Teacher Helps Students Improve Test Scores Through Hip Hop

When he heard about the new, hip teaching tool to help kids learn, he knew he had to try it in his classroom.

If the craze around the musical Hamilton has taught us anything, it's that hip hop music is now an acceptable way to learn new information. Brooklyn-based company, Flocabulary, agrees. They create educational hip hop songs, videos and other learning materials for students in grades K-12.

Teachers use the lessons to build vocabulary, foster creativity and encourage collaboration in the classroom. The curriculum is standards-based and includes teaching concepts that can be applied to most subjects including reading, spelling and history.

(Source: Flocabulary Facebook )

Mr. Dustin Ecker, a fourth-grade teacher in Warren Township, IN, has already seen a big improvement in his students' test scores after using Flocabulary in his classroom.

"We use it for vocabulary, we use it for science, we use it for reading concepts, for researching historical figures," Ecker told CBS-4

No stranger to unconventional teaching methods, Ecker's classroom has blacklights, exercise balls for seats and he often brings his giant Great Dane pup, Jaeda, in to visit the class.

Every morning, Ecker pushes the students' desks together to create a "stage" in the center of the classroom. They start each day with a three-minute rap that teaches new content that can be used in other lessons. It also inspires a sense of community and helps the students to build trust with each other, and with him.

After using Flocabulary lessons, his students went from averaging 68 percent to 91 on testing - the highest scores in his district. He has also seen notable improvements on their standardized test scores. More importantly, the kids love it.

"You're not just sitting in your chair and raising your hand, you're actually doing things, moving around," said Amari Kinnebrew, one of Ecker's students.

As for Flocabulary, Ecker knows firsthand that the lessons work.

"You'll sometimes hear [the students] repeating the hook or the line or a reading comprehension skill or strategy or a mathematical equation, like how to solve it."

The platform also covers non-traditional subjects such as meditation, empathy and how to manage emotions. And with over 20,000 schools currently using Flocabulary in their daily lessons, you'll likely be hearing beats and rhymes at a classroom near you very soon.

To learn more about Flocabulary, you can visit their website and follow them on Facebook .

(Source: images & video Dustin Ecker Facebook )

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