Working memory is a cognitive system with a limited capacity and can retain information for a short period of time.
Working memory can be commonly confused with short-term memory. Short-term memory refers to the short-term information required for a verbal or visual task (e.g., remembering a phone number, blending sounds into words when reading, remembering objects, colors, location, and direction). Working memory involves the manipulation and transformation of verbal and visual information (e.g., remembering instructions and their content to then carry it out, remembering what to say when called upon, remembering your place on the page while reading, reverse sequences of objects/numbers).
Why is working memory important?
Working memory is crucial for academic performance as it is an important part of some critical functions like planning, initiating, task monitoring, and organizing. At school, the areas of learning that are greatly affected by poor working memory are Math, Reading Comprehension, Complex problem solving, and Test-taking. The biggest impact on school work occurs from difficulties with Math and reading comprehension.
Activities to improve working memory
- 1. Simon says
Give the child more than one instruction at a time and see if they can remember them all (e.g. “sit down, put your hands on your head then blink three times” or ‘Obstacle Courses’ where your child needs to complete an obstacle course to reach a ‘goodie’ by remembering the instructions to get there (e.g., ‘Go under the table, behind the chair, and through the tunnel”)
- Picnic time
Give your child the name of 2-3 things that they need to collect to bring to a picnic. Have them collect the items and bring them to a picnic rug (you can use pictures of items or the real item).
- Threading beads
Sit in a circle with a group/or face to face and each person takes a turn to say one colour that you both need to thread. Take in turns to tell each other one colour and slowly increase the number of colors to get to thread onto their tower.
- Braincells activities to improve working memory:-
1:- Memory Grid
2:- Card Flip
3:- Who’s the Guest
4:- Memory Stack and much more
- Working memory is like a mental sticky note that keeps track of short-term information.