I love music, and I can often recall lyrics to songs that I haven’t heard in years. So I often play math songs for my students, some of my favorites are by Al G. Bra and can be found here. I also like the song y=mx + b.
This year I decided to push myself and create a song myself. No I have not made a video because even my kids don’t like to hear me sing. (There was a reason I was in band for 7 years). However, many of students know understand the process for multiplying mixed numbers because of my little song.
I was able to write the song in about 10 – 15 minutes. I thought about the process of multiplying mixed numbers and brainstormed the words I would need to use. Next, I chose the tune “Are you Sleeping” or “Frere Jacques.” I liked this tune because it repeats it self so I didn’t have to come up with as many lyrics. Other good tunes include: Happy Birthday, Twinkle Twinkle or Jingle Bells. You want to use something familiar that students have probably heard before. My first version went like this:
“Change to improper, Change to improper; Cross cancel next, cross cancel next; Multiply the numerators, Multiply the denominators; Simplify your answer.”
I wouldn’t go so far as to say kids love it, but all I have to do is start singing the first line and they remember what to do. Earlier tonight as I was correcting their tests I was pleased to see that very few students got the multiplying mixed number questions wrong. Most were also able to explain, using complete sentences and transition words, the process for multiplying mixed numbers.
What is your favorite math song? If you have a video send me the link, I would love to show it in class.