Mnemonics Mnemonic’ is another word for memory tool. Mnemonics are techniques for remembering information that is otherwise quite difficult to recall: A very simple example is the ‘30 days hath September’ rhyme for remembering the number of days in each calendar month. The idea behind using mnemonics is to encode difficult-to-remember information in a way that is much easier to remember.
Jenson's Equation for Optimal Leaning Personal History: (beliefs, experiences, values, knowledge) + Present Circumstances (environment, feelings, people, contest, goals, moods) + Input (5 senses) (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, olfactory, or gustatory) + Processing (learning preference) (states, left/right hemisphere, abstract or concrete) + Meaning (connecting experience, data and stimuli to form conclusions and create patterns that give our lives meaning) + Responses (7 intelligences) (verbal-linguistic, spatial, bodily kinesthetic, musical-rhythmic, mathematical-logical, intrapersonal, interpersonal) = Optimal Learning Eric Jenson. Super Teaching. San Diego. The Brain Store, Inc.,1998
What side of the brain LEFT Linear part to whole-piece by piece- -lines them up arranges in logical order and draws conclusion-- one thing built on another RIGHT Holistic whole to part--holistically-- starts with the answer sees the big picture not details-- often has difficulty with sequential thought SUGGESTIONS lecture drives right brained crazy--usually it’s piece by piece--this is why reading material ahead is necessary and why surveying is a must before reading a text and taking tests right dislike objective test-- they should make uppracticetests to study fortests math-- in order to keep columns , may need to turn paper sideways and write numbers between lines to keep in line Instructors need to make sure they give overview before class-- goals and objectives need to be clearlystatedto students-- left brain needs closure Check often to see if learning is taking place--
Logical piece by piece in solving a math problem or any problem- - come to a logical conclusion- -want rule to follow-- make decisions based on proof not feelings Intuitive may know the right answer, but not be able to explain how you got it--decisions based on feeling emotional and sensitive to feelings right brain-- knows the Label in the Margin system works, but trouble explaining why ( really doesn’t care why if itworks!)--knows answer to math problem doesn’t know why sequence?)- try working a problem backwards or subbingsmaller numbers-- drawing it out- -truefalse mc intuits right answer--often misses logic of tricky questionNeeds to study test taking strategies-- proof reading out loud-- it sounds right!Instructors: be aware thatstudent may need more than one explanation-- just because it’s logical to you --a right brained might not follow your logic--student may need to start with the answer and go backward. Right brain students take everything you say(or don't say) personally
Our brains evolved to code and interpret complex stimuli such as images, colors, structures, sounds, smells, tastes, touch, positions, emotions and language. We use these to make sophisticated models of the world we live in. Our memories store all of these very effectively. Unfortunately, a lot of the information we have to remember in modern life is presented differently – as words printed on a page. While writing is a rich and sophisticated medium for conveying complex arguments, our brains do not easily encode written information, making it difficult to remember.
Using Your Whole Mind to Remember The key idea is that by coding information using vivid mental images, you can reliably code both information and the structure of information. And because the images are vivid, they are easy to recall when you need them. The techniques explained later on in this section show you how to code information vividly, using stories, strong mental images, familiar journeys, and so on.
You can do the following things to make your mnemonics more memorable: Use positive, pleasant images. Your brain often blocks out unpleasant ones. Use vivid, colorful, sense-laden images – these are easier to remember than drab ones. Use all your senses to code information or dress up an image. Remember that your mnemonic can contain sounds, smells, tastes, touch, movements and feelings as well as pictures. Give your image three dimensions, movement and space to make it more vivid. You can use movement either to maintain the flow of association, or to help you to remember actions. Exaggerate the size of important parts of the image. Use humor! Funny or peculiar things are easier to remember than normal ones. Similarly, rude rhymes are very difficult to forget! Symbols (red traffic lights, pointing fingers, road signs, etc.) can code quite complex messages quickly and effectively.
