Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Staying Connected To Our School Community With The Virtual Vibes Flipgrids!

Here in Van Meter, Iowa our TK-12 school is closed and our students, teachers and families are settling into our time apart as we plan how to learn, teach and connect with one another.  

One of the first things we thought about as a district was how to stay connected to our students, to let them know we miss and care about them, and as a way to share messages, stories, little project ideas, health tips, Spanish lessons, art challenges and other fun things during this time. 
We knew the perfect digital platform to make this happen....Flipgrid!  

All of our students, preschool through 12th grade, and teachers have used Flipgrid. They all can easily use and share from home. Flipgrid will allow us to record videos in a variety of grids to share with families and a place for students to respond and connect to their teachers and friends too. 
Since one of the most important things is to keep things in one place and easy for families to follow, I created one Grid called Virtual Vibes From Your Van Meter Teachers. 
Within this Grid, I created a new Topic for each grade level teacher, 
our school nurse, 
and related arts teachers including a special one for Mrs. Cook, our elementary school counselor, and...
...Profe Newell to share little Elementary Spanish lessons and stories. 
When I had all of them finished, I shared the links with the teachers so they could start sharing messages with their students.
We love watching our colleagues and friends share special messages like Mrs. Garrison's science experiment with the help from her son;
 Miss Stephens with her cute little dog;
 Miss Cranston drawing with her niece;
 Miss Saylor with her cat;
Miss Algreen showing and encouraging a push up challenge and more. 
Even our elementary principal, Mr. Tibbetts, has a Flipgrid to share special messages throughout the week. 

As you see, so many engaging, exciting and special things can be shared using Flipgrid. 
To make it really easy for all of our Flipgrids to be accessed by teachers, I created a Google Doc with links to where we, as teachers, record and the link to share with families. We all bookmarked this.
I also created a Google Doc for our families so they get to every Flipgrid super easy too. 
After we had our Virtual Vibes Grids all set, we shared this Google Doc with our students and families.  I embedded the Google Doc into our Virtual Learning Library Google Site.
I shared it on our Van Meter Library Voice and Van Meter School Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
And then we let the fun begin by sharing a few of the videos each day, which is one of the things I love about Flipgrid.
It's easy to click Download Video under the Actions button on any video and then you can...
...share, just like I did on our Facebook and Twitter with Mrs. Wosmansky and her daughters video. 
I also added the Google Document with all of the links and each grades Flipgrid to the grade level Symbaloos we use throughout the school year, and now for our remote learning. 

This is an emotional time for all of us as teachers and parents. But with digital tools like Flipgrid, we are giving our students and teachers a way to stay connected and conduct meaningful learning experiences while fostering the special relationships and friendships we have already developed throughout the year. 

Flipgrid will make a difference for our students.  It will make a difference for our teachers. It will make a difference for our families.  It will make a difference for our entire school community.  

We are thankful for what you have given us Flipgrid.  Thank you, friends.  YOU are all making a difference.  

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