# My favorite food is mex, my favorite thing on weekends is solving for x

January 13, 2013 12:09 PM Subscribe

Alex Kajitani, aka the Rappin' Mathematician is determined to increase students' understanding of math concepts by "rapping" about them.

"Decimals"

"Fractions"

"The Number Line Dance"

"So Many Lines"

Kajitani resorted to educational rapping after finding his students unable to remember simple

mathematical concepts from recent lessons, instead coming in[to the classroom] rapping lyrics about violence, drug use, and mistreating women. These "math raps" have been effective, increasing his students' test scores and earning Kajitani many teaching awards (as well as a photo-op with the Obamas). He candidly shared some of his classroom observations and struggles during a recent TEDx talk: "Making Math Cool."

"Decimals"

"Fractions"

"The Number Line Dance"

"So Many Lines"

Kajitani resorted to educational rapping after finding his students unable to remember simple

mathematical concepts from recent lessons, instead coming in[to the classroom] rapping lyrics about violence, drug use, and mistreating women. These "math raps" have been effective, increasing his students' test scores and earning Kajitani many teaching awards (as well as a photo-op with the Obamas). He candidly shared some of his classroom observations and struggles during a recent TEDx talk: "Making Math Cool."

Sounds like a good idea.

After all, I did learn everything I know about biology from Potsie Weber.

posted by flarbuse at 12:57 PM on January 13, 2013

After all, I did learn everything I know about biology from Potsie Weber.

posted by flarbuse at 12:57 PM on January 13, 2013

Let's pit him against Little Nephew:

If a number can't come real

Then I don't need that stumper

The concept of the variable

can take it in the dumper.

Don't be like X is 5

If 5 is what you mean

If 5 is what is on your mind

Then baby just come clean.

posted by adipocere at 1:05 PM on January 13, 2013 [2 favorites]

If a number can't come real

Then I don't need that stumper

The concept of the variable

can take it in the dumper.

Don't be like X is 5

If 5 is what you mean

If 5 is what is on your mind

Then baby just come clean.

posted by adipocere at 1:05 PM on January 13, 2013 [2 favorites]

*Teaching math can make you desperate.*

Yeah, apparently this is not so uncommon. NPR ran a story about 2-Pi last week.

posted by juliapangolin at 2:10 PM on January 13, 2013

I must be getting old, but I just can't understand how saying

posted by Conspire at 3:07 PM on January 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

*anything*in rap makes it more comprehensible than less.posted by Conspire at 3:07 PM on January 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

Putting it to rap won't increase understanding, but it will make it more memorable. For instance, it would be great if all of your students understood where the quadratic formula came from, and could re-derive it as needed, but you'd like them to at least be able to remember it, and putting it to rap will help them.

I would have students chant a few times "When P is small, reject the null", just to reduce the number of times I would have to see a hypothesis test done perfectly except for the very last step.

posted by benito.strauss at 5:20 PM on January 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

I would have students chant a few times "When P is small, reject the null", just to reduce the number of times I would have to see a hypothesis test done perfectly except for the very last step.

posted by benito.strauss at 5:20 PM on January 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

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posted by benito.strauss at 12:57 PM on January 13, 2013 [6 favorites]