AAAS members, click here first!!!

This is a special blog entry for the use of attendees of the AAAS Pacific Division conference in June of 2014. Rather than hand you one more pretty flier for you to stick in the next recycling bin you see, I thought it would make more sense to just prepare a web entry for you with some links that will help you get more out of my presentation. Feel free to bookmark this page or email it to yourself, then peruse the whole site at your leisure after the conference.

You can click here for information about me, my nonprofit, and how GriffinEd is helping thousands of kids master the new standards. There’s also info about how you can book me for a live show and/or a songwriting workshop; I’ve done a few hundred of those for schools, teacher conferences, museums, libraries, science fairs, and so on.

Click here to learn about the study we did in 2013 showing significant gains in K-5 students’ science vocabulary after working with my music for five minutes a day for two weeks. The summary includes a link to download the full study in MS Word format.

Now, about the music. For twenty years now, I have been writing, performing, and recording songs about the grade-level stuff the kids need to learn. Most of my songs are intentionally written to incorporate specific grade-level standards and vocabulary. I used to write to the California content standards, but like most educators I am now working with the Common Core and NGSS. Below are links to the two songs used in the study; please note that for each song (like most songs on this site) there are printable lyrics, lesson ideas for teachers, and detailed notes on the specific standards from the NGSS and Common Core addressed by each song.

Six Leg Jump. To test this song, we asked 85 kids in grades K-2 to differentiate pictures of insects (bee, ant, etc.) from pictures of animals that are often mistaken for insects (spider, scorpion, etc.); the result was pretty much random guessing for most kids. After hearing this song five times over a two-week period, the kids could correctly identify the insects with about 80% accuracy.

The Smith. To test this song, a group of 77 kids in grades 3-5 were asked to take a vocabulary-intensive quiz about the development of technologies for copper, bronze, iron, and steel. They did pretty poorly the first time around— about 18% average— but raised their score to about 50% after hearing the song five times over a two-week period.

Closing thoughts: if you think using music as a tool for teaching science is an interesting idea, here are some things you can do to help:

-Share this web site with anyone who might be interested. The more traffic I get on this site, the stronger my hand when I apply for grant funding.

-Try duplicating my study. Seriously, please contact me if you are interested in trying this out; it will only take five minutes a day for two weeks. I will print, copy, and send you everything you need; I will even correct the papers unless you want to do it yourself. Even with all the controls I put in place for my study, I have to acknowledge that I am biased about my own work, so your research on my music will have more credibility than my own.

Send me your feedback on how I can serve you better. You want a song about something? Tell me and I’ll try. This website is intended as a tool for you to use, so your feedback is essential if we are to realize our goal of an online library of fun, free, but rigorously educational music.

Many thanks!