Chesterfield Elementary second-grade teacher Jennifer Cochran has arranged her classroom with colorful rugs, flexible seating and desk lamps to enhance student learning. She has recently added extra elements -- a new collection of vinyl records and vintage-style record player.
Cochran treasured 12-inch flat discs since she was 10 years old, but her old collection didn't last long. They were donated or thrown away. Decades later, she is sharing similar tunes -- with her students.
"I got the idea to re-create that same collection I had as a child," said Cochran. "I started going around to different record shops and buying similar albums that I had as a child, which was mainly music from the '80s."
From classical to rock music, Cochran plays these tracks when students are either reading, working on a writing assignment or cleaning the classroom on Friday afternoons.
"It helps us focus and think because everyone is quieter," said student Dax Dayley. "Sometimes when we do centers, we will turn on the music, too."
Cochran said it is important to incorporate music in the classroom.
"It helps my children connect with one another and with me," she said. "It relieves stress, keeps them engaged and makes our day more fun and meaningful."
Assistant Principal Theresa Rose said, "The students are able to see this as part of our history, and it's nice to see her share something she had at their age."