Showing posts with label The Week in Rap. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Week in Rap. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Bad News - The Week in Rap Is No Longer a Free Service

For the last couple of years I have promoted Flocabulary's weekly video series The Week in Rap as a nice little resource for current events lessons. Unfortunately, I've just learned that Flocabulary is now going to start charging $5/month to access the videos. They also are now promising to include some activities and quizzes to go along with the video.

I don't think I'll spend the money for a subscription because CNN Student News provides the same thing (minus the rap music) for free on a daily basis. But if you're interested, Flocabulary is offering a free trial subscription so you can evaluate it before buying it.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Last 18 Years of News in Rap

Just like CNN Student News, The Week in Rap is going on hiatus for the summer. In their last episode before the summer instead of just covering the last week of news, The Week in Rap is covering all of the big stories from the last 18 years. This is a great way for students who are about to graduate to be reminded of all that has happened in the world in their lifetimes. The video is embedded below.


The Last 18 Years in Rap 1993-2011 from Flocabulary on Vimeo.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Week in Rap - Flooding, NASA, and More

Shannon Miller's Tweet about it reminded me that it has been a while since I've posted an episode of The Week in Rap. For those who haven't seen it before, The Week in Rap is a weekly summary of news headlines from around the world set to rap music. This morning I discovered that if you go to The Week in Rap website you can read a transcript of the video that includes hyperlinks to news articles about some of the headlines in the video. You can watch this week's episode and read the transcript here.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Week in Rap

It has been a while since I've posted The Week in Rap. For those that haven't seen it before, The Week in Rap is a short overview of some of the week's biggest stories in politics, business, sports, and entertainment. I've found that the video is a good jumping-off point for classroom discussions and independent student research about current events. Watch this week's episode below.

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Week in Rap - Rain, Sleet, and Snow

This morning Flocabularly released another edition of The Week in Rap. This week's news rap covers stories about snow across the US, floods in Australia, Haiti a year after the earthquake, the shootings in Arizona, Wikileaks, voting in Sudan, and Hillary Clinton's trip to Yemen. Watch the video below.


Jan 14th - The Week in Rap from Week in Rap on Vimeo.

Applications for Education
As always, The Week in Rap provides a quick way for you and your students to review the biggest news stories of the week. Here's a quick activity you can do with The Week in Rap; Have students take a topic from the rap and investigate in more depth then share their findings with the class.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Year in Rap - Top News of the Year

As the year winds down there will be plenty of "year in review" news videos and news articles. Not too many of those, if any, will be quite like Flocabulary's Year in Rap. As you might guess, the Year in Rap is a short overview of the year's biggest news stories. Watch the video below.

The Year in Rap: 2010 from Week in Rap on Vimeo.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

60 Second Civics - Listen and Learn

In my post about the 2010 Edublog Awards (voting is still open by the way) I mentioned that looking through the lists of nominees is a good way to discover new blogs, people, and podcasts to add to your list of learning resources. I didn't just write that advice, I took it and discovered a new podcast that I really like.

60 Second Civics is a daily podcast produced by the Center for Civic Education. Each 60 Second Civics episode offers a short lesson about US Civics. Along with each episode is a one question quiz about that day's episode. Currently, the podcasts are focused on a comparison of British Parliament and US Congress.

Applications for Education
Playing 60 Second Civics could be a good "starter activity" at the beginning of a US History or Civics class. You might consider combining and or alternating the use of 60 Second Civics with a resource like CNN Student News or The Week in Rap.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Interactive Activities about US Government
60+ Virtual Tours & Webcams for Social Studies
Which Founder of the United States are You Most Like?

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Week in Rap

The Week in Rap is back again today with another short lyrical overview of the week's news. If you can't view it online, you can download it from The Week in Rap website as a WMV file. Teachers of my age might notice that this episode features Supa Dave West from De La Soul.

The Week in Rap - Sept. 24th from Week in Rap on Vimeo.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Week in Rap is Back for 2010-2011

The Week in Rap produced by Flocabulary is a free weekly rap video recapping the week's biggest news stories. The Week in Rap is back for the 2010-2011 school year. The first video of the new school year came out today. This week's video is a recap of the summer's biggest stories. Watch the video below.

The Week in Rap - 2010 Summer Recap from Week in Rap on Vimeo.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Biggest Stories of the Semester

Today, CNN Student News released their last episode until next fall. As a part of today's episode, CNN Student News takes a look back at some of the biggest stories of the semester. Watch the video below.


The Week in Rap is also wrapping-up for the school year. Instead of focusing on just the last semester, they're wrapping-up the last eighteen years. Watch the video below.

