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Mnemonic Strategies

Page history last edited by fran toomey 13 years, 10 months ago




Mnemonics are strategies that try to use a familiar" clue for information that is hard to remember.  The idea is that you use the mnemonic until you can store the information in LTM.   You might use a picture as a clue, or a rhyme, or a metaphor, or an acronym.  Here are some common mnemonics  taken from Dehn, Milton J.,  Working Memory and Academic Learning, John Wiley and Sons, 2008:


Imagery:  Making a picture of verbal information [Ex: Pix of Juggler to clue Working Memory]


Pegwords:  Peg words onto a number rhyme   One/bun, Two/shoe....then you create a picture to go with each number. 


Loci:  You picture a particular location (like a school building with room, or a room with furniture).  Then, you imagine the item you are trying to remember in that room or on that piece of furniture.  So if you have ten things to remember, you might picture a kitchen.  On the refrigerator would  be the image of the first thing, on the stove, the image of the second thing, and so on.


Keyword Method:  This involves pairing  verbal and visual information.  [Remember the pix for the kinds of memory spaces:  elephant (LTM), workbench (WM), map (STM).] Dehn says this is the most researched and effective of the mnemonics.  He gives a 3 step procedure for learning this method and some examples.  (pp. 283-284)


Chaining.   This is for remembering things in serial order.


First Letter Mnemonics(acrostics and acronyms).  This involves using letter to remind you of information/idea.  You have probably used some of these   HOMES to remember the great lakes:  Huron, Ontario,Michigan, Erie, Superior.  RoyGBiv  to remember the colors of the rainbow: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet. Dehn suggests you can also use an acrostic to remember the colors of the rainbow:  Richard of York Gives Battle in Vain. Some first lefter mnemonics may be harder to learn than the information you are trying to learn.  And, too many acrostics or acronyms can be confusing and hard to remember.


We have used a few acronyms in Explorience 1:  M.O.R.E to facilitate LTM:  Meaning, Organization, Representation, and Elaboration.  L.O.S.T. to analyze sources of learning breakdowns:  Learner, Operation, Situation, Text.  (See Managing Folder), D.E.A.L. (to figure out what the learner can and cannot change to improve learning):  Difficulty, Effort, Ability, Luck.  (See Managing Folder)  It is helpful if the acronym is conceptually relate to the to be remembered items..  MORE refers to remembering more.  LOST refers to getting lost when you are learning.  DEAL means it is a big deal to figure out what you can change about your learning situation. 


Memory Manager

LTM Strategies

WM Strategies

STM Strategies

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