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Second graders learn math by creating YouTube videos

Idaho joined 46 states across the country in celebrating “Digital Learning Day.”

State education leaders say digital learning is a huge part of the 21st Century classroom. The idea is to highlight the innovative teaching taking place in some Idaho classrooms.

A group of second grade students are writing, filming and putting together music videos to help them learn math.

Afterward, they upload it to YouTube with the hopes of teaching others what they’ve learned.

Mrs. Jennifer Duckwall’s class isn’t just full of 7 and 8 year-olds, it’s full of YouTube stars. Their 66 videos on the popular video site have more than 30,000 views.

“It seemed like a match to have them do something exciting to teach other children around the globe about math,” said Duckwall.

Whenever the kids learn something new in math, they put together a video. They do all of the writing, editing and producing themselves.

“They storyboard it out and they draw pictures of themselves, and they dialogue it out then they practice it,” said Duckwall. “They try to find the best way to teach other children.”

The kids said a video takes about a week to film, and the whole class has to chip in. The group’s video on geometry is one of their most popular, with close to 8,000 hits.

“I was doing the rapping sometimes and showing the shapes,” said Brailey Green, a student.

Duckwall said technology in the classroom isn’t just limited to one device. Her students use apps, texting, and even Google Earth in their studies.

“Technology does not mean computers in the classroom; which is what it’s always pretty much been,” said Duckwall. “It’s been, here’s your computer, here’s your classroom. That’s not what it’s about.”

“I think they will know geometry better and it will be easier for them to do geometry because it’s a fun way to learn,” said Green.

Duckwall said after incorporating digital technology, like those videos, the average math score in her second grade classroom puts her students at a 5th and 6th grade competency.

To watch the videos the students have made, visit

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