Executive Functioning: Working memory
Working memory is a basic mental skill. It’s important for both learning and doing many everyday tasks. Working memory allows the brain to briefly hold new information while it’s needed in the short term. It may then help to transfer it into long-term memory.
Most kids with learning and attention issues have trouble with working memory. Working memory is an ability that allows us to work with information. It helps us learn and perform even basic tasks.
Working memory is one of the brain’s executive functions. It’s the ability to hold on to new information so we can turn around and use it in some way. Working memory allows us to hold information without losing track of what we’re doing.
Working memory is like a temporary sticky note in our brain. It holds new information in place so the brain can work with it briefly and perhaps connect it with other information. (Attention plays a big role in this process.)
The teacher may ask your child to put her snow boots away, but first hang up her coat. Your child may only do one task or forget which one she’s supposed to do first.
Your child may also find that the information she has remembered doesn’t make much sense. Because of her working memory problems, her brain didn’t package it properly in the first place. If kids learn information in a disjointed way, they have trouble using it later.
A video from Executive Function Coach Benjamin Mizrahi.
Mr Mizrahi is a coach, a learning specialist and a teacher.