Mnemonics Strike Again! Ouch!

Naomi's Photos
Naomi’s Photos

I’ve been using less and less mnemonics over the years, as I keep getting “bitten” when I do use them.

I used to feel great about my creative teaching when I offered a little nugget to help the students remember a vocabulary item. Particularly if I have “acted it out” a bit in class.

What will go through? (Naomi's photos)
What will go through?
(Naomi’s photos)

For example, think of the word “medium”. A substantial number of my deaf and hard of hearing students claim they don’t know the meaning of that word. Well, I stopped responding by using my little “act” about looking at the letter “M” when buying a shirt (which they all knew signified “medium size”) precisely because the students remembered my act. Too well. I would then be faced with the problem of getting rid of the misconception that the meaning of the word “medium” is “buying a shirt”!

Today it was the teacher’s aide (who works with me sometimes) to get bitten. Turns out she had been very proud of her mnemonic for remembering the verb “got” in the sense of receiving. She used the letter “O” very dramatically to signify  the sound & expression you make when you are surprised by receiving a lovely gift.

The teacher’s aide today was deflated to find the student proudly telling her that she now remembers the word “got” – it means “gift”!


Any tips for “de-activating” memories?


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