As part of Educator Innovation Week, we welcome a guest post from Atlanta educator Martha Bongiorno. Martha is a middle school librarian who offers incredible SEL (Social Emotional Learning) resources, activities and book recommendations through her website, Discovering the Remarkable. To participate in panel discussions this week, visit our YouTube page daily at 11 a.m. CST. Thank you, Martha, for your incredible insight!
As educators begin and continue planning for the upcoming school year, social emotional learning will be a crucial component to include as we consider ways to support our students and each other.
In the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning’s (CASEL) Roadmap for Reopening Schools, relationships and meaningful connections should be at the core of embedding social emotional learning into your school culture. Flipgrid is a powerful tool in our educator toolbelt as we prepare opportunities for meaningful connections and amplifying student voice, whether your school is back in-person or continues with virtual learning.
The following are the top five ways to use Flipgrid for meaningful connections. Click on each headline for a link to a launch-ready Topic in the Discovery Library!
1. Daily Check-Ins
Checking in with your students builds trust and rapport not only with you as their teacher but with each other as well. Using check-in Topics with your students helps to ensure they are heard, valued, and connected.
- What do you miss from being at school?
- What kinds of things you have done since you’ve been home?
- What is driving you crazy?
- How do you feel about doing online school?
2. Send Positive Vibes
Whether you are virtual or in-person, I think we can all agree there is no “normal” right now. Using Flipgrid to share positive vibes can help design Topics for healing as well as building rapport.
- Send a shoutout to a classmate.
- Share how someone helped you today or how you helped someone else.
- What is something you do that makes you happy?
- Tell me three positive things that have happened this week!
3. Stress Relief
Students and teachers are stressed. We will all be juggling that work-home-life balance in addition to other stressors. We can’t fix that, but we can offer students moments for stress relief.
- Post a joke of the day (either by you or your students).
- Play a game like charades: A student acts out a movie or object in the video and others respond to guess.
- Record yoga videos: Post a walkthrough of how to do a pose and students post a video of them practicing.
- Share a tutorial of a MakerSpace/STEM project and have students record themselves doing it at home.
4. Human Connection
Human connection lowers anxiety and depression, helps build empathy, and aids in self-esteem. It should be, and is, an essential component of education – just ask Vygotsky.
- Post introduction videos: Ask students to show three things they would take to Mars.
- Participate in show-and-tell with your littlest learners.
- Post icebreaker questions: If you were a famous baseball player, what would be your “to bat” song?
- Host a talent show or “open mic” week: Encourage a theme, like Broadway or superhero.
Offering Topics that allow for self-reflection help our students (and educators) learn an awareness about their emotions, thoughts, behaviors, goals, strengths, challenges, biases, mindsets, and more. All these layers impact our behavior and choices. Let’s offer students a safe space to explore and learn about themselves.
- Post a SEL Challenge of the Week, such as a video response showing us at least 5 things that help you calm down when you are angry.
- Use 3-2-1 Reflections (3 things you learned, 2 interesting things, 1 question).
- If you participate in a virtual field trip or connect with your GridPals, have students reflect on their experiences.