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Rappin' Math Teacher Gets Top Honor

Alex Kajitani is not your average math teacher. Sure, he loves dealing with fractions, negative numbers and decimal points. But instead of lecturing about them, he chooses to rap. Kajitani's offbeat a

 A rapping mathematician from Mission Middle School in Escondido is among five educators named as California's Teachers of the Year. KPBS Reporter Ana Tintocalis has more.
 

Alex Kajitani i s not your average math teacher. Sure, he loves dealing with fractions, negative numbers and decimal points. But instead of lecturing about them, he chooses to rap. Kajitani's offbeat approach to teaching is the main reason state education officials picked him as a teacher of the year.  

Kajitani, speaking on KPBS Radio's These Days program last year, said he first started rapping in class to get kids to pay attention.  

Kajitani: I thought 'Wow hey, there is something here.' And then the next day, something happened that have never happened before. All the kids ran into my class saying, 'Hey what are we going to do today in class? Are you going to rap again? Yesterday was the best day ever!' So I've been math rapping ever since. 

State education officials says Kajitani stood out because he's been able to make math fun while unlocking the potential in each of his students. 

Ana Tintocalis, KPBS News. 

To hear an interview with 2008 California Teacher of the Year Alex Kajitani, click on this KPBS Radio These Days archive.