Working memory can be thought of as the mind’s ‘post-it note’ as described by Dr Gathercole author of ’Working Memory in the Classroom.’ This post-it note can become overloaded and can also be easily lost if the child is distracted.
Because information is lost permanently from the working memory, either by distraction or overloading, it is not possible for the child to proceed with the task unless they can re-access the information e.g. hear the instructions again.
At this point the child can either guess what to do next – and possibly not get it right – or may give up.
Effectively using working memory is considered one of the brain’s executive functions.