Tutorial #1: Mnemonic Instruction

Mnemonic instruction refers to instructional or learning strategies designed specifically to improve memory. This teaching strategy has been researched in special education and is associated with the largest effect size found in the special education literature.

In Teaching Tutorial # 1, our experts, Thomas E. Scruggs and Margo A. Mastropieri of George Mason University, are widely regarded to be the leading authorities on Mnemonic instruction.

This Teaching Tutorial offers:

Online tutorial covering:

  1. What is mnemonic instruction?
  2. How do we know that mnemonic instruction is effective?
  3. When should mnemonic strategies be used?
  4. What is needed to prepare to use mnemonic strategies?
  5. How do I implement mnemonic instruction in my class?
  6. How do I know that teaching using mnemonics is working?
  7. Where can I get additional information about mnemonic instruction?

Hal: Hello everyone, this is Dr. Hal McGrady, the executive director for the Division for Learning Disabilities.  I’m pleased to be with you today to bring you the first in a series of webcasts produced by the division DLD.  The purpose of these discussions is to provide teachers with proven techniques for teaching students with learning disabilities.  We’re extremely fortunate to have with us today, two of the nation’s most outstanding researchers on the subject of Mnemonic Instruction.  Now you can find their expanded teaching tutorial in another section of this website.  That tutorial provides many details about the uses of mnemonics, including for which students and the conditions under which the practice is most likely to be valuable.  Our two experts, Dr. Margo Mastropieri and Thomas Scruggs, are professors at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.  They’ve conducted some of the most conclusive research on this subject and have published a book for teachers.  Margo, Tom, welcome to the first DLD audio webcast.

Tom: Hi Hal

Margo: Hi Hal.

Hal: Well, perhaps the best way to begin our discussion is simply to ask the most obvious question: what is mnemonic instruction?

Tom: Well, mnemonic instruction in a general sense, could be any specific strategy or activity that is intended to increase or improve memory.  We’ve moved mnemonic instruction in a more specific sense that was developed since the time of the ancient Greeks.  It involves specific representations that are directly intended to improve memory.

Hal: You know, I read in your book, it had an interesting little story about the Greeks and how mnemonics kind of originated.  Do you want to tell that story briefly?

Tom:  Yeah.  There was, there was an orator named Simonides and he was invited to the house of a wealthy nobleman to recite a poem that was dedicated to him in the presence of his dinner guests.  And while he was delivering this oration, the building that he was in collapsed and mutilated the bodies of all the people at the table.  Well, Simonides was able to reconstruct who all these people were because of his recollection of where they had been at the table.  And he used this technique, and this technique was described later as a method of loci as a mnemonic techniques.  But you can also see many other evidences of techniques very similar to what we use today in the writings of the Greeks.

Hal: Well, maybe you could give us some concrete examples of mnemonic techniques that you might use.  Now, you know, I’m simple-minded.  When I think of mnemonics, I usually bring to mind one of those gimmicks we used in grade school to learn certain lists.  You know, for example, in geography, we used the trigger word “homes,” h-o-m-e-s, to learn the names of the five Great Lakes.

Tom: Yeah.

Hal: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior.  See how well it works?

Tom: Yeah.

Margo: Right.

Hal: I’m sure that, well, first of all, is that mnemonics?  And then I’m sure that you have much more sophisticated examples.

Tom: You know what’s interesting is that many people can remember as children having learned something mnemonically, and it’s very interesting how many years later that information is still available to them.  That’s what’s called a letter strategy.  It’s very effective under certain circumstances.  It’s not one of the ones we’ve focused on as much.  The one we’ve done most of our work with is called the “keyword method.”  And the keyword method involves pictorial and acoustic cuess to help link what you do know to what it is that you’re trying to learn and what you don’t know.  And the best example I can think of for that is in learning a scientific term, ranidae, which is the scientific term for the family of common frogs.  Now, to remember that ranidae stands for frogs, I changed the word we don’t know, which is ranidae, to a word that is acoustically similar.  In other words, it sounds like something that we do know.  In the case of ranidae, if you think about it, ranidae sounds a little bit like “rain” or “rainy day.”  Then what we do is we interact that keyword that we’ve constructed with a picture, with the keyword interacting with the answer or the reference, in this case, frog.  So we can show a frog sitting in a rainy day.  And we tell learners if you hear the question “what does ranidae stand for?” think of the keyword “rainy day,” think of what was in the picture, the frog in the rain, and come back with the answer of frog.

