Simple but Powerful Brain Games to Increase Information Retrieval and Memory

Every day, you access memory and retrieval for a variety of tasks. Without even thinking about it, you carry on conversations, answer questions, and drive to the grocery store while contemplating what you need to buy for the week’s meals. You complete simple computations for time or money calculations daily as well. We do these tasks with a high level of automaticity (speed of processing), because we engage the same skills for the same routines daily.

But what about when the name of an acquaintance, an actor, or a movie title is on the tip of your tongue? Or what about times when your visual memory serves you, and you can visualize a store or another place but can’t retrieve the name from your memory while you’re trying to tell someone about it? Then at 3 am, you wake up, and it comes to mind. If you’ve ever experienced any of these situations, you were struggling with information retrieval.

How Retrieval and Memory Affect Your Child’s Learning

Information retrieval and memory are underpinning neurological skills that help us accomplish various learning and daily tasks. While most people understand the importance of memory, many may not understand retrieval. It is the ability to fluidly recall and draw information from our stored banks of knowledge for application in tasks, in writing, or in conversation. According to the APA (American Psychological Association), practicing retrieval is a powerful way to improve memory functions and learning capacities.

These skills will be more difficult the more novel the information to be retrieved is and the less the mind “exercises” retrieval. For example, when a child is called on to answer a question about a new science or math lesson or must organize and construct a written response yet lacks mastery of writing skills, information retrieval will be less fluid. As a result, a student may experience a great deal of frustration or embarrassment and lose the motivation to learn, hence not engaging in very tasks like reading and other activities that help the brain work out its retrieval muscles.

What You Can Do to Help Your Child

At Best In Class Education Centers, we want to share with parents that there’s good news! You can help your child activate the cognitive skills of retrieval and memory with simple activities. You probably already have these powerful brain boosters at home, so that’s even better news.

Cards, Dice Games, and Dominoes Check your game closet. If you have a card deck, dice, and dominoes, you have some great brain activities right at your fingertips. Uno, dice, solitaire, dominoes, and Yahtzee require activation of short-term and working memory, retrieval for quick calculations, and strategic thinking. These games also help build the cognitive skills of observation for patterning, grouping, sorting, and classification.

Question Games Kids of all ages (and adults too) love question games. Question games create opportunities for top-down information processing, information seeking, and problem solving. You can buy games like Guess Who?, Pictionary, and Hedbanz, but it’s easy to create question games with a few materials you have at home. Clue-giving and guessing games can be as simple as writing several different objects, people, or feelings on index cards and taking turns acting them out and giving or receiving clues for guessing.

Puzzles Put the electronics down, and dust off the puzzles. Puzzles look simple—a big picture cut up into 100 or more pieces. However, they require complex and rich work of the left and right sides of the brain with a good dose of sustained attention. These interconnections improve mental speed, visual-spatial reasoning, part-whole relationships, and memory. According to Stanford University, puzzles exercise skills are great for indirectly helping a child’s math abilities.

There are many kinds of puzzles, and your children are sure to find one or more types that keep their minds busy with engaged focus and fun. Rebus puzzles ask a question, and the clues to the answer are found in numbers, letters, pictures, and symbols. Knowledge and retrieval of cliches and expressions are needed to solve the puzzles. Crossword puzzles are classic activities for the retrieval of vocabulary and spelling. Jigsaw puzzles can be found for younger and older students, and they are highly effective brain games.

At Best in Class Education Centers, we believe in making learning an interactive experience that taps into strengthening cognitive skills for greater academic and life success. All students can benefit from our enrichment programs for math or English. Contact us today to see how our high-quality programs can help your child’s intellectual and social growth.

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Planning for Success: Setting up for Your Child’s Next (and Best) School Year

It’s mid-summer around the nation, and that means families are vacationing, kids are riding their bikes with friends, and the days pass with a bit more freedom than during the rest of the year. Some school districts will see students start the next school year as early as the second week of August, and others will restart after Labor Day. While you enjoy the rest of the summer with your child, it’s a good time to begin thinking about how to set up the 2021-2022 school year for success.

Create a Designated Learning Space

Part of motivation is setting up an environment conducive to learning. Many families default to a kitchen table, but these areas of the home are often filled with distractions from siblings, phone conversations, television, and dinner preparations. These distractions cause children to split their attention between the stimuli around them and their work at hand. According to the University of Illinois researchers, when students are made to multitask, their learning is shallower and spottier, and they recall and apply less.

In preparation for the next school year, talk to your child about a good space in the home to read and do homework. Kids love making crafts and other projects, so let your child have some buy-in and contribute by: creating “can do” pictures and posters to hang. Help your child think of encouraging phrases for motivation to read on days when they are less than motivated or feeling frustrated. choosing an indoor desk plant. Greenery has a way of cheering up space and connecting us to nature. organizing a small library of varied reading materials for days when students need to log independent reading time.

Set Time Budgets

Fall doesn’t just mean the start of the school year. It is often the kick-off season for many extracurricular sports and activities. MId-school year, parents often find themselves feeling pulled in many directions because of overcommitment to extracurriculars. Activities are fun, but too many of them may not give children the time they need for homework, adequate sleep, and downtime to unwind and do the true job of children—play. Talk with your children ahead of the busy back-to-school season about which activities are most important to take part in this upcoming school year. Discuss when the best times will be to do homework and spend family time. This way, everyone will enter the next school year with a plan in mind.

