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Any maths teachers using Mnemonics to learn 'facts'?

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by griffin63, Apr 1, 2012.

  1. You probably know what mnemonics are -singing songs where the lyrics contain information to be learned. Evidence suggests this is a great way to learn 'boring' facts. For example: "The circumference of the circle goes round and round..." to the tune "The wheels of the bus go...". So I am interested to know 1) who uses songs like this one as a learning tool, and to what lyrics, and 2) what maths facts would you like an easy-to remember-song composed to? If you provide me with the lyrics, I might be able to compose you a song and send it to you. There will be no charge but the time frame will be dependant on demand. I'd then like to know how effective this learning is, as I am considering doing research on this.
    Thanks for your help!
    Mike
    PS I am assuming this will apply to primary teachers but would love to hear from any secondary teachers who also use mnemonics.
     
  2. You probably know what mnemonics are -singing songs where the lyrics contain information to be learned. Evidence suggests this is a great way to learn 'boring' facts. For example: "The circumference of the circle goes round and round..." to the tune "The wheels of the bus go...". So I am interested to know 1) who uses songs like this one as a learning tool, and to what lyrics, and 2) what maths facts would you like an easy-to remember-song composed to? If you provide me with the lyrics, I might be able to compose you a song and send it to you. There will be no charge but the time frame will be dependant on demand. I'd then like to know how effective this learning is, as I am considering doing research on this.
    Thanks for your help!
    Mike
    PS I am assuming this will apply to primary teachers but would love to hear from any secondary teachers who also use mnemonics.
     
  3. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    I always thought mnemonics were poems or phrases to remember facts. OILRIG for example or Richard of York gave battle in vain.
    Now if you could get them to remember the formula for a circumference or area, that would be good.
     
  4. Now if you could get them to remember the formula for a circumference or area, that would be good.
    [​IMG]
    This is a circle, it knows how to get around................
    [​IMG]

     
  5. I don't currently have any need of songs...
    but in the past I have used the "Circle song" that I think I originally found referenced by someone on here..."Pi r squared sounds like area to me, if I need the circumference I just use Pi d" (google for the video - quite catchy)
    and the one I've used most often... "Mean is sharing (mean is sharing), Mode is most (mode is most), median's in the middle (median's in the middle), range high-low (range high-low)" to the tune of Frere Jaques... - which originally came from my own children's primary school, but has proved useful in several secondary school and even GCSE resit classes!
    I have been told about a song for the quadratic equation to the tune of "Pop goes the weasel" but I've not yet encountered a class for which it would be suitable (I've found that not all classes appreciate songs as memory aids).
    Best wishes for your research
    Liz
     
  6. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    I have a song for the area of a trapezium which goes to the tune of Pop goes the Weasel:
    Half the sum of the parallel sides
    Times the distance between them
    That's the way you work out
    The area of a trapezium
    Next step with my Year 11 group is to make sure they know the difference between a trapezium and a parallelogram [​IMG]
     
  7. If you put calculate in, bombaysapphire, instead of 'work out' it fits better with the tune! That's how someone taught it to me!
    For the spelling of isosceles, I do 'I sat on some chocolate eggs last Easter Sunday'
    I also have '
    The mode occurs the most and the median's in the middle
    and the mean is the A-VER-AGE, boom boom.
    And the range is the BIGgest, take away the SMALLest
    Boom tiddley oom poom poom - ting'
    (It is vital that the 'ting' at the end is said after a short interval of about half a second!!!)
     
  8. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    It has a Radius from Centre to Rim....
     
  9. and its Diameter's a line that goes from side to side......
     
  10. maths126

    maths126 New commenter

    The Circle Song by Dave Mitchell
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWDha0wqbcI

    My arrangement of Dave Mitchell?s fantastic song is available as
    Sheet Music: http://www.mathsisfun.net/CircleSong(DM).pdf
    And Midi File: http://www.mathsisfun.net/CircleSong(DM).mid

    Have also sung Robbie Williams' "I'm Loving Angles Instead" - the worse the (randomly-made-up) words fit the orignal tune, it seemd the better it went down with the students!
     
  11. I like the songs so far.
    My kids like the Pussycat Dolls song (well I do) Doncha wish circumference was pi times d?
    And mnemomics
    Sex On Hard Concrete Always Hurts The Orgasmic Areas (no one ever seems to forget that version).

     
  12. Sex On Hard Chairs Always Hurts The Others ****......this is what the pupils told me!!
    Or you could say "Sitting"
     
  13. When I was at school we had a competition to create a mnemonic for SOHCAHTOA and my friend Hilary came up with "Some officers have curly auburn hair to offer attraction" - not quite as risque these days as it was then!!
     
  14. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    I tutor someone for IGCSE (Edexcel) and they get given all those formulas including SOHCAHTOA and the area / circumference of a circle.
    Could not believe it especially as the higher one includes basic differentiation.
     
  15. Sex On Holiday Causes A High Temperature Or Aids
    includes a moral element for the SMCC box on a lesson plan!
     
  16. Maths_Mike

    Maths_Mike New commenter

    This sinks to a new low imho. If these are the tactics required to get kids to remember some basic formulae the heaven help us.
    And if you cant remember a few basic formulae then your chances of applying them successfully have to be pretty slim anyway.
     
  17. Thought it was just me!

    I don't consider myself prudish, but when students who quote back to me similar SOHCAHTOA mnemonics, that others in the department have used, I feel somewhat uncomfortable.

    Yes, they do remember it, but is it really appropriate????
     
  18. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    I find mnemonics useful - they do stick in the mind.
    I remember OILRIG for chemistry - oxidation is loss, reduction is gain.
    GCTA - guanine - cytosine, thymidine - adenosine (I will not repeat that one but I remember the mnemonic twenty years later)
    I recently did one for inequalities - filled in circle and open circle. It it's filled in, that includes the number.
    Some facts are just boring and difficult to remember.
    Still I can do the formula for solving a quadratic equation because I did that so many times during my A-levels.
     
  19. [​IMG]
    Well sometimes it is through remembering the "silly ryhme" that they will remember the method...is it not?
    Sorry...i must be doing it wrong....[​IMG]
    "How are these mnemonics easier to remember than SOHCAHTOA itself?"
    Erm....do you need me to answer that?
    "In Chemistry where you get marks for remembering silly facts its different!"
    Why? (apostrophe in it's BTW )
    I teach pupils who have lots of natural mathematical ability, but for whatever reason they don't see maths as being important / have low aspirations / have very little parental support etc..... I may " sink to an all time low" [​IMG] and we share our different ways to remember formulae. But our pupils achieved nearly 70% A*-C last year - 11% above their FFTD target.
    So next year we will have a few more .....I love the Pussycat dolls one!!
    There are loads of fun ways to remember maths...obviously some of us love our sense of humour when we become teachers.
     
  20. lose our sense of humour.
     

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