Hal: Wow, that’s a very complicated set of associations, but apparently the technique solidifies it in the student’s mind, hey?

Tom: Well, in fact there was some concern in the beginning that students with learning disabilities would have difficulty processing all this information.  And, in fact, what we found is that the capacity to remember that information is not so much inhibited as it is information that is not linked together.  So in other words, even though there is more information, in this case the rain, students learn much, much better than if they just heard ranidae and saw a picture of a frog, because the link to the association is not clear.

Margo: And, what students have at that point, Hal, which is a really good question, is a direct retrieval link that they haven’t had in the past.  For instance, with the ranidae and frog example, if someone were just repeating it to themselves saying that “ranidae means frog,” “ranidae means frog,” they have no link other than if they remembered that from rehearsal.  However, with the keyword method, they’re able to think of the keyword, “rain,” which is acoustically similar, and acoustic memory is usually pretty good for most people.  And then go back to the interactive picture or image or verbal elaboration of what was happening in the picture with the rain in it, and then retrieve the appropriate response, frog.  And, I think it’s that retrieval link that helps them be able to get back to the information that they’ve encoded.

Hal: So you are saying, well, let me just say that if I were to say to someone what a mnemonic instruction is in a simple sentence, it would be that it’s simply a set of techniques for improving the student’s memory or his ability to remember or recall information.  Is that accurate?

Tom: Yes.

Margo: Exactly.

Hal: Well now, a lot of students with learning disabilities have memory problems.  Now, does this mean then that it would be a useful set of techniques to have in the LD teacher’s bag of tricks, or is this a problem, because they have memory problems in the first place?

Margo: That’s a great question, Hal.  I think an awful lot of teachers would find this a useful strategy for many students with learning disabilities.  I actually got interested in mnemonics when I was a high school teacher of special education students.  And what I saw was that most of my students had to take very many tests in their general education classes, and those tests were full of questions that required them to remember facts and pieces of information about names of people, names of concepts, vocabulary words.  And one of the most challenging aspects for them was to be able to remember and retrieve that information accurately on those tests.  And what I found was that when I was a teacher I was not very successful at this because I didn’t have any real training in how to use these types of strategies to help facilitate the learning of the students.  However, when we went on and learned about this more thoroughly in some research programs, what I saw was that this type of strategy tended to really help those students who were struggling with memory for content area learning.

Tom: Well, you know beyond that, Hal, I could also add that I worked in a vocational setting before I got into this research area.  And I found that students had a lot of difficulty learning even areas like rough construction because they were not learning the terms and the terminology that referred to the implements and the materials and the joining procedures that we were using in rough construction, so communication became very very difficult.  So I don’t know that it’s just content, but many things that we do, I think, are dependent upon our ability to remember specific vocabulary and terminology relevant to a task.

Hal: Well, you know, nowadays with all of the high-stakes testing that’s going on in the schools with some very important implications if they don’t pass the tests, I guess it’s even more important that students learn certain facts, so perhaps this is a technique that would help teachers to help their students do better on some of this testing.

Margo: That’s a great question.  And in fact, we have some research projects going on right now where we are trying to help facilitate learning of secondary content area information particularly in the area of chemistry and in the area of history with tenth graders with learning disabilities to help them learn the types of vocabulary and pieces of information that are going to be on their, in Virginia, the Standards of Learning Test that they take in May this year.  So hopefully, that will impact on their standards of learning performance this year.  We’re in the middle of that research project right now so we can’t tell you any findings, but in the tutorial there are some examples listed from the project that we’re working on.

Hal: Very good, I know you mentioned certain subjects.  What subjects can be taught using mnemonic instruction?

Tom: Well, we started off with some information about science, and actually, North American minerals was one of the first topics that we got interested in.  You know we were working in the state of Arizona and hiking in the Grand Canyon, I think, when the idea of minerals kind of occurred to us as an interesting topic to test some of these theories, but since then we’ve done a lot of work in the area of biological, chemical, physical sciences as well and in the area of history.  We’ve also found that it’s very helpful in vocabulary, in developing vocabulary for different content areas and for vocabulary learning in general, as well as foreign language vocabulary.  We have also found that some versions of mnemonics are useful in basic skills acquisition, for example, letters sounds, correspondence and math facts.

Hal: So it pretty well goes across the board here now, but I suppose that certain types of mnemonic instruction work better with some kinds of students than others.  For example, you mention mnemonic instruction relying quite heavily on pictures.  Are there students who are primarily auditory learners that can benefit as well as students who are visual learners?

