Saturday, September 17, 2016

Flocabulary: GIVEAWAY!!!

Engagement. It’s a word that’s constantly swimming around in the back of my mind. How can I make this content more engaging? Are my students engaged? If not, why? It’s a struggle to keeps kids engaged in this highly technological world of ours.

A couple of years ago, a colleague introduced me to a little website called Flocabulary. I blogged about it last year, which you can read HERE. However, I wanted to take the time to tell you all about it again, but this time I have some very special offers for you!

I’m excited to be partnering up with Flocabulary and giving away free memberships! Read on to find out more about what the site has to offer and the chance to win a FREE year-long subscription! You also have the opportunity to earn a 45-day extended free trial that is accessible to not only you, but everyone at your school just for entering! How awesome is that!

Before I go any further, let me assure you that I would NOT be wasting my precious time (remember I'm on maternity leave!) to write about a website unless I truly believe in it. I have been using Flocabulary for two years and because of it, my students LOVE learning new vocabulary words and they have been more- can you guess what I'm going to say?!- engaged! So please trust me when I say that Flocabulary is a quality resource and I am so proud to be partnered up with them!

Now, let’s dig in to see what this site has to offer!

What in the world is it?
Flocabulary is an educational website that provides engaging - there’s that word again! – hip hop style videos that help teachers teach content in all subject areas across a range of grade levels. No matter what you teach, you are sure to find a video to suit you and your students.  The videos are visually engaging (there it is again!) and the kiddos love them!

In the past, I have only truly utilized the Vocabulary section of the site on a regular basis, which I describe in detail HERE, but today I want to highlight how useful this site is for any subject and show you what they have to offer.

How It’s Set Up
Every lesson is centered around a video. The authors write lyrics that are fun but that also help teach the content. Additional resources are provided as well.

Let's Explore! 
I’m going to walk you through what I would see when planning to teach a unit on the three states of matter in science in my third grade classroom. Keep in mind that for any subject and topic the layout and resources would be similar.

First, I have the option to select my content area. Notice the options below. 'Vocabulary' is a separate section that is further divided into grade levels. This is the area of the site that I have the most experience with and have LOVED. Also, the site offers a 'Week in Rap' video every week that captures the world's current events in a kid-friendly way. It's an excellent way to keep the kiddos in the loop on what's going on in the world! 

After choosing my content, I then choose my grade level range:

Then, I have tons of videos to choose from within the topic of “Elementary Science.” I find the one that fits my needs for my upcoming unit.

For each lesson, the video is the core, but you have several resources to utilize besides the video itself. Regardless of the content area, the resources available to you include the following:

Let’s take a look at some of the resources available for an elementary science lesson on the three states of matter:

As you can see from the picture, I have the opportunity to print the lyrics for my students so they can follow along. I print lyrics so that after my students watch the video a few times, we simply listen and read along. Having the ability to watch and listen is great.

After listening and discussing the video, I have the option of using fill-in-the-blank lyrics that leave out key terms. This is useful because the kids can simply listen to the song instead of watching it and pay attention to the vocabulary.

After watching the video, reading through the lyrics, and discussing what we’ve learned, the Quick Review is great. The open-ended questions allow for discussion and clarification. I love the way the questions are worded and the connections made. I would have never thought to describe gas atoms as kids running around at recess! 

Next we have the option to use a printable activity. The activities vary depending on the grade level and topic, but regardless of what video you are using, the printable activity will give students the opportunity to process what they have learned and practice. Obviously, because videos are designed to appeal to a range of grade levels, the printable activity may or may not be exactly what you need, but having an option is fantastic! 

As an added bonus, a new feature just introduced this year called the “Lyric Lab” gives students the opportunity to develop their own rhymes or rap using the key vocabulary words and their choice of  music! As words are typed in the box, a box of rhyming words automatically pops up to provide students options for their rap. So cool! I personally haven’t had a chance to use this feature yet, but I look forward to using it when I get back! It would even be a great whole-class activity to sum up the learning!

Now, if you aren’t convinced to give Flocabulary a try after seeing all of that, let me entice you a little bit more! Just for signing up below, you will receive a FREE 45-DAY extended trial that’s not only for you, but for your ENTIRE SCHOOL! I mean, it can’t get much better than that! Also, you will be entered for the chance to win a FREE ONE YEAR SUBSCRIPTION! I will be giving away THREE OF THESE! Winners will be announced on October 18th. Even if you don’t win, remember that you will still get that 45-day extended free trial for your whole school! Everyone is a winner!  After signing up, you will receive information to access your free trial the week of October 18th. Sign up now! You’ve got nothing to lose!! Be sure to enter every field in the sign up box and your free trial information will be e-mailed to you. You must enter by OCTOBER 16 @ 11:59pm EST!

For now, Flocabulary has several free videos and resources that you can access without needing any kind of code. I encourage you to check them out!

Believe me when I tell you that I wouldn’t waste my precious time writing about a resource I don’t believe in. My colleagues and I have used Flocabulary and know the impact it can have on learning. Engagement is the key, and Flocabulary provides you with tools to ramp up that engagement! 

If you use Flocabulary already, I would love to hear your thoughts!

Happy teaching!!

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