How many music students ever learned “Every Good Boy Does Fine” and “F-A-C-E” to remember the notes on the musical scale? Why does that still stick with me a long, long time after I learned it? It has to do with our brains and how they learn. Sometimes we need to trick the brain, just like you do your dog to get out of the house without it chasing the car down the driveway.
So how does this tie in with the student with ADD? They also have brains that work just like everyone else’s for the most part. Yes, there are functions that are not working at their optimum, but that is in reality only a small part of the brain.
Here are 5 really good ways to help the ADD student, and any other student,IB Internal assessment tutors more quickly and remember much longer.
1) I’ll revisit the example above with “Every Good Boy Does Fine” which is called a Mnemonic Device (pronounced mi-nom-ik) that takes the first letters of a fact and turns them into a little verse. In the example above, we are trying to remember the notes on the 5 lines of a normal musical scale, E, G, B, D and F.
Here’s another type of mnemonic for remembering the ‘short’ months on a calendar: make a fist with your right hand. Starting with January for the first knuckle, put a month on the rest of the knuckles and valleys. The months on the knuckles will be the long ones (Jan, Mar, May, etc.); the ones in the valleys are the short months, (February, April, June, etc.).
2) Drawing has always been associated with the right side of the brain; the creative, intuitive side. Learning is not just about logic (left brain) and images have a powerful impact on our brains. Remember “A picture is worth a thousand words”? The student who draws a picture that symbolizes what they are trying to learn will by the very act of drawing embed the image and its association in their brain. The picture doesn’t have to be a work of art; it just has to be meaningful to the drawer.