Strategies for Teaching and Learning



Strategies for Teaching

and Learning

Neural Synapses
Neural Synapses

There are several strategies and techniques available to address

the needs of a student with a memory disorder.


  1. Rehearsal: repetition used to remember a telephone number is maintenance rehearsal. This methods keeps ideas in short-term memory.

    Repetition to process information for the long-term memory is elaborative rehearsal. The student memorizes his lines and also makes use of the information previously stored. As the student works to memorize his lines, he mentally elaborates on the words.

    Two effective ways that help elaborative rehearsal center on organization and meaningfulness.

     Organization of material reduces the number of gaps and provides cues.


  2. Meaningfulness: memories are more likely to be stored in long-term memory if they can be related to what is familiar or already remembered. In making associations, it is desirable to relate ideas of maximum depth and richness since superficial similarities are not likely to lead to encoding.


  3. Mnemonic Devices:

    Rhyme Mnemonic organizes and provides retrieval cues and can be acquired. The example, "i before e except after c" is a simple rhyme to help the student spell.

    Acronyms are another type of mnemonic device. The first letter of the word is a part of the acronym. For example, the first letter from each of the Great Lakes- Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior spell the word HOMES. The student can then visualize five homes on the shore of a lake.

    Acrostics are a third method of mnemonics. A sentence where each word begins with the first letter of each to-be-learned item. An example for learning nine planets of the solar system is, "Men Very Easily Make Jugs Serve Useful New Purposes."

    Keyword Method is a fourth mnemonic device useful as a means for learning foreign language vocabulary.


    Teaching students mnemonic devices has two major benefits. First, it shows the student their ability to learn and remember large amounts of information. Second, mnemonic devices are interesting and easy-to-learn methods for improving one's memory.


  4. Ridiculous Associations

    Forming ridiculous associations aids memorization. Instead of selecting conventional associations, one should imagine associations that involve silly substitutions or exaggerations, preferably combined with action. For example, for Smith, picture a blacksmith hammering; for Morris, think of more rice. One could also associate a physical characteristic with the person when trying to remember names, such as, Mary with big blue eyes, Jane with braids, Evan with braces.

  5. Mind Mapping

  6. Organize Information into Categories or Chunks

    The size of the chunk should equal the length of the student's verbal and nonverbal memory span.

  7. Organize Information into a written chart, table, diagram, or flow chart.

  8. Testing Modifications

    Multiple choice test to evaluate content knowledge

    Provide a word bank for fill in the blank tests

    Matching test for vocabulary

  9. Provide adequate repetition and drill to ensure overlearning and mastery.

  10. Schedule several short sessions for learning with breaks between tasks.

  11. Present only a limited amount of information at one time.

  12. Multi-sensory input reinforces learning and provides a variety of modalities in which to recall the material.

  13. Encourage student to review material immediately.

  14. Have student the student role-play material learned to strengthen recall.

Site maintained by Diana T. Mackiewicz, Ma.Ed.
Last updated June 2005.