An innovative teacher has started teaching his pupils how to do maths ‘Sound of Music’ style!
Shaun Keeling encourages children in his classes at Anglesey School in Lozells to march and sing as they recite their times tables.
As the video above shows, the kids have great fun in the classes, shouting out the answers as they move in time with the music.
It it reminiscent of the way times tables used to be taught in schools – or something like what the Von Trapp family did in Sound of Music.
“I love the Sound of Music comparison,” said Mr Keeling.
“Here at Anglesey we use a combination of resources in mathematics such as White Rose, Sense of number and Number Fun.
“The latter is a collection of songs that relate directly to different aspects of the curriculum.
“The staff and children are particularly fond of the Table Troopers songs.
“As learning times tables is a memory skill, a lot of repetition is involved. Through the Table Troopers we are able to make memorising both active and a lot of fun.”
In the Sound of Music, Maria (played by Julie Andrews) uses songs, throw and catch games and movement to help the children learn.
It is thought that using music in the classroom can help improve maths skills as research in the Journal of Aesthetic Education shows there’s a link between music and better control of spatial-temporal tasks, making children better equipped to learn key mathematical skills if music is involved.
One theory says that learning rhythm is responsible, as maths involves picking up patterns and how visual elements go together.
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A 2007 study from the University of Kansas found that primary school pupils with better musical programmes scored 22 per cent higher in English and 20 per cent higher in maths when compared to those in weaker musical programmes.
And it seems that movement and mindfulness can help kids to learn maths too. Virtual maths tutor Maths Whizz says that studies into children that practice mindfulness have found a 15 per cent increase in maths score compared to children who do not practice mindfulness.
It suggests that movement and exercise can help cognitive function, maintain motivation and get those endorphins going to give it the ‘feel good’ factor.