Cape Town - Do you remember your mother saying: “Jy sing so lekker, ek hoop jy ken jou skoolwerk so goed” (I hope you know schoolwork as well as you know those song lyrics).
Well, the Grade 8 learners of Eben Donges High School in Kraaifontein can tell their moms, yes! And it’s all thanks to math teacher Kurt Minnaar, 33, who is using his dance moves and rap beats to help pupils remember their multiplication tables.
The former hip hop dancer and choreographer is using his musical background to make maths fun for children. Kurt’s classes are often rowdy as pupils sing and dance along as they memorise the multiples, but luckily his fellow teachers don’t mind as it means the pupils arrive in their class in a good mood.
“I used to be hyperactive and struggled with maths back when I was at school. I wanted to create something that my learners could relate to, and what better than rap music?” Minaar said.
The teacher said with the help of some friends, he came up with two 60-second math tracks, called Cre-eight and Van Guard, where he raps off the seven and eight multiplication tables. Minaar said he is working on six now, and will soon be making a rap album with all the numbers.
The dreadlocked educator believes the traditional public education system is failing children, when it should be looking at more creative and alternative teaching methods. “The traditional way of teaching only serves the read-write learner, or the independent learner,” he explained.
“There are Grade 8 learners in my class that don’t even know Grade 4 work. Through my raps I have created a teaching method that caters for the creative, hyper or dyslexic learner.” Pupil Jabulani Dyantyi, 15, said he enjoyed coming to maths classes, because of the raps.
“I get inspired by Mr Minnaar’s raps and it has helped improve my maths marks,” he said. The teacher said he has seen a reduction in the amount of disruptions in class.
“I have seen some good results in my classes, but to see an even greater result I need to create more learning material and lesson plans. I have so many other ideas that I still want to implement, but it’s all going to take some time,” he lamented.