Tom: Well, the fact is, the type of mnemonic strategies that we employ use both auditory and visual cuess.  Usually, there is an auditory description, which would be rainy day, ranidae, rainy day, frog.

Hal: Right.

Tom: But then, there’s also a picture that goes with it, which would be a frog in the rain, so both of those cuess are necessary now, not necessary, but both those cues can be used to supplement what it is the students are learning. Now, there is some concern, we’ve been asked this question a number of times about students who have different learning styles, and in fact, over 20 years of research studies and probably thousands of students, we really haven’t identified a type of learner that doesn’t benefit.  However, we can say that in students with lower levels of psychometric I.Q., for example below about 80, we’ve seen that the pace of learning is considerably slower, and we’ve seen that there’s some trouble with the rhyming peg words we use sometimes, but we’ve always been successful with them.  Now, on the individual case, there may be some students who simply don’t, and that’s why we recommend that teachers monitor the effectiveness of individual mnemonics with every student that they use.  It could be possible that you come up with a mnemonic strategy, for example, that’s helpful with students in general, but with one particular student, it hasn’t been that useful, and it’s important for teachers to monitor this.

Margo: I think that probably is very important as we would say for any type of instructional intervention, that teachers have to monitor on an individual basis, and if they see that something’s not working for a child, that they don’t continue to use it because there may be those individual cases.  And there’s also the instance of if a child has been able to generate strategies independently, and then you try to impose a strategy that’s different from what they came up with, that may be confusing to them.  So in other words, if you have some students who are good at coming up with strategies to remember things, you would not want to teach them the rain, ranidae, rain strategy if they already learned that word.  In other words, that would tend to really confuse an individual.

Hal: So, you–

Tom: You probably should–

Hal: Yes, go ahead, Tom.

Tom: Yeah, we should emphasize that we’ve implemented these studies over a 20-year period, probably in how many states, Arizona, Utah, Indiana, and Virginia, and the effects we get are absolutely extraordinary.  Usually students that we teach in mnemonics, learn double the amount of information that students learn from any other type of comparison condition.  So overall, we feel that even though there may be individual differences to this, we’ve almost always had enormous success with students with learning disabilities.

Hal: And, even though, you know, some of these techniques sound a little complicated, and yet you’re not finding that they’re confusing for students.  For example, after too many mnemonic pictures, students might become confused.  I mean, how many pictures can you use in a given lesson, for example.

Margo: Sure, that’s a really interesting question.  And again, it probably depends upon the pace of instruction and the grade level, because we have seen these types of strategies implemented now from elementary school all the way through high school.  So the pace at which you could present and the number of strategies that you would use would vary depending upon that age level, grade level.  In most cases, we would recommend that teachers not introduce more vocabulary words using mnemonic strategies than they would introduce vocabulary words without mnemonic strategies.  So in other words, if you thought that a child could learn three to five vocabulary words in a day, then you would not introduce more than three to five mnemonic strategies in that day either, so that the pace of the information presented would have to parallel what they’re able to learn in a regular day.  Now in some of our research studies, we actually set out to try to confuse students.  In other words, we set up some situations that contained many more strategies than we thought students would be capable of learning, and we compared that with traditional instruction and with direct instruction approaches.  And what we found was that using the mnemonic techniques, the students tended not to get confused and tended to remember very, very clearly the correct question and answer.  Whereas in the other condition with the direct instruction or with the rehearsal kind of approaches, students got the answers all mixed up, so it does seem to be that it does provide that effective retrieval link, but also with any type of teaching procedure, you would not want to teach too many strategies, and you would want to make sure that students had really learned some things before introducing new things.

Hal: Well, it sounds like you have very good evidence that the mnemonic instruction is effective, and yet, one question that I think pops into my mind is that it probably isn’t easy to create these materials, that a teacher needs to work extra hard, and it will take extra time.  It sounds like teachers, you know, and today, teachers have a lot of paperwork, and of course they have more students than they need.  Are they going to be able to spend the time to prepare for mnemonic instruction?