Enroll in Enrichment and Tutoring Programs Before You Think You Need Them

As the next school year gets rolling, some children will start struggling with math or reading and language arts, while others who need more challenging material will begin to complain of boredom. If you already know your child has a history of difficulty with a particular subject, or your child generally needs more enrichment to stay engaged, you can start a quality learning program before the notes start coming home from the teacher. Preventative interventions will make for more successful, confident, and happy students.

Best in Class Education Center has developed a tried, tested, and true curriculum that has helped students achieve higher for over two decades. We’re here to help students close learning gaps, get ahead, and develop a love for learning to last their lifetimes.

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How Can Children Benefit from a Quality Enrichment Program?

Learn 5 ways all children can benefit from quality enrichment programs this summer.

It’s no surprise that every child’s education was affected in the 2020-2021 school year by the pandemic. According to Time, by the end of the current school year, many US students are likely to have suffered up to 9 months of learning loss in math learning alone. Now, more than a year beyond the school shutdowns, challenges persist in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis.

With summer break now here, taking proactive steps towards closing this year’s compounded “summer slide” gap is a priority for many parents. Learners need quality enrichment programs to ensure they enter the next year confidently on track for success. Best in Class Education Centers are continuously committed to offering education support to help students adapt and excel in their learning pursuits and also dedicated to helping parents feel confident their students have the tools to succeed.

Benefits of Quality Enrichment Programs:

  1. Engaged Curiosity and Further Learning: A child’s school day is jam-packed with learning objectives, and the pace of information presented may not always allow much opportunity for a child’s natural curiosity and exploration. A quality enrichment program gives students more time to explore learning, find perspectives and framework for what they are learning, and solidify concepts by formulating deeper connections.
  2. A Reignited Love for Learning: Whatever you do day in and day out can become mundane. It’s human nature. Offering children a fresh learning experience can jumpstart their natural love for learning. Best in Class’s expertly designed programs, which combine social interaction and advanced technology tools to enhance engagement, can renew a student’s interest in topics of math or language. New experiences can bring refreshed motivation for both struggling and accelerated learners.
  3. Opportunities for Social and Soft Skill Growth: During the last school year, most children had drastically fewer opportunities to engage other minds and perspectives in their learning experiences. Small group enrichment programs can be fertile grounds for students to shape social and soft skills. Enrichment programs offer spaces for children to practice invaluable skills for the classroom and beyond such as active listening, collaborative learning, making connections to the world, and forming and expressing opinions.
  4. Increased Confidence and Decreased Anxiety: Children rely on routines for feelings of safety and security, but their schooling, extracurricular opportunities, and social lives were disrupted in major ways over the last year. Research is showing that anxiety has increased in prevalence among youth due to COVID-19. An anxious student is often focused on what could happen next instead of enjoying the journey of learning. Giving children access to enrichment programs can help them regain their joy of being part of a learning community and light their paths to see beyond the here and now into a bright future. Confident students are more capable learners.
  5. Closed Learning Gaps and Academic Advantages: A quality enrichment program can buffer the gaps for students who had to engage learning in a less than optimal way. Programs like those we offer at Best in Class Education Centers give students a fun and engaging learning experience that is based on learning levels and not on grade levels. Students who need extra help in an area can have their needs met where they are, and another student who craves challenge can be reached with higher than grade level opportunities. We believe learning should evolve with a student’s abilities.

With passionate teachers, a proven curriculum, and the best in education technology, Best in Class Education Centers are here to close gaps, increase confidence, and make learning stimulating and fun! It’s easy to get started! Find a center near you or contact us. We partner to help children reach their goals.

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Closing the COVID Gap - What You Can Do To Help Your Child Catch-Up This Summer Webinar

Throughout this pandemic, students and teachers alike had to develop learning strategies to continue with the educational progress. Students are now looking forward to decompressing and relaxing this summer, however, this can result in student’s learning regression.

This past Thursday, June 3rd Best in Class Learning Center hosted a great webinar in collaboration with the WATS board that discussed how to understand where your child may be struggling, as well as easy ways parents can keep children engaged in learning, while still giving them plenty of time for fun in the sun and time with friends.

The outcome of this webinar was greatly informative and parents acquired new information on how to help their children from falling behind.

We also uploaded the video to our Best in Class Youtube Channel for those of you that could not attend this great online event, please click the link below so you may learn these techniques first hand.

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These days there are several educational programs being offered for students, and they are increasing with the country’s growing education gap. Many students are struggling to keep up, while others need more challenge. Parents are burned out after the last year of education disruptions due to COVID-19, and teachers are doing their best each and every day. Read more

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Tips to Keep your Student Focused While Completing Academic Work at Home

Whether your student completes schoolwork from home on a regular basis, is completing work at home for a specific reason like the current disruption in the school calendar or has supplemental coursework they do after the traditional school day, there are a few easy things you can do to help them be successful. Read more

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