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Monday, October 25, 2010

Interactive Monday is back!!

I've been feeling lately like I haven't been contributing enough to this blog. Or that when I HAVE, it's mostly been about Learn Me Good the book. Not that there's anything wrong with touting the book. That IS, after all, why this blog was started in the first place. However, I feel I haven't been balancing that enough with actual school and teacher related "stuff."

So I'm ready to remedy that. To get back into a regular routine, I am bringing back an old favorite -- Interactive Mondays! Every Monday, I will pose a question, and I hope that you the reader will contribute your answers, thoughts, and ponderings.

This week, the question is What mnemonic, or memory trick, have you found helpful in the classroom?

This can be helpful as a teacher, OR helpful to you yourself when you were a student.

I posted recently about a new little ditty I had learned to help the kids remember when to regroup during subtraction. The more we use it, the better it gets. The kids are remembering to use it, they're remembering how to regroup, and they're even (gasp) remembering the rhyme!

I've also had a lot of success with the "Punch it up" strategy for rounding. If you have 5 or more fingers, you can punch it up to the next nearest 10 or 100 or whatever. If you have less than 5, you can't make a fist, so you have to drop it down to the lower nearest 10 or 100 or whatever.

For symmetry, I like to get a bit goofy and use a Toy Story reference. I have the kids imagine Buzz Lightyear, and how he has the same costume parts on both sides of his body -- wings, helmet, boots, etc. Then we practice the mantra -- "To the Symmetry, and Beyond!" -- and I get to do my best Tim Allen impersonation.

So now I turn it over to you. What memory tricks have worked for YOU?


Anonymous said...

The punch it up method is great! Thank you. We also add a vocal "POW" as we punch it up...kinda like a sound effect you would hear on the old Batman and Robin TV show when they were fighting bad guys.

Also, when we round to the hundreds we give a "peace" sign with 2 fingers to remind us that there will always be, at least, 2 zeros when we round to the hundreds.

Liz Rider said...

I enjoy learning new mnemonics, and I am becoming more adept at creating my own. When I was younger, I was very good at memorizing; consequently, I didn't really have much of a need for mnemonics. However, I've adopted a few that have helped me and have helped students. I teach an introductory course in formal logic. So for the 5 most common valid argument, they are BARBARA and her four best friends, whose names all start with the letter C (CELARENT, CESARE, CAMESTRES, CAMENES). The two syllogisms that indirectly reduce don't become BARBARA, but they use her (kind of like impersonating her). Their names are BAROCO and BOCARDO. It seems to help when we create personalities for the names.

TeacherFromTN said...

I used "punch it up" today for the first time and principal came in during the middle of the lesson--she loved it! The kids really liked punching, too! Great idea, thanks for sharing it.

Linda Moran said...

For coordinate graphing, I have a little chant: horizontal first uh huh, then do the vertical - complete with hand motions and eye rolls. It's always a kick to see the hand motions when they're graphing during a quiz.

Mister Teacher said...

KP, maybe you should have the kids illustrate cards to hold up, that say "POW!" "BIFF!" and "KA-PLOWIE!" :)

Liz, thank you so very much for sharing with us, but I'm sorry to say that I have absolutely NO IDEA what you were talking about. Totally went over my head. Are those the Muses of Greek mythology? :)

TN, my pleasure. Anything that you can share with us that we may not have heard of before?

Linda, I imagine that WOULD be pretty funny for an outside observer to see during a test. Kids' eyes rolling up in their heads, as they wave their hands around. :)

J said...

ooh, i totally used your punch it up strategy last year when reviewing rounding! thank you!

my first year of teaching i made a mnemonic sentence for the parts of speech: pret!y a*rdvarks n3ver v0te in crumbl!ng p!nk aren@s
(pronoun, adjective, noun, verb, interjection, conjunction, preposition, adverb).