Training your brain to record, recall, and quickly process symbols requires a dedicated step by step approach.
What is a symbol?
A symbol is anything that is used to represent something else. The letter "A" for example represents a sound. The number "9" represents nine objects. What is a red octagon a symbol for?
You don't have to see the word "STOP" you know from a distance what is coming up. Symbols are an important part of everyday life. The ability to remember and use them is critical.
The number scrambler activities are broken into three separate skill blocks. Students should master an entire skill block prior to moving on to the next. It is ok to jump around within a skill block, but you should not move on to the next skill block until 90% accuracy is achieved on all activities within the prior skill block.
Determine where the student should begin. Not all students will need to start at the beginning level. Many will be ready to begin with the moderate or even advanced skill blocks. If students are able to complete the advanced skill block with 90% accuracy, then their memory for symbols is adequately developed, and students should be allowed to skip these skill practices.
Practice a skill block for 30 minutes a day, three days a week, until mastery is achieved. Activities are listed in order based on how we recommend they be completed, however, it is ok for students to jump around within each memory skill block. Mastery of this memory skill block is achieved when student is able to complete all activities with 90% accuracy. This should be judged over the course of an entire 30 minute session.
When 90% accuracy is achieved, move to the next skill block. When student achieves 90% on all three skill blocks, memory for symbols is adequately developed, and student can forego regular practices.
Easy Come Easy Go!
Memory is among the fastest and easiest intellectual skills to train. It is not uncommon to see students make dramatic improvements in the same session. This is exciting, because it means that almost anyone who struggles with memory has hope, regardless of age. However this easy acquisition of memory skills comes with a downside. Easy come, easy go. That is to say that these skills can leave a student rapidly. It is important that students be involved with activities that will help keep their brains sharp.
Regular school work involving memorization is typically sufficient to insure that students remain memory masters. It is not a bad idea to have students return to this website occasionally for retraining. Especially after long breaks from school, such as christmas break, spring break, and summer break.
Suggestions For Teachers And Parents
There are a number of things that you can do as a teacher or parent to significantly enhance and aid your student.
- Give students memorization techniques that will help them learn how to remember. It is encouraged that students be exposed to discussion on tricks they can use to remember things. A few suggestions might be the following.
- Sing numbers to a tune.
- Repeat numbers over and over in mind.
- Chunk numbers. This is the process of breaking the numbers into smaller blocks for easier remembering. Similar to how a phone number is broken into a block of three numbers, and a block of four numbers.
- Be creative, what other memorization techniques can you think of?
- Frequent practice, and opportunities to use and expand memorization skills. Students will be much more successful if they are encouraged to practice these skills both in a learning environment, as well as in their daily life. While driving in the car, parents can have children memorize passing licence plates, passing street signs, phone numbers from billboards, etc.
- Make it fun. Students will do better, if they enjoy it. Always refer to activities as "Games". Don't put undue pressure on students. Be encouraging, but not overbearing. If you see your student growing frustrated, move them back to an easier activity or skill block.
Why do all numbers start with audio / visual, then move to visual, and finish with audio?
Because most of us do better when we have both audio and visual clues to help. However, we don't always have both. We need to train our brains to deal with information when it is presented to us either visually or audibly. Generally, most of us do better with visual information then we do with audio. However, this is not always the case. For this reason, feel free to jump around within each skill block.
Why are students asked to reverse the numbers in their minds?
This is a very challenging activity that serves two important purposes. It stretches the student's mind, strengthen pathways in the brain for memorization. Also, it helps students learn to order the symbols. Why is this important? Spelling words, phone numbers, addresses, and many other strings of symbols depend heavily on order. If the order in a phone number is incorrect, even though the individual symbols were accurately recalled, the phone number itself is not correct.