Designing Mnemonics: The three fundamental principles underlying the use of mnemonics are imagination, association and location. Working together, you can use these principles to generate powerful mnemonic systems. Imagination Association Location
Imagination is what you use to create and strengthen the associations needed to create effective mnemonics. Your imagination is what you use to create mnemonics that are potent for you. The more strongly you imagine and visualize a situation, the more effectively it will stick in your mind for later recall. The imagery you use in your mnemonics can be as violent, vivid, or sensual as you like, as long as it helps you to remember.
Associate Relate new information to something you already know. An isolated idea/fact is hard to remember, if you associate it with information that already makes sense to you, it will be more meaningful and easier to organize and remember
Association: this is the method by which you link a thing to be remembered to a way of remembering it. You can create associations by: Placing things on top of each other. Crashing things together. Merging images together. Wrapping them around each other. Rotating them around each other or having them dancing together. Linking them using the same color, smell, shape, or feeling. As an example, you might link the number 1 with a goldfish by visualizing a 1-shaped spear being used to spear it.
Location: gives you two things: a coherent context into which you can place information so that it hangs together, and a way of separating one mnemonic from another. By setting one mnemonic in a particular town, I can separate it from a similar mnemonic set in a city. For example, by setting one in Wimbledon and another similar mnemonic with images of Manhattan, we can separate them with no danger of confusion. You can build the flavors and atmosphere of these places into your mnemonics to strengthen the feeling of location.
Visualize Organize information into a vivid, clear, mental picture. For example To remember the necessary elements of a novel, form a picture with all the important characters dressed in the style of the period, doing something representative of the character.
Acronyms Form a word form the first letter in a series To recall the Great Lakes HOMES
HOMES Huron Ontario Michigan Erie Superior
Acrostics Make a nonsense phrase so the first letter of each word in the information What are the line notes in the treble clef?
Every Good Boy Does Fine The lines notes are E, G, B, D, F
Word-Part Clues For example What does denotative mean?
Both denotative and dictionary start with “D” Denotative in the dictionary meaning of a word
Poems & Rhymes Make up a short, catchy saying that includes the essential information For example When did Columbus sail to America
1492 In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue
Recitation Most of us learned the multiplication tables or practiced spelling words in elementary school reciting, but have forgotten just how powerful it can be. Recitation works for several reasons: First, when you know you are going to recite something in your own words, you pay more attention. It forces you to employ the principle of intent to remember. Second, you get immediate feedback. You know if you are able to explain something in your own words out loud. You understand it. Third, when you hear something, you have used an entirely different part of the brain. Some tips for recitation: Make use of flashcard of anything you need to learn. When you finish reading a paragraph in your reading assignment, stop and recite. You will soon see that understanding what you read and explaining it out loud are very different. If you can explain something out loud, you are well on your way to learning it. Find a partner and ask each other questions and answer out loud.
The more senses we use the stronger the neural trace.
The more feedback we get, the faster and more accurate our learning is.
Recitation is where the difference in understanding something and knowing become most apparent. Seeking feedback is a natural and essential learning tool that helps us minimize false impressions before inaccurate memories are formed.
Making Mnemonics More Memorable You can do the following things to make your mnemonics more memorable: Use positive, pleasant images. The brain often blocks out unpleasant ones Use vivid, colorful, sense-laden images - these are easier to remember than drab ones Use all your senses to code information or dress up an image. Remember that your mnemonic can contain sounds, smells, tastes, touch, movements and feelings as well as pictures. Give your image three dimensions, movement and space to make it more vivid. You can use movement either to maintain the flow of association, or to help you to remember actions. Exaggerate the size of important parts of the image Use humor! Funny or peculiar things are easier to remember than normal ones. Similarly rude rhymes are very difficult to forget! Symbols (red traffic lights, pointing fingers, road signs, etc.) can code quite complex messages quickly and effectively
Kinesthetic This learner prefers to learn through active involvement. Walking back and forth while reading or reciting enhances their learning processes. Relating what is to be learned to real life experience, role playing, field trips and class projects all make learning more meaningful to this individual
Visual This learner profits best by seeing and observing what is to be learned. This individual may write words down that are given to him orally in order to learn by seeing them on paper. Books, videos, transparencies, illustrations, graphs and charts appeal to the modalities of the visual individual.
