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Unpack The Wonders Of Flashcards

Manalisa Sarmah
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Flashcards are one of the effective learning tools to improve students’ abilities to retain information and understand concepts. Many new memory-aid tools have been created by educationists the world over, but flashcards remain just as popular today as they ever were. Teachers often use them while introducing new topics to students in the classroom. Students mostly use them as go-to-method when preparing for exams and assessments. Moreover, when helping children study at home, parents can use flashcards to make the learning experience fun and exciting for them.

What is a flashcard?

A flashcard is a card that bears information on both sides. They are used in different learning scenarios to help a child memorise formulas, historical dates, vocabulary or any subject content that requires a prompt recall. The format, usually a question on one side of the card and an answer on the other, requires learners to read the question and recall the answer.

How do flashcards work?

Flashcards can work wonders for learners if they are used the right way. Since they are strategically designed to encourage and enhance active recall, it makes for a very effective method for strengthening neural connections in the brain. 

The two important techniques that make them so effective are:

  • Confidence-based repetition: To put it simply, confidence-based repetition measures the correctness of a learner’s knowledge and their confidence in that knowledge. For example, electronic adaptive flashcards created by Brainscape test how assertive a student is in retaining a concept for a long time. This is identified by the colour codes of each card stating the level of confidence from 1 (no confidence) to 5 (perfect confidence). This information is then used to prescribe the number of repetitions and additional reinforcement required for further learning. 
  • Spaced-based repetition: Another technique of learning through the medium of flashcards is space-based repetition. The objective of this technique is to increase the interval between each repetition of a flashcard. As opposed to a situation where learners cram content in a short time, space-based repetition gives them more time to actively recall the content already learned. This helps children retain information longer. 

Five types of flashcards

  • Picture words flashcards: These cards help children learn about animals, clothing, transportation, colours, safety signs, common shapes and common objects. The pictures on the cards are actual photographs of objects or animals instead of illustrations. The letters and images on them are large enough for children to view them from a distance. 
  • Sight words flashcards: These cards are designed for young learners belonging to specific age groups, such as those in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, first grade, second grade and third grade. They are designed so as to develop a combination of skills in children—letter recognition, decoding, phonics, phonemic awareness and memorisation.
  • Periodic table flashcards: These cards help children memorise the elements and symbols of the periodic table. A card is designed for every element present in the periodic table. It contains all the essential details of an element on it, including its atomic number and atomic mass. In addition, these cards bear the name of the common objects containing a particular element. 
  • Creative flashcards: These cards target specific learning areas, such as shapes, alphabet, first words, and colours and shapes. For example, number cards have drawings of different items equivalent to the number mentioned on them. Similarly, ABC flashcards come with coloured illustrations, teaching children how to use alphabets. 
  • Multiplication and division flashcards: These flashcards help children master multiplication and division for test preparation and review. The numbers to be multiplied or divided are graphically illustrated so as to help children understand the concepts, rather than rote learning. Moreover, the colour-coded designs help them discern patterns and understand how to multiply or divide numbers. 

So, what are you waiting for? Create a deck of flashcards today to make learning a joyous experience for your child.

Happy Learning!

Manalisa Sarmah
Manalisa Sarmah

Manalisa Sarmah is a copywriter at Next Education Pvt. Ltd. She has completed her MPhil in Sociology from the University of Hyderabad. She has worked on different educational projects with Hope Foundation and Adhyayan respectively. Her interest areas include reading, creative writing, and travelling.

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