Last spring I was introduced to Flipgrid. This wonderful tool allows students to share their thoughts on any subject created by the teacher, other students, or the global community. Students record short videos about the topic. Sounds pretty simple. It is so much more than just a simple video recording tool. Here are a few ways I use it in my class that have made my life easier while increasing student voice.
Welcome to our class - Most of my students know each other from the previous school year. However we have a few new students, and almost all are new to my classroom. Flipgrid gave us a great opportunity to not only introduce ourselves to each other, but a chance to share something new that others may not know about. This was the kids’ first experience with video program. They loved that not only could they talk about themselves (something most kids LOVE doing!), but they also had fun using the stickers to decorate their profile pics. As new students come in throughout the year, we can re-share our videos and make everyone feel welcome to our class.
Fluency checks - Being a teacher of 36 students, I don’t always have time to test each of my students 1 on 1 to see how they are doing in their reading fluency. The problem typically isn’t the actual assessment that’s the problem. It usually comes from what the other 35 students are doing when I’m with one child. Flipgrid solves that! Last week I had each of the students (all at the same time, thankfully we have a great campus that allows students to go outside) record themselves read a passage out loud. The kids were so excited to do this. Who would have thought reading would create excitement. I listened to each of the videos when I had some time, instead of taking class time to do it. The best benefit was being able to pause and rewind whenever I wasn’t sure what the student said. Talk about getting accurate data! No more trying to hear what the student is saying in the moment! AND I know have a way to download each video to create a digital portfolio of all of their readings throughout the year.
Check for understanding - This is one I did several times last year. Since the students loved creating their own videos, I used Flipgrid as a way to check if they understood the concepts. In math, they explained how to solve fraction problems. Many of the students used visuals in their diagrams as well. In science they recorded their plant growth, explaining each part of the plant as it grew. The students also created videos comparing/contrasting an article we read with a video they watched in class. Instead of having to read and grade multiple (sometimes illegible) papers, I could now watch videos that were usually less than 2 minutes. Finding out who really understood what they learned was easier for me, and more fun for them. With the new pause button, it is even easier for students to create their own videos demonstrating understanding.
Independent reading - I have been against reading logs for several years. But I agree that there needs to be a way to track if independent reading is being done. Thankfully videos are filling that need. Students are able to quickly share book recommendations, their favorite parts, and respond (with the paid version, something I definitely encourage. AND I NEVER pay for any program!) to each other’s comments. It’s like mini books clubs for the new generation.
Global connections - This is one I look forward to trying this year. There are so many experts and classrooms around the world that are posting topics for students to respond to. What a great way to add to discussions and learn about others outside your own classroom and community!
One of the many benefits I have noticed for the students is how the quietest voices in the classroom are now able to express themselves. The pressure to speak in front of their peers has been taken away. They are talking to a computer. No longer is there a shy student with so much to say and no one to hear it.
These are only a few of the ways I use Flipgrid. (Click on the buttons below to view student examples from last year's class.) There is so much more ready to explore and bring into the classroom. I encourage you to try flipgrid as soon as you can! For more ideas, check out #FlipgridFever and #TopicThursday
20+ year teacher, mother of 2 kids and 2 dogs, wife, lover of all things M&M, interested in tech in the classroom, and changing up my teaching