Singing Science

I was recently delivering a presentation to a group of elementary school teachers in a rural part of a beautiful southern state. The group was leaving for lunch, and I was unexpectedly whisked away to visit an elementary school about 30 minutes away. Several of the teachers and administrators have previously received Quantum Learning training, and they really wanted me to “see something”.

Everything was shrouded in mystery and anticipation, and I was pretty excited for it. We arrived in record time, and the assistant principal greeted us at the door with a smile and instructions to follow her to a 2nd grade classroom. We hurriedly did so, and found a group of 60 or more 2nd graders waiting for us. This group of students looked like any you might find across the country: the kids came in all shapes, sizes, and colors. I imagined they all had a story to tell. This was a Title I school, meaning a majority of attending students qualify for free or reduced lunch. Most of the students were poor. But while these kids may not have the same opportunities or resources as some of their wealthier counterparts, they were just as bright and eager to learn.

After brief introductions, a teacher pushed play on her small stereo, and the kids started swaying from side to side. I easily identified the beat to a recent popular song. This was a backtrack, and the students were about to sing their own lyrics to the song. The overhead flicked on, and the teachers led the way as the room started singing about states of matter. That’s right: states of matter. Clever rhymes and hooks about gasses, liquids, and solids. The kids sang with gusto for the entire 2-minute piece. I was informed later that the teacher in the front had written the song one day while jogging on her treadmill. She didn’t set out to be super-creative or impress every teacher in the district (though she accomplished both of those things)…she only wanted to teach important content in a way she hoped would reach students.

It was an inspiring display. It reminded me of the reasons I am in education and working with young people. If you are familiar with Quantum Learning content, it was a perfect example of making connections to students’ schema, as well as The Prime Directive – entering the students ‘world’ so we can then bring them into our world of content.

Thanks for letting me be part of the magic.


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