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Each of these thoughts will lead to different memories of the event the next day.If you think about the sound of the dog’s bark, the next day you’ll probably remember that quite well, but not its appearance.It is vital to know what you’re going to want to remember later, because that dictates how you should think about the material.
to remember something doesn’t have much bearing on whether or not you will actually remember it.It would seem natural, therefore, that somewhere along the way (perhaps around sixth grade or so, when schoolwork really becomes demanding) she would be told something about how her memory works—and something about how to make it work better. In fact, most college students report that they have improvised their own systems of study.In this article, I will describe three principles of memory that are relevant to most of the learning that students do in elementary and secondary school (and, for that matter, most of the learning that adults need to do, too).Why would your memory system hold on to part of that experience—the parlor—and discard another—the flavor?The short answer is that you remember the part that you thought about.There are several aspects of the dog that you could think about.You could think about the of the bark (why it’s barking, whether it’s barking at you, the likelihood that a barking dog will bite, and so on).I’ll provide examples for classroom demonstrations to make the abstract ideas more vivid for your students, and I’ll describe how they can apply those abstract ideas when they study.From the time a child enters school until she earns a diploma, her principal task is to learn new facts and skills.Indeed, when you think about it, most of what you remember is not stuff that you consciously tried to store.Your knowledge of current events, of movie plots, of your friends’ latest doings—you didn’t try to commit any of that to memory. And here’s how you should think about memory: it’s the residue of thought, meaning that the more you think about something, the more likely it is that you’ll remember it later.