Football freebie – 12/9/14

WOW! I mean, WOW. Congratulations to the 2014 football BIG TEN Champions, The Ohio State University Buckeyes! In an unbelievable display of dominance, the Buckeyes – with their 3rd (yes, 3rd!) string quarterback, Cardale Jones – showed no mercy to the Wisconsin Badgers as they shut them out 59-0. Now, of course, we have been selected to play against #1-ranked Alabama in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1. (Don’t let me get started on the bizarre-o rationale of the selection committee…) So at least for several weeks, this will be the last football freebie for you, so take advantage!

In light of this monumental win, I have created a freebie unlike anything in my entire store! It is a completely new and unique product! There is a TON of research and science behind using song as a memory tool. There’s a reason people make millions of dollars to come up with jingles – they work. Well, if the advertising companies can capitalize on our brains’ ability to remember things when put to music, why can’t teachers?

When I first began teaching 10 years ago in Tucson, AZ, I began as a math teacher. For 3 years I taught Algebra I Honors to 7th and 8th graders. Somewhere along the way, I picked up (from a stellar colleague, although I don’t remember who, sadly) a tool to help students remember the quadratic formula. Now, I’m not sure if you’re the type of teacher who mandates that students memorize the quadratic formula or not, but when I taught, my students didn’t get formula sheets on their tests/quizzes, so they had to know their stuff. For lots of students, the quadratic formula was so new and had so much going on in it, it was nearly impossible to memorize correctly. As a result, when I heard this little ditty from a colleague of mine, I thought I’d give it a try (even though, to be perfectly honest, as a new teacher I didn’t think it would work…).

The quadratic formula song is set to the tune of “Pop Goes the Weasel.” The words are simply the formula: “x equals negative b plus or minus the square root of b squared minus four a c all over two a.” When I sang it for my students, they all scoffed at me and told me (not for the first time) that I was a complete and total dork. However, the first test after I taught them the song, I’ll be darned if I didn’t hear little voices across the room throughout the entire day all softly humming the tune of “Pop Goes the Weasel.” In fact, the first time I heard it, I think I said, “Ah hah! Gotcha!” Out loud, or something to that effect. To which I am almost sure I received plenty of eye rolls.

Now, I know that you may not be a singer. Or you may be, but you just can’t figure out quite how to get the formula to sync up with the tune. To this end, I have provided for you, for free, a recording of me singing the quadratic formula song. I’m reasonably sure it’s not going to win any Grammys, but I’m all right with that. Also, this tune is in the public domain, so no worries about copyright. I will say as a caveat that I have had a cold for a week and my voice is still kinda phlegm-y and hoarse. So, yeah, take that for what it’s worth. I hope you and your students benefit from my little song!

quadratic formula song

Cheer hard for the Buckeyes to beat the Tide on January 1, 2015!

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