Hover to see how Factors connect to Working Memory. Then click connected Factors to explore strategies related to multiple Factors.
Working Memory allows a person to temporarily hold and manipulate information to apply in other processes. With our Working Memory, we recall and apply the knowledge stored in our Short- and Long-term Memories to help understand what we are reading. When Working Memory is overtaxed, a reader can seem to be distracted because they struggle recalling and using information they read.
Baddeley’s Model of Working Memory lays out four components, each considered to have a limited capacity:
Cognitive Load is another important element of Working Memory and refers to the amount of mental effort being expended by Working Memory during different tasks. Cognitive Load Theory proposes that instruction can be designed in a way to reduce Cognitive Load. It also differentiates between different types of Cognitive Load:
Teachers can support language development by using and providing syntax that is appropriately leveled (e.g. short, simple structure for young students).
Teachers support language development by using and providing Vocabulary that is appropriately leveled (e.g., using word wall words).
Advance graphic organizers link prior knowledge to upcoming learning to help students anticipate and understand the structure of new information.
Providing plenty of space for students promotes socially cooperative play and collaboration.
Audiobooks allow students to hear fluent reading and to experience books above their reading skills.
Content that is provided in clear, short chunks can support students' Working Memory.
Easy access to common words promotes sight word recognition as students see the words repeatedly.
Students activate more cognitive processes by exploring and representing their understandings in visual form.
Daily review strengthens previous learning and can lead to fluent recall.
With this interactive technique, teachers help students become story-tellers by listening and questioning.
Visiting places connected to classroom learning provides opportunities to deepen understanding through firsthand experiences.
Free play supports learner interests and allows more complex social interactions to develop.
As students walk through stations working in small groups, the social and physical nature of the learning supports deeper understanding.
Adding gestures and motions to complement learning activates more cognitive processes for recall and understanding.
Visualizing how ideas fit together helps students construct meaning and strengthen recall.
With this interactive technique, teachers help students use their own language for constructing knowledge by listening and questioning.
Spending time with new content helps move concepts into Long-term Memory.
A guided reading strip helps students focus by keeping their place as they read.
Independent reading promotes reading development by emphasizing student choice with teacher support in selecting books, as well as by making time for free reading.
Practicing until achieving several error-free attempts is critical for retention.
Overtly encouraging all students to ask when they have forgotten something creates a classroom that supports risk-taking and skill development.
Rhyming, alliteration, and other sound devices reinforce language development by activating the mental processes that promote memory.
Providing physical representations of concepts helps learners activate mental processes.
Setting small goals encourages consistent, achievable progress, helping students feel confident in their skills and abilities.
Creating patterns for remembering classroom processes, narrative structures, etc. supports the development of memories.
Multiple tables and chairs on wheels allow for setting up the classroom to support the desired learning outcomes of each classroom activity.
By talking through their thinking at each step of a process, teachers can model what learning looks like.
Teachers sharing text-to-self, text-to-text, and text-to-world connections models this schema building.
When teachers share their goals and the paths they take to achieve them, they demonstrate that learning involves effort, mistakes, and reflecting.
Providing instructions in multiple formats allows students to activate different cognitive skills to understand and remember the steps they are to take.
Multiple display spaces help develop oral language skills as well as Social Awareness and Relationship Skills by allowing groups to share information easily as they work.
Multiple writing surfaces promote collaboration by allowing groups to share information easily as they work.
Reading aloud helps students to hear and practice reading and fluency skills.
Visuals help students recognize relationships within words and sentences to develop reading skills.
Talking with students about what they know about the topic of upcoming work helps activate their Background Knowledge or reveals gaps.
Maintaining consistent classroom routines and schedules ensures that students are able to predict what will happen next.
Pretending allows students to step back from a problem or task and think about it from multiple angles.
Cards with strategies for managing emotions help students remember how to act when faced with strong feelings.
Decreasing extra audio input provides a focused learning environment.
Reading aloud regularly exposes students to new and familiar vocabulary and texts.
Reading aloud books about skills children are learning provides another model for their development.
When students explain to others, they deepen their understanding and gain confidence in their learning.
Students build their confidence and skills by reading and rereading books.
Response devices boost engagement by encouraging all students to answer every question.
With rhyming and creative word use, poetry is a genre that supports the development of early literacy skills in particular.
Breaking larger tasks into steps and receiving feedback at each step helps students both manage their work and stay motivated.
Connecting information to music and/or dance moves enhances memory by drawing on auditory processes and the cognitive benefits of physical activity.
Providing a story map ahead of time or having students create a map during or after reading helps learners understand and practice Narrative Skills.
A talking piece passed around a circle invites equal participation.
Transforming written text into audio supports learning by activating different parts of a learner’s brain for comprehension.
Students develop reading skills by listening to and speaking with others in informal ways.
Timers help students learn to self-pace and transition.
Tossing a ball, beanbag, or other small object activates physical focus in support of mental focus.
Having students verbally repeat information such as instructions ensures they have heard and supports remembering.
Providing visuals to introduce, support, or review instruction activates more cognitive processes to support learning.
Videos developed with discussion guides can teach students about SEL skills.
Research shows physical activity improves learner focus and creativity.
Puzzles and games help students visualize how to connect one fact to another.
Actively manipulating word parts deepens a student's understanding of the way words are formed.
Word sorts are multisensory activities that help learners identify patterns and group words based on different categories.
A word wall helps build Vocabulary for reading fluidity.
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