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How can I use Flipgrid to practice retelling?

oct 6, 2020

Educators have been bombarded with all types of online resources designed to make teaching during a pandemic more manageable. But one tool that has emerged as a consistent favorite is Flipgrid by Microsoft.

This free web application has the built-in tools to foster collaborative learning that can occur when in person and socially distanced or wireless and remote. Flipgrid allows a student to use his device’s webcam to record his own video response to a particular assignment.

This functionality can be used in countless scenarios, but it’s especially valuable as a tool to practice retelling after reading. For example, if students have been taught the strategy Somebody, Wanted, But, So, Then (SWBST), they could use Flipgrid to record and publish a personalized summary after reading/listening to an online text.

To execute this type of activity, here are some key steps to follow:

1. Create a free Flipgrid account using your school email address.
2. After you’ve logged in, select “Add a Topic” from the user dashboard.
3. Name the topic and create a task to go with it. For example, the topic could be “Retelling exercise” and the task could be “Retell the story of the Three Little Pigs using SWBST.”
4. Set the recording time to a duration that is appropriate for the task.
5. Upload related resources. This could be an image of a book cover, a short instructional video created by the teacher, or even the video clip you want them to watch and summarize.
6. Add your school email domain (@yourschool.k12.ky.us) so that only students who share that domain address can gain access to the task.
7. The last step in the set-up is to select “Create Topic.” This action will automatically generate a pop-up screen that offers a hyperlink to copy and share with students via email, Canvas, SeeSaw, or countless other platforms.

After students use the link to access the task, they can record responses using their webcams. When complete, the video is automatically posted in Flipgrid to an area where the teacher, along with every student in the class, can view the responses.

Retelling lends itself to oral practice, and Flipgrid offers a way to assess students whether they are social distanced and in person or working independently from their own homes.

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