Move Over Harlem Shake… It’s Quadratic Formula Time

I love teaching mathematics, but I have to tell you… teachers of other subjects seem to be able to use iPads to make a lot more “fun” and “creative” projects than I have ventured to try for Algebra and Pre-Algebra this year.  Well, it’s time to break that mold and try something a little different.

Inspired by the current “Harlem Shake” YouTube craze (don’t tell me you haven’t heard of this yet, the kids are eating it up!) it’s time to spice up the Quadratic Formula!  Lots of folks have already posted vids of their own renditions… well, later this week my Algebra students are going to be the next YouTube sensation… with your help!

I’m showing them this ThingLink sampling of some of the best videos I’ve found.  Check back in a week or so to see our version!  I have visions of video editing dancing in my head…


This Quadratic Formula video mini-project was well worth the 15 minutes of class time!  To see it, click the heart icon in the ThingLink above and choose the full screen option.

Last Thursday, I shared the ThingLink above as well as the 4 sample YouTube videos with my Algebra students.  Then, students used their iPads to film their own videos.  Video files were small, so students simply e-mailed them to me.  I spent about an hour editing the compilation using iMovie, and surprised the students Friday by starting class with their movie!  They hadn’t seen one another’s songs, since students recorded their videos in the hallway one group at a time.  Fun stuff!

Other than enjoying the enthusiasm students possessed while creating these videos, I loved how comfortable they were with the formula on Friday during a lesson on how to use it.  Everyone was singing as they worked!  When mentioning the discriminant, I would say “b squared minus 4ac” and, right on cue, the class would say, “What?”  Who knew such a clever “hook” in the video would help all students remember the discriminant?

I think creating Quadratic Formula song videos will become an annual event in my classroom!

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