Friday, November 2, 2012

Solo Performance and Remembering a Formula

I was doing a bit of sorting through old posts today, and I remembered that a couple of summers ago Sam Shah had asked me to blog about the cute activity I use to teach Quadratic Formula to my kids, since he says he cannot remember it otherwise.

Here it is: I teach them how to sing the Quadratic Formula song (to the tune of Pop! Goes the Weasel ), and then of course we practice in class how to apply the formula, and then for homework they need to go to a non-math teacher on campus and sing their song from memory. (To hold them accountable, I give them a half-sheet that says something like, "Dear Ms. Yang, I hereby certify that your student ___________ indeed came to me and sang from memory the following song to the tune of Pop! Goes the Weasel: X equals negative B, plus or minus square root.... [blah blah you know the rest], Signed, ____________")

It is very cute, because henceforth they sing every time they practice the formula, and they really do become experts at it before singing solo to a teacher who checks them off! And plus, some cool teachers even make them dance while singing. How very silly! I have kids who come back to me years after and still credit this assignment/song for them never forgetting that formula.

So, here you go, one of my sillier teaching "moves". I give you fair warning that after a few years you get really, really sick of hearing that tune... 

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