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Teacher writes rap songs to help students learn, sees huge difference in their performance

A teacher is engaging students by creating rap songs alongside her lesson plans.

“The old way of learning is out; it’s outdated,” teacher Kristin Chavis told KSLA.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

Chavis is a ninth-grade biology teacher at Green Oaks High School in Shreveport, Louisiana. She noticed that her traditional lesson plans weren’t exciting her students.

Then she had an idea.

“All of a sudden one night, I started hearing ‘circulatory system, circula-circulatory system,'” said Chavis.

Since then, she has written rap songs into her lesson plan to help students learn the material quickly.

“It’s all repetitive; it’s all soaking in,” Chavis said.

And so far, her methods have been effective, engaging students like never before.

>> Read more trending news

“If I come in any other classes, I either go to sleep or I don’t listen and drown the teacher out,” said student Ebony Reliford. “But in Ms. Chavis’ class, she breaks it down for us to understand.”

Chavis shared her raps on her YouTube channel. Check some of them out below:

April the giraffe fans, here's how you can help name the new calf

April the giraffe's long-awaited calf is finally here – but he doesn't have a name.

That's where her throngs of fans come in.

>> World rejoices as April the giraffe finally gives birth

The home of the proud mama, Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, New York, is holding a contest to name the new baby boy, born Saturday morning as 1.2 million viewers watched via livestream after months of anticipation. 

>> You can watch the birth here

To enter the contest, visit Votes are $1 each for a minimum of five votes. 

"For about 10 days, you can vote on any name or names you choose for April's new calf," the website says. "You even get to decide your own spelling. Come back and vote as many times as you'd like."

>> How long are giraffes pregnant? 

After the initial voting period, the park will reveal the top 10 names and hold another vote to determine the winner.

>> Read more trending news

The money will benefit giraffe conservation efforts, Ava's Little Heroes and Animal Adventure Park, the site saysLearn more here.

The park said it will livestream April and her calf through Thursday.

>> Watch the livestream here

Airline pilot helps feed baby of woman traveling with four children

A photo of a pilot going above and beyond for a passenger is a breath of fresh air given recent airline horror stories.

>> Related: Man forcibly removed from flight after not voluntarily giving up seat on overbooked flight

A photo shared on Instagram shows a Finnair pilot feeding a baby while aboard a flight as a passenger.

>> Read more trending news

A member of the flight crew shared the photo on Instagram, where it quickly went viral, getting more than 1,000 likes.

According to the post, a mother was traveling with her four boys, two of which were babies.

“Naturally one cannot travel with two babies on one’s lap, so we had to solve the dilemma of missing lap, otherwise it would have been a no go for mom and the kids,” the post reads.

Capt. Tom Nystrom was on the flight as a passenger and happily stepped in.

“I have children on my own,” Nystrom told Inside Edition. “So it came naturally to me to help this customer with her babies.”

>> Related: United passenger says he was bumped for ‘higher priority’ passenger, threatened with handcuffs

>> Related: All passengers on United flight 3411 to receive compensation

Hyland’s Baby Teething Tablets recalled

A popular form of homeopathic comfort for babies who are teething is being recalled.

All lots of Hyland’s Baby Teething Tablets and Hyland’s Baby Nighttime Teething Tablets are being pulled because the Food and Drug Administration found that there are inconsistent amounts of belladonna alkaloids and that the amounts can be different than what is on the packaging.

>> Read more trending news

The FDA said that the “effects of belladonna are unpredictable” posing a “serious health hazard” to kids.

The FDA told Standard Homeopathic Company, makers of the Hyland Teething Tablets, that, “There is no known safe dose or toxic dose of belladonna in children because of the many factors that affect it.”

Standard Homeopathic Company stopped producing and shipping the teething tablets in October, but they could still potentially be found in some stores.

Consumers who may still have the teething tablets in their homes are being told to throw them away.

Any questions should be directed to Standard Homeopathic Company by phone at 1-800-991-3376, Monday through Friday 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pacific Time.

Video of toddler trying to squeeze into skinny jeans warms millions of hearts

A video shared online shows an adorable toddler trying to squeeze into an old pair of jeans.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

The video, shared by Alyssa Price, shows the child standing on a bed trying to button the pants. 

>> Read more trending news

The woman behind the camera can’t help but chuckle at the little one's attempts.

The video has been viewed more than 38 million times on Facebook.

>> Click here to watch

Australian woman gives birth to 13-pound baby without epidural

A mother in Australia knew she was expecting a big baby, but even she was shocked when she realized how much her new bundle of joy weighed.

Natashia Corrigan gave birth in January to Brian, who weighed a whopping 13.4 pounds, according to News 7.

>> Read more trending news

Even more amazing, Corrigan managed the difficult delivery with only the help of nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas. She chose to go the more natural route by not receiving an epidural.

Corrigan said on Facebook that she thought Brian would weigh 11 pounds at most. According to News 7, the baby weighed 9 pounds at the 36-week mark of Corrigan's pregnancy.

Corrigan, Brian and the family are doing well. Corrigan has two other children, both girls, who didn't tip the scales like their baby brother did.

