What do you do to help yourself learn and remember the things that you read in textbooks and hear and/ or read in your classes?
Remembering large amount of information from textbooks and class discussions as a student is challenging. Yet, a number of techniques to enhance memory can help turning the reading material into useful knowledge which can be applied outside of the classroom. Personally, I rely on four-level-reading in the learning process, which starts with the three basic factors: impression, association, and repetition. Before reading in-depth, I ask myself what my impression of the material is, why I should read it, and how I can use my background knowledge to understand and remember the information better. Then, I pre-read the text, paying attention only at the title, subtopic headings, and any illustrations (if available). After pre-reading, I skim the body of the text while closely reading the introduction and the summary of the material to understand its structure. Skimming is followed by active reading or so-called chunking which involves note-taking, questioning, and deriving connections between the pieces of the material presented. To remember the lectures better, I usually rely on my notes and return to the textbook if the information discussed during classes still remains unclear.
What can K-12 teachers do in various grades to help their students learn and remember course information?
K-12 teachers are encouraged to implement various techniques to help their students learn and remember course information. One of the recommendations is to use visual aids during the presentation of the new material to create associations. Instructors can also assign students to work in groups so that they can discuss the newly learnt material and share their thoughts with the peers. It is also highly effective to create tasks where learners can put theoretical skills to practice. For better memory retrieval, students should also be encouraged to read aloud in class and at home. Such reading can include reading simple sentences, paragraphs, or full excerpts from the text as per instructor’s discretion. Finally, faculty members should relate the presented material to the student’s background knowledge. Remembering real-life information is usually easier than recalling theoretical terms that are hard to associate with day-to-day concepts.