My son loves singing and can repeat the lines to most songs he listens to. He once had a difficult time with one of his spelling words, so I put it to music and, sure enough, he mastered that word without a problem. I use music in the classroom for the same reason–because kids will memorize a song or understand lyrics long before they’ll get the long-winded explanations of a teacher in the classroom. That’s why I emailed the folks at Flocabulary and asked if they’d partner with me and help my students gain access to their resources if I’d tell others about how I use Flocabulary in my classroom.
I’ve written a similar post for The Educator’s Room, when I wrote about why teaching with music works, but I didn’t talk about what Flocabulary had to offer. Flocabulary offers videos on multiple subject areas, including The Week in Rap, Vocabulary, Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, Math, and, a new area, Life Skills (which includes Financial Literacy and Social/Emotional Learning). I use Vocabulary, Language Arts, and Math most often, and The Week in Rap gets used during my homeroom periods to keep my students informed of what’s going on in the world. They love it!
In my Language Arts class, I have several different vocabulary levels running at the same time. That’s all possible because I assessed my students using Flocabulary’s diagnostic tests and my students can log in to Flocabulary, watch the videos, and get individualized vocabulary packets for their levels. Flocabulary has suggested activities to complete with the students to practice their skills. Each level has its own assessments for each packet. I’ve had students grow out of their vocabulary levels and into new levels. The good news is that the range is broad, so the potential for growth is huge, but if you start a student out at a level that’s too high, you can always move down a level.
If you click on a specific vocabulary level, you’ve got everything you need right at your fingertips, but you can also toggle the switch off if you want to turn the teacher’s guide off. Flocabulary also uses infographics through every one of their videos as an added bonus to aid in comprehension of key terms of each video. You can use this feature in the Vocabulary section, in Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, or any other section. I’m demonstrating it in the graphic below.
You can also search by Common Core Standards on Flocabulary if you’re looking for a particular standard to align to because it’s aligned to the Common Core, and it’s also proven to increase vocabulary proficiency and raise scores on state reading tests. But I don’t feel that’s the most important reason to use it. My students love Flocabulary because it’s fun, the videos make them laugh, and they don’t even realize they’re learning when I use it.
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If your school or school district doesn’t already use it, Flocabulary does offer a free 90-day trial now for school districts and for individual schools. Typically the free trials only last 14 days, so it’s a real bargain, and an awesome deal, but it’s only available until February 28th, so if you know a school district or school or you’re in a school that might use it, please spread the news! I can’t think of a better gift for students than this program! I paid out-of-pocket so that my students would benefit from it, but I did get a bump-up on my individual subscription for spreading the word so that more of my students could access it at a time. I’m hoping my school takes advantage of this 90-day trial so that more teachers and students will reap the benefits of using music to educate their children. If you’re homeschooling, they may work with you on a pricing plan – just let them know you wanted to take advantage of the 90-day free trial but you’re not a school and see what they say. It couldn’t hurt, right?
Note: I did not receive any monetary compensation for writing this post and will not receive any benefit from anyone signing up for Flocabulary. As compensation for me writing about their program, Flocabulary added 9 students to the subscription that I already paid for so that I could help more students in my classroom.
Originally posted 2015-02-22 23:28:50.