Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Thingamajiggers, Whozits, and Whatchamacallits

As we get older, most of us have a few memory issues.  You know how it is… you walk into a room and forget what you went in there for.  Or maybe you forget a word for something and stand there blathering.  It probably gets worse when you’re under stress or haven’t gotten enough sleep.  Memory loss can add extra ‘fun’ to a teacher’s workday.  Read on to find out my strategies for dealing with memory loss.

Make it Fun

Make it fun!  By the end of every school year, my students are proficient in the ‘Thingamajiggers, Whozits, and Whatchamacallits” language.  I laugh at myself and make a joke out of it.  I believe it benefits students to see adults who can easily laugh at themselves and their perceived shortcomings.  The students also enjoy trying to fill in my blanks.

Carry a Notepad

We are bombarded with so much information each day that even those of us with the best memories are liable to let things slip.  I try to carry a small notepad with myself to take notes on.  The note could be a small thing like, “Joey’s mother will pick him up early.”  Or something more important, like noticing a student who has consistent trouble with a certain consonant blend.  In the end, you’ll be thankful you took the time to write your notes.

Sticky Notes

Ah yes, the wonderful sticky note.  What would we do without them?  If I have to remember to send something home, I’ll put a sticky note on my door.  For report cards I actually put a small sticky note on my name-tag that says, “remind me to send home report cards.”  I get reminded all day.  I’ve never forgotten since I started doing that.  The sticky note possibilities are endless.


Those are my three strategies.  I know there has to be some other amazing ideas out there.  Please share yours… if you can remember them right now.  


  1. Oh my, is this ever true! My college class students usually fill-in-the-blank for me as I lecture and know sticky notes are the best communication tool.

  2. Reading your tips, I realized how very useful they are for writers too. I keep a notebook and sticky notes with me for those ideas in danger of getting lost!

  3. I keep a notepad where I'll jot down article and story ideas. It definitely helps.

    When I was in college, my communications professor would keep a class blog where he'd list that hour's discussion topics and home assignments. Not only did this act as a reminder, but it also encouraged discussion on the topics outside of the classroom. Of course, it helped that the class was in a computer room, but I thought it was a good idea.

    The hard part was, naturally, getting everyone motivated enough to participate in the blog.

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