RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Students learn all types of lessons in the classroom each day. However, one group of fifth-graders at Cool Spring Elementary School in Petersburg gets many of its lessons through lyrics, courtesy of a hip-hop loving teacher.
Welcome to the classroom of fifth-grade teacher Bianca Fountain, better known in the halls as “The Rappin’ Teacher.” She got the name because she raps many of her lessons for her rap-loving students.
Outside the classroom, many of them like to listen to- "NLE Choppa, Da Baby, 21 Savage, Playboi Carti," said student Anthony Anderson.
However, inside the classroom, Ms. Fountain tops the charts with educational bops such as “You Got to Show Up If You Want to Glow Up.”
Clearly, she loves hip-hop.
“My older brother is nine years older than me, so I came up loving old school hip-hop - like Doug E. Fresh, Eric B. & Rakim, EPMD. Classic, old head hip-hop,” Fountain said.
But it wasn’t until she taught a lesson on figurative language late last year that she decided to school her students through beats and bars.
“They really were coming off as confused and not recognizing it. It was like ‘we don’t get it. we don’t understand it.’ And so, one of the things that I mentioned to them was that the number one place you’ll see figurative language all the time is in all the rap music you guys listen to because the majority of rap is wordplay,” said Fountain. “You have to reach kids where they are.”
Reaching the students through rap has created a classroom filled with lyrical geniuses, who now create their own content and spit knowledge on all subjects, including math.
“Hip-hop is kind of taking over the world. So, if I can reach you where you are with what you already like, and let you jump on my train with me, we’re going to learn this together,” said Fountain.
Together, they’ve not only learned their lessons and retained them through rap songs. They’ve built public speaking skills and confidence to carry them through fifth-grade and beyond.
“It helps us a lot for vocabulary and figurative language and it teaches us a lot about each subject, and then it shows how we can perform by ourselves and our talents,” said student Delajuan Clanton.
“If you really are trying to reach kids where they are and you are taking note in what they are interested in, they’ll produce. They will give you what you’re asking from them, and they’ll work hard to try and do it,” said Fountain.
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