Teaching From Home with Flipgrid

Sunday, March 22, 2020
It's been an interesting few weeks, that's for sure... Last week, we were talking about washing our hands a little more than normal, and this week we find ourselves at home, sort of in limbo. Last week, my darling daughter celebrated her first birthday, and the very next day was the last time I saw my kindergarten students. It all happened so fast, and I miss them more than they could ever know.
The district I teach at has not officially switched to online instruction, due to legal concerns of not meeting the needs of all learners, which is a decision I understand and respect. It does, however, put a teacher in an interesting position. I want my students to be have a sense of routine. I want my students to feel safe. I want them to know that I haven't forgotten about them.

One way that I've found to keep my students active and engaged is through Flipgrid. My students are already familiar with the platform, as we used it occasionally in the classroom. I am, though, starting to explore more aspects of the program, and I must say that I'm hooked. I've only scratched the surface of all that it's got to offer, but I thought I'd share some ideas that I've posted so far.

For Beginners:
You'll need to create a free account, and create a grid. If you teach multiple classes, you can create a grid for each class. When setting up a grid, I chose the "Student ID" option, because my kindergarten students do not have email addresses. It's super easy to add students. I used their first name as their identifier so that they don't have to remember complicated usernames or passwords.

Right now I have 3 topics created.
Normally, I have a topic set to "Active," like the Read to Someone example. For that topic, I recorded an instruction video asking the students to pick a book to read to their friends. We've done this in class, and they LOVE doing it. I created another reading topic called Storytime With Mr. Vinton, but I don't want the kids to be able to add videos to that section. In the dropdown menu, I set that topic to "Frozen," so that I could add videos of me reading picture books, but they could not add anything. You also have the ability to set a topic to "Hidden" if you're not ready for your students to have access to that topic yet, like my Make 10 example.

Do you use Flipgrid with your class? What kinds of activities have you done?

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