What You'll Get
- $39 for an online Common Core benchmark assessment evaluation and 30-minute follow-up phone or in-person consultation ($99 value)
The evaluation is for kids in grades 3–8.
The Psychology of Memory: Forging Pathways Through the Brain
One thing you'll definitely need to bring to class is a working memory. Read on to explore the process by which memories are embedded into our brains.
The capital of New Zealand. Last year's Oscar winner for Best Actress. Can you bring these names to mind, or do they feel like they're just out of reach, dancing on the tip of your tongue? In fact, cognitive psychologists formally describe this phenomenon as a TOT—tip-of-tongue—state, and it can help illustrate the complex processes that occur (or fail to) as the brain embeds and retrieves information for later use.
One thing that a TOT state tells us is that memory is not a matter of sending a search query into the brain's depths and coming back with a complete unit of experience (i.e., having studied New Zealand in sixth grade) that we'd once filed away. Different parts of memories are stored in different regions throughout the brain, depending on their nature—words, for instance, are not kept in the same place as faces. That storage system gets kicked into gear as each thing we see, touch, smell, and hear is processed by our sensory and short-term memories, where the information is mulled over for a few seconds and either discarded or transferred to long-term storage. Through rehearsal, or repetition, a short-term memory becomes a long-term one, where it resides among our most deeply embedded recollections: a wedding, the birth of a child, the words to our favorite mattress-store jingle.
Acquiring new skills creates additional pathways, which—like ruts in a dirt road—grow deeper with repeated use. Likewise, learned skills can disappear following periods of neglect. Over time, the brain prunes unused connections, which helps to explain how you can forget a second language once you stop speaking it regularly.
Some memories, however, seem impossible to forget. This typically happens when a memory is associated with a heightened emotional or physical response. "Where were you when JFK was assassinated?" is a question any baby boomer likely will have an answer to. In a classroom, teachers can use these physical and emotional associations to their advantage, teaching material with hands-on methods that stimulate different regions of the brain to create an abundance of connections between memory and knowledge.
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The team at Mentored has taken tutoring and homework help and brought it into the digital age. Here's how it works: students log on and are taken to one-on-one digital sessions that can be accessed via smartphones, tablets, or laptops. There they can get quick and interactive help from online mentors when they're having trouble with a homework assignment, need assistance studying for a quiz, or are preparing for the SAT. Each session lasts up to 20 minutes, and mentors can help with subject areas such as math, science, English, and test prep.
The backbone of Mentored are their staff of experienced mentors, who are trained to help students gain knowledge of concepts rather than just providing quick answers, allowing students to actively learn and engage. And the online platform makes it easy to interact with the mentors and ask questions. In addition to single sessions, Mentored also offers six-week SAT math bootcamps that help students prepare for the important test, which includes both pre- and post-evaluation tests to track students' progress.