Math 3-6

Long-term Memory

Factor Connections

Hover to see how Factors connect to Long-term Memory. Then click connected Factors to explore strategies related to multiple Factors.

How Long-term Memory connects to...

Long-term Memory can store information indefinitely. We can move skills and knowledge into Long-term Memory by repeatedly practicing. When students have math skills, background knowledge, and arithmetic facts in their Long-term Memory, they have the tools they need to tackle new math problems.

Main Ideas

When short-term memories are rehearsed, they become consolidated and move to Long-term Memory. There are two main types of Long-term Memory:

Explicit (Declarative) Long-term Memory refers to memories that can be consciously remembered.

  • Episodic memory is for the storage of daily personal experiences and specific events in time, such as who we sat behind in class yesterday. Episodic memory of learning experiences can help students recall the knowledge learned in that particular context or setting.
  • Semantic memory is for memories of facts, such as memorized arithmetic facts (e.g., 2+2 = 4), and general knowledge about the world, such as Tokyo is in Japan. The time and place this knowledge was learned is not typically known.

Implicit (Nondeclarative) Long-term Memory stores the memories that do not require conscious thought.

  • Procedural memory involves learning a sequence of actions, such as riding a bike and doing math Operations. These are automatically retrieved and used for doing these tasks.
  • Emotional memory involves a change in how stimuli are approached based on a past negative or positive experience, such as someone avoiding food that previously made them ill.

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