By Tyra Seldon
If you are a parent, a teacher, or someone who happens to turn on the radio, you are probably very familiar with Silento’s song “Watch Me.” Many of us even refer to it as the Nae Nae/Whip song. I have literally seen young children stop everything that they were doing to start singing and dancing along, and then resume back to normalcy as soon as the song went off. There is no doubt that the song is quite catchy. And even though the song has been out for months, it seems as if a new video appears every week of someone playfully singing and dancing along. There are even a few videos that show teachers and administrators dancing with students, as they change the lyrics to ones that deal with academic topics and subjects.
These videos are entertaining and relatively harmless, but they do raise a concern. There are those who seem to believe that some children must be entertained in order to learn. I don’t ever remember a teacher singing or dancing with me unless it was a music or dance class. When I was in the classroom, I never felt compelled to take out my tap dance shoes or karaoke machine in order to teach Shakespeare or Frederick Douglass. So, what makes this generation of students so different?
I am not convinced that they are so different; I think that the way we relate to them has changed. Some adults feel compelled to show a connection with their students via popular culture, music in particular. It is a means by which they bond. Yet, there are other ways to make learning engaging and lively without gyrating. If we are concentrating so much energy into teaching children dance steps and lyrics, why not exert that same time and energy into something more meaningful and pragmatic? So, rather than watching me Nae Nae and Whip, why don’t you watch me compute some math equations or write?
In fact, parents and teachers can use a very popular medium to teach children how to write, and that’s blogging. Using a student-friendly blogging template is a simple, yet creative way to help students enhance their writing skills while also addressing topics and subjects that are of interest to them. Does your child love fashion? Sports? Computers? Coding? Movies? You can take any topic that your child is interested in and use that as a spring board for blogging.
If you don’t know where to start, I have simplified the process. The following link will take you to 45 children-friendly sites that will help you jump start the blogging procedure. Read the description, and depending on your child’s maturity and writing ability, select the option that will best meet your needs.
In fact, blogging just might be easier than learning how to Nae Nae, Whip, Stanky Leg, Dap and all the other dances that are very popular right now.