good at. and ice cream. alcohol may actually improve memory and cognition. your brain needs fuel to perform at its best. The activity can be virtually anything. and peanuts.y y y developing Alzheimer s disease. Eat more fruit and vegetables. and watermelon. carbohydrates can keep you going. It s fun. choose complex carbohydrates. cantaloupe. yes. refined grains) give a quick boost followed by an equally rapid crash. high-fiber cereal. Other resveratrol-packed options include grape juice.Produce is packed with antioxidants. it s not a good brain exercise. a flavonoid that boosts blood flow in the brain and reduces the risk of Alzheimer s disease. 2. sour cream. and whole beans. lentils. so long as it meets the following three criteria: 1. But if you alwaysstick to these well-worn paths. like muscular strength. It s new. The activity needs to be something that s unfamiliar and out of your comfort zone. as it isrich in resveratrol. cranberry juice. Carbohydrates fuel your brain. The best brain exercising activities break your routine and challenge you to use and develop new brain pathways. Drink wine (or grape juice) in moderation. But the type of carb you choose makes all the difference. broccoli. The activity should be challenging. The primary sources of saturated far are animal products: red meat. or tackling a challenging crossword or Sudoku puzzle. and arugula.
B. eggs going up the stairs. want to remember. Relate information to what you already know. representing the notes E. usually by helping us associate the information we want to remember with a visual image. Rhymes and Rhymes. encode it into your brain if you don t pay enough attention to it. smells and tastes. Imagine placing the items you want For a shopping list. colorful. pick a quiet place where you won t be interrupted.Use mnemonic devices to make memorization easier Mnemonics (the initial ³m´ is silent) are clues of any kind that help us remember something. and remember and creating a new word Superior. even better. Erie. imagine bananas Method of loci to remember along a route you know in the entryway to your home. or . Tips for enhancing your ability to learn and remember y y y Pay attention. sofa. and even jokes September. out of them. and are a memorable way to rememberNovember´ to remember the months more mundane facts and figures. remember. Mnemonic device Technique Example Associate a visual image with a word To remember the name Rosa Parks Visual image or name to help you remember them and what she¶s known for. D. Connect new data to information you already remember. Chunking breaks a long list of Remembering a 10-digit phone Chunking numbers or other types of number by breaking it down into information into smaller. An acronym is a word that is made The word ³HOMES´ to remember Acronym up by taking the first letters of all the the names of the Great Lakes: Huron. and threesurrounded by roses. whether it s new material that builds on previous knowledge. and bread on your bed. If you can recite it rhythmically. You can t remember something if you never learned it. June. Involve as many senses as possible. or a word. It takes about eight seconds of intense focus to process a piece of information into your memory. pleasant images that woman sitting on a park bench are vivid. alliteration (a repeating The rhyme ³Thirty days hath alliteration sound or syllable). Make up a sentence in which the The sentence ³Every good boy does Acrostic (or first letter of each word is part of or fine´ to memorize the lines of the sentence) represents the initial of what you treble clef. a sentence. waiting as her dimensional will be easier to bus pulls up. read out loud what you want to remember. more three sets of numbers: 555-867-5309 manageable chunks. key words or ideas you need to Ontario. Positive. picture a better.Even if you re a visual learner. (as opposed to5558675309). of the year with only 30 days in them. April. and you can t learn something that is. and F. Try to relate information to colors. Michigan. If you re easily distracted. G. textures. The physical act of rewriting information can help imprint it onto your brain. a well or in specific locations in a puddle of milk in the middle of the familiar room or building.
