Kick it Old School with MixTapes 🎧

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Back in the day (as in the 80s and 90s), when we wanted to do something special for our BFFs, we spent hours copying our favorite jams onto one tape to create the perfect listening experience. “Mixtapes” were the perfect space to share whatever we wanted with whomever we wanted!

Fast-forward to 2018. Educators are helping students share their ideas, wonderings, projects, questions - their MAGIC - in new and creative ways every day. So we’re kicking it old school to help you amplify and share #StudentVoice like never before!

Introducing MixTapes, the raddest way to share mic drop moments with the ones that matter.

You can create a MixTape for anything:

💯 Student Portfolios
🎓 Semester Showcase
⭐️ Project Highlights
🗓 School Yearbooks
📚 Read Alouds
👩‍👩‍👧‍👦 Family Night Memories
👩‍🎤 Talent Show Remixes
🎤 Student TED Talks

You pick what goes on your MixTape (any Response from any of your Topics in any of your Grids!) and you set the order you want the Responses to play. Your MixTapes are view-only and can be shared anywhere. Oh yeah, and you can make as many MixTapes as you want!

Ready to get rocking? Just tap the MixTapes button in your Educator Admin! For step-by-step instructions and getting started ideas, check out this MixTapes #GridTip from the Flipgrid Educator Innovation trio Jornea, Jess, and Ann!

Check out our Team Flipgrid MixTape below, and give us a shout to let us know your #MixTapes ideas! We can’t wait to see how you crank #StudentVoice up to 11!

#GridTip Party: Rocking MixTapes

The following blog post is written by Educator Innovation Leads Jornea Erwin, Ann Kozma, and Jess Boyce. In the #GridTip Series, Flipgrid Educator Innovation Leads Jornea, Ann, and Jess will share tips and tricks to help you explore ideas and possibilities with Flipgrid. Looking for more inspiration? Sign up for one of the Engage & Amplify: Flipgrid 101 Webinars!

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Pssst… we made you a MixTape! 

For anyone who is wondering what a MixTape is: back in the day friends made MixTapes for each other as a way to share their favorite songs on a cassette tape! Whether it was a Birthday Mix or a Love Song Mix, or the Summer of ‘88 Mix, making a MixTape for someone meant something special. You wanted to share the very best! 

⏩Fast forward to today, and the announcement of Flipgrid MixTapes! Now you can create your own custom mix of epic Responses from across your Grids, allowing you to share your students’ magic...no cassette tapes needed! 

MixTapes can be a compilation of whatever you want! Maybe you want to highlight the best learning accomplishments over a semester in your 7th grade science class. Or maybe you want to create individual student portfolios to share at family conferences. Or showcase the winning auditions for the school play. You get to pick what goes on your MixTape, allowing you to share, celebrate, and showcase epic responses in a totally righteous, tubular, major, gnarly way! 

🎧 How to Create 

  1. In your Flipgrid Educator Admin, click on MixTapes and create a new MixTape. Name your MixTape, add a Code (notice you have a + sign at the beginning, otherwise it’s the exact same as a Flip Code) and add your Description. Add an optional password if you wish, then hit Create! You’re now ready to add Responses to your MixTape. 

  2. When viewing a Response from your Educator Admin, you will see a super rad 80s inspired cassette icon. Click it to add that response to your MixTape.  You can add as many videos as you want from any Grid you own or CoPilot. And you can arrange the videos in any order you’d like to create your own custom blend of awesome.

  3. Sharing your MixTape with someone special is part of the magic. Simply share your MixTape Flip Code and your custom mix is ready to go! Your audience will be able to easily view your MixTape (with videos in the order you chose). We even added credits to showcase the stars of your MixTape as well as you, the director!

▶️ Ready to hit Play? 

Now that you know what Flipgrid MixTapes are, here are a few awesome ideas from some of our Student Voice Ambassadors.  

💡Student Voice Ambassador Claudio Zavala created the very first MixTape for his amazing #SingaSong Grid!

💡Student Voice Ambassador Amy Storer suggests using MixTapes as a yearbook or student portfolio to showcase and share favorite memories from the school year. 

