That moment ~ SOLSC ~ 25/31


It’s the end of the quarter, the weather is breaking and giving way to warm breezes, lighter evenings and the growing sense of freedom that summer days will bring.  It’s spring.  It’s nearly break.  It’s the end of the quarter, and we’re cramming.

Today, we worked on connotation and denotation.  We took notes on it earlier in the week, today we reviewed, looked at examples and I shared a mnemonic device to hopefully help the idea stick in their slippery little brains (don’t we all have slippery little brains right about now?).

Me:  Has anyone ever heard of a mnemonic device?

(A few hands are raised from the table to chin level, just in case they need to rest their head on their hand if I actually saw it and called on them).

Me:  OK, so I think a few people have.  Does anyone want to explain what they {think} a mnemonic device is?


Me:  Well, a mnemonic device (it’s spelled funny, isn’t it?) is a tool that helps you remember something.  Like the word FACE helps musicians remember the names of the space notes on the treble clef, see? (pointed to illustration on board).


I proceeded to explain that how connotations can be linked to the idea of “carrying feelings” and denotation can be linked to the “definition” of words.  We worked through examples, watched a catchy video and by the end of the lesson, there seemed to be a general sense of understanding.

Walking back to my desk I heard a student whisper, “So a mnemonic device is like a Ouija board?”

It seems as though the take-away for this particular student was my example of demonic devices.


Author’s Note: I did clarify mnemonic device for this student during independent work time!


This post was written as part of a monthly challenge sponsored by  Two Writing Teachers, to encourage writing and community.  The goal is to write a Slice of Life entry each day throughout the month of March.

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3 Responses

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  1. Joanne Toft 03/25/2015 at 1:21 pm | | Reply

    Doesn’t surprise me – students minds go in interesting directions. Very funny! and frustrating I am sure.

  2. Erin Baker 03/25/2015 at 8:31 pm | | Reply

    Ha! I love it when we think we have done a fabulous job setting them up for what they need to do/learn, and as we walk away we realize some are still so far from the mark. I like your” demonic” device for remembering connotation and denotation. I think that is pretty clever.

  3. Peg D 03/26/2015 at 11:14 am | | Reply

    I laughed out loud. That is so funny. 🙂

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