Each letter is a cue to. try to think of strategies that would be useful to you! Some people use letters. or suggests. Blue. focus on understanding basic ideas rather than memorizing isolated details. your way of thinking! 1. images. some images.Violet IPMAT. above) Sequence in solving or evaluating math equations Parenthesis | Exponents | Multiplication | Division | Addition | Subtraction . Metaphase. an item you need to remember. sequence in solving or evaluating math equations Parenthesis | Exponents | Multiplication | Division | Addition | Subtraction ROY G. maps. An acrostic is an invented sentence or poem with a first letter cue: The first letter of each word is a cue to an idea you need to remember. Anaphase. Orange. etc to help you remember. As you proceed through this list of techniques. PEMDAS. Review what you ve learned the same day you learn it. or how useful they are to. This spaced rehearsal is more effective than cramming. Telephase Practice your acronym 2. Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally (PEMDAS. Using Memory Effectively The following techniques with their exercises use associations with letters. Acronyms An acronym is an invented combination of letters. Rehearse information you ve already learned. Indigo. For more complex material. even songs. the stages of cell division Interphase. BIV. Practice explaining the ideas to someone else in your own words. Prophase. and at intervals thereafter. Yellow. especially for retaining what you ve learned.y y something as simple as an address of someone who lives on a street where you already know someone. Each depends on how comfortable you are with. Green. the colors of the visible spectrum Red.
Thomas Jefferson. you need a standard direct path and clearly defined locations for objects to facilitate the retrieval of these objects. George Washington. livestock with shoes on (two). Create an image of the items you need to remember with key words. hive = five. shoe = two.diary products.Acrostic exercise GARBAGE | Acrostic exercise EGBDF 3. etc. refrigerator. a sack of grain suspended in a tree (three). . Next. consider the Spanish word "cabina" which means "phone booth. Again. example: bun = one. door = four. when you open the door Jefferson is reclining on the sofa and Nixon is eating out of the refrigerator. Rhyme-Keys: (for ordered or unordered lists) First. When you see the word "cabina" on the test.. Good for kinesthetic learners! Imagine yourself walking through the location. select a key word in English that sounds like the foreign word. and Richard Nixon. Four basic food groups-. shelf. etc. meat. grains. For example. Imagine yourself putting objects that you need to remember into each of these places by walking through this location in a direct path. imagine an image which involves the key word with the English meaning of the foreign word. and poultry. after considering the foreign word you need to remember." Practice your keywords 6." You could then invent an image of a cab trying to fit in a phone booth." For the English keyword. The Image-Name Technique: (for remembering names) . and fruit and vegetables Think of cheese on a bun (one). The Keyword Method: (for foreign language vocabulary) First. you might think of "cab in a . fish. you should be able to recall the image of the cab and you should be able to retrieve the definition "phone booth. Practice your loci 5.. sofa. tree = three. you could imagine walking up to the door of your location and seeing a dollar bill stuck in the door. The Method of Loci: (for approximately twenty items) Select any location that you have spent a lot of time in and know well. a door to a room stocked with fruits and vegetables (four) Practice your rhymes 4. memorize key words that can be associated with numbers. selecting clearly defined places--the door.
Chaining: (for ordered or unordered lists) Create a story where each word or idea you have to remember cues the next idea you need to recall. no matter if studying biology or playing pool. difficult. Practice your chaining Study skills series Concentrating while studying Concentration: the ability to direct your thinking The art or practice of concentration.Simply invent any relationship between the name and the physical characteristics of the person. Total concentration. Practice image-naming 7. is to focus on the task at hand and eliminate distraction We all have the ability to concentrate -. and/or not interesting to you. a movie. playing music. if you had to remember Shirley Temple's name. If you had to remember the words Napoleon. door. a good game. ear. What you can control in your studies 2. you might ingrain the name in memory by noticing that she has "curly" (rhymes with Shirley) hair around her temples.sometimes. Best practices What you can control in your studies: . Think of the times when you were "lost" in something you enjoy: a sport. For example. you could invent a story of Napoleon with his ear to a door listening to people speak in German. But at other times. o o o o Your mind wanders from one thing to another Your worries distract you Outside distractions take you away before you know it The material is boring. These tips may help: They involve 1. and Germany.
