GarageBand in a Math Class


After completing my Apple Teacher Certification (you can read more about our school’s journey to becoming 100% Apple Teacher certified here), I quickly recognized how under utilized GarageBand is in classrooms. GarageBand is a great way to allow students a chance to be creative, have a voice, reflect, create projects, and so much more. As my teammate and I were prepping to teach fractions, percents, and decimals, we were discussing how we wanted to provide some type of experience for our students that would relate directly to the real-world. After all, fractions, percents and decimals are truly all around us. GarageBand came to mind as an interactive, fun, and most importantly, easy/not time consuming way to accomplish this.

Objective: For students to understand that fractions, percents, and decimals exist all around us and that converting from fractions, percents, and decimals is an important skill to master.

Project: Radio Advertisement

Students were asked to create a 15-30 second radio advertisement in which they persuaded listeners to shop at their store.  Below, you will see the directions we provided our students with in order to accomplish this task. (You can borrow our Google doc to use with your students by clicking here and making a copy.)


Radio Advertisement Template and Script

Calling all salespeople and shoppers! You are going to create and produce your own radio advertisement for a product that is on sale. Before you start recording, you must plan out what you are selling, how much it cost originally, what percent (%) the discount will be, and what you are going to say. Fill out the template below as your planning guide. Write your script on the back. Make sure it is written neatly and grammatically correct. We will review your template and script before you begin recording your advertisement on GarageBand.

Who are you in this advertisement and where do you work?

What product are you selling?

What is the original cost (the 100%) of this product?

What percent (%) discount are you taking off?

What is the final cost of the product after the discount has been applied? *You will NOT say this in your advertisement, but we want to make sure you know.

After the students answered the above questions and wrote out their script, we gave them a quick “How to use GarageBand voice recorder” tutorial.

*Helpful hint that we learned the hard way… Be sure to turn the metronome off when you record as it is distracting. Also, GarageBand voice recorder naturally restricts you to 8 bars. The students were getting very frustrated because it kept cutting them off only a few seconds into their recording. To change the bars, click the + sign in the top right corner within voice recorder, click Section A, and turn on Automatic. By turning on Automatic, it will record until you tell it to stop.

Before the students recorded, we listened to a few different radio ad commercials as inspiration and discussed the art of persuasion. When students recorded, we had them mention their name, store, product, original cost, and percent discount. We did not have them mention the final price of the item after the discount. Why? We wanted to take the project one step further and involve their classmates. After all recordings were completed, we listened to each student’s recordings (one per day until complete) and as the students listened, they had to take the original cost and percent discount and solve for the new price.

The project was a big hit! The students were creative and loved the freedom. They even mentioned how much more fun this was than a worksheet. Of course! And did I mention how much we loved it because of the simplicity of it? Projects can be daunting because they end up stealing so much time away from our classroom. We had the students write their script and complete the worksheet for homework one night. We spent about 30 minutes in class recording the ads and then about 5 minutes per day listening to each recording.

Here is a GarageBand sample from one of our students.

Here is a link to our rubric that we used when we graded the assignment.

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