Mind mapping, chunking, memory pictures, vocabulary posters, flashcards and memory walks! Here you can learn about the different learning techniques and how they work! Click your way in!
Learning, I just sit down, open my book and try to remember what it says. Well, that’s what most people do. But learning can be done in many different ways and with many different techniques. We have compiled a few for you.
You can write vocabulary words that you can’t remember on a vocabulary poster that you hang up in a place where you pass by again and again. This way you will see the vocabulary again and again in your everyday life and learn it as you go along. Arrange the vocabulary e.g. according to main and time words or also according to their sense. E.g. the vocabulary that belongs to the topic travel you write blue, the ones that fit to the topic environmental protection green,… etc.
Especially for learning subjects like biology, geography,…etc. the technique of mind mapping is suitable. You create a mind map for a topic. For this you take a sheet of paper in landscape format and write in the middle the topic, what it is about. For example, mammals or whales or agriculture in China. It is even better if you make a small drawing, e.g. the flag of China or you draw the animal you are talking about. And then you branch off from the topic, i.e. you just make strokes away and write keywords as keywords to the topic at the end of the strokes. In the case of the whale, for example, one stroke is removed, at the end of which, for example, food is written, and another stroke is added, at the end of which habitat is written. Then also from these keywords further branches go away. With food then krill and fish stand. Use also different colors for it.
Now this is all difficult to explain in written form, just have a look at the example of ladybugs. You will see that it is not difficult at all!
Example Mind Map Ladybugs
In order to memorize learning material more easily, you can always go on the same mental walk. And at certain places you put down certain information. E.g. you start the walk at a pond, there you remember the whale as an example for mammals, then you go on to a bus stop, where you remember the characteristics of horses, etc. You can use this method for many different types of learning. For example, if you are learning about the Greeks, in one place you remember how they lived, in another place you remember what they created, ….. It works so well because the human brain is good at storing data based on location.
A flashcard is a great way to memorize vocabulary or words that you misspell over and over again. You can get flashcards in any paper store or you can easily make them yourself. You just need a small box, normal paper and some thicker paper. On one side of the cards you write the vocabulary in German and on the other side in the respective foreign language, e.g. in English. It’s best to make small drawings to help you remember the words even better. For example, draw a little pig with the word “pig”. In the box or the file you need at least 2 cards for subdivision.
At the beginning you put all the cards in the front tray. Then you check yourself. You take out all the cards, look at one side and try to translate the word. If you succeed, you can put the card into the next compartment, if you don’t succeed, you put the card back into the front compartment. The ones that are still in the front tray after practicing, you repeat again. The ones in the second box you don’t have to repeat until the next day. If you can translate a word from the second subject, you can even put it in the last subject, and the words from the last subject, you have to repeat again before the schoolwork. If you make mistakes, after each correction of the homework, write down the words that were wrong on an index card and have them recited to you.
On average, you remember 5-7 terms for a short time, so if you have to learn e.g. 12 countries, you should try to use tricks so that you can actually recall all 12 during the exam. The method of chunking can help you.
This means that you summarize learning material. Let’s say you have to memorize the following countries: Austria, Malaysia, Spain, Italy, Thailand, Norway, Russia, Ireland, Slovakia, Romania. Now you can group, for example, the countries that belong to the EU, then group the countries that belong to Asia, …, and so on. So you first note EU, Asia, Russia. And then you break down Europe and Asia. And you have all 12 together.
You can memorize words that you misspell over and over again by using mnemonic pictures. You mark the exact place in the word that you misspell over and over again with a picture. And it is best to hang up these drawings in your room so that you can see them again and again and thus memorize them in the long term. For example, you write street again and again without ß. Write down the word and draw the ß as a street with a central reservation. Or you always forget the mm in the word French fries. Connect the two m’s on the drawing with a bag and draw fries on top.
Making up stories
If you have to remember several words, you can try to incorporate them into a story. For example, you have to remember snake, cucumber and mouse. Instead of the words you remember the story: The mouse bites the snake and the snake spits out a cucumber. The example is just to illustrate the technique. The funnier the stories are, the better you usually remember them!
Only those who practice testing can learn successfully. So test yourself orally for oral exams and in writing for written exams.
These are just some of the learning techniques that are available. Just try them out and see if one or the other suits you. Have fun with it.
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