Margo: You know, that’s something that we encounter all the time when we work with teachers because teachers do not have enough time for all of the tasks that they’re required to do.  But what we usually suggest to teachers is that they even pick out one or two things from a unit to develop a mnemonic strategy for, or even get the students to help generate some strategies with them.  And once they develop a good strategy, they can put it aside and use it again the next year.  I think it would be very unfair to say to a teacher: “You need to develop mnemonic strategies for every vocabulary word in your history class or chemistry class or even just your English vocabulary for the year.”  But if you tell them to see if they can come up with a couple of words, and then next year add to it.  Or even if teachers are in a team-taught situation, they can share some responsibilities and come up with a couple of strategies and then share those with other teachers on their team, so that they have a pool of mnemonics that they can rely on, and not have to have developed them all themselves.

Hal: Can you use pictures, I mean, you use drawings, but the teacher doesn’t necessarily have to create all the drawings themselves, do they?

Tom: No, actually this is one question that we often get asked, which is teachers who say “I’m not very good at drawing.”  We have a number of answers to this.  One is that the drawings don’t need to be good.  Now, in our research studies, we’ve had a professional artist draw these things for us, but we’ve also found that it’s not necessary at all.  We’ve had teachers who have used stick figures or cutouts from magazines or other very simple representations, and they’ve worked just as well.  As long as they’re recognizable and understandable to students, the quality of the art doesn’t seem to matter at all.  We also found that some teachers have found a student in their class who’s an artist or is interested in drawing and can provide these pictures and work on that.  And more recently, we’ve been using a lot of clip art to supplement our mnemonics, and there’s so much clip art available now–

Hal: Oh, yeah.

Tom: –that can be used on the web that we’ve been surprised to see how easy it is to find even the unusual kind of pictures we sometimes need to draw, that we can find that art on the web and on CD.

Hal: And you mentioned, I think, that students might even be taught to develop their own mnemonic instruction materials.

Margo: Yes, in some of our research projects, we’ve had teachers use researcher-developed strategies for a period of time and then say, “okay students, now we don’t have any more.  We have to come up with our own,” and proceed to try to train the students to generate strategies as a class using the same kinds of principles that were developed for the materials that they had used previously.  Now, this has been really quite successful, however there are one or two down sides.  They’re kind of the cost benefits that we talk about with any kind of strategy instruction.  On the cost side, it takes a long time to develop the strategies, and so teachers move through the content in a much slower fashion if they’re relying on students to stop and try to generate their own strategies.  And the benefit side is students then sometimes learn how to develop the strategies and can successfully implement them later on.  What we’ve seen in our research is that there is a down side also, a little bit, in terms of the learning.  Sometimes in the research, when students have been asked to generalize and develop their own strategies, their learning is not quite as enhanced as it is when the teacher provides the strategies for the student.  So in any situation, we say to teachers, usually: “You make the decision.  Do you have enough time to teach the student to develop the strategy?  If you do, fantastic.”  One of the things we say is, a good teacher tells students, “this is important to remember,” and a very good teacher starts to say, “now, what’s a good way to remember this” and would generate that strategy with the students or prompt the students into generating a strategy or provide the strategy.

Hal: In fact, I think I read somewhere that you mentioned even how a student might think mnemonically.  Now I’m not quite sure I understand that.  Do you mean that if the students begin to do this, they begin to think in ways that they can help create associations that will help them remember certain things.

Margo: One of the things that we try to get teachers to do is to say, “You know, here’s something important for you to learn in school.  Now what’s a good way to remember it?”  So it gets students to look at that piece of information, focus their attention on it and then try to come up with some kind of concrete, memorable way to remember that piece of information.

Tom: Yeah, Hal, we think that students over time begin to learn for themselves in the way that they were taught.  And one problem we’ve seen in the schools is that teachers often don’t emphasize or underemphasize strategic information or ways of linking and elaborating upon new content that has to be learned.  And, I think the more that teachers point this out in classrooms, with: “how are we going to remember this?”  “How are we going to remember this word?”  “What’s a good way to link these things together?”  “Does it remind you of anything?” that students are going to begin to do this more on their own.

Hal: Well, that’s great.  So you, in essence, you’re not only teaching them to remember facts, but you’re also teaching them some strategies that they can use in any type of learning later on.

Tom: To increase their cognitive abilities.  Yes, absolutely.

Hal: Great.  Well, some people might complain that there are more important things to do in school than just simply memorize facts, what do you tell those people?