💡Student Voice Ambassador Priscilla Heredia is planning on using MixTapes to transform her "Keep the Quote” classroom activity. Each week, Priscilla posts a motivational quote on a special roll of chart paper. A student who personifies the quote gets to keep it at the end of the week. But now, with MixTapes, the plan is to have students submit their own quotes, app-smash them into GIFs or videos and nominate peers who are deserving and get to cut the chart paper to “Keep the Quote” that week. The student who submits the quote will get to present it to the winner and the recording will be added to the Flipgrid MixTape...sort of like a Motivational Quote Hall of Fame. 

💡Student Voice Ambassador Jennifer Saarinen looks forward to collaborating with students as they become the MixTape DJ. The DJ will get to select videos based on a particular, purpose, skill, or outcome. Her plan is to put the power of creating the MixTape in to the students’ hands as she works to create a learner-centered environment. 

💡Student Voice Ambassador Claudio Zavala is going to rock a MixTape of a play or screenplay. Students will record individual parts in a Grid, then Claudio will put them together by scene in a MixTape, just imagine... a Romeo & Juliet MixTape! 

💡Student Voice Ambassador Karly Moura suggests using MixTapes like a highlight reel celebrating the learning that happens during each week or month of class. 

The possibilities with MixTapes are endless. From portfolios, to celebrations, to mic-drop moments, we hope you enjoy this new feature as another awesome way to amplify student voice.  

Ready to rock? 🎶 Let’s mix it up! 👩‍🎤👨‍🎤 

See you on the Grid! 🚀

Lone Star #FlipgridBusTour 🤠🔮💚🚌🗺

Houston, this is Team Flipgrid. We’ll be there soon.

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Bluebonnets, BBQ, ranches, The Alamo, sweet tea, live music, Dr. Pepper, the State Fair, and 100s of inspiring educators and students?! Yeehaw! The Lone Star #FipgridBusTour is on the horizon!

This October, we’re saddling up for a series of #StudentVoice Rallies, Brain Zing PD Sessions, and - of course - Flipgrid fun all across the state of Texas! There’s plenty of room in this state for the four, five, hundreds of us: join us on Twitter with the hashtag #FlipgridBusTour and, if you’re in the Texas area, let’s meet up in person! Check out our route and RSVP for the Dallas/Fort Worth Educator meetup, Texas State Fair shenanigans, and/or our TCCA Tailgate.

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#GridTip: Engaging Students From the Start

The following post is written by Educator Innovation Lead Jess Boyce. In the #GridTip Series, Flipgrid Educator Innovation Leads Ann, Jess, and Jornea will share tips and tricks to help you explore ideas and possibilities with Flipgrid. Looking for more inspiration? Sign up for one of the Engage & Amplify: Flipgrid 101 Webinars!

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The smell of fresh pencil shavings (or the sound of unpacking new styluses), falling leaves, and the ringing of the first bell: back to school season has me thinking of new ways to introduce content! Whether you call it activating prior knowledge, creating a hook, or piquing interest, there are endless ways to capture that fresh excitement and get students engaged and interested in their learning from day one! I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite ideas and Disco Library Topics to help get your wheels turning…

🔔 Wonderings

Have students articulate things that they wonder about. This can be a topic that you are about to dive into (for example, check out Amanda Alessandro’s fiddler crabs Topic for Science class) or simply showing a picture and having students sharing what they see, think, or wonder. Wonderings is a great way to get students started on the writing process.

Launch this Topic from Liz Capizzano!

📖 Pre-Reading

Have students answer a question as a lead into the next passage that will be read in class. This can spark discussions on themes, plot, etc.

Launch this Topic from Rebecca Rients!

📢 Opinions

Ask students how they feel about a topic. We generally take our prior knowledge or experiences and use them to form opinions. Asking students how or what they feel about a topic before diving in is a great way to get them thinking and sharing. For example, “what do you know about any specific revolutions?”

Launch this Topic from L Holmgren!

❓Guesses

What do you think the next unit is about? Show a picture or video and have students guess what the next topic of study will be. Fun twist from Erin Wilson: if students cannot guess what the topic is about, record a new video giving another clue.

Launch this Topic from Erin Wilson!

🙋 KWL

Leverage Flipgrid for a twist on the traditional KWL chart. Present students with a topic of study and have them record responses to “What do you know about this topic?” and “What do you want to know about this topic?" After the unit, they can reply to themselves with a reflection on what they learned!

