At a time when R&B and hip hop proudly claim the title of most popular musical genres in the nation, it’s no surprise that students respond better to classroom lessons with the help of rhymes and beats. Flocabulary is a culturally responsive learning platform intended to increase achievement by bringing joy to the classroom through original, animated rap videos and their accompanying lessons that cover math, language arts, science, social studies, life skills, and vocabulary. Director of Production, Tierney Oberhammer and VP of Learning, Emily Helfgot visited the EdLab seminar in September 2018 to discuss how Flocabulary contributes to a culturally responsive classroom through representation, explicit and implicit social and emotional learning, student voice, youth culture, and global citizenship.
Watch the full seminar.
Excerpts from the discussion
@00:09 Rebecca Sullivan: It's exciting to think about making content relevant. Does valuing popular content devalue past literature? Is there value to appreciating writers from the past like Chaucer and Shakespeare, even if their style isn't as instantaneously attractive?
@08:52 William Carrington: Reminds me of programs like Reading Rainbow and Wishbone that used media to make literature more accessible to children.
@27:59 Morgan Platt: Prompting paused discussion at various points throughout the content of the videos is a really helpful way to guide students towards understanding the key highlights.
@35:00 Thomas Anderson: I won many beatbox battles in elementary school.