Second Graders Flip to Share Their Stories

For second-grade fully remote students in Catherine DeGloria’s class at Matthew Paterson Elementary School, creating personal video stories for their classmates on Flipgrid provides a channel for real connections.

Flipgrid is a video recording platform where students record themselves telling stories to share with their class. Think of it as a virtual show-and-tell that never ends! The class Flipgrid has video entry categories to fit any topic – Show and Tell, Snow Day stories, Read-alouds and more. DeGloria’s students already have submitted more than 120 videos to the show-and-tell category, with more coming every day.

For students, Flipgrid is optional, not a required assignment. 

Students can reply to other students’ videos on Flipgrid through videos of their own or text comments. DeGloria’s rules: Always be kind, and provide one compliment and one suggestion.

DeGloria was introduced to Flipgrid last year by a colleague for a specific project, but quickly realized how useful the platform would be for her remote-learning students. It only took a few days into the start of this school year for her to see which students needed the avenue most.

“I have some students who do a lot of videos because they are the type of child who needs to have that outlet,” said DeGloria. “They feel like they are talking to their classmates. They aren’t in their room alone because they can turn on this video and have conversations.”

One student, a regular Flipgrid poster, is new to the district this year and has only ever been a part of the community virtually. DeGloria points out that the student doesn’t know the other children from earlier grades and has never met any of them in person. But, she connects with them through Flipgrid.

“I feel that given the circumstances it gives the kids an audience that they would have here in the classroom that they don’t have at home. It’s just a virtual audience.”

During a lesson on personal narrative writing, Flipgrid even became a source for inspiration.

“What happens when you ask the kids to write? They have nothing to write about,” said DeGloria. “So, I said ‘Well, every time you have a story to share with me, tell me the story on Flipgrid.’ Then we were able to take those stories and turn them into their personal narratives.”

For DeGloria, Flipgrid also lets her see a different side of some of her students who may not speak much during the traditional remote class.

“It just gives the kids a voice, and you can see their personality come out in ways you can’t see on a Zoom lesson where you are trying to teach math or reading,” she said. “I get to know the kids so much better when they are sharing their videos.”

DeGloria recalled one student who struggled to communicate and would not speak in front of other students.

“Then he got on FlipGrid and it was two completely different personalitiesHe was witty and funny… almost like a late-night talk show host.”

For DeGloria, adding Flipgrid as an outlet for her students has proven to be useful – for them and for her.

“There are so many things you can do with Flipgrid,” said DeGloria. “I’m just doing the simplest thing and I see a big difference!”