Monday, December 09, 2013

Dropping The Beat: Power Laws in The House!

     In Grade 9 math we have been discussing Powers, more specifically, the six major Power Laws:
- Power of a Power
- Zero Exponent Law
- Product of Powers
- Quotient of Powers
- Power of a Product
- Power of a Quotient
     After being introduced to each of these laws (over the course of four classes) and having time to practice applying them (over the course of four classes), my Grade 9 students are now creating songs about each of these laws! In groups of 4-6, students were assigned a specific Power Law to base their song lyrics on. Here are some examples that inspired us:
This video is by the Westerville South High School Math Club in Ohio.
I WISH I could be as cool as these math teachers!
Super Base (WSHS Math Rap Song). (2011). Uploaded to YouTube by WSHSmath. Available online at:
This video is by one of the Vista Charter School math classes & showcases a great math-song example for those students who don't necessarily want to publish their faces (it is just lyrics).
Laws of Exponents (On The Floor Parody). (2011). Uploaded to YouTube by Mitchell Snow. Available online at:
     When you think of math class, traditionally, you don't necessarily picture music playing a big role (not to mention actually creating music). Here are a few reasons why I decided to incorporate music into our class:
1 ) CREATION is the Highest Level on Bloom's Taxonomy
     - Composing song lyrics requires a deeper understanding
       of the concept in order to creatively represent the topic
       while matching it to a tune
2 ) The ADOLESCENT BRAIN Loves Music
     - Last year our division had Dr. Kathy Nunley speak about
       the adolescent brain & she discussed how music plays a
       large-role in adolescent development.
     - Music is a great way for their brain to create new branches
       between information (more branches, better understanding &
     - Music also evokes emotions (happy, silly, mad, etc) which
       further aids in memory.
3 ) Students LOVE Music
     - It is very rare for me to look around and NOT see at least
       half of my students with their earphones permanently attached
       to their heads.
     - Music is a part of our student's daily routine, whether they are
       passive listeners or actively involved in creating their own
4 ) PARODIES Have a Huge Online Presence
     - The internet has no shortage of various song parodies and this
       assignment allows students to be a part of this movement
       and create something that, stylistically, represents something
       that they see day-in and day-out.  
     Students will be sharing their finished products with the class next Monday and I will be sure to share some of their creations! If you would like a copy of the assignment I created for this project, comment below (be sure to include you email).

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