Every month Kelly Challis, a freelance literacy specialist with 15 years experience in SEND and literacy difficulties, will be providing tips on how to help parents support their children with literacy, study skills, focus and attention and some maths.
I was asked by a music teacher how they could help their pupil learn notes more effectively and as I know nothing about music I was unable to give specific ideas.
However, the most important thing when trying to teach any child that finds it difficult to remember facts, numbers or notes in a song is that the information needs a hook. Some sort of meaning is imperative and needs to resonate with the child.
Previous schools of thought were around learning styles. If you were a visual learner then put everything in pictures, use colour codes and mind mapping.
If you were an auditory learner, record your notes and listen to them, get people to read questions out to you to answer.
Finally, if you were a kinaesthetic learner then move around, stick post it notes everywhere and take regular breaks to get up and stretch your legs.
All these approaches are effective and valid but they are ALL useful to EVERYONE. The more of your brain you can engage when learning new material, the better.
Appeal to your mathematic, semantic, literary, auditory, visual and kinaesthetic brain and you will create lots of hooks for that material to get a grip on making it much harder for it to slip out one ear or the other.
Whole brain memory techniques use all the above approaches.
Here are a few more of my favourites:
· Prioritising- rating the information from 1-5 i.e. which wife did Henry 8th love the most?
· Colour coding- this must be repeated and where possible used in their books
· Categorising- putting information into groups. These can be meaningful like, rulers of England or personal.
· Writing out notes and condensing them until you have key words which then trigger the main information
For further information on memory visit www.think-plan-do.co.uk.