Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sing it like you mean it!

One of the strategies I implement the most in my classroom is music. I love it. It's how I still can recite the quadratic formula (Thank you Mrs. Crowley), and I know it helps kids memorize information that would otherwise be boring or simply difficult to memorize. I have had even the most hardened of Atlanta-thugs in my middle school classroom doing the "Substitution Hokey-Pokey" so I no longer accept the "I don't sing" excuse. We're just having fun as a class and we just so happen to be learning.

The following is a song that I wrote about adding & subtracting decimals.

Adding Decimals
(to the tune of "Are You Sleeping?")

Adding Decimals (x2)
Line them up! (x2)
Every number has one,
at the end it has one.
Find the sum (clap clap)
Find the sum. (clap)

Subtracting Decimals (x2)
Line them up! (x2)
Every number has one,
at the end it has one.
Now subtract (clap clap)
Now subtract (clap)

I've been waiting for the Grammy nominating committee to call, but so far my phone is silent. Maybe it's broken?
This song is VERY easy to teach the students and I fancy it up with them once they've got it down. We break into groups and sing it in rounds, boys vs. girls, you name it. Much like the geometry game I posted yesterday, this is cumulative. When we start we only learn the first verse because we're only doing addition. 
I like that the song says "Every number has one, at the end it has one." because it's tricky when you've got problems like 57+43.18 to know where the decimals point is because its invisible. When working with decimals for the rest of the year all I have to say is "adding decimals" and they finish my sentence with "line them up!" Once last year my class had a spontaneous outbreak of singing (prompted by a student asking a neighbor a question, not by me) and my supervisor just happened to be in the room. She left and was all smiles.

I'll post more songs in another blog and some of my famous music videos. Just a teaser: I have written songs to the Beatles, BeeGees, and New Kids on the Block to name a few. It gets pretty awesome.

Oh, and I can sing the quadratic formula for you sometime if you'd like!

Do you have any songs that work well with your class?

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