Marissa McDaniel – Park East Teacher Testimonial Lyrics
This school year I had the opportunity to teach one 9th grade living environment section in addition to my other, all chemistry, classes of 11th graders. I have to say that the maturity level and skill levels are so very different as was expected. My 9th graders struggle with reading and writing much more so than the incoming 9th graders last year. When I heard about the opportunity to be a part of the Rap Genius battles from Chris Emdin, the science coach for our school, I wanted to be a part of it. I wanted these 9th graders to feel successful in science despite their skill deficits. I knew they would be more engaged with science vocabulary and science concepts if they were a part of this opportunity. My students look forward to their weekly opportunity to write down their lyrics. It has supported the instruction in my classroom, because the students have to understand the science vocabulary in order to write a lyrics that are academically sound. It forces them to think of more abstract and more concrete ways of conceptualizing and visualizing the vocabulary, simultaneously. It makes them think! It makes them think about science and write about it, in their own personal way
As a teacher, teaching a Regents terminating course, it is very scary to do something like this because it takes up precious instructional time that is already limited, so the challenge has been to keep up with the curriculum and still providing the students enough time to generate their raps. I attempt to allow them at least 30 minutes per week but sometimes it ends up being just 15 minutes due to the jam-packed curriculum. I believe it is helping many of the students, however, because they are able to use and engage with the Regents vocabulary in their lyrics
I was surprised to see Ryan Rivera, a student who exhibits low engagement during class discussions and share-outs, perform scientifically sound rap lyrics, with such animation. It was inspiring to see him
I am looking forward to each of the student groups performing their full 16 bars. As of yet, most of the student groups have not completed full 16 bars.
I am very grateful to Science Genius, Chris Emdin and GZA for promoting science in such a RELEVANT way for young people! THANK YOU!!
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