Bloomfield Hills teacher turns math to music to teach fractions

Teachers are underappreciated in our country but they always strive to make sure our children understand what they're learning. A Bloomfield Hills middle school teacher is the embodiment of that.

Sean Strasberger teaches at East Hills Middle School in Bloomfield Hills and has an unconventional approach to teach students fractions.

"Ya I'm gonna take 2/4 as low as it can go - I'm gonna simplify til I can't no more," students sing, to the tune of 'Old Time Road'.

Strasberger teaches language arts and math but he's also a musician.

"I just really like to infuse music into whatever I do and I like to be creative and I like to try different things to see what will reach different students," he said.

Now his seventh-grade students are trying to help others learn math through music.

"If they think math is hard and they like music, we can put it together and they'll be learning music and math together and they'll have fun," said student Muhammad Deme.
"Everybody knows that song," Strasberger said about 'Old Time Road'. "It's probably the biggest song in the last however many years and let's give it a shot, and we made something that worked."

Strasberger reasoned that his kids can memorize thousands of songs, so why not put new lyrics to a catchy tune and memorize that? Then they apply those principles to their studies.

"We're lucky to have a good teacher - I don't think everybody in every country has a teacher like this to go to school and get to enjoy it," Enansi Wooten said.

The students definitely appreciate Strasberger and the music they're making and the math they're learning. Their video is now on YouTube at Playlist Math.

And their fraction video has been so popular, other students in the school want to join in on the next video. They're even expanding into language arts, whatever it takes to help students get excited about learning.

"It definitely makes a difference, making the effort to try something outside the box and a little different," Strasberger said.