lighting and environment Avoid your cellphone or telephone Put up a sign to avoid being disturbed or interrupted If you like music in the background. scheduled breaks that fit you Do something different from what you've been doing (e. efficient study schedule Accommodate your day/nighttime energy levels See our Guide on Setting goals and making a scheduling Focus Before you begin studying. When you notice your thoughts wandering astray. chair. long book reviews. say to yourself "Be here now" and gently bring your attention back to where you want it. Take regular. OK. such as calling a friend. but don't let it be a distraction. levels.y y y y y y y y "Here I study" Get a dedicated space. to the fact that you're hungry. For special projects such as term papers. take a few minutes to summarize a few objectives. The more active your learning. Say to yourself "Be here now" . a walk. the better. etc. a food treat. there will be ups. set up a special incentive Change topics Changing the subject you study every one to two hours for variety Vary your study activities Alternate reading with more active learning exercises If you have a lot of reading. table. and think of a general strategy of accomplishment Incentives Create an incentive if necessary for successfully completing a task.g. to a date. and downs: It will benefit other activities you do! Be here now | Worry time | Tally Card | Energy level | Visualize Be Here Now This deceptively simple strategy is probably the most effective. and in a different area Rewards Give yourself a reward when you've completed a task Best Practices: y y You should notice improvement in a few days But like any practice. try the SQ3R method Ask yourself how you could increase your activity level while studying? Perhaps a group will be best? Creating study questions? Ask your teacher for alternative strategies for learning.. For example: You're studying and your attention strays to all the other homework you have. gather what you will need. design projects. walk around if you've been sitting). (Research on productivity with music versus without music is inconclusive) Stick to a routine.
. I'm not going to think about cookies. close your eyes and think about anything you want to for the next three minutes except cookies. For example. Try not to think about cookies.m. perhaps with "Be here now. Gradually.When you try not to think about something. Good practice is enough to say that you did it. Take it easy on yourself." and "evening. When it wanders again. repeatedly. repeat "Be here now" and gently bring your attention back." "afternoon. Worry or Think Time Research has proven that people who use a worry time find themselves worrying 35 percent less of the time within four weeks.") You might do this hundreds of times a week." 4. and that you are on the road. Tallying your mental wanderings. So be patient and keep at it. When your mind is side-tracked into worrying during the day. remind yourself that you have a special time for worrying. 3. as you sit there. Draw two lines dividing the card into three sections.mapping. When you become aware of a distracting thought. you'll find that the period of time between your straying thoughts gets a little longer every few days. outlining. 1. Let the thought go. let the thought go for the present. 2. ("I'm not going to think about cookies. Set aside a specific time each day to think about the things that keep entering your mind and interfering with your concentration.Focus back on subject with questions.. Label them "morning. Keep a card for each day. The mind is always different and the practice unfolds over time with many ups and downs. remind yourself that you have a special time to think about them." Each time your mind wanders. Keep your appointment to worry or think about those distracting issues For example. and return your focus to your immediate activity. You'll see some improvement! Do not constantly judge your progress. make a tally in the appropriate section. As your skills build. etc. It will work! Do not try to keep particular thoughts out of your mind. it keeps coming back. and maintain your attention there as long as possible. and continue this practise. as your worry/think time. Then. Have a 3 x 5 inch card handy. you'll see the number of tallies decrease . set 4:30 to 5 p. summarizing.
Repeat before each study session. This exercise outlines the first stage of applying a critical thinking approach to developing and understanding a topic. J. The Complete Problem Solver.Maximize your energy level When is your energy level at its highest? When are your low energy times? Study your most difficult courses at your high energy times. R. Now try to feel or image yourself in that situation. Reverse that. You will: o o o o o Develop a statement of the topic List what you understand. Most students put off the tough studies until later in the evening when they become tired. This alone can help to improve your concentration Visualize As an exercise before you begin studying. and it is more difficult to concentrate. Franklin Institute Press. 1981 Thinking and recall series Critical thinking I Strategies for critical thinking in learning and project management Critical thinking studies a topic or problem with open-mindedness. Later in the evening? Work on your easier courses or the ones you enjoy the most. Study hard subjects at peak energy times. Recapture that experience immediately before your studies by placing yourself in that moment. Hayes. easier ones later. what you've been told and what opinions you hold about it Identify resources available for research Define timelines and due dates and how they affect the development of your study Print the list as your reference Here is more on the first stage: Define your destination. think of those times when concentration is not a problem for you--no matter what situation. what you want to learn Clarify or verify with your teacher or an "expert" on your subject .. Sharpest early in the evening? Study your most difficult course then.