Tom: You know, we hear that quite a bit, and I think that that question itself assumes that memory and comprehension are mutually exclusive competitors.  In other words, if you remember something, you’re not comprehending it; if you comprehend it–that these things have nothing to do with each other.  In fact, it’s possible to remember information that’s not comprehended.  In other words, I can give you the answer to some vocabulary word, but I don’t really understand what it means.  And for that case, it’s certainly important that students understand the underlying concepts.  But if you think about it the opposite way and say, “well, here’s something I comprehend, but I don’t remember it,” it doesn’t make any sense.  In other words, I believe that memory precedes comprehension, that you have to know what something is in order to be able to be able to operate on that information.  So we don’t really feel that by helping people remember things, we’re impeding comprehension.  In fact, in the studies where we’ve investigated comprehension, we’ve found that students taught mnemonically comprehend better than students who have been taught other ways, even by comprehension enhancing methods.  And that’s, I think, not because they comprehend better necessarily, but because they remember more information that can be comprehended, but if it is necessary for students to understand better, then comprehension strategies also have to be added to this.

Hal: Well, you know when we think about memory, we talk about–we sort of think about storage of information, but often the problem for the LD child is not storing it, but remembering it, and are you telling us then that mnemonic instruction helps in retrieval?

Tom: Retrieval.

Margo: Yes.

Tom: I think most of the memory research or the basic memory research that has gone on has suggested that our storage capacity is virtually unlimited or for practical purposes is unlimited.  Our problem is that we’ve got it in there, but can’t get it out, and it serves the same purpose as something that you’ve filed, but you filed it in the wrong place or under the wrong label, or a book that’s been misplaced on a library shelf, and what mnemonics do for you, is it’s to give you that label, to give you something to look for, to help find it in your long-term store.  For example, if I was asked what the scientific term ranidae stands for, I could think to myself, well, I don’t remember it right away, but at least I know that it has something to do with rain, rainy day.

Hal: Right.

Tom: So I can begin to start my retrieval process by going through that and thinking of pictures that might have to do with it.  If I don’t have that picture, then what do I do.  Well, I furrow my brow, and I make an expression on my face, and I say, ranidae, ranidae, ranidae, ranidae, ranidae and try to think of–see if something pops into my head.  But, if it doesn’t, I really have nothing to do.  So it provides a retrieval strategy that I think is an enormous benefit to students with learning disabilities.

Hal: Well, now you’ve mentioned, like, keyword strategies, and you mentioned use of pictures.  Are there any other mnemonic types of techniques that you might want to mention to us at this time?

Tom: Yeah, I think we should discuss some, and of course, there’s more in the tutorial that people can look at if they want to.  I can give you some more examples of keyword method.  Here’s for example, “barrister” is a word that means lawyer, and we’ve used, in this case, for the keyword for barrister, a bear.  And instead of showing a picture of a lawyer pleading a case, we show a bear dressed as a lawyer pleading a case, so if someone says what does barrister mean, the students can think of the bear and think what the bear was doing. In another case, the word “sopor,” is the word for sleep or sleeping, sopor, like soporific, and to learn sopor, we use the keyword soap and show a picture of a bar of soap sleeping.  So if someone says what does sopor mean, the student thinks, well, what was the soap doing?  And they remember the picture.  They’ll remember the soap was sleeping, and they can come up with the correct answer, sleeping.  Now we’ve used that also to remember people’s names, for example that Thomas Payne–

Hal: Um-hm.

Tom: –wrote “Common Sense,” that started the Revolutionary War.  We have a keyword for Thomas Payne, which is simply “pain.”  And we have a picture of Thomas Payne saying, “I’ve got a pain from writing.”  And there’s another person in the picture saying, “If you had common sense, you wouldn’t write so much.”  So we’ve been able to use it for that and a number of other applications in science and social studies.  The other mnemonic technique that we have used successfully is called the “pegword method.”  Now that’s a way of remembering numbered or ordered information, and we use it by rhyming proxies for numbers.  For example one is a bun, two is a shoe, three is a tree, and so forth up to eight is a gate, nine is a vine and ten is a hen.  There are also mnemonic peg words that go beyond those numbers.  If you want to remember just a couple of things, there are some examples on the written tutorial, for example, to remember facts like the types of levers or the classes of levers.  This is information that could be tested in a science class, that a first class lever, for example, has its fulcrum in the middle with the load on one end and the force on the other end; we use the peg word one, and we show an example of a first class lever would be a paddle or an oar, and we show the oar resting on a bag of buns. We show that a wheelbarrow is an example of a second-class lever; we use the keyword shoe for two and show a wheelbarrow pushing against the shoe.  To remember that a rake is an example of a third class lever, that is the fulcrum at one end, the load at the other end and the force in the middle, we show a picture of a rake resting against a tree for three.  We’ve also used peg words to help students remember the orders of Presidents of the United States.  We’ve also used peg words to remember, well, for example, Pierce was–President Pierce was the 14th President.  To remember that, we each have a keyword for Pierce, which is “purse,” and for 14th, we have the word “forking.”  So we have a picture of a fork being stuck in a purse to remember students–to help students remember that Pierce was the 14thPresident.  We’ve also used this for hardness levels of minerals, to remember those, magnitude of stars, anything else that needs to be ordered or numbered, and we have used some pegword strategies for remembering multiplication tables.

