True to self, I can’t keep bad puns and artwork out of the classroom. After all, they are a big part of my personality. Infusion of my personal style, however, has gotten more challenging lately. Our math department elected to go REDESIGN. This means that my students receive lecture via canned videos and not through me. But I still have numerous opportunities to give 1-1 help to students who are actively working on their homework in a computer classroom.
To aid in these little bursts of information sharing, I have developed handouts which focus on troublesome math topics. I pair up bad puns and free clip art to make the instruction less threatening and more memorable.
Remember the mnemonic: “Please excuse my dear Aunt Sally”? If was meant to explain the order of operations. My handout is headed by the caption: Aunt Sally should have taught me math instead of baking me cookies. It is paired with a cartoon of a grandmother rolling out dough and child watching at her elbow.
Another was designed to illustrate metric conversion. That mnemonic translates to “King Henry died by drinking chocolate milk”. I led this handout with: King Henry should have stuck to drinking ale. A cartoon of a king in his chair was an easy find on Microsoft free clip art sites.
Bottom line is that these handouts are easy to design, personable, fun, and easily remembered by students …. especially the 2nd time around when I encourage them to pull out King Henry for a little review.
Bonny Prudhomme is professor of mathematics at Hopkinsville Community College. She is known for her dedication to helping students master math and for her innovative teaching style.
Pleasureteam note: For a different take on Aunt Sally, check out: http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/coach_gs_teaching_tips/2011/01/math_teachers_please_excuse_dear_aunt_sally–forever.html
(Warning: he is not an Aunt Sally fan!)
For King Henry, there seem to be a lot of variations. One that we found, complete with PPT, is at :