Wilmington teacher introduces students to Lyrical Math

A Wilmington math teacher is grabbing the attention of both students and parents through her creative approach to teaching at Warner Elementary School.

5th grade math teacher Keziah Finney is using her rap skills to strengthen student’s math skills.

“I grew up in a musical household.  I have a musical family and so I’ve realized that the traditional way of teaching students, my students were bored a bit,” Finney said.

So she grabbed their attention through Lyrical Math where she remixes the subject by adding music to the equation.

“There are so many different students that would benefit just from another way and using music as another strategy to get a skill that they have to learn,” Finney said. “It’s just a great idea and I’m looking forward to more students having that access.”

As a result, parents like Monique Jackson said their children are more engaged now. Jackson said at one time the multiplication chart was her daughter’s least favorite part of math.

“It was a struggle at first, but she is getting them now and that’s awesome”

During free time, Finney along with her husband James, create instructional videos to help students who need extra help. In October, Finney showcased the program during Warner’s math night.

State reports indicate barely one in 10 students are proficient in state testing at the school.  According to the principal, Dr. Chrishaun Fitzgerald, Lyrical Math may help since parents are more involved now.

“The parental engagement has definitely increased and the engagement in the instructional core is really important there and that’s what we’re able to do and [Finney’s] work definitely spearheaded that,”Fitzgerald said.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

50% of WHYY’s funding comes from donations made by people just like you.