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.