Tactile This learner prefers to learn through handling, touching and working with what is to be learned. Hands-on activities are necessary to keep this individual’s interest and attention. Drawing, writing and making things that relate to his/her studies will enhance the learning process.
Individual This learner gets more work done alone. Socializing should be restricted to non-learning situations. Group work may cause the individual learner to become irritated and distracted. The person should do important learning in a library, in the back or corner of a room.
Oral expressive This learner prefers to say what she knows. This person should be allowed to give oral reports instead of written ones. Reports made on tapes can allow this person to express themselves and save class time
Written Expressive This learner organizes his/her thoughts better on paper than orally. This individual should be allowed to write reports, keep notebooks and journals for credit and take written tests for evaluation. Oral exchanges should be under nonpressured conditions, perhaps in a one-to-one conference.
Group Assignment Describe your favorite classroom environment. How do you like to learn best? What type of teacher and assignments work best for this type? Imagine you are facing a major exam in Psych and it is very important that you do well. You need to memorize a long list of terms and understand 4 chapters in the textbook and notes. How will you go about studying for this exam? Include what you will ask of your instructor to help your learning style.
Keyword System low-level processing: concentrating on the surface form of the word (name) Elaboration is the most basic of all memory techniques. The more meaning you are able to give to the thing-to-be-remembered, the more successful you will be at recalling it later. Suppose, that you are introduced to Prof. Prlwitzkowski and that you decide you want to remember his name. You stare at his name card and notice that there are very few vowels in the name and that there are strange letter combinations. You concentrate on 'prlw' as an unusual combination and start by trying to remember that one. Then, you proceed with 'tzk' and 'wsk'.
Higher-level processing would be to attach meaning to the name. Since the name does not have obvious connotations, we must help a little. Let us break the name up into words that sound similar to the name: Prlwitzkowski = pearl with cow ski. Now we are in a position to apply higher-level elaboration. One of the best ways to do is by visualizing a bizarre image: A cow skiing down-hill wearing a pearl necklace. Giving meaning to a word or a name is only half the work, in most cases this meaning must be attached to something. With a face goes a name: they must be associated in memory. Suppose, that we meet Prof. Prlwitzkowski's at a party and that we want to remember his e-mail address, so that we can mail him later. It is: firstname.lastname@example.org. We had already elaborated his name to 'pearl with cow ski', visualized by a cow with pearls skiing down-hill. To remember 'global', we have him skiing down a gigantic globe, and to remember 'org' we imagine that all of this happens in a church to the sound of a massive church organ. Imagine how the low pipes will make those pearls tremble! Crucial for the success of a good association is to have the two words (concepts) interact as much as possible. It is not sufficient to have them merely stand side by side. The more they form a unique relationship, the better.
