The lost art of memorization

please listen in for today’s radio interview (click above) with Sandy Warren, Author of Times to Remember

Hello friends and neighbors!

Today we are taking about bringing memorization back into the classroom. It has been neglected for far
too long, basically becoming a lost art. Now certainly we are not going to ask our students to stand in formation and repeat back like parrots! NO NO NO! We will use music, songs, rhymes, pictures, rhythm and more. AND we will be bringing these facts to higher level learning. Yes we must set to memory what is important and useful and we should do it in ways that are engaging to our students.

THE ARTS are critical to development/language/creativity and learning. Since they are being removed from our schools, let bring them into the classroom (art integration) and learn the times tables, or the
periodic table, or the structure of our congress. There is a rap or rhyme or acronym for almost every topic under the umbrella of common core. We might as well make it fun since this stuff (I mean knowledge) has to be learned.

….As well, we want our students to learn the formulas, Newton’s Laws, names and dates and places quickly so we can continue focus on the higher skills; for example student videos of Newtons Laws in action. Keep filming, keep problem solving, keep facilitating the constructivist classrooms, but….. take a breath and pause here and there and identify (to our students) what is important to remember…. and then ask he students themselves to create a way to remember. (see internet info on the interactive notebook)

In fact studies show that the brightest students have more stored memories than the struggling students.
The brightest students ALSO have the ability to filter through their long-term memory and apply meaning to new learning and situations. So we need BOTH memorization AND comprehension! both are key to helping
our students move on to more advanced learning (analysis, synthesis, creations, evaluations etc).

We know memorization is the key. The Asians have known this for a while and has helped them
to become the top ranking students in the world (Shanghai,Korea,Japan, ect.). And no, they are
not tricking the PISA tests by memorizing only. In fact the PISA tests include lots of analytic thinking
(see and guess who is answering MORE of the problem-solving , analytical questions? Yes,it is the Asians with 25 percent answering the most difficult questions with the global average only 3 percent!

So, OK, how can we help our children memorize in effective ways? Can we let them learn naturally
through the wonderful classroom activities (small groups, hands-on, problem solving, math manipulative)
Sure you can. However it takes a lot more time to than it does to memorize with focus and purpose.

We are going to learn the 8×8 means 8 groups of 8; the function of the cells as the building blocks of life; and we are going to use the scientific method in hands on experiments. BUT. and this is a BIG but,
we will benefit our students by helping them store valuable information to later retrieve
for the classroom…and later for the REAL world.

How great is this?! We can put away the calculator and our cell phone and figure out some basic math
without a crutch. We can free up neural pathways and move onto algebra with grace. and our future
physicians will be able to tell us what bone we broke without having to ask Siri.

Joyful Learning Always!
🙂 Sandy

For informaton about cells phones and memorization read what Scientific American has to say! (below)