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Activities for Improving Memory

You work hard creating innovative and interesting lesson plans to keep your students engaged in the classroom. But at the end of the day, if they are unable to remember what you’ve taught them, what was the point? Here are some tips for helping improve memory so your students can remember the lessons you’ve taught them for years to come (not just test day). Hint – you can try these out on yourself as well!

Encourage Note Taking

In this digital age, many teacher like to offer hand outs, or students assume they can get all the information from your classroom’s webpage. But the physical act of note taking can help reinforce a concept (this is why it can often help to create physical to-do lists, or shopping lists). If there is time for it, encourage students to hand write notes on paper, then type them up on a computer for neatness later. Doing this ensures that they are seeing and engaging with the material at least twice. (For auditory students who learn best through listening, suggest that they tape record their notes, rather than typing them.)

Stay Hydrated

Since your brain is more than 70% water, it makes sense that not getting enough to drink could cause memory issues. Allow students to keep a reusable water bottle at their desks (and you keep one at yours!) and give them sufficient time to fill it up between class/lesson changes. If you’re up to it, you can also keep a stash of store bought water bottles (but make sure you recycle those bottles! Each year, nearly 38 million water bottles end up in landfills.

Exercise both your mind and body

Exercise has so many benefits, including memory retention. It’s every bit as important to exercise your memory as well as your body. Simple games or card tricks can help keep your mind sharp, as can reading books. If some of your students aren’t the type to pick up a book on their own, ask them to read out loud to the class as part of your daily lesson – even if you’re not in the middle of a reading lesson. Math and science information can be read to the class as well! Or take a short break from school work and introduce a quick brain break via yoga. Yoga exercises both the brain and body at the same time, by encouraging participants to connect their breath with their movement. You can find the perfect yoga sequence or pose for your class’s age and energy level at

Your goal as a teacher isn’t just to get your students to the next test – it’s to prepare them for life. Good luck!

For more yoga and mindfulness ideas for your home and classroom, visit Subscriptions start at just $9/month.

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