🔮 Passage Prediction

What do you think is happening here? Show an image taken from a passage or text. Have students make predictions about the topic, theme, setting, characters, etc.

Launch this Topic from Cynthia Neal!

💬 Vocabulary

Have students find the definition and record a video about it. This could take on many forms – create a video that shows the words, draw pictures to represent what the words mean, use the words in a sentence, etc.

Launch this Topic from Malinda Hurt!

🚫 Which One Doesn’t Belong?

Show pictures and ask students which one doesn’t belong. Have them justify their reasoning, by explaining why.

Launch this Topic from Pamela Warner!

🤔 Making Predictions (Experimental v. Theoretical Probability)

Have students come up with hypotheses based on how they think an experiment will turn out. They could reply to themselves at a later time to explain what actually happened with the experiment.

Launch this Topic from Scott Titmas!

Note that all of these ideas would work great for a flipped assignment: students’ first Response video can be recorded at home and then you can follow up with the companion lesson the next day in class. Whatever approach you choose, have fun getting your students pumped about learning! I look forward to seeing what you come up with!

See you on the Grid!  
Jess

#GridTip: Let's Celebrate Readers 📚

The following post is written by Educator Innovation Lead Ann Kozma. In the #GridTip series, Flipgrid Educator Innovation Leads Ann, Jess, and Jornea will share tips and tricks to help you explore ideas and possibilities with Flipgrid.

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Hello friends! I am so excited. This is my first #GridTip and I’m starting off with a celebration of reading! As educators, we want all of our students to be successful. We also want them to develop a love of reading. By providing pathways for all readers to share, we can celebrate alongside our students as they develop skills related to phonics, vocabulary, fluency and comprehension. In this #GridTip I'll share how one school champions their readers using Flipgrid and provide tips for creating your own Celebration of Reading Grid! 

 

#BWreads at Beechwood School

Emily McDougall, COTSEN Mentor and Literacy Specialist at Beechwood School in Fullerton, California, created the #BWreads Grid as a space for Kindergarten through 8th Grade students to share and celebrate reading in class and beyond! Her goals were to:

🎉Celebrate readers on campus
🏫Provide an authentic place to share reading lives in class and beyond
💪Empower readers to use skills gained in Readers Workshop and direct instruction
🏠Connect with families in the community and engage readers at home

Emily and the staff got together and brainstormed topics that would be meaningful for the students. Teachers, Specialists, and Administrators joined forces and provided opportunities for classrooms to “sign up” and students immediately began adding to the Grid. #BWReads became a movement that involved the entire learning community and grew beyond a school wide celebration of reading. Just check out these reviews from students, teachers, and admins!

“I liked posting videos and watching my friends’ videos. This helped me improve as a reader because I used to skip words. I decided that I wouldn’t skip words anymore. I wanted to learn more about book so I could share them with my friends.” - Evan, 2nd Grade

“I loved learning about new books that I could read. I would go to the 4th Grade Topic and see what videos my friends put in there.” - Mia, 4th Grade

“Letting my students share their books on Flipgrid empowered them as readers. They began to learn more about different types of text and this gave them authentic ways to extend their learning.” - Ms. Ritz, 1st Grade Teacher

“This is part of the fabric of our school, it is our reading community. It’s cool to explain your thinking, it’s what our readers do and this is an exciting way to do it.” Mrs. Graham, Principal

 

Create your Own Grid

🔒Determine which Grid Community type works best for your school. Unsure which Grid type you need? Here's some information to help you choose!

👩‍🏫Help teachers and students learn how to use Flipgrid. Encourage the staff to try it out first. Go hands on and push buttons. If you’re new to Flipgrid, be sure to check out the awesome Flipgrid Booth Instruction Posters created by Student Voice Ambassador Claudio Zavala.

🧠Brainstorm with your community to generate Topics that will be meaningful for your readers. Let students and families suggest Topics too! Make sure you have a wide range of Topics that interest readers of all levels. Share examples of how to organize your thinking (Thinking Maps, Graphic Organizers, etc) to help students be successful with their first response.

💌Partner up with your teacher peers and admins then share the Grid widely with your community. Promote your Grid at Back to School Night, in your school Newsletter, on your school’s social media pages, talk about it and let your community know what you are trying to do to celebrate the readers on campus.

