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Flocab: extended free trial!

I know I’ve blogged about it before, but I’m back to tell you more about my undying love of Flocab... just in time for an extended freetrial offer!

If you haven't heard of it, check out my previous post detailing all the different features available on Flocab here. But, if you want the cliffnotes version, here it goes! Flocab is a library of hip-hop songs and music videos that can be streamed online and are aligned to the Common Core.  Seriously, they have videos on E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.

One of the focuses of my district over the past few years has been to increase student engagement. Evaluators have been paying close attention to the ways in which we, as teachers, are presenting information and getting to all students. In particular, they are looking for multiple modalities and ways to meet the needs of the kids whose interest isn’t sparked by “traditional” teaching. I had an unexpected evaluation walkthrough a few weeks ago while I was reviewing for a math midterm test. I was playing the Decimal "Chilling on the Line" video when my Assistant Principal walked in. I was a little nervous (like I always am during an observation!) but my kiddos were so engaged that they just kept on rapping along with the video. We played a review game after the video was over, and the kids did fantastic. Best of all, I got a really great evaluation write up. Win-win-win. :)

Flocab has some free content, but most of the raps and videos require a subscription to access. Real talk- that scared me! I have a really hard time spending money without knowing that whatever it is I am about to purchase is worth it. Happily, you don't have to take my (or anyone else's) word for it about Flocab. They offer a free trial.... which has been temporarily extended from 14 days to a whopping 75 days with this link! 

Full disclosure: Flocab reached out to me to tell me about this great extended free trial offer, but I am not being compensated for this post. My Flocab love comes to you free and clear. :) 

So, check it out- I think you'll love it!

Currently February 2016

February is one of my favorite months. Valentine's day, President's day, vacation, and my hubby's birthday- it's all right there, one after another. To top it off, it's a short month- so there isn't even time to get sick of it! :) Linking up with Farley for this month's Currently.

Listening: American Ninja Warrior in the background. I have to admit, I kind of love watching it! It's definitely incredible to see the athletic feats that people can accomplish. I am soooo not in that kind of shape... nor will I probably ever be! 

Loving: A few months ago, a friend of mine from grad school posted an instagram pic of her new pencil dispenser. She had gotten an old straw dispenser from her Dad's diner and repurposed it. It is seriously SO cute! I looked around a bit and shockingly they are less than $25 on Amazon. Just be careful to buy the right size- I got the "stirrer" size at first and had to return it because the pencils didn't fit in it!

Thinking: I'm trying to plan out my read alouds for February, and it's tough! There are so many books I love to read with them. It's hard to find the "just right" books for my fifth graders, though. They totally love a good interactive read aloud, but they also like to pretend to be "too cool" to enjoy it. Although they will totally love anything I read, I try to choose books that they can feel free to enjoy. I end up reading books with more complex themes, like Sister Anne's Hands (which addresses racism and prejudice in a school in the 50s) and Crow Call (which explores the complicated relationship between a daughter and the father she barely knows as returns from WWII). I highly recommend both books- they are incredible!

Wanting: One of the few perks of working in a New England school: February Vacation. I'm not sure why it started initially, but here in Massachusetts (and most of the surrounding states) we get a week off in February, starting with President's day. We then get an additional "spring break" in April, kicked off by Marathon Monday. Less than two weeks until our winter vacation.... even if it doesn't feel like winter here in Boston, where we have had less than 5 inches of snow all year. Totally not complaining, though, after we got over 9 feet last year!

Needing: I have always been an organized person, especially with my time. My desk may not always reflect my level of organization (can we say papers everywhere?!) but I have a method to my madness. Lately, though, I have been struggling to keep my schedule organized. I seem to be running a few days behind, and just can't catch up! My son is getting older, and the schedules that had been working for us are just not cutting it anymore. I will have to spend a day over vacation reorganizing it all to get my life back on the organization train.

Swooning: the Valentine's day decorations at Target are so cute this year! If only I could shop the dollar spot online... or maybe it's better that I can't. ;)

Happy February!
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