How do I use Flocabulary? The real question should be "When do I not use Flocabulary?" I use Flocabulary for every single subject I teach. This current school year I am teaching fifth grade. We started the year off using the Fourth Grade Vocabulary Units and have worked our way to the Sixth Grade Units. Every Monday my students burst through the doors and get started on their note-taking worksheet. I have a few students who line up at my desk so I can help them highlight the key lyrics. Once our morning announcements are off, the Active Board is switched to Flocabulary and we watch our new video for the Week in Rap along with the song. I play it on a loop as they complete their definitions and write their own sentences. We discuss the meanings of each word and I post them up on our board in neon where they remain all week. Old words are taken down and put in the basket that we use as a flashcard center. Throughout the week the students will point to the neon words when they find ways to work Flocab words in to their discussions. This usually results in some high fives and head nods as well.
Each student gets a packet every Monday that they work on each night for homework. Every morning we watch the video, sing along, and then we go through the homework from the night before. I have a few students who get pulled out for Language Arts with a special education teacher — they still make sure to get their Flocabulary packet even though they know I don't give them Language Arts grades. No one "forgets" to do Flocabulary homework in my class. They also know that they get one Flocabulary packet a week and they must guard it with their life. Friday morning they turn in their completed packet in for the Flocabulary Quiz. Anyone who makes an 80% or higher gets their quiz stapled on our Mastery Bulletin Board. I will occasionally offer up a 3 Week Challenge to the students. Anyone who gets above an 80% on their weekly Reading Quiz AND their Weekly Flocabulary Quiz for 3 consecutive weeks can come to a pizza and hot wing party. The last time I did that 30 students met the challenge... It was a lot of pizza and hot wings.
I use the US History raps along with Howard Zinn's A Young People's History of The United States and they complement each other well. When we return from spring break, my students know that they will be learning about the Cold War and the Cold War rap lyrics are already on their desks. The raps help them remember key facts, dates, and important historical figures. We also use the math raps for introducing new material and for fun review of multiplication and division facts. We just finished up Circumference and it makes me smile every time I hear a kid whisper-singing "circumference is 2 pi r" and nodding their head.
Flocabulary works. I have used it with first graders as well as middle schoolers. I use it when I teach and when I tutor. I have parents who use it with their kids at home. Flocabulary is an amazing interactive teaching tool. It's the best $5 I spend each month. This summer I will begin a master's program at Columbia in School Building Leadership. I look forward to spreading the word about Flocabulary to other future school leaders.
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