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aelephant comments on Tutoring Small Groups of Children (for money) - Less Wrong Discussion

7 Post author: bramflakes 20 February 2013 11:51AM

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Comment author: [deleted] 20 February 2013 08:58:22PM *  9 points [-]

If their homework involves tedious memorization, introduce them to spaced repetition (begin with physical flashcards).

Comment author: aelephant 20 February 2013 11:41:21PM 0 points [-]

Similarly, I was thinking "teach them how to learn". Most of the things I was taught I have forgotten. I'm only now learning how to learn. Spaced repetition is a big part of that, but there are other tricks too, such as making information "sticky" by making it visual and/or emotional, & learning how to create & use mnemonic devices.

Comment author: Slackson 21 February 2013 11:50:38AM 1 point [-]

Do you recommend any resources on creating and using mnemonic devices? It's something I've always struggled with.

Comment author: aelephant 21 February 2013 01:41:23PM *  3 points [-]

Most of what I know is pieced together from different resources online. This site has some good info, but is a work in progress: http://mnemotechnics.org/wiki/Main_Page

What I'm doing now is:

  1. Break down a complicated topic into keywords
  2. Assign the keywords more memorable keywords if they are difficult to remember / hard to visualize
  3. String the memorable keywords into a visual story
  4. Plug the story into a spaced repetition system so that it becomes a stable memory

For instance, I wanted to remember how Red blood cells are metabolized, so I made the following story today:

RBCs = Red Buick Coupe

Spleen = Spray & Wash (car wash joint)

Unconjugated bilirubin = Unprecedented + Rubin (guy's name)


Conjugated bilirubin = Congratulate + Rubin

Bile = Bike

Small intestine = Small kids


The story is: "An old man drives his Red Buick Coupe into the Spray & Wash where it is given an unprecedented cleaning by a guy named Rubin, who LOVES to eat Liver. He congratulates Rubin for a job well done, then Rubin rides his Bike home where his 2 small kids are waiting for him. They love eating Liver too."

This helps me remember old RBCs are metabolized in the Spleen to Unconjugated bilirubin, then passed to the Liver where they are processed into Conjugated bilirubin & mixed with Bile, which is released into the Small intestine. Enterohepatic circulation means 95% of the bilirubin goes back to the Liver.

Hope that is all right. At least, it offers an example of the process.

Comment author: Sarokrae 21 February 2013 01:10:43PM *  1 point [-]

The Memrise community (http://www.memrise.com/) are quite big on that kind of thing. If you're learning a language, you can browse through their community database of mnemonics or "mems" for inspiration, and are encouraged to create your own. Their site is also quite good as a spaced repetition tool for languages.