Link & Story In the Link System, positional ordering is achieved by associating the things-to-be-remembered with each other. They are simply chained, starting with the first item, which is associated with the second, the second with the third, etc. The very first item can be associated with the goal or the reason for the list that must be remembered. A good application of this technique is a short list of things to do. One often thinks of different things to do, at times when it is not possible to write them down on a piece of paper, for example, while jogging, traveling, about to go to sleep, etc. A typical list could be: Buying cold medicine Writing a letter to a friend who lives in Australia Giving the dog a bath Mending a flat bicycle tire Making sure there is enough dry wood for the hearth
Applying the Link System We first pick a single word to represent each task, for example iceberg, kangeroo, dog, bicycle, fire. If you want to start doing them after finishing work, then that would be the starting point of the association, for example, the moment you step into your car. For a possible list of links imagine the following: A big iceberg sitting inside your car A kangeroo jumping around on the iceberg, throwing snow balls at you Your dog, climbing out of the thekangeroo's pouch Your dog then proceeding to ride on a little bicycle The little bicycle growing until it explodes into flames The link system is very straightforward and can be applied immediately. It is most effective for short lists, in which each word is linked to the next. Using the story technique, things-to-be-remembered are woven together in a coherent narrative. This has one advantage over simple linking, where if one link is broken, the items on the list after that may be lost completely. In the Story System there is a higher chance that the flow of the story will allow most of the remainder of the list to be retrieved. Let us take the words used in the to-do list in the Link System example and use them in a story: car, iceberg, kangaroo, dog, bicycle, fire. My car drove into a big iceberg on the road home. The collision caused a kangaroo to tumble down. When it hopped away, our dog jumped out of its pouch and hit a man on a bicycle, who nearly rode into a big fire meant to melt the freak iceberg. A disadvantage of this system is that it is often difficult to come up with coherent stories. Its success is thus somewhat dependent on the specific words and their ordering.
Journey System The journey method is based around the idea of remembering landmarks on a well-known journey. You use the Journey Method by associating information with landmarks on a journey that you know well. This could, for example, be your journey to work in the morning; the route you use to get to the front door when you get up; the route to visit your parents; or a tour around a holiday destination. Once you are familiar with the technique you may be able to create imaginary journeys that fix in your mind, and apply these. To use this technique most effectively, it is often best to prepare the journey beforehand. In this way the landmarks are clear in your mind before you try to commit information to them. One of the ways of doing this is to write down all the landmarks that you can recall in order on a piece of paper. To remember a list of items, whether these are people, experiments, events or objects, all you need do is associate these things with the landmarks or stops on your journey. This is an extremely effective method of remembering long lists of information. With a sufficiently long journey you could, for example, remember elements on the periodic table, lists of Kings and Presidents, geographical information, or the order of cards in a shuffled pack. The system is extremely flexible: all you need do to remember many items is to remember a longer journey with more landmarks. To remember a short list, only use part of the route! One advantage of this technique is that you can use it to work both backwards and forwards, and start anywhere within the route to retrieve information.Example: You may, as a simple example, want to remember something mundane like this shopping list: Coffee, salad, vegetables, bread, kitchen paper, fish, chicken breasts, pork chops, soup, fruit, bath tub cleaner. You could associate this list with a journey to a supermarket. Mnemonic images could be: Front door: spilt coffee grains on the doormat Rose bush in front garden: growing lettuce leaves and tomatoes around the roses Car: with potatoes, onions and cauliflower on the driver's seat End of the road: an arch of French bread over the road Past garage: with its sign wrapped in kitchen roll Under railway bridge: from which haddock and cod are dangling by their tails Traffic lights : chickens squawking and flapping on top of lights Past church: in front of which a pig is doing karate, breaking boards Under office block: with a soup slick underneath: my car tires send up jets of tomato soup as I drive through it Past car park: with apples and oranges tumbling from the top level Supermarket car park: a filthy bath tub is parked in the space next to my car! As the journeys used are distinct in location and form, one list remembered using this technique is easy to distinguish from other lists.
Roman Room, Loci System This system is a classic from Ancient Greece. It is based on mentally positioning things-to-remember in a well-known room. An obvious application would be a speech, provided that the location is familiar. Suppose, there is a good-bye party for a colleague and you have been asked to say a few words. You want to include at least the following points. How you remember his first day at work, when there was the incredible heat wave [oven] How he was dressed in a suit while you were all wearing shorts and T-shirts [shorts] Commemorate his soccer skills [soccer ball] Tell funny story about how he kicked the ball exactly through a small kitchen window of the building next door [kitchen sink] Relate this to his working skills: how he sometimes comes up with very short programs that nevertheless do the job [paper from line printer to symbolize program] Suppose the dinner takes place in a side room of a Mexican restaurant that you know well. Working from left to right you position the key words above at various places in the room. Mentally place a large oven on the far left, near some colorful pictures, which you imagine are about to burst out in flames, because of the heat Imagine the large cactus 'dressed' in shorts Put the soccer ball on the small shelve above the door, so that it could fall down on someone’s head at any moment Imagine the bottles to the right to be leaking down into a big kitchen sink below Finally, wrap the big black pot on the far right in printer paper. Now, you have positioned your ideas in the room. If you have done this well, you can 'let go' of them and concentrate on the contents of your speech.
