Having Fun with Math Mnemonics: 8 Mnemonics To Teach Your Students

mnemonics and memory puzzle pieces

A device, formula, or rhyme that helps your students remember order of operations in math is called a Math Mnemonic. They are best utilized for difficult, complex mathematical computations that can be difficult for your classes to commit to their memory.

A math mnemonic can be fun for your kids to learn because it can sound close to a nursery rhyme or song which makes it fun for them and piques their interest in learning about math.

Math can be one of the most difficult school subjects to teach to students, almost like teaching them a new language when they have barely mastered the English language. A seemingly impossible task until you find a technique such as these math mnemonics to make it easier on you and your students. We hope you and your students have tons of fun learning with and about math mnemonics!

#1: Order of Operations

One of the most common acronyms that even you will probably recognize from your own time in school is P.E.M.D.A.S. It is an acronym for the order of operations in math equations that can be long and requiring multiple steps to get to the correct solution. In its mnemonic form it reads as ‘Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally’ or Parenthesis, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, and Subtraction.

#2: Arithmetic

Arithmetic is a long word but to help your students memorize this term and how to spell it correctly you can use the mnemonic ‘A Rat In The House Might Eat The Ice Cream’.

#3: Metric Conversions

Metric conversions can be tricky and are another area of math where mnemonics will become very useful to your students. To teach your students how to remember how many feet are in a mile use the mnemonic ‘5 tomatoes’, to-mate-oes = 2-8-0, so there are 5,280 feet in 1 mile.

#4: Order of Metric Units

The order of the metric units of measuring can be learned through the mnemonic ‘King Hector Doesn’t Usually Drink Cold Milk’ (Kilo, Hecto, Deca, Units, Deci, Centi, Milli).  

#5: Roman Numerals

Roman numerals are fun bits of math to decode, use ‘I View Xrays’ for numbers 1, 5 and 10. You can also use ‘Lucy Can’t Drink Milk’ for numbers 50, 100, 500, and 1000. To teach them to your class in order from 1 to 1000, the mnemonic ‘I Viewed Xerxes Loping Carelessly Down Mountains’ is handy.

#6: Pi

When you teach your students about the numbers in Pi use the phrase ‘May I have a large container of coffee?’, then count the letters in each word and don’t forget to put a decimal between the first two numbers- 3.1415926.

#7: Solving Word Problems

A strategy to teach about solving word problems is using the mnemonic ‘STAR’: Search the word problem, Translate the words into an equation, Answer the problem, Review the Solution.

#8: Greater Than and Less Than

‘The alligator has to open its mouth wider for the larger number’ is the best mnemonic to help your students understand the difference between which number is greater or less than, the mouth opening should be in the same direction as the larger number.

Looking for more?

Mnemonics are a great way to help your students remember the different mathematical concepts. We hope all of this helps you and your class!

You can find more great mnemonics on the Education World website.