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New York Teacher Drops Sick Beats For Grammar Lessons

NOEL KING, HOST:

Keeping kids' attention is a huge challenge for any teacher. At St. Charles Borromeo School in Harlem, N.Y., one teacher figured out a way.

DAVE ROBLES: (Rapping) Interjection's a word or a phrase that expresses emotion or exclamation.

UNIDENTIFIED STUDENTS: Yeah.

ROBLES: Write it out.

DAVE ROBLES AND UNIDENTIFIED STUDENTS: Write it, write it out, hey.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

That's Dave Robles. He teaches English in elementary school and created a curriculum called Grammar Raps.

ROBLES: In Grammar Raps, we essentially rap out all of the parts of speech.

MARTIN: The fifth graders love it.

ROBLES: There's a lot of anticipation. They're waiting for the beat to drop (laughter).

KING: This, says Robles, is what he wanted when he was a kid.

ROBLES: I always wanted to be the kind of teacher I needed when I was a kid. I would've - I love music. Music is life. You can use music for everything. And we do use music in other areas throughout the day in school. And I wanted to do something different with grammar.

KING: And he absolutely is.

ROBLES: (Rapping) Up, off, on, until...

(CROSSTALK) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.