A mnemonic is, essentially, anything that helps us remember something else. Vague, yes, but also full of opportunity! Let's say you need to remember a list of things or a date or a specific fact. You can create a rhyme, a song, an acrostic, or a made-up association, for a start.
Some examples I was taught:
King Phillip Came Over For Good Spaghetti > Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species
Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally > Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction
Mathematics order of operations
Stalactites hold tight to the ceiling; stalagmites might reach the ceiling.
Spring forward; fall back.
A guide to Daylight Savings Time
In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.
The Quadratic Formula song.
I couldn't find any videos of the one I learned (although there are others!), but it went something like "MI-nus B plus minus squaaare root OF b squared, MI-nus 4ac, OVER 2a. OVER 2a." Got that?
Commercials also make great use of mnemonics in the song form. There was a jingle for National American University that is so insanely catchy I'd often encounter fellow middle-schoolers singing it in the hallways. And the "gotta go" jingle? Band-Aid's stuck on me? Expedia (dot commmm)? Countless local retailers giving you phone numbers, websites, or exit numbers?
The specific reason I'm rhapsodizing about mnemonics today is that they can help you spell. If you don't want to spell correctly, that's cool, I guess, but if you do, creating memory devices can make spelling effortless. I have no reason to remember most of the above mnemonics, but I couldn't forget them if I tried!
The three most useful spelling mnemonics I ever created are so simple they might seem like a joke:
1. TOMORROW (second grade)
TOM OR ROW
(Go with Tom or row a boat?)
2. OCCURRED (seventh grade)
Oh! See? See? You are... are... Ed!
3. OCCASION (college)
No "ass" in "occasion."
So go forth and trick your brain into making your life easier using the power of mnemonics! *Mic drop*