Literacy PK-3

Systems Change
Literacy PK-3 > Factors > Short-term Memory

Short-term Memory

Factor Connections

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Short-term Memory stores a limited amount of information for a short time. It is our holding tank for skills and knowledge that, with practice, will move to Long-term Memory. Short-term Memory is particularly important for understanding unfamiliar words because it is how students remember the individual sounds in words and the words in a sentence when they are working to understand what they are reading. Short-term Memory also aids emergent writers when they begin to spell words, allowing them to store and rehearse orthographic knowledge, eventually moving new information to Long-term Memory.

Main Ideas

There are two types of Short-term Memory:

  • Verbal Short-term Memory stores verbal information.
  • Visuospatial Short-term Memory stores information about our perceptions of spatial relationships.

Short-term Memory is different from Working Memory because information is not manipulated in Short-term Memory, as it is in Working Memory. When memories in Short-term Memory are rehearsed sufficiently, they are consolidated to become part of Long-term Memory.

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