Monday, November 2, 2009

Slope, slope, slope, slope, slope, slope, slope, slope

First, I have to say I can't take credit for this myself.  The mysterious "Andrew" left a comment on this post
and it was too awesome to ignore.  It didn't seem like he had a blog, so I figured I'd post this because it worked really well.

Second, I swear that my classes aren't all songs and dances.  I just wanted to post this now because I know teachers will have just done slope or are starting it soon, and it went really well.

Andrew's suggestion was to use the tune to Flo Rida's "Low" but with the following words:
The difference of the y and the difference of the x
Also known as rise over run
Divide the two
And then reduce
Then you got slope, slope, slope, slope

I added the following verse in between chorus' to add a little excitement:

"When I'm sittin' in math and I'm tryin' to find
How to get the the slope, the slope of a line
I think about the rise, and the run all the time
Then I think of this song, and I'm gonna be fine

1/2 slope come on
1 slope come on
2 slope come on

now that's three slopes
You think I'm a dope?
I'd gotta say nope
I am gonna find that slope!"

So, I easily found an instrumental version of the song by searching google and played it in the background.  I had a student from another class help out the first time to introduce it.  This is how it went(the 3rd time through):


  1. Wow, mysterious? That's a pretty sweet way to be introduced. Turns out I'm just another math teacher trying desperately to get the students to pay attention. I'm currently teaching—for my third year—Algebra 2 in a New Orleans public school.

    I made up the lyrics (hanging out in a pool visiting my parents I believe) for an Algebra 1 class two years ago, and I love the additions. I used it only as an incentive this year, but I think you've re-inspired me to actually use it in a lesson next year.

    I don't have a blog (never considered my ideas good enough to share), but I do have a youTube channel where I've posted video recordings of my guided notes. If anyone needs to direct a student there for a little reminder, you're welcome to: I'm a little behind, but will catch up with this quarter's videos soon.

    Glad to hear others are eager to get a little goofy for the sake of learning.

  2. Sean, you're great. (Andrew, too, for the idea) Thanks for sharing your musical stylings with the world.

  3. once again, this is extremely weird.

  4. Sweeney, you are a hoot! I love that you love what you do!

  5. Sweeney - you are braver than I. I record the kids, never myself! lol! Props to you! I may have to dig my "Solve Equation of a Line" rap out of the vault and upload it. Made it up in the shower (random) to the insidious tune the kids were always tapping out on their desks. Anyone know how to get a video from a VHS tape to utube? LOL!

  6. lOVE THIS ! thanks :)
    I've been teaching HS math for 11 years.... songs are great

  7. I am in Algebra 2 right now. This video is amazing and so awesome to listen to! It helps me with my homework all the time! I totally want this ringtone!

    Thanks! (:

  8. Thank you so much for this song! This is the second year I have used it in Algebra 1 and the students love it! I tell all my math teacher friends about it!

  9. Thank you so so much for posting this! I'm in my first year of teaching math at a school in London, and my students have absolutely LOVED this. I extended the lyrics a little bit (to include zero, negative, and undefined slopes) and I created a video that I put on in the background when I sing the song to the class, so that they can see the lyrics and have a bit of visual support. You can find it on youtube by searching for 'Slope Rida' if you want to. I hope that it's okay that I stole this idea from you! Please let me know if you have any problem with it. Thank you again for all of your brilliant ideas! -Eleanor

  10. I am currently going for my teaching certification and I did this about a month ago. Apparently the kids are STILL talking about it. I added another verse in there as well and this is what it is:

    Did I think I seen that slope get low,
    Ain't the same when its up that close.
    I said "Whoa, thats a horizontal line, yo!"
    You say "Well that means that the slope is zero!"

    What about the graph of a vertical line?
    Slope? Well that means that its undefined!
    Its got some rise, but it has no run,
    Dividing by zero, well that ain't no fun!

  11. You have so many great ideas! I don't know that I could ever come up with lyrics like these. My students will definitely enjoy having me use music that they listen to, to teach them a concept. I can't wait to see what their reaction is. I will definitely be sharing this and the equations dance with my fellow math teachers.