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Figurative Language Feast: Flocab’s Custom Rap Contest

This November, we found ourselves dreaming about our Thanksgiving favorites: turkey, mac and cheese, sweet potato pie, stuffing. And it got us thinking: love for these feasting foods could be a source of powerful poetic inspiration for all of our rhyme-loving Flocab fans.

So we asked you – teachers and students in our community – to take part in festive lessons on writing academic rhymes. We wanted see what savory raps you could cook up, with as much figurative language baked in as possible (all puns intended). And write you did. We had so much fun reading the many inventive submissions we received (the worst yet best part was how hungry it made us).

In the end, we chose this all-star rap from Shanna Mellott’s 10th grade class at Cache High School, in Cache, Oklahoma. We thought the lyrics were so smart, and we loved how they provided examples that helped define each type of figurative language used. Watch our video with their winning original rap, and don’t miss their clever lyrics below as well. Congrats, Cache High!

Apple pie dances in the mouths of the people.
Get this song famous and go for a sequel.
Like pie pieces, poetic patterns are parts to a whole.
Alliteration got us going out of control.
Did you catch that? Yeah, I said it kind of rhythmically.
Using like or as to bust out a simile.
Take away the like and you got a metaphor.
Apple pie is American down to the core.

With all the fabulous Thanksgiving raps we saw, we had to shout-out our runners up as well. Check ‘em out!

From Cindy Kelly’s 7th grade class at St. Robert School in Flushing, MI
I’ve got rolls on my plate, rolls on my mind
buttering em up-like six at a time.
Green bean casserole-an amount insane!
Hot stuffing and potatoes, I’m gonna bust a vein.
Rivers of gravy, enough to feed the Navy.
If my plate was a pacifier, it’d stop a crying baby!
So much food, I’m never gonna stop.
Not until I eat, each and every drop!

From Amy Ardoin’s 6th grade class at Youngblood Intermediate in Houston, TX
Chicken out the oven is like a million degrees,
when you cut in the skin you see the steam.
Chicken races my heart as fast as a road runner.
Chicken is the toast to my butter.
Chicken! Chicken! Thanksgiving is so nice.
You’re about to go on the ride of your life.
Chicken talks to me as I eat it.
BOOM! I blew your mind you have to admit it.

To all the schools that entered, we thank you for your amazing creativity and hard work. We hope you’ll enter again! Don’t forget to check back for more contests to get your chance at Flocab fame.

Press Release: Flocabulary Raps Top 10 Reasons to Code for Computer Science Education Week

Brooklyn, N.Y., December 2, 2014 – Coders change the world when they’re puttin’ in the work.” It’s just one of many reasons to code, according to Flocabulary’s newest educational hip-hop video. In time for this year’s Computer Science Education Week, Flocabulary announces a free video highlighting the top ten reasons to code to engage students in computer science.

Computer Science Education Week takes place this year December 8-14, and is an initiative led by Code.org to encourage students to become interested in computer science. With “Top Ten Reasons to Code,” Flocabulary hopes to contribute to the movement of making coding accessible to young people by helping to explain what coding is and why it is an important 21st century skill. The video aims to contextualize how coders are solving problems in the world around us, highlights the perks of working in the tech industry, and also emphasizes the importance of gender equality in the field of computer science.

“I think we’d all take a few more computer science classes if we could do it over again,” says Flocabulary co-founder and CEO Alex Rappaport. “The fact is, programming is something everyone at a 21st-century company should have some exposure to, and good developers are ridiculously hard to find these days. We made this video to build on the momentum behind coding education and hopefully inspire the next generation of students to pursue careers in tech.”

“Top Ten Reasons to Code” is one of several forthcoming STEM videos for Flocabulary in 2015. The new video is available on Flocabulary’s webiste at https://www.flocabulary.com/coding and on Youtube.

About Flocabulary
Flocabulary creates educational hip-hop videos for students in grades K-12. Over 20,000 schools use Flocabulary’s standards-aligned videos, activities and lessons to engage students and increase achievement across the curriculum. The company’s team of artists and educators is committed not only to raising test scores, but also to fostering a love of learning in every child. For more on Flocabulary, visit www.flocabulary.com or connect on Twitter, Pinterest, or Facebook.

Contact:
Molly Cronin
Flocabulary
molly@flocabulary.com
718-852-0105 Ext. 28

Behind the Scenes: Making New Rap Music on a News Deadline

lobsterdamus_alwaysopen

Dillon V, dressed to the IXs

Flocab rapper Dillon V was up late waiting anxiously to see who won the World Series. His home teamthe Atlanta Braveshad been out of contention for quite awhile. So why did he care?

