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Weekly Tool Tip


 Retention Tool # 3:  
The Power of Association

 Purpose: to capitalize on the brain's enormous capacity to store new information when it is associated with information that already exists inside the brain.

  • Step 1: Get students excited about how their brain can easily remember information that is associated with a picture. We do this by asking them, "Is it easier to remember a face or a name?"
  • Step 2: Most students will reply, "It's easier to remember a face." We then ask them, "Why?"
  • Step 3: Having acknowledged and respected the answers, we may suggest that we find it easy to remember pictures and that a picture is worth a thousand words.
  • Step 4: We then explain to students that when somebody hears the sound of their name it is indeed the sweetest sound they could ever hear.
  • Step 5: We then show them pictures from a magazine from a picture or a book and make up names for them and ask the students to remember the names.
  • Step 6: Having noted their effectiveness at remembering names, we then show them another way and give them simple examples, for example, to remember the name, Frank, see a picture of Frank in your mind's eye, now imagine a frankfurter going through their neck like Frankenstein. Example 2 to remember the name Bill, imagine the picture of Bill in your mind's eye and stick a dollar bill on his forehead. Example 3 to remember the name Ann, make a picture of Ann in your mind's eye and imagine an any nibbling away at Ann's forehead.
  • Step 7: Having had fun with this exercise, get students to create their own associations for people whose names they would like to remember. {A good way to do this is for them to remember names of characters when they're watching television.}
  • Step 8: Review with your students the Power of Association. Get them to reflect on the fact that a picture is worth a thousand words.

 NOTE: Giving students the ability to remember names will give them a huge advantage in life. They will also begin to appreciate the Power of Association and begin to tap into the brain's incredible capacity to use this natural ability to remember any key information.

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