Assisting Students With Working Memory Problems

Shirley Houston
Promoting a sound start to learning
Learn about the impact of working memory deficits on learning and the strategies and tools that can support students with weak working memory.
Target Audience
Primary school teachers
2 reviews

Learning Areas

Teaching Standards

General Description

There is a growing awareness of the importance of working memory in many areas of life including learning, attention and social skills. New research suggests that working memory is a better predictor of academic attainment than IQ. This course will develop understanding of working memory and the impact of working memory deficits in the Primary School classroom. Participants will be familiarized with tools available for measuring working memory capacity. They will be given strategies for supporting children with weak working memory in the classroom. A brief look at memory training programs such as CogMed and Jungle Memory will be followed by a discussion of the controversial question ‘Can working memory in children be enhanced by training programs?’


Primary school teachers

Available Delivery Formats

This course contributes to 6.0 professional development hours.


There are no occurrences of Face to Face - Individual in Australia (WA) at this time.


Understanding childhood working memory

1 hour

Participants will do memory tasks and discuss models of working memory (verbal and visuo-spatial). They will discuss working memory capacity and loss and changes that occur during childhood

Characteristics of children with weak working memory

30 minutes

Participants will discuss indicators of weak working memory in children on a checklist and use it to identify at least one current student with weak working memory


30 minutes


Tools for measuring working memory capacity

1 hour

Participants will be introduced to a variety of tasks and tools that can be used by teachers or psychologists to measure working memory capacity. They will use several of these to measure their own working memory.

The impact of working memory deficits in the Primary classro

1 hour

Participants will discuss the impact of weak working memory on various aspects of learning and socialisation, including performance on specific literacy and numeracy tasks


45 minutes


Supporting children with working memory deficits

1 hour and 15 minutes

Participants will be provided with strategies for reducing working memory load. They will develop a plan of intervention for their classroom. Finally, they will look at video clips outlining a number of working memory training programs and discuss the controversial question 'Can working memory in children be improved by training programs?'

What To Bring

Coloured pencils, paper, examples of memory aids that are successful in the classroom

User Rating


Latest Reviews

Please note the feedback listed here is unfiltered, and includes all comments and ratings collected.


Great overview of Working Memory and the impact upon the student. Very practical methods to put in place in the classroom.

Veronica Morcom
by Veronica Morcom on 31/05/2013

Shirley has obvious in-depth knowledge about many aspects of teaching. This course was very informative and allowed for ongoing interaction between presenter/participants.

About the team

Shirley Houston


Shirley has a Masters degree in Special Education and has been teaching in the area of Special Needs for 30 years. She has taught in government and independent schools, primary and secondary, universities and TAFE. Shirley has also taught in several states of Australia and in the U.S. Her particular interests are specific learning difficulties, early childhood, education of young gifted children and literacy. She loves travel, reading and music.