Working memory

Working memory is proposed to be the central cognitive control process that focuses the mind, directs mental efforts, accomplishes tasks, and ignores distractions’ (Kincaid and Trautman).

Some children can be quite good at rote learning but find it hard to remember what they’ve learnt to work things out ‘in the moment’ when it matters.

Working memory involves the use of short-term memory and information processing simultaneously. It enables your child to raise their hand and remember what they are going to say at the same time; it means they can remember the numbers they have to add together; it helps them write a sentence while still keeping in mind the whole story. Children who have difficulty with working memory will often be slow to learn reading, maths and science.

Gathercole, S.E. (2008) Working memory in the classroom. The Psychologist 21 (5).
Cruger, Matthew, Don’t Forget: Memory Tips. ADDittude Magazine.
Kincaid, D.M. & Trautman, N. Remembering: Teaching Students How to Retain and Mentally Manipulate Information. Chapter in Meltzer, L. (2010) Promoting Executive Function in the Classroom. The Guildford Press, New York.