FlipGrid Family Book Clubs

We all know that research is unclear on the benefits of homework. Does it really help kids? Does it create even more of a divide between socioeconimical classes? Is it really worth it? Are you giving meaningful feedback on all homework you assign? Are students actually learning anything from doing it?

Learn how to get books clubs up and running with FlipGrid!

I just started reading Ditch that Homework by Matt Miller and Alice Keeler and I cannot agree more with their points about getting rid of homework. They bring up points about equity for all students (since not all of our students have the same resources and help available at home), stress and family fighting (because homework can be a huge cause of this- have you experienced it with your own kids???), academic benefits being minimal, cheating (have you ever had a student turn in a homework assignment completed in a parent's handwriting...???), homework being difficult to truly differentiate, and finally how it can reduce the love of learning.

The idea behind the FlipGrid Family Book Club is to STOP assigning pointless homework (I'm guilty of this too if we're being totally honest!) and to get students and families (near and far!) READING together!

How wonderful would it to be actually have students reading awesome books, involve families (even if they live hundreds of miles away) in the reading, and have an authentic conversation about the text!?!?

FlipGrid makes this possible!

Have you used FlipGrid before!?!?! It's a website that allows teachers to create "grids" of short discussion-style questions that students respond to through recorded videos. Each grid is basically a message board where teachers can pose a question and students can post video responses that appear in a tiled grid display like this:

Learn how to get books clubs up and running with FlipGrid!

(Click to see this first grade class' responses! They used ChatterPix to share the author's purpose after reading I'll Wait, Mr. Panda.)

Here's how to set this project up!

Choose a book and make sure all of your students have access to the book. It can be any book. Chapter books will work best, but for younger students it could be picture books. You could even do an author study throughout the month. For example, "In April our author study will be in Peter Reynolds. Week 1 we'll be reading The Dot. Week 2 we'll be reading Ish. Etc."

Break the book up into sections and decide which chapters (or books) you will read each week. I've found it's easier and more manageable to do "chunks" per week. For example, Week 1 read Chapters 1-5. Week 2 read Chapters 6-11. etc. vs. Read Chapter 1 on Monday, Read Chapter 2 on Tuesday, etc. This allows for more flexibility on the family and student's parts.

Create a FlipGrid Grid.

Create one Topic on your Grid per "chunk"  of the book.

You're going to repeat this last step step for each "chunk" of the book. I have broken the book into five chunks, so I'll be creating five topics for the grid! 

Create a calendar. Include the chapters to read, and your Grid/Topic codes from FlipGrid.

Learn how to get books clubs up and running with FlipGrid!

(Click to download the editable calendar.)

Send the calendar and Family Info sheet home with families and students. Encourage families to invite out-of-town family members, siblings, and anyone else! The more the merrier!c

Learn how to get books clubs up and running with FlipGrid!
(Click to download Family Directions) 

Here's what will  happen when students and families begin responding. 

Assign this as student homework, make it an optional activity, or it can even be more flexible if you'd like. It can be a class read aloud, and students can respond to the FlipGrid at a center or as an early finisher activity. The key is to get families involved, to get students excited about reading, and to get families talking about the reading WITH students!!! It would even be fun to invite administration, principals, board members, the student's previous teachers from past years, and anyone else you can think of! Why not even open it up to the entire school?

Then read and respond!!!

If you're interested in reading and responding to the Wild Robot, we'd love to have you and your class contribute to the Wild Robot Grid! Feel free to use these codes with your students to add their responses!

Learn how to get books clubs up and running with FlipGrid!
(Click to download this calendar to participate in this Wild Robot discussion with your students.)

***Please note! This is a PUBLIC grid. Please make sure to check your district's acceptable use policy in order to ensure students have permission to participate and post. DO NOT allow students to post their name with their video response on this grid. I suggest using the teacher's name, or responding as a class. This is to ensure student privacy and safety. Any posts with student names will be deleted.***  

Do you use FlipGrid in your classroom?! I'd love to hear about it!

No comments