Calculus Can Be Funny!

Math video clips are great tools to increase student engagement. Unfortunately there are not as many good clips for upper-level classes as there are for Algebra 1 and general math. Here is a favorite of mine that is always a big hit in my workshops: Calculus Rhapsody (sung to the Queen classic, Bohemian Rhapsody) http://www.teachertube.com/viewVideo.php?video_id=178211

I was working with Henderson County High School in Kentucky earlier this month and they shared the clip, I Will Derive, with me (the teacher always learns too!). http://www.gogeometry.com/videos/calculus_i_will_derive_newton_leibniz.htm

Here are the lyrics to I Will Derive (sung to the tune of that disco favorite I Will Survive):

At first I was afraid, what could the answer be?
It said given this position find velocity.
So I tried to work it out, but I knew that I was wrong.
I struggled; I cried, “A problem shouldn’t take this long!”
I tried to think, control my nerve.
It’s evident that speed’s tangential to that time-position curve.
This problem would be mine if I just knew that tangent line.
But what to do? Show me a sign!

So I thought back to Calculus.
Way back to Newton and to Leibniz,
And to problems just like this.
And just like that when I had given up all hope,
I said nope, there’s just one way to find that slope.
And so now I, I will derive.
Find the derivative of x position with respect to time.
It’s as easy as can be, just have to take dx/dt.
I will derive, I will derive. Hey, hey!

And then I went ahead to the second part.
But as I looked at it I wasn’t sure quite how to start.
It was asking for the time at which velocity
Was at a maximum, and I was thinking “Woe is me.”
But then I thought, this much I know.
I’ve gotta find acceleration, set it equal to zero.
Now if I only knew what the function was for a.
I guess I’m gonna have to solve for it someway.

So I thought back to Calculus.
Way back to Newton and to Leibniz,
And to problems just like this.
And just like that when I had given up all hope,
I said nope, there’s just one way to find that slope.
And so now I, I will derive.
Find the derivative of velocity with respect to time.
It’s as easy as can be, just have to take dv/dt.
I will derive, I will derive.

 Think of them as educational “earworms” for your students!

Do you have any favorites? Please comment and share!

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