1. Short memorizing rehearsals are more productive than longer ones. Make sure that each practice is no longer than 30 minutes at a time. It is better to have five weekly rehearsals of 30 minutes each than one longer weekly practice (e.g. 3-4 hours in a row).
2. Memory improves when students use multiple sensory pathways to learn the material. For example, when students are learning visual material, they need to elaborate verbally on what they are seeing. On the other hand, if students are trying to consolidate verbal material, for example, from the social studies textbook, memorization is easier if they draw a diagram or write smaller bits of information on index cards that they can study visually.
3. When the learning material is both meaningful and organized is always easier to remember. When studying, children need to use organization aids such as timelines, outlines, bullet lists, flowcharts, cause and effect diagrams, and/or comparing/contrasting diagrams.
4. Give students ample practice in highlighting, outlining, and summarizing important information (key words and key phrases).
5. Students can remember definitions better if they use their own words and/or paraphrase, rather than trying to memorize exactly what the teacher said or what they read in the book.
6. Memorization improves when students think of something that connects with the new information, and link the new concept, topic, or theme to what they already know.
7. Teach students to think of examples of what they are trying to remember. The more connections they make, the more details they add to the concept or topic, and the more examples they can think of, the better their chances of memorizing and learning the information.
8.Teach students to group the information, placing similar items together. For example, from a grocery list with 23 items, the student creates the fruits group, the vegetables group, and the meats group. The child needs to know how many items he needs to remember (23) and how many groups of items are in the list (3). It is harder to remember 23 isolated items from the longer list, but the same items are easier to recall if we put them in three gropups, e.g. eight meats, six vegetables, and nine fruits.
There are direct links to 50+ books and articles in psycho-education and in alternative teaching techniques for struggling learners on my free blog, "The Psycho-Educational Teacher." Here is the link: