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.

18 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!

  7. Wow, what a great idea to incorporate music into your classroom! I am currently taking a music for elementary teacher class and I have been exposed to some awesome ways to incorporate music into learning. This is definitely something I would want to use in my classroom as well! I bet the kids had a blast. I love how they all sang it together, too! Being a shy kid who isn’t very good at singing (but loves singing anyway) I would be so nervous if we weren’t all singing in a group. I would love to do this and show it to my students every year so they would get an idea of what they were in store for each year. Man, I really do love this idea! Thanks for sharing!

  8. This was really interesting to me because I had never seen anything like that his done in the classroom. I really like it because, you can tell the students are engaged in the topic. This way also gives them a better understanding on the content. It also expresses student creativity which is essential for better learning of a subject. I think this is also essential for students to get out of the typical classroom environment and work on a fun project they will enjoy. I think these are fantastic ideas and I will implement them in my classroom.

  9. I absolutely loved this video and how the teachers were able to incorporate music into the classroom. It sounded like the students were having a blast recreating the song specifically for their classroom. I think it is so important to have music incorporate in all classroom it allows students to enjoy the day as well as learn new information. I think it is a huge benefit for students when they learn music to go along with the topic they are currently learning. It seems to help students learn the information and makes it fun as well! Thank you for sharing this video and giving me some ideas on how music can be introduced in the classroom.

  10. Wow, what a unique idea!! I love this! It is something very personal for the students that I am positive they won’t ever forget! These are the types of things that stand out to students. I have read through many of your posts and I am beyond inspired. After exploring, I realized that the majority of your website consists of much more than just teaching math and science. It’s about building a community within your classroom!

    Thanks for sharing your inspiring stories. Many educators and future educators, like myself, admire and look up to what you are doing! Your students sure are lucky to have you!

  11. I really appreciate how much you care for your students, and it really shows that you are for them. Making a cover video of a song that they already enjoy with positive lyrics is such a cool thing! The students looked very engaged in all of the pictures and it’s so cool that you encoorporated music as well into the everyday classroom, all while making it fun and engaging. Thank you for sharing this!

  12. Can one be instantly inspired in a one page blog post? The answer is yes!! I absolutely love this video of your students participation in this video production. Another thing I respect about this post, is the credit all throughout that you give to those that helped your classroom produce this video. Not only providing your class’ inspiration for the video but the person who helped with all the music aspects.
    Another feature I enjoy about this blog post is the succinct and ‘to the point’ writing you provide. I appreciate blogs that aren’t too drawn out but still provide adequate detail. Thank you for inspiring a future educator. I look forward to checking back more often to read more about all that you do with your students and future classes.

  13. This is amazing! As a future music teacher this is exactly what I like to see students getting involved with. The original video is such a great inspiration and I’m glad it inspired your class. Incorporating music in to general education is something that I strive for and I am glad I now have a reference to a class that has put that into action! Thank you so much for sharing!

  14. It is always such an amazing thing to see teachers bringing aspects of music into their classrooms. As a pre-service music teacher, it is inspiring to see how teachers use music to touch students’ lives – especially those teachers (like yourself) that go the extra mile to bring music into core classrooms that don’t necessarily focus on music. The Dwayne Reed song has such a positive message, what a phenomenal song to have used as a “theme song” of sorts for your class this year. In the cover, you can hear the students’ enthusiasm and enjoyment, and it was wonderful to be able to have a peek into your classroom. I can tell that you do great things with the students, and they enjoy their time with you. Thank you for continuing to bring the arts into the classroom – I am excited to see what you do in the future!

  15. This is absolutely fantastic! As a future educator with music being my content area, seeing music incorporated into the classroom in innovative ways always brings a smile to my face! By watching your classroom’s version of the music video I can tell that all of the kids legitimately love being in your classroom and enjoyed making the song. It’s great to see successful teachers breaking away from the cut and dry, lecture style teaching that so many use today. You truly are an inspiration to those trying to do new things in a classroom setting! Thank you for all you do, and the impact you make on the children you have in class. You’re making a real difference, and seeing a story like this as a future educator is quite motivating. It’s so wonderful to know that as a teacher it is actually possible to make a difference in our students’ lives! Plus, my own personal interest was peaked by the use of a music video in the classroom. Keep on putting out great content and lessons like this, and I can’t wait to keep up with your progress as ideas to use in my own classroom someday!

  16. This day sounds magical. You make me wish I could be in room 108. The way you go the extra mile to care about your students is truly inspirational. It’s one thing to care about the wellbeing of your students, but you have created a safe atmosphere where learners can grow. I’m always curious to how great teachers set up their classroom climate. Thank you so much for sharing the way you have done this with us!

  17. This is so great! I have personally experienced this kind of project with students and it’s a ton of fun for both the students and the teacher. We started by asking them “What’s on your mind this morning?”. From the list of words and phrases we composed a song – the students loved it so much that they suggested we shoot a music video. The next day we walked around our college campus in groups and shot different scenes. We put together the video with iMovie and by the end of the day we had a product that the kids were very excited to share with their friends and family.
    This was more of a “freestyle” kind of project, but it can easily be modified to fit any subject or concept. Super fun and impactful for our students!

  18. I was really surprised and excited to see non-music teachers using music in their classrooms. I am studying music education at Kansas State University and it is really assuring and inspiring to me when I see educators valuing my passion in their own classrooms!

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