 

Disco Library

As is often the case, the best place to find inspiration as you're starting a Flipgrid project is to explore the Disco Library. Here are 13 Disco Library Topics that are perfect for your new Celebration of Reading Grid! 

Elementary Topics
📖Saralee’s Favorite Book
📖Chelsea’s 1 Minute Book Talk Challenge
📖Amanda’s Book Talks
📖Samantha’s 6 Word Summaries

Middle School Topics
📖Kelly’s Your Book Talk
📖Meagan’s Book Love Book Talk
📖Mandy’s Book Talk Bonanza
📖Rick’s Become the Character
📖Sarah’s Reading Response

High School Topics
📖Janel’s 30 Second Book Talks  
📖Janice’s Blind Book Dates
📖Laura’s Adversity in Literature
📖Kathleen’s Current Events & Text Connections

As your school year begins, I hope you find ways to share and celebrate the authentic reading lives of those in your community. If you have any questions, give me a shout anytime on Twitter or email: ann@flipgrid.com. I'm always here to help!

Here’s to the learning journey. See you on the Grid! 🚀
-Ann

Meet the New Kids in Class 👋

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🔔 School is back in session! And with the new year comes new kids who are excited and ready to learn. We are lucky to have our very own "New Kids in Class", Ann Kozma & Jess Boyce, joining the Educator Innovation Team along with me, Jornea Erwin. I'm so excited to embark on a journey with two phenomenal educators as we join forces to support you all as you amplify voice around the world!

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Meet Ann!

👋Hey everybody! It’s nice to meet you!

I’m new around here… my name is Ann Kozma. I’m joining Educator Innovation Team @Flipgrid as one of the new Teacher Innovation Leads. I am super excited to connect with you and work together to empower our scholars and amplify #studentvoice.

Everyone is curious about the new kid in class, right? Let me share a little bit about myself.

I started teaching in 2004 and spent 10 years in the classroom. In 2010, my school went one to one with the first generation of iPod Touch. Teaching and learning was transformed in my classroom as I began to leverage technology to empower my scholars to share and showcase their learning in new ways! I loved helping my 1st graders show what they know and share their authentic voices with others. In 2014, I transitioned out of the classroom as a Teacher on Special Assignment and have spent the past 4 years helping other teachers with the innovative and instructional use of technology. I am a member of the Apple Distinguished Educator Class of 2015, Leading Edge Certified as a Professional Learning Leader, and a CUE Lead Learner. I love playing to learn and believe that we are always #bettertogether.  Explore. Share. Contribute. These three words are what I strive to do as an educator. I am so excited to work with you all to empower scholars and amplify student voice.

California is home for me and when I’m not on the go, you can usually find me slow strolling Huntington Beach looking for shells or laying in my hammock with a good book. I love to travel, take pictures and go to the movies. I’m sort of obsessed with pomegranates and I absolutely love peach iced tea. I’m excited to meet all of you...let’s get connected! Find me on social @annkozma723.

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Meet Jess!

👋Hey everyone, I’m Jess, a former middle school math teacher from St. Petersburg, Florida who just joined the Educator Innovation Team at Flipgrid!

If we’re going to be doing life together, we need to know more about each other, right? So a little about me…

I grew up in Pittsburgh, PA (Go Steelers!) and moved to St. Petersburg, Florida 5 years ago because I was cold and needed some sunshine in my life.
I was a middle school math teacher for 10 years and have a passion for growing and learning.  When I stumbled upon the edtech world a few years ago, I knew that I could never go back. My practices changed, I became a better teacher, I yearned for more and more ways to grow and get better.  I became obsessed with attending as many conferences, Edcamps, etc. as possible so that I could improve my practice. Find me on social @jessxbo.

I became an MIEExpert in the summer of 2017, after years of using every possible Microsoft tool in my classroom.  This was around the time I also became a Student Voice Ambassador for Flipgrid – I found two passions that I simply could not stay quiet about.  When I wasn’t teaching, I was training or just running into classrooms cheering about new things I was discovering and fun ways to implement them.  These two merging was more than I could ever ask for!

I could not be more honored to be a part of the Educator Innovation Team – Flipgrid is a company that truly aligns with my heart.  It has always been about championing educators and students and I feel so fortunate to get to do that!

I cannot wait to meet you all and grow together as we amplify student voice!
See you soon!