Mnemonics are interesting devices that help us to remember things.  Whether in the form of a song or rhyme, acronym, or visualization, mnemonics can be very beneficial tools when learning and memorizing important information.  These are particularly great for students-when I was teaching, I used to use songs to help students remember how to find perimeter and area in math, or learn a list of all helping verbs in English.

They can definitely be used in the library as well.  At my school, we no longer have a basic computer skills class for students, so I’ve noticed that a lot of kids come into the library without any basic typing or computer literacy skills.  Doing a project using a web 2.0 tool takes longer than you would expect because students aren’t that familiar with a keyboard and don’t have basic typing skills.

I noticed a few of the main things students were having problems with, and I came up with this mnemonic to help them remember a few basic typing skills.  This definitely isn’t comprehensive, but it does include a few basic things that would be important for word processing or typing for an online project.  So here is the HANDY mnemonic:

Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 1.00.17 PMI would go over these items before we began work on a project, and then have it hanging up as a reminder, as well as referring to it for review before other projects down the line.  Although I came up with it for third graders, I think it could be used with 4th and 5th grade students who need the reminder as well.

What mnemonics have you used with your students?  Is there anything in particular that has worked well?

2 thoughts on “Mnemonics

  1. Alison,
    I absolutely love this mnemonic that you created to help students remember how to do key items when they are using the computer to type. It is amazing how a simple mnemonic can contain so much information within it. One great thing about this mnemonic is that it is not geared just for the younger students but all ages including adults. Many adults who have never had or used a computer before are learning how to use one and with HANDY, they would remember to press enter or capitalize certain words. I work with an older lady on Saturdays cleaning her house, including showing her how to use her email or retrieve information on the internet but she does not remember the basics of typing an email or when she needs to press enter/return so this will come in handy. I hope that you will allow me to give her a copy of this mnemonic.

  2. Alison,
    Your mnemonic device is really great. I really like how you found a need in your school (basic computer skills) and developed your mnemonic device around that. “HANDY” gives a lot of information, and students can keep it as a reference to look to as they develop their computer skills. Although mnemonics can be fun, you showed the importance of creating it to help a specific skill set and this can be a great tool to instruct them on these skills. As you mentioned, this can work for other grades as well. Thanks for sharing.


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