Category Archives: Uncategorized

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

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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.