Using Flocabulary To Support Writing Blog730x398

Using Flocabulary to support writing instruction

Let’s be real right now, teaching writing instruction can be hard – delivering the “write” instruction to all learners is hard; developing the “write” conferences is hard; finding the “write” assessments is hard! Flocabulary can help support all of your writing instruction needs as a new tool to add to your teaching toolbox! Mixing Flocabulary into your classroom is easy and gives students more control over their own learning while helping you run meaningful writing conferences that meet the needs of every writer. These 4 ideas for using Flocabulary in your writing instruction are great for all writing types and at different grades, even young learners. HOORAY!

1. Use Flocabulary videos as interactive anchor charts

We’ve been there before, teaching in front of the class when disaster strikes! You’ve lost them. Why? Attention spans are micro-thin these days. Even my first graders are wiggly worms, so I like to get them involved with my lessons. Interactive anchor charts made with Flocabulary and Nearpod actively engage students during whole group lessons and take the place of making paper anchor charts (your hands will thank you). Using the right language is important for all types of writing, and Flocabulary helps teach informative, narrative, and opinion lessons with appropriate academic language. Students follow the lesson by answering polls or completing activities while you share Flocabulary videos to introduce or review topics. One Flocabulary video my younger writers loved was Author’s Purpose. After watching, I invited students to interact with the lesson by using features like Drag and Drop or Time to Climb from Nearpod.

2. Assign Flocabulary during conferences

Productive writing conferences means giving up teacher control and allowing more student control. I know you just pictured utter and total chaos in your classroom just now, but hear me out. Writing conferences meet the needs of all writers. We dive deeper into writing skills, and you make specific writing goals for every student because all writers are different. Students not conferencing need to stay occupied but in productive ways while you pull kids back to discuss writing. Assigning Flocabulary and Nearpod activities support writing goals you set for students. Flocabulary videos give writers access to videos for research topics needed for informative writing, as well as reinforcing skills needed to sharpen writing such as grammar. Groups of students or individual students work on Flocabulary lessons to push their learning, and the Student-Paced feature lets all learners work at their own speed.

3. Create lessons for student-led talks using Flocabulary

Timmy Talker is in every classroom. You move him dozens of times, and he still finds someone to talk to! The thing is, Timmy has potential both as a writer and partner because writing is talking on paper. BOOM! Students become better writers when they know how to discuss their ideas through their writing. Student-led talks help kids get feedback from someone other than teachers. Flocabulary offers students access to academic language to discuss writing with classmates. You can use Flocabulary’s videos and vocab cards to help lead these discussions. Make Flocabulary discussions right in Nearpod using the Collaborate Board. Groups of students add their own ideas and post it within the lesson after watching videos. Students will share their writing using the right terms.

4. Check student understanding with Flocabulary

As a teacher, I caught myself saying multiple times, “Are they getting this?” It’s a reflex. Knowing students understand what you’re teaching is part of the job. However, first graders aren’t always happy about tests. Sometimes all I needed was an assessment where my students don’t feel like they are being tested. Quizzes and Lyric Lab in Flocabulary or activities tied to videos built in Nearpod check student understanding. Teachers see instant feedback on student progress to help guide instruction. Collecting all this data quickly lets teachers change instruction and conferences to fit student needs. I like seeing what students need more help with, or that they are ready to move onto another lesson.

Most teachers follow the motto, “work smart, not hard,” and that’s the fantastic thing about Flocabulary. It’s totally user friendly.  Pairing it into Nearpod is quick and easy, which gives you more time to binge watch your favorite show knowing you have tomorrow’s writing lessons covered. Nearpod even offers quickstart videos to walk you through creating lessons. The ease of it all allows you to make multiple activities with Flocabulary videos for all writers, which is what it’s all about.

Angelia Simpson

Angelia Simpson has been a first grade teacher for nine years. With a classroom full of minions, she balances the wonderful line of chaos and learning. Passions include writing, technology, reading, and Corgis.