While reflecting on my thinking, it occurred to me that the organization of my thoughts varies depending on the information or subject. My strengths include being very well organized and being a visual learner. Memorization skills such as mnemonics, repetition, and rehearsal are extremely helpful to me. I tend to do better when writing something many times. Writing things helps me to focus and think about the subject matter. When I just read something over and over and simply say it in my head, it is not possible for me to make the same connection to the material. It is also helpful to connect the new information to my previous knowledge or experiences.
As far as reading goes, wandering off topic used to be a problem for me when the content was not interesting. In those instances time was wasted rereading several times to understand the material. Over time my reading habits have changed. I now am able to focus on the topic even if there is not a personal connection made, although without breaks reading lengthy assignments can be a struggle for me. While reading, highlighting important ideas, jotting notes to the side, and stopping to ponder about what was just explained can be most helpful. Also my mind races with thoughts like how to implement certain ideas in my classroom, and how students would react to particular tasks.
Being a very hands on and visual learner, lectures can be more difficult for me. Lectures force me to listen well and write down everything the professor says. It is not possible for me to just listen and remember the information. Doing activities that relate to the topic makes the material easy to remember and to refer back to at a later date. All students will not organize their thinking in the same way. As a result it is important to provide many opportunities for them to explore their own thinking so that they can better learn and understand the content.