Well friends, I’m stopping by for a true-teacher-confessions moment….
I’m a rapping teacher. Yep – beat box, darkened classroom, EXPO-marker microphone – that was the 5th grade me. When I turned into Miss. Win-tizzle (my teacher-rapping name), the crowds went wild and I had my 5th graders eating out of the palm of my hand. Main idea, root words, allusion – yep – they were ALL about them.
A few months into the year, my Miss Win-tizzle was struggling to come up with new material. Thankfully, through a teaching friend I found Flocabualry and signed-up for a FREE trial. Flocabulary is a website that hosts a library of Common Core aligned raps for K-12. Friends, WOW! My cool factor (which was obviously high) sky-rocketed!
Last year, my 5th graders were ‘BIG kids’ and loved all things cool and hip. They thought it was beyond cool that I can ‘rap’ with the video and loved joining in. If all we did all day long was listen to Flocabulary, I am certain my kiddos would declare me the best teacher ever.
There are loads of videos covering all different subjects. Obviously, I focus mainly on the language arts videos, but if my kiddos clean up quickly enough in the afternoon, we jam out to a video of their choosing (remember, I am in the running for the best teacher ever).
From main idea, to inferring, to the stages of writing, we use a new Flocabulary video atleast once a week (with the standards listed on the page!). You can browse the videos here, without having an account or sign-up for a 3 MONTH FREE TRIAL (say what?!) here.
With every rap/video, there is an online activity that we complete together. We used Kagan’s Numbered Heads Together to work cooperatively and then, checked our answers. Sometimes, I also printed the lyrics of the song at 80% and taped them in our interactive reading notebooks. That way, when we listened to the rap, we could sing/rap along! Plus, the lyrics have the option of ‘deleting’ words, so students have to pay close attention. Each video/rap also includes a printable as an extension of the video. The printable asks students to ‘prove’ their mastery of the skill – sweet!
Using Flocabulary’s 5th grade vocabulary program, partnered with my Interactive Word Wall, we love adding high-quality words to our word wall each week. The raps feature 10 words each week (15 words when you move into the 6th grade program), practice activities, and a weekly quiz. Using this fun and hoppin’ raps, my students learn these words faster and have a greater understanding of the words’ meanings. I have been SO impressed with the Flocabulary Vocabulary program! (Note – although I love the content videos, the vocabulary rap videos take the cake. With a nice mix in word difficulty my students actually remembered and used the words MONTHS after we first studied them. #teachersuccess)
When I first joined Flocabulary it was under a FREE trial and I took the plunge and purchased the year-long plan ($96). Yes, it was pricey, but it was completely worth it. With a comprehensive vocabulary program, content videos, and hours of student engagement, it was one of my best 5th grader purchases. Personally, it was totally worth it. Also, my kids cheered when they learned I renewed the subscription (again, I am the best teacher ever ;)). If you are ready to spent the $96, consider applying for a grant from your local PTO, district, or even, Donors Choose.
PLUS, right now, you can get a free subscription for 3 months. The free trial will carry you through May, so you can work on your PTO or school to pick-up a new subscription in the Fall! My one piece of advice – doooooo it..but fast – you only have until the end of February!
Well friends, happy rapping!