Scaffolded learning

Having recently memorized the list of 50 United States in alphabetical order, I thought it would be a good exercise to memorize the corresponding state capitals. It’s something I’d always wanted to do, and I remember being a bit jealous when growing up of those kids who could tell you the capital of any state.

So today I set about doing it, and I discovered the wonders of scaffolded learning. Since I already know the state names in order, it turned out to take very little time to memorize their corresponding state capitals.

Some of them I already knew (like Albany, since I come from New York). Others were surprising enough to me (like Dover, Delaware), that they were — ironically — particularly easy to remember.

It turned out to take no more than about 30 minutes to commit all the state capitals to memory. Now I can go through the states in my head in alphabetical order, from Alaska through Wyoming, and rattle off their respective capital cities with confidence, from Montgomery through Cheyenne.

But please don’t ask me to list the state capitals in alphabetical order. I guess there’s only so much you can get from scaffolded learning.

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