Working Memory is a key thinking skill that can impact academic performance in a variety of ways. It allows children to recall and utilize information while performing an activity, and is vital to activities like taking notes, following multi-step directions, and completing complex mathematical calculations. Working Memory also plays an important role in reading comprehension, and children who have trouble with their Working Memory skills will often have difficulty remembering teachers’ instructions, recalling the rules of grammar, or completing other academic tasks that involve actively calling up important information.
Kids with underdeveloped Working Memory skills may commonly display absent-mindedness and have difficulty with tasks that entail more than one step. While children with good Working Memory skills can remember and follow complicated directions and have the ability to use what they have learned in a previous experience in a new situation.
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In regards to reading, Working Memory helps when learning how to decode words, aids students trying to remember specific parts of a story or lesson, and helps in recalling previously learned vocabulary while reading.
Working Memory helps with math when kids are trying to keep track of multi-step problems, and is important while trying to recall the proper methods for solving problems. Working Memory also aids in recalling and applying problem solving strategies.
While writing, Working Memory is important for keeping multiple ideas in mind at once, and helps kids to be aware of the proper ways to structure sentences and paragraphs. Working Memory also helps when kids are trying to recall spelling and grammar rules.
For more information on this important thinking skill, see out series of articles on ways to improve Working Memory.