Normally when we learn in our actual classroom space when we get to learn the Quadratic formula in Algebra, I have the song playing as the students come in. This is not my original idea – in fact I learned the song when my daughter took Algebra. Her teacher played it day in and day out for them.
This year we were in our virtual learning environment when it was time to learn the formula. Naturally I still wanted to follow the tradition and play the song. However, when I went to find the song, I found A LOT of songs. There was the catchy, familiar version that I know and love set to the tune of “Pop Goes the Weasel” but there were also so many others out there. People sang it to the tune of Rolling in the Deep, there were rap versions and more. I found a few and popped them into a playlist on my YouTube channel and shared them with my students.
Make your own
Well as we were learning this tedious formula and talking about the merits of memorizing it (it is such a fun formula to memorize yet they give it to you on the formula sheet for the Algebra Regents so you don’t actually HAVE to learn it), I decided we should have an assignment to create our own parody version. Some students would get very excited about collaborating and others about writing harmonies. Some students would email me and say, “is this required?” The pandemic would ultimately affect how we did this as would the programs we have access to for collaboration.
Ultimately most students worked alone and most chose to use the familiar “Pop Goes the Weasel” tune. I was so excited when they started coming in. The kids put themselves out there sharing their voices and their videos. I’m still adding to this collection as they come in. Unfortunately we couldn’t get access to collaboration software and students aren’t allowed to be anywhere near each other right now, so real time collaboration is hard. Some students had really awesome collaboration plans and have had to modify them.
Some of our songs
As I receive permission from students to share them, I’m adding their work here. Check back for more updates!! Thank you to these students for being willing to put themselves out there. It is NOT easy to record yourself and share with the world. I’m proud of their effort on this. I know they’ll look back someday and hopefully feel a little bit of fondness for this opportunity to come together in different ways than normal. It is far from ideal, but it is stretching our creativity and increasing our ability to connect with each other in unique ways. I know that for me my live classes are the highlight of my day. Every day I am thankful for every student who shows up .. and the ones who show up to office hours afterwards and say, “I’m sorry I almost made it to class … and take the time to watch class later!!” (you know who you are 🙂