ABOUT STICKY LEARNING //
Sticky Learning is a brand new approach to thinking and learning. Brain research indicates that when two or more of the senses are engaged in any one particular activity at one time, students are much more likely to commit that information to long-term memory. For decades, experts have touted the benefits of addressing the various learning styles when teaching. English vocabulary, in particular, has been taught the same way for years : you simply give your students words to memorize and then you give them a test to see if they know the word. The question then becomes: Will they still know the word a week from now, a year from now, ten years from now? The answer is usually "no." Even if the students do remember a few words from a series of vocabulary lists throughout the school year, they still just know those few words. If they learn Latin and Greek root words and prefixes, not only can students make connections to other languages, but also students can make an educated guess as to what a large, unfamiliar word might mean--if they know the root.
Sticky Learning has created a brand new approach. Think about it: if you hear a song enough times, you remember the lyrics forever--especially songs that you enjoy. If the tune is really catchy, that information is there for good. Our mission at Sticky Learning is to create original, enjoyable, and relevant music, as well as curriculum, that teaches students real content that they will remember for the rest of their lives. And trust us, it works! Jenny Henry, co-creator of Sticky Learning, has been using these methods in the classroom for eight years with great success. Frequently, Jenny's students will ask "Will you play the song now?" or "Can you put this on my iPod?" Parents often tell her that she needs to start selling the songs because they see the value and benefits to using them. (For some testimonies, click here). Most importantly, because the words are put to music, the students remember the words way beyond the day of the test.
Throughout the past eight years, over ten songs have been written and used in Jenny's classroom, as well as other teachers from Dixie Heights. We don't plan to stop anytime soon; in fact, we have only just begun. With the production of each song, a progression of quality in both the songs and the teaching methods has occurred. While our repertoire also includes songs on grammar and various literary works, we eventually settled on primarily writing songs that teach Latin and Greek roots. So much of the English language can be traced back to those roots and it becomes a way of teaching more words with less time spent on them. Richard A. LaFleur, in the essay "The Practical Benefits of Studying Latin," writes:
One of the most PRACTICAL benefits of studying Latin for high-schoolers is boosting verbal skills and scores on tests like the SAT; students with two or more years of Latin typically score 140-160 points higher on the SAT than their Latin-less peers. Numerous studies have demonstrated a significant positive correlation between studying Latin and improved scores on a variety of tests and even with college GPA and performance in college English classes.
WHO WE ARE //
The Sticky Learning Company consists of the husband and wife team: Ryan and Jenny Henry. In 2001, the two recorded their first song for Jenny's High School English class and "Sticky Learning" was born. Throughout the next seven years, the two have written and recorded over ten songs that have helped high school students with learning Latin roots, prefixes, and even "Canterbury Tales." Ryan and Jenny have been married for eight years and have two children.
History // from Jenny...
Like many in my profession, I have always known that I wanted to be a teacher. I can remember lining up my dolls and stuffed animals, at the age of five, and teaching them the day’s lesson. Each year when I get my new students, I am faced with the welcomed challenge of making learning stick. All through high school I created chants, jingles, or cheers to help me remember key information, so it isn’t at all strange that I started writing songs to help my students learn. My husband Ryan is a gifted musician and when I reached a proverbial brick wall trying to get my students to memorize prepositions, linking verbs or the Prologue to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, I turned to him. While Ryan does have a Bachelor of Arts in Music, it is really his experience in a band for twelve years that fostered his creativity and enabled him to become so proficient playing, writing, and producing music. I’ll be the first to admit that our initial attempts were, shall I say, less-than-stellar, but they still worked in the classroom.
As time progressed our music became much better and I further developed and perfected my craft. If I want the students to value their time spent on learning, I have to present them with material that is high quality. Every time I researched "music" and "learning" the results were aimed at elementary school--not high-schoolers. I don't have to explain to you how the audience is quite different. I have learned first-hand that 14 to 18-year-olds love the creative teaching methods, too. Many of the ideas and methods that I use have been changed and made better because of student feedback.
About Jenny //
M.A. Education / Graceland University
B.A. English / Northern Kentucky University
8 years Teaching Experience
About Ryan //
B.A. Music / Northern Kentucky University
12 years Songwriting / Producing / Engineering Experience
15 years Vocal Performance Experience
12 years Acoustic Guitar / Mandolin / Keyboard Experience