Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Teaching To Remember - That is - Teaching to Long Term Memory

In our homeschool the kids are working on learning the states and capitals. Now back when I was in school we memorized them by saying them over and over and writing them over and over .....zzzzzzzz - oh, excuse me, I fell asleep! Yes, back then I did memorize them for the short term, because that is what the teacher was teaching to - my short term memory. There is a MUCH BETTER WAY TO TEACH!!!!!

Jessica and Wade Hulcy of Konos Curriculum - love them, love them, love them - have taught me how to really teach! Jessica is an amazing woman and teacher! She inspires and challenges me every day. So how do I teach states and capitals to my kiddos' long term memory? Well, how about singing the states and capitals to a tune? How about immersing yourself into the information about each state? How about acting out whaling when you are studying the New England states? Teaching to all the different styles of learning, that is, integrating all the learning styles, helps ANYONE to really learn the information - in their long term memory. In my previous posts about homeschooling, you can see this immersion in our acting out the Revolutionary War, or dissecting a cow's eye or singing the Preamble to the Constitution.

So, back to states and capitals. When they were studying Maine, we studied lighthouses. Here is a picture of the kids' lighthouse they built by themselves. The rule was I had to keep my gag and handcuffs on - that is, I couldn't tell them how to do it. They had 20 minutes to build it, they must COOPERATE (we're studying the character trait of cooperation) and use an idea from each one of them, and it had to light.

When we studied Vermont, we studied how to make real maple syrup. No, we didn't go out and actually drill into a maple tree - not too many of those in Baker City - but we did make waffles and ate them with real maple syrup for dinner!!! Of course, we use lots of "living books", that is, we teach from a lot of library books, reading biographies about famous people, etc. We read about making maple syrup, watched videos on-line about making maple syrup ..... eating it was the best lesson of all:

Making the waffles: Then eating them:

Ok, back to my day - we are studying the Great Lakes States - cheese anyone? Which state am I talking about?


Egghead said...

Well Wisconsin of course...the state with the great cheese heads. Thank you for talking about teaching for long term memory. I hope you do more of this so we understand the teaching method. You are such a good mom. I love Lexie's polka dot sweater.

Kristi said...

Bravo Vonda!!! Yes it's Wisconsin - you smartie! I kind of wish I had one of those hats!

Jill said...

Num! I want to be one of your students! Now I really want to have waffles for dinner, dangit! I have to say, it cracked me up to see asparagus on the kids' plates as they're eating waffles!!!!!!! ha ha ha ha that's adorable! :) Love you guys!

Anonymous said...

Wisconsin. final answer

That is correct!!!