Teaching Math with a Song

November 13, 2012


By Christina Depweg
Part of In Their Own Words, USC Rossier’s series of student blog posts

Throughout this term, we have been observing at the schools that we will be student teaching in the next term. I have been placed at Patrick Henry Middle School in a 6th grade Pre-Algebra class and a 7th grade Algebra class. So far, I have been observing about 9 hours a week, and I have even gotten the chance to begin teaching a couple lessons here and there. Yesterday, I taught a lesson on Perimeter and Area to the 6th grade Pre-Algebra students!

In our USC MAT program, we have been learning a lot about the different types of teaching methods that are most effective, such as making your lessons engaging, creative, and hands-on. Since I was going to be teaching Perimeter and Area, I didn’t want to just give my students the formula. So, I sang them a song and incorporated hand motions!

Here are the words: (To the tune of “London Bridge is Falling Down”)


First, you add up all the sides!
All the sides, all the sides!
First, you add up all the sides!
To find the PERIMETER!


Then, you multiply length times width!
Length times width, length times width!
Then, you multiply length times width!
To find the AREA!

The students absolutely LOVED the song!! They all stood up with me, did the hand motions, and even sang the song with me (loudly, I might add) after the first time that I sang it! What’s even greater is they kept singing the song while they were working on practice problems to help them remember the difference between perimeter and area! They also asked me to make more songs for other formulas that they have! It was a great experience and I am so glad that the students enjoyed it and benefited from the song!

I wish I had a video to post and show you all, but my camera turned itself off before we got to the song 🙁 Hopefully next time!

Christina DepwegMy name is Christina Depweg and I am in my first year at USC Rossier School of Education.  I am in the MAT- Mathematics program and am absolutely loving it so far!  I graduated this past May 2012 from California State University, Monterey Bay where I received my B.S. in Mathematics with an emphasis in Secondary Education, as well as a minor in Human Development.  I have a passion for teaching and sharing my love of mathematics with adolescents, and I can not wait to get into the classroom and begin teaching my very own class!