FLIPGRID–A totally AWESOME assessment tool

SUPER COOL ASSESSMENT TOOL

This past year I was introduced to an super cool and fun technology tool called Flipgrid.  Flipgrid is a video response app that teachers can use for several different types of assessments.

This is super cool for a few reasons:

  1. 1.) The students love to take pictures and videos of themselves
  2. 2.) Teachers don’t have to copy papers for small formative assessments or waste post-it notes for exit slips

And my favorite of all….

3.) I get to TRICK students into writing down their answers—and they don’t even realize that they are doing work!   {Cue evil witch laugh!  Bwahahahaha! }

FLIPGRID ASSIGNMENT #1

In my classroom this year, I used Flipgrid on 3 different occasions.  First, I used it for an assignment that I had put in my Google Classroom.  The assignment was to read a short article, watch a short video and then answer a couple of questions.  I didn’t exactly understand how everything worked, so this was my “test” assignment.  

With each video response, Flipgrid lets you set a time limit on the video.  As I have 75 students doing the assignment, I set the limit at 30 seconds.  (I didn’t want it to take too long to watch them all.  Plus, what’s the point of making grading easier if it takes as long as traditional grading?)  A side benefit of this time limit is that students also get to practice summarizing–which is a valuable skill that we work on in 5th grade.  Limiting the video time also helps with time constraints in the classroom.  {More about time constraints in a PBL classroom here.}

I really enjoyed watching the videos!  After watching each student’s name for completing the video, I could instantly tell which students had really understood the material, which students had just Googled the topic and hadn’t even looked at the material, and which students totally misunderstood the question/material.  That is POWERFUL STUFF for a teacher!

FLIPGRID ASSIGNMENT #2

So, I decided to make another assignment.  This time, I asked the students to tell me three things they learned from a unit of study that had culminated in an amazing field trip from Junior Achievement of the Bluegrass.  (If you know anything about Junior Achievement, then you probably have figured out that this was an economics unit.  If you haven’t been introduced to their JA BizTown/JA Finance Park and you teach economics–then you are missing out!)

This unit of study was not my normal economics unit of study, I will have to admit.  I usually spend about 4 days on economics and I use a program that is about 30 years old, but does teach the basic economic principles.  I never dreamed that I could teach what Junior Achievement had me teaching–or that my kids would understand it!  It was amazing all around for me and I will never go back to what I did before!

Anyways, back to the topic at hand.  The Flipgrid assignment was for the students to tell me 3 things that they learned that they thought was most important to them.  Again I held each video to 30 seconds.

I absolutely LOVED these videos!  One reason I loved them was because each kids personality came through loud and clear!  They made me laugh out loud.  Another reason was, of course, that I could tell exactly what made an impression on them.  A third reason was that their answers applied to real life–and I was super proud to have been the connection between them and these major life lessons!  

(Note:  This assignment was done at home.  Make sure you mention to the students what type of background they should do the video in front of and that they need to be fully dressed when making videos.  Also, not in the hot tub in their bathing suits! True Story!)

FLIPGRID ASSIGNMENT #3

As I was looking for things to do during that last week of school, when testing is over and kids are crazy, I came across a webinar for Flipgrid and decided to sign up.  It was done by this guy named Joe Marquez who has a blog called Sons of Technology:  Professional Development for the Risk Taking Teacher.  The webinar was about an hour long, but was full of awesome ideas on how to maximize Flipgrid in the classroom.  He gave me an idea for that last week of school—THANK YOU JOE–and tons of new ideas for how to incorporate Flipgrid for the next school year.  

So, for our last assignment of the school year, I had my students make a video giving advice to the upcoming 5th graders.  Again, through my Google Classroom, I set up an assignment that gave them a few starting places–and they were off!  Did I mention that one thing I loved about Flipgrid is that students have to write down their “script” so that they are clear and concise?  They definitely don’t want to appear as if they weren’t prepared–especially if other students they know are going to be watching their video!  And, they don’t even complain!

For this video, I let the students have one minute–but I put them in pairs or groups of three.  This called for them to have to split the work up and then combine their scripts together.  Also, you can stop the video after one person says something, while you wait on another person to speak.  The students loved this feature and had tons of fun making these videos.  

It was a WIN-WIN for us all!  

I LOVE IT!  (Note:  Scripts need to be approved before a student records them.  Plus, it gives them more accountability)  

OTHER FLIPGRID IDEAS

If you want more ideas for how to use Flipgrid in your classroom, head over to Joe Marquez’s page to watch a webinar he did about this awesome program.  He has some great ideas!  

This is a great app that will work with teachers who are trying to Flip their classrooms.

Flipgrid One will let you try out this app for free.  But, after I had done the first grid, I was hooked!  So I went ahead and did what we all do sometimes–I purchased a year out of my own pocket.  This made me have access to unlimited grids and more features than the free version.  

Happy Flip-Gridding!

–Angela

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