Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Flocabulary...Get Singing and Learning!

I was offered a free subscription for Flocabulary. My students LOVE it! It is a site that I will continue to use in my classroom for many years to come. It is well worth the cost of the subscription, in my opinion.

The best part? How excited my students are when we log in.


What is Flocabulary?

  • Flocabulary is a web-based learning program for all grades and subjects that uses educational hip-hop music to engage students and increase achievement.
  • Teachers in more than 60,000 schools have used Flocabulary’s standards-based videos, instructional activities and formative assessments to develop core literacy skills and supplement instruction across the curriculum.
  • Flocabulary offers more than 750 instructional units to support instruction in math, science, social studies, ELA, vocabulary, current events and life skills, with new content every week.
  • We offer a deep instructional sequence that teaches standards-aligned skills and content while helping students develop literacy skills across the academic curriculum. We support teachers in all content areas teach and assess reading and writing skills through the recently-released instructional tools we offer like Read & Respond and Lyric Lab.
  • Engagement has long been the “bread and butter” of Flocabulary—our roots are in catchy and accurate educational hip-hop videos. Flocabulary’s videos create authentic engagement, our complementary instructional tools provide new opportunities for learning, and our rhyme writing tool, Lyric Lab, empowers students to get the creative juices flowing with their own educational raps.

One of our favorites is the Food Chain song. I cannot even count how many times we have played it, but my whole class pretty much knows it by heart, AND they refer back to the lyrics in science class. not only does the site have these great videos and songs, it has great worksheets to go with them!

Flocabulary is giving away three subscriptions for each blogger!  You can enter this giveaway by clicking here!   Hurry...you must enter by October 16th at 11:59pm ET.   Winners will be drawn October 18th!  Good luck!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Strongest Pasta Bridges Challenge

We are reading the book, Masters of Disaster, by Gary Paulsen in our classroom.  In the book, the three characters are trying to break a world record.  They have epic fails, but never give up.  It is a great book for upper elementary and it really gets kids excited about reading because the book is absolutely hysterical!


I created a set of STEM challenges based on real world records and then we tried to do them!  One of the challenges was to create the strongest pasta bridge with a span of at least 15 inches.  Students got 4 feet of masking tape and one box of spaghetti noodles.  Some groups were successful, and some were not, but students learned a lot and had a lot of fun!  They also got more experience working together to complete a task.






Our strongest pasta bridge actually held seven pounds of weight!  As you can see from the pictures, groups had some very different ways of completing the challenge.  I always love to see their creativity!  Click here for the link to this STEm pack.


We also used our STEM Reference Sheets for Bridges when doing this challenge.  The reference sheets help students troubleshoot and come up with ideas for a specific topic.  Click here to purchase the reference sheet.  I laminated the two pages of the reference sheet back to back on colored paper.  We can then access them whenever we do a STEm challenge with bridges!


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