The Last 18 Years In Rap from Week in Rap on Vimeo.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Week in Rap

I've written a couple of posts about The Week in Rap in the past. There are roughly 4,000 more readers now than the last time I posted The Week in Rap so I thought it would be worth sharing again for those who haven't seen it before. Every Friday The Week In Rap posts a weekly news summary in the form of a rap music video. The videos cover stories from national and international politics as well as sports and entertainment news. I've embedded this week's video below.

Week in Rap 3.12.10 from Week in Rap on Vimeo.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Using Technology to Find Students




Using technology tools with high school students is always a good idea. Okay, maybe that statement is a bit bold, but let’s face the truth. High school students are more connected to online forums, Facebook accounts, and cell phones than ever before. Meeting students “where they are” requires meeting them online.



Knowing that students are comfortable in collaborative digital arenas, I felt compelled to try a few technology tools with a tough group of students this fall. These students were very diverse, they all struggled with writing, and they HATED school.



What can I say? I love a challenge!



I started small. I replaced Time Magazine articles with “The Week in Rap” to teach a current event lesson one Friday. (The Week in Rap is a hilarious music video that summarizes the week’s events in less than 5 minutes!) At first, my hooded sweatshirt-wearing cherubs were skeptical. By the end of the segment, they were begging me to watch it again! After using this tool, I was ready to take them to the next level: Etherpad!



What’s Etherpad you ask? Well, Etherpad is a free tool that allows users to collaborate in real real time. There’s no need to refresh your screen with Etherpad, it automatically updates every .5 seconds! To top it off, there are no sign-ins required. I should also note that Etherpad was recently bought by Google, but they have open sourced the code resulting in alternatives such as Pirate Pad.



After watching the “The Week in Rap” video, I asked them to find a computer. I had already opened an Etherpad on each computer, so the students only needed to turn on their monitor. I pre-populated the Etherpad with a prompt relative to the video we had just watched regarding the unemployment rate for teens.



At first, the silence in the room was deafening. Then, gasps and questions came flying out. “Hey, Jason’s typing on MY screen.” Then, “Whoa. There’s a chat box. Are we ALLOWED to use that?!?!” After the first five minutes, the students figured out that they were supposed to work together to answer the question that I provided. I was amazed. I had not provided the students with a single verbal prompt or redirection, and they were using the tool to write a response together. Before I knew it, they had drafted a coherent answer to the question together. Their single response was much better than anything they had written individually all year.



Then the magic really began. I played back their responses using the “time slider” and they watched their ideas develop. Then we talked about it.


I asked them:
  • How did you help each other?
  • How did you respect each other’s ideas?
  • Do you think your collaborative response was better than your individual response? Why?



For the first time, students who thought that school couldn’t teach them anything were present. They saw the power of working together, and they were extremely proud of their product.



I don’t think that any of the tools I used revolutionized the classroom setting. However, those tools allowed me to meet students in a place where they felt comfortable. While I have a long way to go with my personal learning and my instruction, I know that using innovative tools will help me meet my students in environments that allow them to thrive!



Kristen Swanson is a Program and Training Specialist that is passionate about helping students with special needs in Bucks County, PA. She shares her work with the world on her wiki and her blog. She would love to hear from you! She can be contacted here.

Computer keys source is available here.
Puzzle source is available here.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Review the News With the CNN Challenge

CNN Challenge is a news game based upon leading news stories of the week. The game offers you a series of multiple choice questions based on the news. There are three rounds to each game. Your score is based upon not only answering correctly but also how quickly you answer each question. At the end of each game, CNN Challenge provides links to the stories the questions were based on.











Applications for Education
The questions in the CNN Challenge are updated often enough that you could use the game on a weekly basis as a fun review of recent news. You could have students play the game and then search for the answers to the questions they got wrong by using the links provided by CNN. My only complaint about CNN Challenge is that it runs a 15 second pop-up ad before the game starts.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
The Week in Rap - Fun News Summaries
Ten by Ten - Visual Links to World News

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Year in Review Music Video

Yesterday, I posted three year-in-review presentations from CNN. This morning I was reminded by Jeffery Hill's English Blog that Flocabulary has a year-in-review video of their own. The Year In Rap is a music video highlighting the top news stories of the last year.

The Year In Rap 2009 from Week in Rap on Vimeo.



Applications for Education
Teachers who use current news events as a part of their curriculum may be interested in using these videos and the slideshow as the jumping off point for further review of the year's top news stories. A quick activity before holiday vacation could be to have students view the videos and identify a story that they would like to investigate further. After they investigate that story they could put together their own short videos about it by using a service like Masher. You could also challenge your students to create their own rap about the year's news stories.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Week in Rap - Fun News Summaries

The Week in Rap is produced by the same people that produce Flocabulary. Each Friday The Week In Rap posts a weekly news summary in the form of a rap music video. The videos cover stories from national and international politics as well as sports and entertainment news. I've embedded this week's video below.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Week in Rap - Fun News Summaries

This is an updated version of a post from last winter written on the same resource.