Rhyming, Peg Words (1-20) The Number/Rhyme technique is a very simple way of remembering lists in order. It works by 'pegging' the things to be remembered to images rhyming with the ordered number. Take one or two minutes to read through the peg words below. one is a bun two is a shoe three is a tree four is a door five is a hive six is sticks seven is heaven eight is a gate nine is wine . ten is a hen If you find that these images do not attract you or stick in your mind, then change them for something more meaningful. The technique works by helping you to build up pictures in your mind, in which you represent numbers by things that rhyme with the number. You can then link these pictures to images of the things to be remembered. Example: For example, you could remember a chronological list of ten Greek philosophers as: Parmenides - a BUN topped with grated yellow PARMEsan cheese Heraclitus - a SHOE worn by HERACLes (Greek Hercules) glowing with a bright LIghT Empedocles - A TREE from which the M-shaped McDonalds arches hang hooking up a bicycle PEDal Democritus - think of a PAW print on the voting form of a DEMOCRaTic election Protagoras - A bee HIVE being positively punched through (GORed?) by an atomic PROTon Socrates - BRICKS falling onto a SOCk (with a foot inside!) from a CRATe. Plato - A plate with angel's wings flapping around a white cloud Aristotle - a friend called hARRY clutching a bOTtLE of wine vaulting over a gate Zeno - A LINE of ZEN Buddhists meditating Epicurus - a HEN's egg being mixed into an EPIleptics'sCURe.
Shape Peg Words (1-10) Like the Rhyming Peg System, the Shape Peg System is also based on associating a peg word with each of the digits 1 to 10. The difference is that peg words are chosen on the bases of resemblance in shape. Thus, a pencil might be a good peg word for 1, because it resembles the long and thin shape of a 1. Below are possible peg shapes (2 min) pencil, candle, spear wan ird rotate 90 degrees counter-clockwise sail sail of a sailboat hook club the end of golf club cliff think of a little guy looking over the edge hourglass balloon flying through the air, on a little string knife and plate If you find that these images do not attract you or stick in your mind, then change them for something more meaningful to you. As with the Number/Rhyme scheme, link these images to ones representing the things to be remembered.
Calendar Peg System The Calendar Peg System is based on associating a peg word with each of the months January to December. The peg words can then be associated to remember date information. Below is a list of calendar pegs. They are partially chosen because they sound similar, or because they are associated with festivities or activities during the month. January jacket you need a heavy jacket in January February freeze a big chill March marchApril bunny the Easter bunny May flowers June dune a pleasant summer day in the dunes July jungle a hot jungle in July August BBQ barbeque out in the garden September scepter scepter sounds like it October doberman a big, black dog November turkey turkey for Thanksgiving December Santa Claus Suppose you want to remember your friends’ birthday: September 2nd. If your friend’s birthday were in September you could imagine your friend yielding a tall SCEPTER, commanding a SWAN (2, see number-shape system above).
Description of the Alphabet Peg System The Alphabet Peg System is based on associating a peg word with each of the letters A to Z. It takes more time to learn than the simple number pegs and its application is more limited because most people do not know the numeric position of the letters (e.g., F = 6). A ace B bee C cat D diesel E eagle F feather G genie coming out of a magic lamp H h-bomb I ice a very cold ice berg J jail K kite L log a large wooden log M mail N net to catch a fish O owl P pig Q quilt for on the bed R rain S sun T tipi U unicorn V villa W wig X Xmas Y yacht Z zoo