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We’re heading to #ISTE2016! Here’s what’s happening at the Flocab booth…

At Flocab, we love the opportunity to hang with teachers. Our inspiration levels are at an all time high when we connect innovative educators out there who share their suggestions, stories and passions. That’s one of the reasons we’re stoked to take off to Denver this weekend to kick it with edtech savvy educators from around the world at #ISTE2016!

Will you be at ISTE too? Don’t miss the Flocab crew at booth 920—we’ve got some awesome things planned. Check out our ISTE 2016 highlights below, and don’t forget to follow along on Twitter!

Sessions and PD
Our staff will lead sessions regularly throughout the conference:

  • “Flocab 411” will give visitors a crash course on all things Flocabulary, plus a glimpse at our newest features.
  • Our “Tap into WRAP” sessions will teach educators the secret to the Flocab rap formula, so they can work with students in the classroom to create their own educational rhymes!

We’ll also host a number of feature sessions led by Flocab MC Educators—check out the schedule below:

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Heading to ISTE? Join Us in a Flocab Rap Battle!

ISTE is less than two weeks away, and the Flocabulary team is gearing up for an awesome time at Booth 920.

One event we’re really pumped for is our ISTE Rap Battle, but we need your help! Now’s your chance to write and perform your own educational rap with some of Flocabulary’s very own rappers. The winner of the rap battle will get a Flocab subscription for their entire school (a $1,600 value), a Flocabulary Prize Pack for themselves, and bragging rights for the foreseeable future.

Want in? Here’s how to enter…

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Flocabulary’s Professional Development Opportunities Just Got Even Better

Is your school or district new to Flocabulary? Do you have a digital subscription, but haven’t had formal training on how to use our program? If the answer to these questions is “yes,” we’re here to help!

We strive to create an increasingly user-friendly site, but we understand that an educator’s time is precious. It can be challenging to become a pro at using any new technology under the time constraints and workload educators face. For this reason, we have enhanced our professional development offerings and devoted an entire team of highly skilled customer success managers to help you! We want to ensure the onboarding process is seamless so you can worry less about “getting started” and just start.

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Making Current Events Challenging & Creative: Flocab’s Lyric Legend Contest Winners

Earlier this spring, our Lyric Legend Contest gave classrooms the opportunity to write and submit their own lyrics to be featured in original editions of the Week in Rap Junior and Week in Rap Extra! And the winners were (drum roll please): Steven Torres’ third grade class at Felix A. Williams Elementary in Florida, and Karl Karkainen’s sixth grade class at Enumclaw Middle is Washington!

For their impressive lyrical talents, the winning contestants were rewarded with a microphone, mic stand, headphones, AND an iPad! Now they can keep making masterpieces like the WIR Junior and WIR Extra editions that were based on each class’ lyrics!

We interviewed the proud educators of these talented students to learn more about how they use hip-hop as an instructional tool. Continue reading

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Flocab’s Standards Alignment Tool is Here: How Our Content Aligns with Your State Standards

You asked, we listened! Flocabulary now aligns with all state standards.

Many educators have shared a need to see how our content aligns with their state’s specific standards. How will your favorite Flocabulary unit help your students with standardized tests? Need specifics on standards alignment to share with your district administrators? With Flocabulary’s new standards alignment search tool, teachers and administrators can easily view this information with a few clicks on our user-friendly site.

Ready to see it for yourself? Access the standards search tool here. Please note that, by default, this link takes you directly to the “All Standards” tab. For specifics on ELA CCSS and Math CCSS, click on the tabs to the right.

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5 EdTech Tools to Engage Students in Current Events

Friday is the favorite day of the week for my students, and not for the reason you would assume. They love it because it’s our day dedicated to discussing the news.

Social Studies is responsible for telling the story of everything that humans have ever done. It also is responsible for preparing our future citizens. In sixth grade, we can create connections to what we’re studying and what’s happening in the news every week – I see this as our chance to lead students to care about what’s happening in the world. And with the inclusion of regular current events, students make rich and meaningful connections into other content areas, a very positive extension of learning. I want students to continue to read the news long after they exit sixth grade and to have the skills to decide what to base their opinions on so they’re informed and active as members of their communities — as well as global citizens.

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Product Update: Pause & Play is here!

We’re excited to announce a new teaching tool, Pause & Play, which launched with our April 15 Week in Rap video last Friday. With Pause & Play, prompts and questions appear at specific points during the video to facilitate further discussion and exploration of the content. Challenge your students to dive deeper and think critically with this new feature.

Orange markers along the playback bar indicate where prompts will appear. When the video hits a Pause & Play prompts, it will appear like magic and the video will—you guessed it!—automatically pause.

Watch what happens when we reach a Pause & Play question in this gif. Pretty cool, right?

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Updates to Flocabulary’s Unit Page

If you’ve used Flocabulary over the past couple of days, you may have noticed something different about its appearance. We recently launched a new design for our unit page to improve navigation and your overall experience using Flocabulary.

Our corresponding activities, which once lived perched atop our videos, have migrated to the left-hand side—it’s the same great Flocab content you’ve grown to love, just in a new location.
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Sign in to Flocabulary with Google!

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Are you a Flocab fan and Google geek? We got you, tech lovers. Teachers and students on school or district subscriptions can now sign in to Flocabulary with their Google accounts!

Signing in with a Google account means you and your students don’t need to remember another username and password. Instead, you can use the credentials you’re already using for apps like Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Calendar.

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Writing Rhymes for Test Prep: A Spotlight on ESL Teacher Leah Simpson

When working with an ESL population, one of teacher Leah Simpson’s goals is to help students prepare for the WIDA test, an English language proficiency exam used by a number of states across the country, including her home state of Tennessee. The Warren County High School Teacher, based in McMinnville, TN, uses our Word Up Blue and The Week in Rap to help students practice Tier 2 vocabulary and bring nonfiction text into her classroom.

As part of their test preparation, students also need practice with academic vocabulary across subjects. How did Leah decide to boost subject-specific vocab with her class this year? With rhyme-writing, of course! Each of Leah’s five class periods picked a subject—math, science, social students, ELA or social/instructional language—and worked over the course of a month to compose a rap as a group. Students performed their raps for their families at Warren County High School’s ESL Family Night this fall to much celebration. Here’s what Leah told us about the experience:

Leah Simpson Post Image final

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