Studies have shown that arts programs have a positive impact on students' abilities to achieve academic success, showcase creativity, and stay focused inside and outside of the classroom. However, as school funding drops, arts programs are often the first to be cut from school curricula. Rather than drop art completely, general education teachers have the opportunity to integrate arts instruction with other content areas in their classrooms. Traditional fraction lessons and Music-infused fraction lessons were administered to two classes of fourth-grade students. The two types of lessons were presented over two separate days in each classroom. Mathematics worksheets and attitudinal surveys were administered to each student in each classroom after each lesson to gauge their understanding of the mathematics content as well as their self-perceived understanding, enjoyment and learning related to the lessons. Students in both classes were found to achieve significantly higher mean scores on the traditional fraction lesson than the music-infused fraction lesson. Lower scores in the music-infused fraction lesson may have been due to the additional component of music for students unfamiliar with music principles. Students tended to express satisfaction for both lessons. In future studies, it would be recommended to spend additional lesson instruction time on the principles of music in order help students reach deeper understanding of the music-infused fraction lesson. Other recommendations include using colorful visuals and interactive activities to establish both fraction and music concepts.
- Fractions, Mathematics, and Music: Developing Conceptual Understanding in Fourth Grade Students
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