The Week in Rap is produced by the same people that produce Flocabulary. Each Friday The Week In Rap posts a weekly news summary in the form of a rap music video. I've embedded this week's video below.

Untitled from Week in Rap on Vimeo.



Applications for Education
The Week in Rap is a great way to get students interested in current news stories. Each video can easily be embedded into your class blog or website. Embedding the videos in your class blog or website could be a great way to get parents and students to discuss the news together.

A couple of good companion resources to The Week In Rap are the BBC's In Pictures series and Ten by Ten.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Bill of Rights Rap

Here is a good little review video of the US Bill of Rights. The video, produced by the people at Flocabularly is a two minute take on the Bill of Rights. You can find a copy of the lyrics here.


Thanks to Oswego98 for sharing the link on Twitter.

Applications for Education
Flocabulary videos provide a good model for combining US History and music. History teachers and music teachers could work together to have students develop their own songs or raps about various aspects of US History.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Reach 'em 2 Teach 'em: Educational Rap
Free Music Archive
More Than 100 Links for Music Teachers

Friday, May 8, 2009

Five "Week in Review" News Summaries

Many social studies teachers use current events stories in their classrooms to get students to observe and reflect on the news. Depending on the curriculum some teachers may have less time than they would like to discuss the news with their students. If you're in this situation and looking for some good "week in review" news summaries, try one of the following resources.

The Week in Rap may be the most entertaining news summary that you use in your classroom. As the name implies, every week a new rap music video summarizes the news for students. This week's video is embedded below.

Week In Rap 5.8.09 from Week in Rap on Vimeo.



MSNBC offers two visual reviews of the week in news. The Week in Pictures is a slideshow of images with captions of the week's biggest news stories. The Week in Political Cartoons is a weekly collection of Daryl Cagle's cartoons. On a related note, the Library of Congress offers a good activity for teaching students to evaluate political cartoons.

The BBC's Week in Pictures offers brief glimpses of political and cultural news from the week.

The New York Times publishes a Week in Review page based on all of their content from the preceding week. The collection includes articles and images of political and cultural news.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Reach 'em 2 Teach 'em: Educational Rap

This post comes from Joe Ocando who taught middle school science and math in NYC as part of the Teach for America program. Mr. Ocando now works on developing educational rap music for classroom use. I have personally used educational rap in my US History course this year and my high school students enjoyed it and remembered lessons from it. I even had one student put a Flowcabulary song on his iPod.

Auditory Learning is one way information is mentally processed. The level at which it is combined with the other three learning styles (Visual, Reading and Kinesthetic) directly determines the ability for the brain to recall facts, events, or ideas. As a result we are constantly bombarded by marketers with musical hooks and jingles throughout the day to get us to remember names of products. Are you using the same techniques in your classroom?

Rhythm, Rhymes, Results at
http://educationalrap.com/music produces hip-hop for math, science, language arts and social studies. They sell lyric sheets and various versions of their music (including instrumental-only for karaoke sing along) but offer free full original versions. Try "Don't Be Negative" for an Integer lesson or "Dots and Dashes" to demonstrate punctuation.

Flocabulary at http://www.myspace.com/flocabulary has a similar approach to auditory learning and even teaches Shakespeare through rap ("Love's Desire"). Also check out their remarkable Martin Luther King track "Let Freedom Ring"which details the life of this great American leader. For instructing your class on the phases of solid, liquid and gases don't miss Mr. Duey's "State of Matter" at http://www.mrduey.com . Another rap "LatitudeLongitude" tells students how to pinpoint coordinates. Combine audio with visual for two of these artists with videos available at: http://tiny.cc/8sKmL & http://tiny.cc/WailV

For the greatest introductory biology song ever ;-) be sure to check out a sample of Rhyme 'n Learn's "Made of Cells" at http://cdbaby.com/cd/rhymenlearn . I wanted to get a promo code for readers of this blog but cdbaby doesn't offer them. Sign up for the free Rhyme 'n Learn email newsletter within the next month at http://rhymenlearn.com/blog and I will send you a free .mp3 download with .pdf file lyrics. You can unsubscribe from the newsletter whenever you like with one click.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Week in Rap - Weekly News Summaries

The Week In Rap is a current events website that I discovered through iLearn Technology. The Week in Rap is produced by the same people that produce Flocabulary. Each Friday The Week In Rap posts a weekly news summary in the form of a rap music video. I've embedded last week's video below.


The Week in Rap 12-12-08 from Week in Rap on Vimeo.

Applications for Education
The Week in Rap is a great way to get students interested in current news stories. Each video can easily be embedded into your class blog or website. Embedding the videos in your class blog or website could be a great way to get parents and students to discuss the news together.

A couple of good companion resources to The Week In Rap are the BBC's In Pictures series and Ten by Ten.