Learning Roadblock? Is it Working Memory?
Did you know that if a student is struggling in school, there may be a roadblock in their brain development? And did you know that these roadblocks can be fixed? If you have a student who has a difficult time with math, reading, handwriting, focus, or all the above, this post is for you!
So, what do I mean by roadblocks? At Yellow Wood we specialize in using games, brain training exercises, and movement to help the brain finish hardwiring and work at it’s best ability. By narrowing down the specific weaknesses, like memory, attention, visual processing, or others, you can focus your energy on strengthening those areas, and in turn you’ll see an improvement in school too! The best part is there are ways to do this with games and movements! Wow!
So let’s talk about one of these potential roadblocks, and a favorite of mine because it’s so fun and easy to strengthen this skill: working memory! Many students who struggle with this cognitive skill are very smart but aren’t able to show it because their working memory weakness is holding them back!
Working memory acts as the “post it” in your brain. It’s responsible for holding onto information long enough for you to use it. It helps you by keeping that information while you make decisions, answer math problems, remember driving directions, cooking from a recipe, and countless other daily tasks!
Working memory is actually 3 part of the brain “working together” to function: verbal short term memory, visual-spatial short term memory, and central executive. These three create a “video” for your brain to play back, which allows you to finish the task at hand.
Your working memory actually increases naturally as you get older, or at least it should. In kindergarten children should be able to hold onto 2 or so items in their working memory. By the time we reach adulthood, we should be able to hold 5-7 items, but this is often not the case! I’ve worked with many middle school and high school students who struggle with THREE items! Just imagine how this affects their learning. In fact, it’s said that working memory is a better indicator of intelligence than the IQ test!
When a student has a poor working memory, daily tasks become difficult, frustrating, and sometimes impossible. Following a morning “get ready” routine, learning long division, remembering spelling rules while writing… all of these tasks require working memory. As we get older, especially once students hit middle school and high school, teachers and curriculum expect a certain level of attention and capability which often require several steps and a strong working memory.
Here are some signs and symptoms to watch out for when working memory is weak. Keep in mind that many of these symptoms are also symptoms of other cognitive weaknesses. If you think your child has MANY of these symptoms, I encourage you to reach out and look into our evaluation process! We test for cognitive skills, primitive reflexes, and more, and can help you find the best methods for overcoming learning challenges.
So, are you ready to improve working memory? We would love to help! Today you can register for a VIP Ticket to the Brain Based Learning Summit and you’ll get lifetime access to some amazing sessions, including one on working memory! Don’t miss out on this deal - the price will go up on Friday!
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