1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Risky mnemonics

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

  1. Ach well, now you've learned that lesson you'll be fine next time.
    Of course - the fresh mint is through. I'm off to the garden in the dark. We'll I say garden but there's a bit of creative licence in that phrase. The 'yard with a big pot of mint in it' might be more accurate.
  2. DM - what's happened to the Danger Mouse pic?!
    Have to say it was much cooler than current one - isn't that the logo for Drogerie Markt? (A German shop like Superdrug).
  3. I appreciate what people are saying about some groups and knowing kids, As soon as I say "I think I could justify that to SLT?" I think better of it more times than not. I think there are 'risks' to be taken to further development of yourself, kids or the general good. There are others which I believe the risk/reward balance is skewed too far in favour of risk.
    Its like nicking penny sweets from the corner shop IMO.......

  4. ian60

    ian60 New commenter

    When drawing some diagrams, I always try to encourage pupils to remember to include the following:

    Any ideas how I can do this? [​IMG]
  5. September

    September New commenter

    One of my team was using the SEX mnemonic with his Year 11 class and a child told me what it was. I spoke to my deputy head about it and she just brushed it off with laughter. I informed her that i felf it was inappropriate and she was not bothered in the slightest. I took it into my own hands and referred to the use of in appropriate words in the lessons. No child from his class has mentioned it this year so I am hopeful that it is not used again. But sadlly when my SLT are challenged with inappropriate teacher behaviour they do nothing about it but if a parent raises a concern about a teacher in my department then SLT ask me to deal with it.
    I would say don't use the mnemonic, its not worth it.
  6. pipipi

    pipipi New commenter

    I'm sorry that you didn't feel supported by SLt, but maybe that's just showing that it was just slightly amusing. (but maybe not to you).
    and you now have the perfect excuse to let the teacher use that mnemonic, any complaints from parents about it means you can just tell them that the Deputy Head laughed, and pass their concerns over to them.
    I don't think it's appropriate for a religious school, or a really uptight HT, but I still don't see it as a problem. I think it just comes down to your own personal style. I am not pretending that mine is the best. Overall, maybe a mix of teachers, some really strict,some not so, is what is better for pupils?
    But I still come back to trying to make the lesson interesting. And trying to remember what my maths teachers taught me. Off the top of my head I can recall one teacher getting very animated about adding fractions, and shouting 'BLOW THEM UP and then KNOCK EM DOWN' meanig that we had to go up to a common denominator, add then reduce to simplest fraction.
  7. "only emotion is harnessable"

    John Mason
  8. Maths_Mike

    Maths_Mike New commenter

    Some terrible advice here IMO.
    a) does this really help them remember anything? I have never met a student who could do trig but fail becuase they cant remember the formula - but I have meet plenty who can remember the formula but still cant do trig problems.
    b) Why put yourself in any kind of position were you could be open to complaint or criticism? If this was definitely the best way to teach the topic and had educational merit over other methods than you can easily defend yourself - but it doesnt so you cant. You are trying to make something - maybe yourself - appear cool trendy sexy (not sure of the right word) when it isnt, shouldnt be, and doesnt help for it to be. The kids will see through this and while you may get a laugh you will also lose respect.
    If the kids came up with it themselves then fine you just dont get involvedand can be selectively deaf but to encourage support or condone - no way.

    If I was a parent or your headteacher dealing withany complaints i would simply say why was this necessary and you would be on a loser.

