Training in short-term memory



  • The child with poor short-term memory often forgets instructions and is often thought to be disobedient.
  • Hey may forget what he just heard or read.
  • He has also problems with understanding long sentences, because he forgets part of the sentence.
  • He may also struggle with spelling and dictation exercises.

Notice: a child who does not follow orders can also be a child with attention problems. These exercises may not necessarily improve the child´s actual short-term memory but they will help him to concentrate better and pay attention to essential matters. Visual cues help the children to remember better.

Short-term memory

The teacher plays games that encourage the children to remember lists of several items.
Example: The teacher gives a list of animal’s names and asks the child to recall what words were mentioned.

The teacher can give some instructions and ask the children to repeat them before they follow them.
Example: The teacher asks the child to write a list of things the child likes, ask the children to repeat the instructions before they write the list.

The teacher gives the child multiple instructions, and then asks the child to carry them out.
Example: The teacher asks the child to take a book to the teacher’s table and then bring a piece of chalk
from the table.

The teacher directs the children’s attention to the things they must remember and repeat them often. Pictures that refer to the things the child must remember are very useful.
Example: If children do not remember some letters or words, the teacher can help them remember these letters or words and practice several times to develop mastery of the particular letters or words.

The teacher identifies some objects or pictures and asks the child to name them. The teacher then hides the objects and mentions some of items, which the child should point at when they are uncovered.
Example: Put seven pictures on the table e.g., a car, a dog, an elephant, an orange, a table, a lion and a bicycle. Ask the child to name them. Hide the pictures and say: “point at the car, the orange, and the lion.” Then uncover the pictures. If the child points at the pictures correctly, ask him next time to point at four pictures, five pictures etc. If three pictures are too difficult, start with two.