Inspired by Dwayne Reed: Welcome to Room 108

Every year teaching at Positive Tomorrows in Oklahoma City, my students informally find a song that they love and brings us together as a class. This year, that song was “Welcome to the 4th Grade” by Chicago first year teacher Dwayne Reed (@teachmrreed). I discovered it early in the fall semester thanks to Twitter, and it became my students’ favorite song for us to play during the day throughout the year when they needed a boost. They loved watching it over and over, and eventually I flipped it into our SeeSaw class so students could choose to watch it on their own too.

Our class was extremely fortunate this year to work with Oklahoma A+ Schools (@okaplus) artist-in-residence Cindy Scarberry (@cscarb).  Cindy is an amazing singer, musician, and music teacher, and worked with my students once per week as our “regular music teacher.” She is also the Executive Director of the Opry Heritage Foundation of Oklahoma (@rodeoopry).

I shared the song  “Welcome to the 4th Grade” with Cindy early in our school year, but didn’t think much about it until the last week of school when Cindy sent me a mp3 file of “Welcome to Room 108.” It’s an original remix of Mr. Reed’s song, but includes special lyrics for our class and our school. It was performed my students with Cindy’s help! I imported the audio into iMovie on my iPad, and used about 80 photos of our class from the year to create a music video. I shared it with my students in our last days of class together, and of course they LOVED it!

Looking at this video now, it’s gratifying to see so many things we studied and learned together over the year. I had more turnover in my class this year than I’ve ever had, and it’s wonderful to see so many children that were part of our classroom community during the year but weren’t able to finish with us at the end. I am so appreciative for the work of Cindy Scarberry and my students in singing and performing this song! Thanks to Dwayne Reed for the inspiration.

We made a lot of wonderful memories together this year in Room 108.

6 thoughts on “Inspired by Dwayne Reed: Welcome to Room 108”

  1. Oh my goodness that is so amazing, what a wonderful tribute to your inspiration Shelley. Can’t wait to share with my future teacher and Kansas State.

  2. I have always believed in the power of music and it’s ability to bring people together. It’s so wonderful to see how Mr. Reed’s song has impacted so many lives in such a positive way thanks to your influence! I especially loved watching your students’ version of the song and the joy it brought to their faces 🙂
    I’ve had many of my education teachers talk about what a wonderful educator you are and I absolutely agree. I can’t wait to se all the things that come as a result of your presence in the education world in the future! Thanks for all you do and for being such a great role model for us future teachers! Your posts make me excited for all that my future holds 🙂

  3. I love the idea of a class music video bringing the class together and boosting morale! I also am a huge fan of using music in the classroom, so something like this would be perfect. I appreciate what you said about how the students can pick this song out on their own, giving them autonomy in the classroom. Along with this, it’s a great way to have a little pick me up on a rainy day or maybe even before test days. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Wow I absolutely love this idea! This is the kind of stuff we need to be introducing to our students because it is fun and fitting to their generation but appropriate and educational. Music is important to children and young adults and is necessary to incorporate inside the classroom!

  5. I love Dwane Reed’s authentic video. I think it’s awesome how he mixes music with introducing all of the subjects and concepts he will cover in his his class. What a great reminder to other current and pre-service teachers to put yourself out there in your own way to connect with your students by making them laugh and showing them how you are also unique and relatable.

    I also love how other teachers are able to use Mr. Reed’s video to inspire their own students to use their talents. What a fun way to collaborate with other educators!
    Thanks for sharing how the passion for teaching is being spread.

  6. I love this video! I’m sure the students had a blast making this song. I can sense the enthusiasm their voices! What a great way for the students to dedicate themselves to learning by recreating a song about everything they hope to do in their own classroom. This video is a great pick me up for students and would definitely be a mood booster on hard days. How lucky your students are to have a rocking teacher like yourself!

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