Earlier this year, students were very into the hurricanes and how they were affecting our nation. By using these real life events, we were able to create an authentic reading response situation. I had two goals during this lesson, to show the students how to use the online news source, Newsela, and the response app, Flipgrid.
This fantastic app allows students to choose the Lexile at which they will read a given article. All students will receive the same main idea and information, but the higher the Lexile, the more details there will be for the reader. The great thing about this is students can choose where they are comfortable reading, without anyone really knowing.
For this lesson, I read the article aloud to the students on the second level given. For most of the lessons I would have them read it independently or with a partner. There are also MANY other options in Newsela to explore.
Students were then given a crash course in Flipgrid. Honestly, the app is SO user-friendly, I just had them figure it out for themselves. I talked through what I wanted their response to be, their response to what we had read.
Flipgrid has the students use a code to get into your Flipgrid board. Then they press to record. From there, they can listen to it and rerecord. I recommend setting guidelines on how many times they can do this, or they will do it over and over again! The screen then allows them to continue through - taking a selfie to post to the board, and then confirming their video. You have the choice on if the students can see or comment on other classmates' boards. There are many options in Flipgrid! (OH, and we had to do an appropriate selfie lesson - helping them find a good angle!)
Here are some other amazing ways to use Flipgrid in your own classroom from Ditch That Textbook!
Okay, first of all, it has been TOO long since I updated, but I am back. The exciting part is that I am now a teaching in a 5th grade classroom that is 1:1 iPads. For the past 3 weeks I have been wrapping my mind around how to utilize 1:1 tech because this is the first time I have had this! In my prior teaching years it has been 2:1 or 3:1 with computers. I am happy to report that I am in heaven. I am going to share my class's tech journey with you all this year. First up, Flipgrid.
What is Flipgrid?
The amazing thing about this app is that students respond with VIDEO instead of typing. I am a firm believer that many children are able to express their thoughts through speech versus writing because they are more likely to use a broad vocabulary when speaking than they are when writing. Students that struggle to write, may feel very confident to talk about their thoughts, too.
When you sign up for an account you can choose from Flipgrid One or Flipgrid Classroom. Flipgrid One is free and Flipgrid Classroom is $65 per educator per year. So here is the bummer about Flipgrid One, you can only have one grid going at a time. In order to do another grid, you have to delete the one going and then do another one. Bonus though, you can download the videos the kids make. I put them in a folder in my Google Drive so I can save it to see growth in their responses through the year.
Once you are signed up you will find that it is so easy to create a grid. It walks you step-by-step through it as you are creating, which was awesome. It took me like 5 minutes the first time to make one.
How I Used It
To introduce it, we read an article on Newsela together and then I showed them Flipgrid. I told them they would create a response that was no longer than 1 minute 30 seconds (that's the limit on the Flipgrid One option) that had their reaction to the article and something they were wondering after reading.
Students went to their respective places in the classroom and started recording. There was concern over many students recording at once, but when I listened to the videos, it wasn't distracting. If anything, I think it would be harder if it were quiet because then everyone would be listening to you record your thoughts, which makes many students self-conscious.
So my students downloaded the Flipgrid app and then they typed in the Pin number to my grid. Voila! they are then in the grid. It's that easy! Then it literally walks them through the whole process. Guess what? Most of my 5th graders could figure it out for themselves! It's that easy!
What I Learned for Next Time
Fifth grade teacher in a 1:1 iPad classroom, sharing my journey with technology in the classroom