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How Teachers Can Help Students with Short Term Memory Issues

April 05, 2013

This week the Disability Living blog has been writing about memory loss. Memory loss is a disconcerting condition that affects more people than you might think. Disability Living is committed to hosting conversations that benefit the entire disability community of Canada. Memory loss is often a symptom of disability. It may be a surprise to some, but children (as well as adults) sometimes deal with memory loss, and often this is a result of disability.

Students with short term memory problems can disrupt an entire class.

As a teacher, you are probably well aware that a student who has short term memory problems (that are related to ADHD or learning disabilities) can easily disrupt an entire classroom of students. The good news is you have a vital role in helping students develop their memory.


Games may sharpen a student’s short term memory.

Here are a few things you as a teacher can do to increase the function of a student’s short term memory:

– Have students get into small groups. Place several items (4-6) on top of a table. Select a student to cover his or her eyes while another student removes an item from the table. Finally, have the student uncover his or her eyes and guess which item is missing.

– Set a picture in front of a student for about 60 seconds. After you remove the picture, have the child write a short story about it (what it looked like, how it made him or her feel, etc.).

Tips for assisting students with memory problems.

Do you have a student (or students) in a classroom with ADHD/learning disabilities? Does that student really struggle with his or her short term memory? If so, create a special “space” for that student. Consider decorating a desk for a child with memory problems and placing a “designated” cushion on the desk chair. You might also consider allowing that child to move around, if that helps him or her to focus.

What type of short term memory-sharpening activities do your students do?

Do your students deal with short term memory problems? If so, what do you do to sharpen their short term memory skills? Disability Living invites you to share with us and the rest of the disability community of Canada by commenting on this blog post.


Image made available by stevendepolo on Flickr through Creative Commons License.

*Please note: All research for this article is compiled from direct and third party sources. Mention of programs, organizations and companies does not imply support of The National Benefit Authority.  Pictures are for creative purposes only; they are not intended to sell or promote products for the NBA and belong to the accredited individual, organization or company.

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