What is Working Memory?

Working Memory is the thinking skill that helps you to:

    • Remember information and then use it later.
    • Perform multi-step directions.
    • Understand what you have read.

For example, you use your Working Memory skills when you remember the rules for basketball while you’re in the middle of playing a game.

Sammy & Ugene

In this comic strip, Sammy calls Ugene to see if he wants to go to the beach. Ugene gets so excited, however, that he forgets some important things when he”s getting ready to go.

What can you do?

If you ever have a hard time remembering your teacher’s instructions, or if you often forget how to complete an assignment, then you might need some help improving your Working Memory skills. The good news is that we can help!

Here are some simple ideas that you can use to improve your Working Memory and stop forgetting important things:

    • Learn to “chunk” by trying to remember two or more things as one item. You can often do this by repeatedly doing these activities together, so that three actions become one. For example, every morning you can brush your teeth, wash your face, and comb your hair, so that eventually these become one action that you do in front of the mirror.
    • Repeat what you have heard, such as a new name or phone number, in your head a few times, and at the same time add a visual image or picture in your head of what you are thinking about. For example, if you meet a new person, you might say, “Sammy Smith with brown eyes” while having an image in your head about this.
    • Leave yourself notes on a sticky pad in one or two places in your home that you always see.