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Risky mnemonics

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by simonc1978, Feb 26, 2011.

  1. Would you use the mnemonic "Sex on hard concrete always hurts the orgasmic areas" to help kids remember SOHCAHTOA?

    I've just seen the article about a teacher being reprimanded for using a racist mnemonic to remember resistor colour codes.
  2. Would you use the mnemonic "Sex on hard concrete always hurts the orgasmic areas" to help kids remember SOHCAHTOA?

    I've just seen the article about a teacher being reprimanded for using a racist mnemonic to remember resistor colour codes.
  3. Nazard

    Nazard New commenter

    Are you doing it right?

  4. Nazard

    Nazard New commenter

    Some people let their pupils write their own mnemonics. The best (or most memorable) one then becomes the official class version. These often end up being fairly filthy but then it's the pupils' fault.
    Personally I am happy with "Soh Cah Toa".
    monicabilongame likes this.
  5. When we were in 3rd year we came up with
    'sex on holiday can always help to overcome anxiety.'
    We always remembered it.
    It helps if the students make it up themselves. They remember it better and it's easy to stay out of trouble.
  6. Don't do it: full stop. It's simply not worth risking your reputation on. It only takes one pupil to go home, repeat it to a parent who takes exception, and you are in very hot water. IMO, always err on the side of caution, and then some.
  7. do you find your classes need mnemonics for something that simple?
    the mnemonic sounds harder to remember than the basic idea - but that
    ciuld say somethinng about my memory
    weebecka - i hope you mean 3rd year secondary and not y3 [​IMG]
  8. Nazard

    Nazard New commenter

    ... or 3rd year of university.
  9. Never, never, never as orgasmic has 3 syllables
    Really though, not in a million years would I use it and been known for using it. 31 kids may laugh their butts off. The one that doesnt has the mother in the local authority.
  10. When my sixth form were finding problems requiring trig for any angle difficult. I suggested to them that they should maybe come up with some mneumonic to help them remember the All, SIn, Tan, Cos order somehow. Some of the suggestions were quite amusing:
    (Bearing in mind that I'm from Scotland but teach in Wales)
    All stations to Cardiff, All School Teachers Cheat, All Swansea Tarts Cough, Adults Shouldn't Touch Children, All Scotsmen Talk ****... We settled on the last one. While I doubt that the mneumonic made it any easier for them, the little bit of laughter that it provided made the topic seem less frightening.
  11. I'm not for a moment questioning what others do/allow but for me, even allowing pupils to come up with their own mnemonic is class is not something I would allow, for the reasons I gave earlier and the one Betamale added.

    As the adult in charge of the class, I'm responsible for what goes on in the room. If someone uses a swear word or says something inappropriate, then under normal circumstances I would rightly admonish them. Making an exception whilst they come up with some 'amusing' mnemonic is a dangerous blurring of the boundaries for some pupils.

    And try explaining to a stoney faced HT/LEA HR that it was 'only a joke'. I had a colleague go through a disciplinary for something not too dissimilar to this and it wasn't in the least bit funny.

    Maybe my friend was unlucky but tread carefully is all I'm saying...
  12. Selective deafness is an art form.
    Students who come up with their own mnemonics remember them. Especially if they are funny and dirty.
    I don't hear them. They understand that I don't hear them. My students seem to get these dynamics fine.
    I would absolutely definitely not hear the first mnemonic in this thread under any circumstances.
  13. pipipi

    pipipi New commenter

    I have used that mnenomic before. Maybe only in classes that I am comfortable with this sort of approach. But I'm certainly not to avert to including something to grab their attention, or their sense of humour.
    I don't see any problem in explaining it to HT. What word do they use in biology lessons, or PSHE lessons for sex or orgasms?

    It's not something that I would normally mention in lessons, but can be a great starter for a lesson to have a title 'Sex and Trigonometry'.

    On the otherhand, letting the pupils come up with their own , without reminding to not include any swear words, is a bad idea. I can remember running into trouble with a class with someone suggestion for NESW and what naughty elephants would do to wallabies.
  14. Would they feed them Shredded Wheat?
  15. DM

    DM New commenter

    Shouldn't that be Secs and Trigonometry?
  16. What kind of trouble? These students were 16+ I'm guessing?
  17. pipipi

    pipipi New commenter

    Thanks DM, nice new pic!

    Trouble? Simply my preconceptions that given some creative outlet they would come up with something that they would remember. That was fine. But I hadn't expected it to go so 'smutty' so quickly. Lesson, for me, learnt.
  18. Maybe I'm seeing things differently because I've seen a colleague strung up for an incident that developed from a situation like this. I just don't want to see anyone back here in a few weeks time asking for advice on disciplinary hearings...

    In the balance of pupils remembering something/having fun versus career, my vote goes with career every single time and by a massive margin of error.
  19. pipipi

    pipipi New commenter

    No problem sara, and sympathies for th your colleague.

    And I know what you mean about career. But maybe I'm rebelling against my maths teacher who seemed to be the Cahrlie Brown ' blah blah blah' boring type. I seem to start from a point of making it entertaining as much a s possible (not that that's right, or something that I'm preaching that everyone else should do). To the kids I prbably seem quite boring anyway so it's all wasted.
  20. pipipi

    pipipi New commenter

    and typos!
    too many mojitos!

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