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Improving memory

The most valuable thing I learned at COABE (Adult Basic Ed) this year is how to improve memory while sleeping. Yes, sleeping. I attended a session by Silja Kallenbach from World Education titled “Five Strategies for Successful Students.” Based in part on research from the field of neuroscience, Ms. Kallenbach very clearly and concisely explained several strategies for improving memory and techniques for moving information from short-term to long-term memory. These included:
1.       Review Information, such as new vocabulary, just before sleep. Reviewing for as little as 10 minutes before going to sleep can help to move information from short-term to long-term memory. Sleep is necessary for long-term memories to form and so not getting adequate sleep will affect learning.
3.       Remember that the brain is a muscle, and it can grow and be strengthened. Don’t believe in “fixed ability.” Try to avoid praise such as, “You’re so smart!” It’s better to say, “I can see how hard you worked on this.” Focus on the effort and individual growth of each student.
5.       Drink water! The brain is over 80% water and needs water to work properly. Brain cells need two times more energy than other cells in the body. Water provides this energy more effectively than any other substance.
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