The Rappin’ Mathatician offers a step-by–step guide for creating an academic rhyme.
This article describes how to use the feature ” Rapping Mathematics Teachers Bring It.”
Do you want to rap a math concept in class? Alex Kajitani, the Rappin’ Mathematician explains how to write a Rap.
Step 1: Identify your Concept
What are you expecting your students to know? Math raps that have had success include those dealing with fractions, integers, and negative numbers.
Step 2: Find Your Rhymes
Write down all key words that are relevant to your idea. Kajitani provides a list of operations: order, parenthesis and exponent.
Find the words that rhyme with them. Kajitani suggests visiting Rhymezone.com. Entering your word “Divide” will bring up 400 results. He selects the rhyming words guide.
Every word does not have to rhyme perfectly. Kajitani uses words and phrases similar to “own it” and exponent to create a rhyme. The second and fourth lines of a four-line rhyme should rhyme.
Step 3: Make the hook
To create a great math rap, you need a catchy hook. This is a rhyme that repeats at the beginning, middle and end of the song. It quickly explains the essence of rap.
Kajitani uses a Rhymezone.com rhyme to explain the order of operations.
Multiply and Divide, then parenthesis.
Add and subtract.
PEMDAS is your guide.
Step 4: Follow it up with a beat
A rap album is incomplete without the music behind the lyrics. You can search Google for “free rap beats”. Garage Band is a Macintosh application that can be downloaded for less than five dollars. It can also be used in creating rap beats. Kajitani will purchase beats from sites like Gotchanoddin.com for between $20-$100 to commercially use.
Kajitani recommends listening to background music and then practicing the lyrics to various songs until you find the right combination. You can reduce the track length with any music software. Kajitani points out that a math rhyme doesn’t need to be too long. The Audacity sound editor is a free and cross-platform .
Step 5: Perform
Kajitani suggests that you start a math lesson by rapping your new song. You might also want to record your voice and bring it into class. This type of recording can also be done with Garage Band. Students might enjoy rapping.
You now have a learning tool that is ready to be used, it is time to display it.
Additional Credit: Watch the Video
His video So many Lines was produced by the after-school video club at Kajitani’s school, Mission Middle School in Escondido. Students created a storyboard, chose actors, and then edited the video themselves. They were awarded the iVIE award 2007 for most innovative video in education.
They created a video-technology class every day during school because they were so impressed by the students’ work. Kajitani’s song ” The Itty Bitty Dot” may be filmed again by this year’s class. The students will be able to recall Kajitani’s song about subtracting and adding decimals.