Hal: It’s unlimited, isn’t it?

Tom: There is–we haven’t reached the limits if there are limits to what you can do.  Now, it’s limited also by the student’s capacity to learn and the capacity of how much time do we have to teach the mnemonic versus the content.  These things have to all be balanced.  But the third type of strategy that you brought up yourself was the “letter strategy.”  We’ve used this a little bit less often, but there are two types.  One would be an acronym strategy.  That would be the “homes” strategy you referred to earlier on.  And another is a kind of a acrostic, and that would be in which the first letter of each word, “my very educated mother just sent us nine pizzas,” would be a strategy to remember, from those first letters, the order of the planets from the sun: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, and so forth.  That’s another type of strategy that would be helpful.

Hal: Yeah, and we use that to learn the colors of the rainbow.  Roy G Biv.

Tom: Well, yeah, Roy G. Biv, exactly.

Hal: That’s an old one, you see.

Tom: And to remember the classifications in science from kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, species, we’ve recommended that remembering the sentence, “King Philip’s class ordered a family of gentle spaniels,” to remember those classifications in the order of super ordination.

Hal: Well, it sounds like the teacher has to be very creative, but I assume that if they read your book and if they looked at the tutorial, the written tutorial that accompanies this audio tape, that they would have lots and lots more examples of the kind of things you’ve just mentioned.

Tom: I think the most important thing would be to pay a lot of attention to the examples to develop strategies that seem like they’re consistent with those examples and to carefully monitor their effectiveness.  And you can do that by first of all seeing whether the students are getting the answers right, which is something that we like to see, and the other would be to say, “Now you remembered the information.  How did you remember that?”  And if they can accurately portray the strategy they used, then that’s evidence that that strategy is effective.

Hal: Actually, it sounds a little to me like it would be a lot of fun to try to create some of these strategies.  Well now, Margo, Tom, we’ve had a pretty complete discussion about mnemonics.  Is there anything you’d like to add to our discussion before we conclude?

Tom: Well, one thing we’ve noticed over the years is that students also seem to be very fond of using the mnemonic strategies.  We’ve often asked, in our research studies, did they like this strategy, would they like to use it again, would they like to use it in other classes, and almost universally, students say they really enjoy it.  I think we’ve also seen a kind of look of surprise on the faces of students–of many students with learning disabilities who are surprised that they know all or almost all the answers in a test.  And this is information, then, this is something they’re not really used to doing.  And we do get a lot of this, so I think students–it’s a strategy that students can also find it works, they realize that it works, and I think they enjoy using it and enjoy participating in it, too.

Hal: And I think you even mentioned in your book, that it even improves their attitude towards general learning?

Tom: Yeah, they–

Margo: Right.  They tend to enjoy that.  The other thing I’d just like to add is that we have seen, in some research projects that have taken place in inclusive classrooms, that the students with disabilities increase in their performance on class tests more than the students with general education students.  In other words, the mnemonic tends to benefit everybody, but it benefits, would raise grades for instance, if you were thinking about class test grades, for students with disabilities from like a “D-” to a “B,” whereas the general education students’ performance might go from a “B” to an “A-”range, so that it can make a big difference for many of the students, but it can actually bring the students’ with disabilities performance up to more within a passing range.

Hal: Well, I think we’ve done a good job of getting people introduced to this topic.  Anything else you want to add?  Well, then–

Margo: Thank you very much for the opportunity, and maybe people can just look at the written tutorial that accompanies the DLD website for additional information.

Hal: Well, on behalf of the Division for Learning Disabilities I want to thank you both.  It’s been a very useful discussion on mnemonics instruction.  It’s been a pleasure to be on the webcast with you, and as a reminder to the teachers listening, you can see an expanded version of this topic in the Teaching Tutorial section of the website.  Thanks for listening.

Mnemonics Tutorial PDF

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Expanded Tutorial for easy reference.