Remember those old spelling tricks you learnt at primary school? Those tricks to spelling ‘because’ or ‘together’ which are now imprinted into your brain? That old traditional way to remember common but often difficult words is coming back in vogue and has real benefits within the junior grades.
I opened up the discussion with my grade 4 students about the tricks they use to spell certain words and was amazed at the mnemonics they reported back. They had been taught some, but they had also created their own in an attempt to remember those pesky words! They were totally hooked so we went about collecting as many words as possible and they genuinely enjoyed learning the tricks and now feel proud when they remember or use them!
What are Mnemonics?
Mnemonics assist students to master information and to gain conscious control of their learning process. The process involves organising the information to be learnt and then linking that information with something familiar.
Not only can Mnemonics help students retain large amounts of information but the process itself teaches students how they can be active learners in control of their own memories. This process is invaluable as students move up the school as they slowly become responsible for studying and remember information.
How can I use this in my classroom?
My students and I have been collecting the Mnemonics they already know and I have been periodically been introducing new mnemonics weekly. We’ve recorded these tricks into their word study books and have made a display in the classroom for their reference.
I’ve also used the process to encourage students to create their own mnemonics to remember common homophones. At first students had difficulty really thinking about how to pair the word with something meaningful so they can differentiated between two meanings and spellings of the one word.
For example they came up with…
There – it has ‘here’ in it because it is a location word
But the mnemonics they developed have been incredibly worthwhile and have really helped certain students remember commonly misspelt homophones.
Mnemonics is a great way to support spelling and the learning of new information. A fantastic way to get back to those traditional spelling strategies we all loved and importantly REMEMBER!