Increasing Collaboration in ELA Using Flipgrid

By: Jessica Reed

The ELA classroom is typically a place where students come in and learn how to read and write and express their thoughts onto paper, but it can be so much more.

In my current role, I am a resource teacher for ELA 6th and 7th grades. I love to complete projects and ideas out of the norm for these students. A lot of times, students with disabilities will struggle with being able to get an idea out on paper, but can do a great job sharing their answers in a verbal form.

That’s where Flipgrid comes in. Flipgrid is an easy to use social platform that allows the users to ask a question and the question can be answered back in video from. This creates a response system between students and teachers.

The best part about Flipgrid… IT IS FREE!!!

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There are so many different things that an educator can do using Fligrid, it doesn’t have to be just ELA teachers. Math teachers can use it for students to share how they got the answers to math problems… the possibilities are endless.

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Above is what you will see when you sign and log into Flipgrid. The main information is that you will see your grids. Your grids are all the various subject areas and videos that you have started or conducted. Once you click on a grid name, it will take you to this webpage:

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This is an individual grid and it shares the different topics you could have for each individual grid. Students will respond to the subgrids and then be able to record a 30 sec to 5 minute response. When they are finished, they will be able to take a selfie. You, as the administrator, can control who or what answers the question and if they are able to respond to one another.

In my classroom, I have used Flipgrid as a way to have the students persuade me to make slime (working on persuasive text) and describe the plot in a story. My students were hesitant at first to share their thoughts into a camera but got over their fear once they realized how much fun they were having, once they started recording and sharing their thoughts.

As a special education teacher, I am an advocate for any way my students can share their opinions or thoughts because several struggle with being able to write down their thoughts. They always have an easier time sharing their thoughts verbally.  One particular lesson, the students had to identify a character from the movie “Hocus Pocus” and describe what type of character (Major, minor, round, or dynamix) and why they chose that character. From one student who normally would groan and complain about the assignment but got excited when he got to share his answer via Flipgrid and to see how the other students responded to him. While this may not be an option for every lesson but this quick assessment gave me the knowledge that this student was able to identify the different types of characters and that he had a pretty funny sense of humor through his attempt at trying to tell a joke in his presentation.  

This is a very cool tool to use in the classroom! If you use it, please tweet me @kygirlinalabama and let me know how it goes!!

Mrs. Reed