Celebrate Financial Literacy Month with Flocab!

With April marking Financial Literacy Month, it’s a great time to get funky with some financial knowledge!

Back in the fall, we released a new video series for teaching financial literacy. Why financial literacy, you might wonder? We know that these concepts are very important for students (and adults), many of whom are starting their first jobs and thinking ahead about going to college. Personal finance knowledge is necessary for students preparing for their futures. At the same time, we know personal finance can be – we’ll say it – boring for young people. So when CUNY and HESC asked us to partner on the subject, we felt it was the perfect time to create a series of videos and classroom activities to support lessons on setting SMART goals, handling student loans and a bunch in between.

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We’ve had great conversations with teachers around the country using our video series about some of their best financial literacy lessons. We loved how these teachers were bringing financial literacy to life, so we had to share. We hope their ideas will inspire you as you plan your own ways to celebrate Financial Literacy Month!

  • “I used Flocabulary’s financial literacy video and worksheet on paying for college. The students were very into the video and after they completed their research, we were able to have discussions on why someone would choose to spend the extra money on a private school. After the research and discussion I had the students use the worksheet to write a one page paper comparing and contrasting the reasons to choose each of the levels of college.” - Theresa Snow, high school instructional support services, New York
  • “Every week we have a new “economics” word of the week. We then tie it into our word generation debates, using words used for every core area.” – Marie Green, 8th grade social studies teacher, Michigan
  • “I had the students create their own product and sell it to the rest of the class, keeping in mind that setting a realistic price that will help them sell their product was key. They were given guidelines to create their product and help was provided. They learned that when creating their price, it was wise to make it cost enough so they could make a profit, but not too much where they couldn’t sell it. All of the students then went “shopping” and had to stay within a given budget. The students had a blast and learned the power of advertising and how the customer is often deceived.” – Andrea Smolin, high school resource, personal finance, and inclusion English teacher, Virginia
  • “The first financial literacy lesson I led was related to understanding the stock market and how it relates to the everyday person. My students were thoroughly engaged as they pretended to be stockholders and business owners.” - Mechele Arnold, business education teacher, Georgia

Now, we want to hear from you – how are you making finance topics fun and relevant for your students? Post your lesson ideas and learnings in the comments below!

For more Financial Literacy Month resources, visit the JumpStart Coalition and The Council for Economic Education

The Week in Rap Extra: Read All About It!


Here at Flocab HQ, we’ve been thinking a lot about the news topics that seem to come up week to week. For every Week in Rap video we release, we try to make sure to give you a quick summary of a bunch of major headlines – and sometimes, we don’t have time to dive deep into the larger, important issues (we’re working with a two-minute rap video, you know?!).

That’s why we’ve decided to kick off a new type of video – the Week in Rap Extra. With this series, we’re providing a more in-depth resource to help explain complex topics and events. We will release these videos throughout the year as different issues dominate the news cycle –  you can use them alongside our regularly scheduled Week in Rap programming.  And like our weekly videos, you’ll see each WIR Extra video comes with challenge questions, interactive lyrics and activities for classes looking to spend more time on the subject.

For our first edition, we decided to cover ISIS, since the the Week in Rap has featured many headlines about the group over the last year (because of ISIS’s nature, this video is appropriate for students grades 5 and up). To create this video, we did a lot research, looking at reputable news sources (like the ones we link to in our interactive lyrics) to offer the background and context you might be looking for. We hope this video helps you learn and talk about a topic that can be confusing and scary.

With the launch of our first edition of Week in Rap Extra, we’d love to hear what you think! Share any thoughts and feedback by filling out this quick survey. We’re all ears – and we’ll keep your answers in mind when we create our future editions.

Student Oxymorons

Every week, our Week in Rap Shout-Out Contest gives students an opportunity to win a shout out for their school in the next Week in Rap. For this week’s contest, we challenged you to create original oxymorons. Oxymorons seem to contradict themselves, and this contradiction can be a powerful literary device. Phrases that seem nonsensical at first can force the reader to dig deeper to understand their meaning.

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Real-life Superheroes

Every week, our Week in Rap Shout-Out Contest gives students an opportunity to win a shout out for their school in the next Week in Rap. For this week’s contest, we asked you to tell us about someone you consider a superhero. An average citizen who went above and beyond (like Wesley Autrey), a celebrity who inspires you, or even a teacher or coach who changed your life for the better. Who would you call super?

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Looking Back on 2014

Every week, our Week in Rap Shout-Out Contest gives students an opportunity to win a shout out for their school in the next Week in Rap. For our final contest of 2014, we asked you to take a look back at the last twelve months. In your opinion, what defined the year 2014? Was there a particular trend, news story or other even that you thought represented the year as a whole?

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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.

Molly Cronin
718-852-0105 Ext. 28

“Find” A Poem

Every week, our Week in Rap Shout-Out Contest gives students an opportunity to win a shout out for their school in the next Week in Rap. For this week’s contest, we asked you to ‘find’ a poem by removing, rearranging, and/or restructuring an existing text. A found poem takes existing words and phrases and rearranges them into poetry. A newspaper article, a passage from a novel, a school essay—any piece of writing can be used to create a found poem.

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