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A little bit of rhythm & 'rithmatic.

Is it possible to "get down" in math class? In Eric Chandler's second-grade class, it sure is. This Mountain View Elementary School (VA) teacher writes his own songs and also adapts the lyrics of popular tunes, reported the Washington Post.

"A song, if it's catchy enough, gets stuck in your head," said Chandler. He has written numerous songs about all sorts of topics, including multiplication facts, subtraction and more. And his songwriting isn't just limited to math. Chandler has written songs about geography, science and social studies. He even receives special requests from colleagues to write for them. Chandler recently finished an album of songs about spelling.

Researchers have studied the impact of music education on IQ, test scores, spatial sense, and math and verbal skills. Although results of these studies are not definitive, it is clear that music sparks memory.

More and more teachers are using music in their teaching efforts. This comes both as a result of the research, and also as a way to maintain melody and syncopation in daily classroom teachings. Music education is becoming more and more limited as it gets shelved in place of test-based curriculum.

   You say the
   bigger number
   and count
   backwards

   Or say the
   smaller number,
   then count
   forwards

   Just say one, count the other on your
   finger

   Where you stop's the answer, now let's
   sing ...

   Take it away, take it away, take it away
   now.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The lyrics from one of Eric Chandler's many math songs, performed as a rock performance styled after the Red Hot Chili Peppers

Check Out This Great Resource!

According to the Washington Post, in the post three years, nearly 200 artists have contributed to a Michigan-based website, http://SongsforTeaching.com,

The songs ore arranged by subject matter and are available for purchase by download, lyrics or CD. There are thousands of pages to peruse--many of which, include sound clips and teaching suggestions to complement lesson plans. Music for classroom management, popular holidays and special education are included too.

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Title Annotation:Grades K-6
Publication:Curriculum Review
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2007
Words:334
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