  9. Maths_Mike

    Maths_Mike New commenter

    Pipipi - then why should it be appropriate for anyone else?
    a) this is completely different and non offensive in my opinion
    b) I wonder if this really helped you to add fractions together - I very much doubt it if your honest.
  10. Maths_Mike

    Maths_Mike New commenter

    What makes you think these students were 16+
    I would think compass points was more typical or a primary topic!
  11. pipipi

    pipipi New commenter

    Some good points Mike.
    a) does it help them remember anything? Maybe not (I still find that teaching them the three trig triangles like Speed Distance Time is what they understand best) but maybe they remember the lesson as being a bit different and slightly more interesting to what I would have done. Maybe then they come into my next lesson a bit more enthusiastic than they would have done. That certainly helps me.
    b) Point taken about trying to appear coolsexytrendy. I hope I'm just trying to appear as if I have a sense of humour, like adding some of DMs jokes in every so often like cows using cowculators.
    But if the humour oversteps the 'mark' , wherever that is, then it certainly won't have any benefit.
    But there are other times that Maths might seem inappropriate as well. I can remember telling my class that by the end of the lesson we would see a naked man legs akimbo...and then looked at Golden Ratio etc and finished with Vetruvian Man. And I think I recall someone else always introducing Fibonacci numbers with rabbits doing what comes naturally. There are certainly ways to have taught these topics without mentioning these, but I think the lessons wouldn't have been as interesting.
  12. pipipi

    pipipi New commenter

    Sorry Mike I'm trying to reply to a previous post!
    Religious school? I imagine those to be a lot more stright-laced. I wouldn't try any of DMs jokes there.

    Blow them up? Well, maybe not the method I use now, but I can remember him getting excited and that got me interested.Maybe because a normally quietish teacher was shouting and adding explosion noises like it was an action movie! Everyone has their ways of making fractions interesting. It was just to illustrate a point of what I remembered.
    I was taught 'silly old hag cracked all her teeth on apples'.
  13. Now that would be interesting (suggest you look up "akimbo").
  14. fibonacci and rabbits always makes my head ache - it's a horribly complicated introduction
    legs akimbo? that would defeat a dedicated yogi - but surely da vinci's chap is the equivalent of 'it's all right if it's shakespeare'
    and i'm with maths mike - the mnemonic seems more complicated than the original concept - when i did my law exam (part of accountancy) i learned it all by mnemonics - i can member many of the mnemonics, but nothing of what they represented
  15. Nice post
    RE the memory issue, some kids do many don't as they first have to remember WORK and then remember the mnemonics.

  16. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    It's the racism that made this into a far worse situation but just to illustrate what can happen.
    With trigonometry I find SOHCAHTOA far more straight forward to teach and to use than the Some Old Hens Can Always Hide Their Old Age that I was taught.
    When I introduce trig I usually find that one of the pupils finds out the Sex on Hard Concrete version from an older sibling and wants to share it with the group. That's fine because I can go temporarily deaf.
  17. for SohCahToa I use
    Slap On Head Causes A Headache Take One Asprin

    Although in reality, after applying it a few times, they don't need mnemonics. As to the CAST diagram, I shalt tell you what I use, but the kids love it and say it back quite often so it must work.
  18. yes. unless the mnemonic is dull and unmemorable. The better the entertainment value, the more likely it will be remembered. If students create it themselves this seems to increase both the level of engagement and the level of 'dirtiness' allowed in the mnemonic. Hence it will be remembered better.
    This has a sound pschological basis in the link between the laying down of memory and the level of excitement/holistic engagement of the brain.
    If you've got the kind of senior team who will take action against you because students make up a lewd mnemonic in your lesson.
    1. don't do it.
    2. move school.
  19. Maths_Mike

    Maths_Mike New commenter

    As usual rebecca you make academic points that are not relevant and pratice and basically miss the point.

    You can memorise as many mnemonics as you like (be they dirty or otherwise) but if you have no idea how to apply then when solving a problem whats the point.

    And in my experience - which is based on real life not a text book - students with the ability to solve the problem have no difficulty remebering the formula and will come up with their own ways of doing it with being taught silly mnemonics which are harder to remeber than the the formulae themselves.

    SOHCAHTOA - if you cant remember it you aint got a hope in hel of solving a trig problem - period
  20. Maths_Mike

    Maths_Mike New commenter

    as for your suggestions that teachers should condone pupils being "dirty" or "lewd" i find that incredulous that a teacher can believe that and if making lewd, dirty or sexy comments is the only way you can make a lesson intresting then thats a real shame for both you and the students you teach

Share This Page