Ren and I are teaching a class on Blended Learning and we approached the first session by spending some time talking about how the mind the works. One interesting question posed is:

How do you get students to remember things if what you’re asking them to remember really can’t be attached to meaning?

One solution to this question is the use of mnemonics. Monica’s teacher (who, by the way, is awesome), use mnemonics constantly. They’re perfect little memory nuggets for Monica (and, as you can see below, are all kinds of fun). Love it.




There are few more head banging, frustrating, pull-out-your-hair UGGHHH moments than trying to teach your child a SIMPLE concept and them positively, absolutely, rapturously and completely NOT getting it.

Ren and I have spent 3 hours¹ teaching Kelly to read the word the.

THE is a black-hole in the neurons of Kelly’s mind. She uses it every day. Correctly. She just can’t read it. It becomes THIS, THEY, and (weirdly) WHATHOW.

We strategize. We plead. We threaten (I know, bad parents). I come up with funny faces and song notes (this helps, a little). We praise when she gets close (whathow).

But sometimes that mental block just ain’t moving.

So we try again tomorrow. And she’ll get it right on the first knock.


¹This is not an exaggeration.