10 Tips for Working Memory and Writing

10 Tips for Written Expression for Students with Working Memory Deficits

Working memory and writing skills are closely intertwined. Written expression can be difficult when students have working memory deficits.

Working memory is used when a student needs to think and remember at the same time.  For written expression, a student has to brainstorm ideas, organize thoughts, plan, construct sentences, remember correct grammar and review the writing format all while remembering what words need to be written on the paper.  Therefore, written expression can be difficult for student with working memory deficits.  Some students may omit words, repeat words, miss errors or forget what was to be written.

10 Tips for Working Memory and Writing

Here are some tips for written expression that are particularly helpful for students with working memory deficits:

  1. reduce overall cognitive load by focusing only on the writing assignment with no distractions
  2. keep work space well organized
  3. make the writing assignment requirements shorter
  4. repeat the sentence orally a few times before starting to write the sentence
  5. complete a first draft where grammar and spelling can be corrected
  6. use abbreviations or symbols in the first draft
  7. provide overall feedback on the first draft and the student can revise before handing in the final copy
  8. teach the student to create an outline or use a graphic organizer before starting to write
  9. when revising check for only one error at a time i.e. step 1: check document for spelling step 2: start over and check document for punctuation step 3: start over and check document for legibility, etc.
  10. if working memory deficits are significant the student may need a scribe to help be the writer’s short term storage

Reference:  Kaufman, A. S., & Kaufman, N. L. (2015). Essentials of working memory assessment and intervention. M. J. Dehn (Ed.). John Wiley & Sons.

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Working Memory Exercises: Working Memory Exercises includes the materials to create 20 memory challenges (the 10 Level 1 exercises are in categories and the 10 Level 2 exercises are not categorized) recording sheets for each category in double lined (Handwriting without Tears® style), dotted lined (Zaner-Bloser® style) or regular lined paper and answer sheets. In addition, both levels come with additional visual cues if the exercises are too difficult. This download is great for classroom use, therapy sessions or to send home with a student. These activities are reproducible to print to use over and over again with all the children that you teach. FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION.