March was Reading Month. LS Librarian Kelly Hincks coordinated with JS Librarian Erica DiClemente, and Reading Specialist Kim McDermid in using a great technology tool called Flipgrid to drive student engagement.
Flipgrid is a social learning platform that allows educators to ask a question, then the students respond in a video. Students are then able to respond to one another, creating a “web” of discussion.
The classes in junior kindergarten to second grade were partnered with a third, fourth, or fifth grade class. They both read the same picture book. After reading and discussing the book, the younger students created a question to ask the older students. They posted their question using Flipgrid. Then the older students responded to the younger students questions and asked their own question in return. It was like a mini-book club of sorts. This platform worked well because both groups did not have to be online at the same time to participate. They could post when it worked best for their class. The whole project took three weeks to complete.
It was a great way to assess reading comprehension and target the skill of asking questions such as identifying what a thinking question sounds like versus those with just a yes or no answer.
Additionally, the students developed critical digital citizenship skills which were embedded into the instructions. They focused on the following skills and were rewarded with digital badges on:
– Being safe
– Staying positive
– Creating a quality video
– Being respectful of others while they recorded
Kelly Hincks’s was spotlighted in the April edition of MAME, The Michigan Association of Media Educators for this activity. Additionally, Flipgrid announced that this activity made it into the top 500 activities for the month. This is a great accomplishment since there are over 1 million active users on Flipgrid.