He needed to wait until the game ended to record the Week in Rap. Otherwise we couldn’t include the winner! (Missed the game? You can find out who won in this Week in Rap.)

We typically record the Week in Rap on Wednesday evening. That way, we have time to make the video all day Thursday, and get it to you by Thursday night! But that means that if news breaks late on Wednesday, or any time on Thursday, we don’t get to include it.

When big news is missing on a Friday, we hear from you! (Students were very mad when we missed the death of Steve Jobs.) So if we know a major news story is going to break late on Wednesday, or even Thursday morning, we’ll hold off on recording as long as we can.

Dillon told us, “I was glad that the game didn’t go into extra inningsmy bed time was getting close, and since Halloween is coming up I’ve been a little sca…eh. I was just glad to get to bed on time.”

Sometimes we even record two versions! Back in 2012, we knew the Supreme Court was going to announce its huge decision about the Affordable Care Act on a Thursday morning, so we recorded two versions of the Week in Rapone where the law was upheld, and one where it was struck down. (We just have to make sure we use the right version).

So thanks to Dillon V for staying up late to get you the news! And if you’re trick or treating around Atlanta, look out for a man dressed as a lobster.

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Dillon V, spitting rhymes as a lobster

Did we miss any news stories you wanted to see? Let us know in the comments!

Kindergarten Worksheets and First Grade Worksheets

Flocab just released a plethora of vocabulary videos for kindergarten and first grade. But it’s not just the songs and animations that are new; the accompanying exercises have entirely new formats! Here’s what to expect in these printable worksheet packets:

Word MatchVocabulary Reinforcement

Students get the opportunity to step inside the story with narrative-based activities that reinforce terms from the story.

Opportunities for Creativity & ExpressionK1-draw

These packets are chock-full of images waited to be colored in! Activities ask students to incorporate and identify words within drawings, circle pictures that illustrate given words, create their own original artwork and more.

K1-traceGrade Differentiation

We know that kindergarten and first-grade learners have different needs. That’s why the K-1 packets are differentiated based on grade level. For example, kindergarten packets offer opportunities to trace words, while first grade activities ask students to put a story’s events in chronological order.

 

 

 

Get Started

You can find these packets on the right-hand menu of any unit page by clicking the link “Exercises.” So what are you waiting for? Head over to our kindergarten and first grade vocabulary videos and dive in!

Big Idea Week

Big Idea Week

Here at Flocabulary, we believe it’s important for students to experience real-world applications of the subjects they study in school. We also know how important it was for us to have role models—people who inspired us to dream, create and learn. That’s why our co-founder and CEO, Alex Rappaport, partnered with an organization in our Brooklyn neighborhood, the DUMBO Improvement District, to create Big Idea Week.

Photo by Tory Williams

Photo by Tory Williams

Big Idea Week, which took place May 19-23 this year, is a project-based STEM curriculum designed to immerse students in the entrepreneurial mindset, allowing them to explore problem-solving and teamwork through innovation. This year, our fourth-grade friends at P.S. 307, a neighborhood school, started the week with a workshop led by Brooklyn-based entrepreneurs (from companies like Tattly, Pensa, BioLite and JRSportBrief), who shared their stories about the entrepreneurial process—from problem, to idea, to product. Since each company represented a tech-centric design, engineering or content-creating business, these founders served as real-life STEM role models for the students.

Thanks to our partners at Maker’s Row, another DUMBO company, we also unveiled a prototype of the PillowKet, a design from fifth grade students Jaylin Francois, Angelina DiLone and Hannah Hamilton, who participated last year’s Big Idea Week.

Throughout the week, students talked about identifying problems and brainstorming solutions in their classrooms, and split into groups to develop their own creative product ideas. To wrap up the week, students presented their ideas to us (along with other guests and business leaders, including Brian Lemond from Brooklyn United), showing off their fantastic drawings and allowing us to ask lots of questions. Some of the ideas we heard included: a combined rollerblade and ice skate, the “Double Skater”; a serpent-shaped vacuum, the “Snake Cleaning Slither Machine”; a combined car seat/walker/high chair for babies, the “Mood & Motion 3-in-1 Convertible Chair”; and many others.

This week, students are going on a field trip to visit the folks they met from BioLite and Pensa to check out their labs, and see where they develop all of their cool inventions. The students will also get a tour of Brooklyn Bridge Park, a park that sits on the edge of the East River, itself a “big idea” since it provides a new place for New Yorkers to enjoy nature in a space that was once vacant.

Visit the website to learn more about Big Idea Week.