At a recent faculty meeting we discussed Teacher Clarity (MTSS Toolkit #1) and the best instructional practices to explicitly deliver content. One method that was shared was Mnemonics.
“Mnemonics are memory devices that assist learners to recall substantial amounts of information, such as mathematical concepts like orders of operation and the quadratic formula. It is a memory enhancing instructional strategy which involves teaching students to link new information that is taught to information they already know. These could be a short song, an acronym, or a visual image that is easily remembered. (Hattie, 2018, p. 130) Every teacher must reflect on their instruction and consider in which areas their clarity of instruction may be improved to accommodate all learners. For example, teachers must consider: 1. The logic of the organization and sequencing of content delivery 2. The cohesiveness of the explanation of topics and content 3. The relevance of examples, non-examples, and opportunities for practice 4. The connectedness of the methods of assessment.” MTSS TOOLKIT #1
Our “assignment” was to design a memory device to help students learn and retain information. I thought about how I could make the R sound a little easier to grasp and came up with this mnemonic S.O.U.L. (Smile – Open – Up – Lift). Smile to get the lips out of the way; Open just a little; Up for getting your tongue ready to move up; and then Lift. It is simple and quick and the students have responded positively.
Here is how I introduced it to students: