Joseph P. Liberati Intermediate School Students Create El Niño PSA to Win a Week in Rap Shout-Out!

Every week, we challenge students to think, write and create for a chance to get their school in the spotlight with The Week in Rap Shout-Out Contest. Last week’s prompt: Create a PSA. With the recent coverage of El Niño’s effects around the world, students in Ray Hanks’ 6th grade social studies class at Joseph P. Liberati Intermediate School won our Shout-Out by researching the complex weather pattern and creating a top-notch video to inform and prepare the public. Read on to learn about their PSA-crafting skills…

Joseph P Liberati Intermediate School

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“Five Things” for NaNoWriMo

Five Things video

Flocabulary has a natural fondness for organizations with funny names. So when we heard about NaNoWriMo we were intrigued. Turns out, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, and it’s an organization that gets people to write an entire novel in the month of November. In 2014, 300,000 adults embarked on a November noveling quest, and perhaps more impressively, 90,000 kids wrote novels in their schools with NaNoWrimo’s Young Writer’s Program!

If you and your students are writing with the NaNoWriMo Young Writers Project–or if you’re working on slightly shorter stories–our “Five Things” rap video will help your students review the five elements of a story: Plot, Character, Conflict, Theme & Setting “…yes these are the five things!” And older NaNoWriMo novelists may also enjoy getting back to the basics of the craft with our free video.

The Complete “Five Things” Lesson Plan

After you’ve watched the video, you can click on the lyrics to learn more, answer challenge questions, and analyze or plan your own story using our complete “Five Things” lesson plan and worksheet.

Happy Noveling!

Bye Buffering: New Variable Video Streaming Means Better Playback

Fall – it’s a great season for feasts, foliage…and new Flocab features. We’re always looking to improve so Flocabulary works the best it can for teachers and students, and recently, that meant addressing an issue we’ve heard from a number of educators out there: buffering. With our latest feature, you have the option of adjusting the playback quality for every Flocabulary video, from high definition (HD) to 240p, the lowest quality option. Adjusting your playback quality offers a quick fix for when internet issues arise.

HD feature image

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Durham Intermediate School Students Create Awareness Crazes for Wildlife Conservation to Win a Week in Rap Shout-Out!

The Week in Rap Shout-Out Contest challenges students to think, write and create to win a shout-out for their school each week. Students in Ms. Loewen’s 6th grade class at Durham Intermediate School in Southlake, TX took things a step further, acting as designers and advocates to win Friday’s shout-out. Read on to learn about their ideas to bring awareness to their favorite environmental and wildlife causes with some creative fashion crazes.

Durham Intermediate School

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Why Flocabulary Takes Field Trips to Schools (And Why Every Edtech Company Should, Too)

At Flocabulary, we visit the classrooms of NYC teachers as often as we can to observe Flocab lessons, answer questions and gather feedback. We went on our first visit of fall 2015 today and had a blast! Our Product Director, Aliza Aufrichtig authored this post, originally published on, to explain why we started this classroom visit tradition and how other edtech companies can do the same. 

First Student #336 by ThoseGuys119, available under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

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The Week in Rap Shout-Out Contest: Congrats Slatington Elementary School!

Each week, we challenge students to think critically, create and innovate to win a shout-out for their school through The Week in Rap Shout-Out Contest. Friday’s winning entry came from Mrs. Coppolecchia’s 6th grade English class at Slatington Elementary School in Slatington, PA, which designed a way to improve on existing camera technology. Here’s what they thought up!

Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 12.14.53 PM

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Milton Hershey School’s 2nd Graders Use 3D Printing for Good to Win the Week in Rap Junior Shout-Out Contest!

The Week in Rap Junior is new for Flocab – and keeping pace with the program’s big bro, The Week in Rap, we kicked off a shout-out contest just for our Junior viewers! In a recent edition of the series, we introduced the technology of 3D printing and asked students: if you could print a 3D object, what would it be and why? This question “hijacked the entire learning day” (luckily, in a good way) in Mrs. Halliday’s 2nd grade class at Milton Hershey School, winners of the shout-out. Read on to learn how these students used the challenge as a chance to do some good for the world.


Mrs. Halliday’s class watches The Week in Rap Junior every Friday. After watching the video, they use our interactive lyrics and do a close read of an article that sparked the students’ interest. Sometimes they’ll use their personal whiteboards to write about the cause and effect of a story, or write two facts and an opinion – they even pull out their class microphone from time to time to share their opinions loud and proud.

Mrs. Halliday wasn’t sure what students would think about 3D printing, but because their school recently added a STEAM lab with a 3D printer, she was ready to give the contest a shot. It turned out the class was enthralled! Students’ curiosity fueled a day of 3D printing conversation, research and innovation. Students wanted to know what was already being 3D printed, leading the class to use research skills to find relevant news. In their search, they learned about a baby who was given a breathing apparatus made from a 3D printer, and students were hooked.

Mrs. Halliday’s classroom has an initiative they call #kindnessmatters – as part of building their classroom community, it’s a theme they use to discuss how even small acts can make a difference. They used their #kindnessmatters theme as a lens to explore 3D printing as well.

Later in the day, students met up with their STEAM coordinator, Mr. Crowley, who told them that 3D printers can even create prosthetic limbs. He shared Enabling the Future with students – a network of volunteers who use their 3D printers to create free prosthetic hands for underserved populations around the world. The students were so excited about the prospect of giving back that at the time of publishing this post, they are still working with Mr. Crowley on printing a prosthetic hand for someone in need.

See Mrs. Halliday and her students as they discuss their ideas for ojects they would print in 3D, including their project for Enabling the Future!

FlocabJr 3d Printing from Christine Halliday on Vimeo.

When we spoke with Mrs. Halliday about this project, she noted how design thinking is such a big theme in education right now, and how creating links to the real world is so important. She also shared her thoughts on the process of presenting students with a problem and empowering them to come up with a solution. “I think there’s so much power in letting kids know that they can be problem solvers and that most problems are surmountable, if you’re willing to use your resources and time. This project was a really clear example of that.”

A big shout-out to Mrs. Halliday and her students for inspiring us to think about using technology to change the world!

Do your Week in Rap Junior fans want a shout-out? Click here to find out about the next Week in Rap Junior Shout-Out Contest Challenge.