Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Singing for really works!

Since moving to an 11-14 school in order to help them become 11-16 I missed teaching A-Level, so when I found out that one of the TAs was resitting the core 4 maths exam and wanted some help I was happy to give up some time to support. We are obviously coming towards the end of the time (the exam is next Tuesday) and only recently discovered she had never learnt the quadratic formula (we were solving some trigonometric equations using double angle formulae). She was having real trouble remembering it so I tried out a technique I had heard about - linking it to a song.

She was a bit embarrassed to sing in front of me, so I sang in front of her instead! I am now seriously considering teaching all of my lessons in song! The reaction I got was brilliant - she couldn't look me in the eye and was laughing her a** off! Talk about engaging them emotionally, the cringe and humour factor is brilliant. I sang Journey's "Don't stop believing" with the quadratic formula as part of the lyrics, basically like this:

"Just a small town girl,
Living in a lonely world;
Minus b plus or minus,
the square root offfff,
B squared,
minus 4ac;
all over 2a
that gives you
the 2 values that solve
the equaaaaaation!"

I explained to her that everyone has a song that they just know the lyrics to, without even thinking about it, so if she can put this sort of information to that tune, she can use her knowledge of the lyrics and tune to support her. Of course the most difficult bit in remembering the lyrics of a song is getting started, so I left the start the same. I guarantee that when I have Year 11 (and I will probably do it with some stuff in Year 7 all the way through), I will be using this for a revision technique!

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