your starting point. Work back from the due date and define stages of development. revised and edited by Joe Landsberger See also: Teaching with questioning. judgment. or read about. and situations with openness to alternatives.Topics can be simple phrases: "The role of gender in video game playing" "Causes of the war before 1939" "Mahogany trees in Central America" "Plumbing regulations in the suburbs" "Regions of the human brain" o o o o Develop your frame of reference. not just with this first phase. teaching critical thinking Thinking and recall series Thinking creatively Thinking creatively is a state of mind that enables you to approach tasks. . but in completing the whole project. Interactive Media (DHA 4384) School of Design. Critical thinking I | Critical thinking II | Critical reading Summary of critical thinking: o o o Determine the facts of a new situation or subject without prejudice Place these facts and information in a pattern so that you can understand them Accept or reject the source values and conclusions based upon your experience. keep an open mind Look for chance resources that pop up! Play the "reporter" and follow leads If you don't seem to find what you need. University of Minnesota. problems. and beliefs Flash exercise contributed by Lisa Reed and Professor Brad Hokanson. by listing what you already know about the subject What opinions and prejudices do you already have about this? What have you been told. this topic? What resources are available to you for research When gathering information. ask librarians or your teacher. How does your timeline and due dates affect your research? Keep in mind that you need to follow a schedule.
Visualize: Picture your problem and its solutions. Then refine! Form relationships Make connections--similar to mapping but adding text as to why concepts connect. Think in opposites Often extremes present middle ground where solutions lie. your school's job search. Map it! Produce: Don't be lazy! Get busy! Combine: Make new combinations-.in considering options." Develop a portfolio. to try: Example: Finding a job or internship. Fail: Learn from experience: think as if you have eliminated a solution toward finding one that does. and or examples of your work that match each company you visit. or don't think about. Check every resource you can think of: online Web employment sites. Find new ways that others are too lazy. Expand your target visits: What class did you do well in. Prepare a summary of each company you go to and how you match their interests. Metaphor! Simile! Build an image. and what jobs might be related? What other fields are interesting? Market yourself: develop your "brand.Summary of the exercise: Nine strategies towards creative thinking and meeting challenges: o o o o o o o o o Re-think: Look at a challenge in new or unusual ways. put them all on the table to find grains of truth or possibility. Practice patience Outlast the challenge! Text of the exercise: Looking for a job? Re-think: Look at a challenge in new or unusual ways. a list of qualifications. business windows .
Think opposite these words: Hip hop | Flow | Employment | Organic | Blue | Nature Then find a middle concept for one Metaphor! Simile! A simile uses "like" or "as" to build an image. Examples: The jungle's river was like a peaceful path through a chaos of green. Don't be lazy! Combine: Make new combinations. and thoughts no matter how strange or unusual. Remake the map on a separate piece of paper. Then add three related concepts. enter some contacts. friends of your parents. teachers. either by name and/or by title and/or by qualification. Then draw lines to connect the words. make connections. summarize a challenge you are facing. ask questions! At the arrow. Demonstrate interest in them. add images.Ask friends. Combine and recombine ideas. Form relationships. Opposites Think in opposites. images. Map it! In just a couple words. Get to know the people in your area of interest that can help you improve. Produce: A genius is productive. and/or community leaders about opportunities and referrals Visualize: Picture your problem and its solutions. The service line moved as fast as stalled rush hour traffic. The bird rose straight and fast as a rocket. neighbors. Play with this idea and find your solution. This applies to people and objects. A metaphor is more direct: .
