If there's one thing my students learn by the end of the year and actually still remember in later years, it's the quadratic formula. The class where I introduce the formula goes down like this: First I tell them about the quadratic formula in a traditional way. I explain that now with the QF we can solve any quadratic equation, and do it much easier than we could with completing the square. I show them how to use it and they solve a couple quadratics themselves. I then tell them that for homework they have to memorize the quadratic formula overnight and there will be a quiz on it at the beginning of next class.(This is not my usual style) I always receive a chorus of groans. "But!" I interject "It will be much easier than you think. I've gotten someone to come in and help you all with this, let me go get him." I go into the hallway, put my tie around my head, half untuck my shirt and start a live performance of this. (my rapping name is SweenDawg, of course)
The live performance helps make it really fun for them, and I would highly suggest doing it if you decide to use a rap in your classroom. Any time I do a song in class (there are others) I typically do one "live" and then have a recording so I can play it for the kids multiple times and in later classes to help it stick in their memories. Now I realize this is not the most groundbreaking or new idea, but I want to stress its effectiveness and fun. The kids who have been generally uninterested throughout the year usually love this lesson the most and really get into it. Not only that, but I work in a small school and when I have students in later years they almost always remember how to solve quadratics without any prompting... or maybe just an "op-op-op" to get them started.
I also tend to plug the idea of making their own strategies when they have to memorize something, and how making a song is just one example of a memorization technique.
Shoutout to Mr. Mellor for helping lay down the track.
Have your own fun song that you like to do with your students? Tell me about it!