Pregnant mom shares stunning ultrasound photo of twins 'kissing' in womb

A set of twins have gone viral, and they haven’t even arrived yet.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

Twenty-four weeks into her pregnancy, Carissa Gill got an ultrasound of her twin baby girls at Fetal Vision Imaging in Croydon, Pennsylvania. She was surprised to see her baby girls embraced in a snuggle, appearing to share a kiss.

>> Read more trending news

“I would love to share this story with the world,” Gill told WTXF. “Pregnancy is a beautiful thing to capture, especially when you get moments like this.”

>> See the image here and here

Former Miss Montana under fire for tweets about her special-needs students

A former Miss Montana-turned-West Fargo, North Dakota, teacher whose winning platform was inclusive education for students with disabilities is under investigation for tweets about her special-needs students at Liberty Middle School – and their parents.

According to WDAY, Sheridan Tihista, formerly Sheridan Pope, is under fire after anonymous concerned parents printed out 20 pages of tweets from the teacher they deemed offensive.

>> Watch the news report here

In one tweet, Tihista reportedly referred to moms of children with autism as “monsters,” and in another she called the students “Satan.”

WDAY reported that another tweet said the best part of teaching children with autism is that her lesson plans never have to change because the kids “loooove routines!”

“I yelled at my student today and accidentally called him by my cat’s name…. not even ashamed bc that’s how annoying he was” and “I’m going to start a blog under a pseudonym called '[Expletive] My Students Say'” were also among the controversial tweets.

>> Read more trending news

Tihista’s Twitter account had been fully public but was made private after the complaints were lodged. Now the Twitter account is completely gone.

Although she declined to be interviewed, she did send a text to WDAY.

“My tweets may have been distasteful but don’t illustrate what kind of educator I am,” she wrote.

Interestingly, Tihista had been in the news before for being bullied out of a sorority.

Her conduct is currently under review and her future at the school uncertain.

Florida teacher fired over eyebrow-raising 'How comfortable am I?' assignment

A middle school teacher from Hernando County, Florida, is out of a job after a “How comfortable am I?” assignment came to light. The source of the assignment was a book called “Exploring White Privilege.”

The teacher at Fox Chapel Middle School gave students an assignment that asked them to circle a response of how comfortable they were with living in a predominantly black neighborhood, single moms on welfare, mothers “coming out” to their children, gay neighbors, being invited to a gay bar, having a Jewish roommate and more.

>> Watch the news report here

The response choices ranged from “Not Comfortable At All" to "Completely Comfortable.”

The teacher, identified as Daryl Cox by WTSP, has been fired.

The Hernando County School District said, “In no way does that assignment meet the standards of appropriate instructional material.”

Mothers and students speaking to WFTS condemned the assignment.

“‘How comfy are you if you see a group of black men walking to you on the street?’ That’s completely inappropriate. In no world, whatsoever, is that OK to question a child on,” mom Jennifer Block said.

>> Read more Floridoh! stories

“I thought it was very inappropriate. I thought some of them were racist. I thought some of them were sexist. I thought it was completely intolerable,” sixth-grader Tori Drews added. “There were children that were saying this is wrong. ‘Why are we doing this?’ ‘Does this have a reason?’ She was going, 'Yeah this is kind of wrong ... maybe I should take it back.'”

Drews said the teacher immediately backtracked on the assignment and said, “No. Don’t show your mom.”

“Kids were asking if they could share it with their parents. She was like, ‘No. Don’t show your mom. Don’t take that home. I’m taking it back up,'” she said.

>> Read more trending news

The student said the assignment was part of her “Leader in Me” class, which was meant to teach about accepting the differences of people.

“I believe that it was very wrong what she did. That she didn’t ask anybody before she gave it out. But I think that maybe she should have been put on a break and had like another training on something like that,” Drews said.

As WTSP reported, the assignment’s source was a book called “Exploring White Privilege” written by Robert Amico, who gave the following comment on the story:

"There is a survey in the appendix of my book titled “How Comfortable Am I?” under 'Self-Assessment Exercises' that offers readers an opportunity to assess their comfort levels in a variety of possible situations that cover a range of issues, including race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, disability, religion, and so forth. The results can direct readers to areas worth further exploration for personal growth. I hope this helps."

Cox has not responded to media requests for comment.

Dad's heart-stopping images of his daughter in 'dangerous situations' go viral

Dad Stephen Crowley of Dublin, Ireland, is a skilled prankster. He loves to Photoshop his 18-month-old daughter, Hannah, into dangerous scenarios, then post those photos on Instagram.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

"I thought it would be fun to worry family by putting someone delicate in precarious situations," he told HUH magazine. "Most of the reactions have been positive, with the odd person not getting the joke and commenting I 'should be shot.'"

>> Read more trending news

According to Mashable, Hannah went through chemotherapy and had a bone marrow transplant to treat hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, or HLH. Crowley is now trying to raise awareness about donating bone marrow. Learn more here.

>> Click here or scroll down to see some of his viral images

– The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

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