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Top 10 Mnemonic Devices

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Mnemonic devices are excellent tools for teachers who want to help their students remember important facts. Following are ten top mnemonic devices to use with your students. However, an interesting and fun exercise is to have your students try to come up with their own mnemonic devices for topics throughout the year.

1. ROY G BIV

Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet.
This device helps students remember the order of the colors in a rainbow.

2. Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally

Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction.
This mnemonic allows us to remember the Order of Operations in math.

3. Every Good Boy Does Fine / FACE

This mnemonic is used in musical notation to help students remember those treble clef notes on the lines (E, G, B, D, F) and those on the spaces (F, A, C, E).

4. My Very Earnest Mother Just Served Us Nine Pickles

Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto
Here we have an easy way to remember the order of the planets from the sun out. The only thing to remember here is that every 248 years, Neptune becomes the furthest planet for 20 years.

5. King Philip Cuts Open Five Green Snakes

Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species
This is only one of innumerable mnemonics used to remember the order of Taxonomy for biology.

6. Thirty days hath September, ...

I use this mnemonic all the time to help me remember the number of days each month:

Thirty days hath September,
April, June, and November;
All the rest have thirty-one
Excepting February alone:
Which hath but twenty-eight, in fine,
Till leap year gives it twenty-nine.

7. Two Old Angels Skipped Over Heaven Carrying Ancient Harps

Used in math to remember the equations for Tangent, Sine, and Cosine. O stands for opposite, A stands for adjacent, and H stands for hypotenuse. Therefore, Tangent = Opposite/Adjacent; Sine = Opposite/Hypotenuse; Cosine = Adjacent/Hypotenuse.

8. HOMES

Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior
An easy way to remember the five Great Lakes.

9. OIL RIG

Oxidation It Loses (electrons)
Reduction It Gains (electrons)

This will help students in Chemistry remember these two terms.

10. In 1492 Columbus Sailed the Ocean Blue

One that has been said by students for more years that can be remembered. This helps students remember when Christopher Columbus made his first voyage to the New World.

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