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Math PK-2 > Factors > Long-term Memory

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.

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

Information in Short-term Memory that is the focus of Attention can move to Long-term Memory, where it is available for use in other activities.

Explicit memory (declarative 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 what we ate for breakfast yesterday.
  • 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.

Schemas exist in Long-term Memory as an organizational system for our current knowledge and provide a framework for adding future understanding. New information that comes into our Long-term Memory may be more readily encoded in memory when it is consistent with a current schema making learning easier when we have the appropriate Background Knowledge as context.

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