Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Make FlipGrid Accessible for ALL with the Immersive Reader Feature

Accessibility begins with proactive design, which is designed for some, but beneficial for ALL! I love FlipGrid's immersive reader tool, which provides users with several amazing accessibility features!

1. Text-to-Speech Capabilities

The text-to-speech capabilities when reading instructions or discussion prompts. This is the perfect tool for struggling readers, ELL students, or students who like to "hear" instructions.

2. Change Font Features

FlipGrid provides you with the ability to increase change font, font size,  and the color of the font to make it easier to see for students with visual difficulties or need visual modifications.

3. Break Down Parts of Speech

Want to break things down by parts of speech? FlipGrid provides a color-coded tool to break down parts of speech by verb, noun, adjective, etc.

4. Line Focus

The line focus tool magnifies text one line at a time so that students can concentrate on the text. There is also a visual dictionary tool, which provides extra layers of scaffolds and supports for unfamiliar words. Plus there is the ability to translate the document into different languages.

Want to see it in action? Check out my video below:


Monday, December 9, 2019

FlipGrid's Whiteboard Feature!

I love FlipGrid's whiteboard feature, which has been out for a few months now. This makes it much easier for students to demonstrate their understanding in any classroom; however, it is extremely helpful in the math classroom. Want to see how it works? Check out my video below:

Monday, December 2, 2019

Increase Student Engagement During the Holidays with a 30 Second Book Talk Challenge

December is here and many of our students are already ready for another break! How can you use FlipGrid to inspire students to stay engaged during the holidays?

Here is an awesome idea that I have found from the Barrow Media Center blog. It's a 30-second book talk challenge! I absolutely love how this blog post took a basic idea of making a book talk and turning it into a competition!

30-seconds might not sound like a lot of time, but it is perfect for getting students to plan out their ideas and share key points in a succinct and efficient way. I created the following video, taking this amazing idea and adding a few customizations to work for my school. Check this out!

New to FlipGrid? Check out how to use FlipGrid in less than 5 minutes:

Friday, November 22, 2019

Self-Regulation with G Suite: Tools to Create Daily Check-Ins

With so much emphasis on self-regulation and understanding emotions in today's classrooms, it can be difficult to find a system that works best for you. Self-regulation involves understanding, managing, and acting or not acting upon one's emotions.

Having your students "check-in" and share how they are feeling is a great way of developing important socio-emotional learning skills. There are a variety of tools and strategies to use, but here is a quick way to use Google Forms to gauge the emotional temperature in your room.

Check out my video on how to do this:

How Do I Do This? 

Step 1: Create a Google Form

First, create a Google Form with questions aimed at helping students check-in. You might want to think about:

  • How are you feeling today? 
  • Why do you feel this way?
  • What is a goal you have for today? 

To make things simple, I created the following Google Form with an emoji check-in.

Step 2: Add Emojis for Flair

Want to add an additional flair for your questions? You might want to consider using the Emoji Keyboard Chrome Extensions.

Here's a quick tip! Add emojis BEFORE your text, which serves as a placeholder. If you try ending your emoji after your text, it sometimes disappears.

Step 3: Gather Your Data!

I love adding emojis because they download to the spreadsheet, which collects your data. This makes data collection more visual!

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Paper Cubes, FlipGrid and Amazing Discussion!

If you are looking to create an engaging way to facilitate small group discussion, while still keeping students accountable. You might want to consider using Flipgrid, QR Codes, and a paper cube.  Check out my video at the bottom of this post on how to do this!

Step 1: FlipGrid

First, you will want to create a grid in FlipGrid. This is where all of your topics or discussion questions will be housed.

Step 2: Create Your Topics on FlipGrid and Google Drawings Template

Next, you will want to create six different topics in FlipGrid. You may find it helpful to record a video of yourself giving instructions. Once it is published, you will want to copy and paste the QR Code into the following template. I created this template using Google Drawings!

Step 3: Create Your Cube

Then you will want to print out your cube, cut out, and assemble with tape. NOTE: If you want to use a low-tech version of this activity, you can use text boxes to type in questions instead.

Step 4: Discussion Time!

Finally, have your students roll the cubes and scan the QR codes with FlipGrid. When they scan the QR Code, they will see your video and then have the opportunity to respond.

Learn how to do this in the video below:

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

21 Things 4 Students By REMC Association of Michigan

I'm always looking for tools and resources to keep students safe online. I recently came across  21 Things 4 Students by REMC. This is a great resource for students in upper elementary and middle school on various topics like digital citizenship, safe searching, STEM, and even career choices!

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

2 Tips to Make Your Gmail Use Efficient: Create Templates (or Canned Responses) and Schedule Send

Are you a Gmail user? I am always looking for quick ways to make my life easier and more efficient. Here are two tips for Gmail users!

Check out my video or read below:

1. Create Templates

Do you have frequently used canned responses?  Creating a template in Gmail is an easy way to create canned responses for frequently used responses. How does it work?

1. Compose your message in Gmail

2. Choose the three dots in the bottom-right corner of your message.

3. Choose Templates and save your template!

When you are ready to use your response, follow steps 1 - 2, choose Templates and select the name of your template.

2. Schedule Sending a Message

Do you want to schedule sending out a message at a specific time or day? You can do this in Gmail too!

1. Compose your message and choose whom you will send your message to

2. Choose the drop-down arrow next to the Send button in Gmail

3. Choose Schedule Send and select the date / time you would like to send your message