but chance born of many "unsuccessful" experiments.. Fail! Great accomplishments are often the result of chance. or just invisible? Often the way we experience the world is built on and bordered by our experiences! When we find ourselves in a situation. preparation to fail is the path to success. reflect.The event was viewed through the mist of sadness. Enter your thought quickly for the following phrases with the first image that comes to mind. They provide efficient rules that guide us in decision . Cooperative learning series Radical thinking Are you looking for new ideas? Has your path reached a dead-end? Are your options limited. May your successes and failures bring you knowledge and peace. or ten years! Practice patience. Most of the time... and make new connections if inspired... Learn from these experiences. Print. The football team played as if they. We hope one or two of these tips serve you well. Accomplishment does not come in 10 minutes. The computer screen looked. She led them with the carrot of reason and the stick of embarrassment. problems new solutions. Paul C zanne (1839 1906). The garden became a quilt of cared-for colors. these shortcuts serve us well by providing answers based upon how we have solved problems in our past. My study schedule is a. we form solutions with ³shortcuts´based upon patterns we have ³learned´ in our lives. Give yourself ten days. did not have his first exhibition until age 56.. Now create your images: The exercise illustrates how situations can take on new meaning. Patience Some people are not recognized until their "later" years. French impressionist.
One option mode: get a wireless device for her to wear that calls. Situation example 2: I talk too much Opposite mode: I will be silent. Think in terms of opposites. Prioritize the M-O's after printing to consider the best solutions. However. First. formed sentences. 1 . even contradictions. 4. and problem solving. Now list three radical "O's" or options Think quickly and creatively. pre-conceived ideas. one strategy or approach can be radical thinking. enter up to three middle "O's" or options. One option mode: I will create and prioritize a ³to-do list´ for a few items and ignore the rest Learning to learn series Thinking aloud/private speech When we learned as infants and children. briefly summarize your situation or challenge." We sounded out words. When corrected. school.making and problem solving. and uncritical analysis. these rules also can lock us into stereotypes. etc. or of opening ourselves to "get it right.3. . Situation example 3: I am disorganized. One option mode: I will practice active listening. This is also called a heuristic approach to learning. thinking aloud or saying what we are thinking was accepted as a way of demonstrating our knowledge. Opposite mode: I will do nothing. Brainstorm your way out-of-the-box! 3. discovery. 1. Opposite mode: Move her out of her house to assistive living. we practiced until we imitated correctly. Situation example 1: My elderly grandmother can¶t get to the phone in emergencies. For each radical O. or conformed to the model of our family. neighborhood. When they are not helpful. an approach to creatively engage with options! Perhaps radical thinking may help you generate new ideas? Let's try this radical three-screen process. expressed ideas. 2.
either to help us understand or to remember better. As we grow older and mature. Thinking aloud is also called private speech. It is a tool that helps us overcome obstacles and acquire new skills". Applications of private speech in learning include planning. We read. 1 We tend to use only phrases and incomplete sentences in private speech. And some of us don't need another person around to talk with in this process! This can be a learning style. "Nevertheless. and the combination of these strategies is very individual.Thinking aloud was essential to our early learning. Whenever we encounter unfamiliar or demanding activities in our lives. listen. but only what is puzzling. private speech resurfaces. monitoring progress. talk with others (collaborative learning) and with ourselves. or venting to ourselves. create images or diagrams. The more we engage our brain on multiple "levels. We omit what we already know or understand. Private speech is a useful tool in learning. Applications of private speech in learning include. or guiding ourselves in working through challenging tasks and mastering new skills. We use multiple senses and experiences to process and reinforce our learning." the more we are able to make connections and retain what we learn. the need to engage in private speech never disappears. It can help us manage situations and control our behavior by verbalizing our feelings. What is said reflects our thoughts. and a very effective one. Some of us like to talk things through with someone or in a group. use music or motion. o o o o memorizing vocabulary by saying the words appreciating poetry by "dramatising" it editing papers by reading the text aloud talking through math problems to arrive at solutions . or challenging. thinkingaloud is internalized. new. So also private speech decreases as our performance or understanding improves. and speech shifts to communicating with others.
