January 26, 2016

Using Flocabulary in 5th Grade {Free Trial}

I started using Flocabulary a few years ago when I discovered the "Five Elements of a Story" video on Pinterest. It was a true "Pinterest success" ;)...I had a great way to review and reinforce common characteristics found in fictional stories, and my students absolutely loved the catchy song. I mean, they begged for me to play it again and again. How could I say "No"? I couldn't...So, needless to say, the "Five Elements of a Story" rap was embedded in my brain as much as my students'. My students kept asking where I had found the video, so I ended up putting the YouTube version on my classroom website. My students would come into school and tell me that they watched it from home. They were actually excited to watch an educational video *cue jaw dropping to the floor*.

Flocabulary has its own YouTube channel. The YouTube channel (and Flocabulary website) have many free sample videos for you to tryout.

1. Flocabulary offers a wide variety of songs and videos for MANY subject areas. I teach language arts, so that's the main tab I use (along with vocabulary), but there are also videos for math, science, social studies, current events and life skills too. The life skills videos section consists of "Social and Emotional Learning" videos, as well as "Financial Literacy" videos. The "Social and Emotional Learning" videos address topics that counselors would find beneficial for students to watch, such as "Bullying", "Conflict Resolution","Managing Frustration", "Goal Setting", and many more. I used the "Oversharing" video in my classroom this year. We were starting our own Kidblogs and it was a great way to review privacy on the Internet with my students.

2. Each video has accompanying resources that you can use with your students. There are three different versions of the song lyrics that you can use with your students, as well as activity sheets to practice the skills that are covered in the video.

3. You can use the "Write Your Own Rhymes" section to have students create their own educational songs. After your students listen to some of Flocabulary's songs, you know they'll want to bust out some lyrics of their own. This section of "Flocabulary" gives your students advice for writing their own songs. And, the coolest part is that it also provides beats that they can use for the backgrounds of their songs. All you have to do is give your students a topic you're currently studying, and it will provide them with a fun way to showcase what they've learned. You can record their songs and play them for the entire class.

4. The "Week in Rap" section is an engaging way to cover current events. Each week a new video is created to recap important news stories. There is a junior version for younger students too, so check them both out to see what is most appropriate for your kiddos. There are resources that you can use with your students to check their comprehension (see examples below).

If you'd like to try Flocabulary (and why wouldn't you???), you can have FREE access for your ENTIRE SCHOOL for 75 days! That's waaaaaay longer than the typical 30 day trial you can get for your entire school. The catch is, Flocabulary is only offering this promotion from January 26th-February 29th! Make sure you click on the image below to get FREE access to Flocabulary for 75 days! What teacher doesn't like something free?!?!?

January 01, 2016

Figurative Language Poems~Freebie Included

One of my absolute favorite units to teach each year is my poetry unit! Here's a prior post that includes some of the activities that I do with my students to help them analyze and create their own poetry. As we start our poetry unit, I always begin by reintroducing and reinforcing my students' knowledge of figurative language. Figurative language is a common characteristic of poetry, and students need to have an understanding of figurative language to comprehend the poems that they read. Figurative language is so important it's mentioned in our CCSS twice (under the Reading Literature and Language strands)! I also explain to my students that they should be trying to enhance their own poetry with figurative language.

So, I created a resource that will hopefully help students gain a better understanding of each type of figurative language, provide them with a way to practice their oral reading skills, and includes an assessment of students' knowledge...Figurative Language Poems! Hopefully you will be able to use my Simile Poem Freebie in your classroom! Enjoy! :)