Jaime. the need to engage in private speech never disappears. or just move their lips when they read. lab technicians.calpoly. and architects. Image-Streaming. Research has confirmed that children. October 30. actors. 2000) State of the Art: Transforming Ideas for Teaching and Learning To Read. Why do Chilren Talk to Themselves?. (http://www.abacon. construction and crafts trades. 10/25/00 Learning to learn series Learning as a student-athlete or student-performer Indicators of a "kinesthetic intelligence" or body smarts: o o o o Talented or aptitude for moving your body or handling objects Well-developed and well-coordinated physical and motor skills Can be effectively used for communication and productivity Highly developed physical memory (Images in your thoughts can involve movement) Besides in athletes and dancers. chiropractors.com/berk/ica/research.S. November 1994. Berk. surgeons. http://cla. November 1993 "Adults who are not smooth readers also read out loud.ed. L." Wenger. like adults.. those in mechanical. Scientific American. . the teacher shares with students the thinking process. because they know that other people will think less of them if they read out loud. and gardeners. sculptors. and of course in do-it-yourselfers. However. It is a tool that helps us overcome obstacles and acquire new skills". and that when th ey use task-relevant private speech. and dentists. 4. physical therapists. but they have learned to muffle it for social purposes .edu/~jbattenb/ling/ Student Research Papers..83 as seen at http://www.gov/pubs/StateArt/Read/idea4. use private speech when they find tasks difficult or when they made errors. pp 78 .geocities. their performance on a variety of tasks improves Agres.html 10/23/00 "In a think-aloud activity. private speech resurfaces. Why Children Talk to Themselves. Modeling is an important form of classroom suppo rt for literacy learning."Nevertheless. http://www. kinesthetic intelligence is found in inventors.they subvocalize.E. it is the easiest and most natural way to absorb concepts." U.html.com/Athens/Acropolis/1179/ 10/25/00 "As stated in Child Development. Susan. jewelers. Department of Education. Whenver we encounter unfamiliar or demanding activites in our lives.
or alternative methods to get the same information Involve all of your senses in learning. move and act things out Jump in and try things. and build up from there Practice and repeat basic elements to strengthen recall Be directly engaged. your body to act things out Be proactive in writing things down Put examples in note summaries Use pictures and photos to illustrate points Talk about notes with another Kinesthetic person Use community-based assignments in developing writing skills Use concept mapping to organize information in order to more actively engage with what you wish to learn Use technology to take advantage of your hand-eye coordination Multi-media technology can be used to gather and organize information from multiple . intelligence. Intentional. learn by trial and error Ask for real-life examples. be applied to a successful academic life? With time management: Complete our exercise in scheduling No "performer" would prepare for the big event without a training program and schedule. Use a hands-on approach constructing or modeling things Use concrete objects as learning aids Use your hands to explain things. balanced scheduling is the foundation of the successful athlete or performer: the same principle applies to learning There are strategies you can develop and use to be a successful (kinesthetic) learner: y y y y y y Develop routines and habits for learning Schedule when you study. or for an idea to be demonstrated if you don't understand Seek out courses with labs and field trips Ask your teacher for printed summaries lectures. and skills. what you study (begin with easier subject matter to build confidence) Simplify instructions down to basics.How can your kinesthetic aptitude.
y sources Computer simulations and games can help you o see the big picture or system o work with parts of it and experiment with them o simulate. delivering a presentation. a teacher. and practice responses for situations that may come later in performance or the "real world" Prepare yourself for exams: Write test questions and compare with study mates or tutors Write practice answers Role-play the exam situation before the test Ask if your accomplishment can be assessed through building a model. and context for your progress: Academic development Seek out a single reliable coach or support "center" that o o o o o Provides encouragement/motivation. even a tutor can act as your coach.and mastery-oriented academic goals that mesh with your skills and interests --Develop selected study skills as fundamentals of learning Assists you in developing your academic team for mutual support in achieving goals and progress Holds you accountable for academic performance Provides for positive feedback and celebration . encouragement. and assesses achievement --Provides resources for general wellness Assists in developing a personal and individualized set of performance. monitors progress. or trainer. Each can provide guidance. or some optional activity other than a standardized or written test The role of the coach An academic counselor. director. substitute for.
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