The idea: for students to watch the last video posted & pick up the solution from where the last student’s Flipgrid left off.
Emphasis: verbalizing the solution process & learning from students outside of our class
To all of my fellow AP teachers out there, you know that feeling the weeks leading up the AP Exam where you know the importance of drilling in on practice tests and reviewing scoring guidelines, but you want to spice it up so that it doesn’t just feel like you’re prepping for this massive test.
This year, I got to collab with Andrea Dickie, who also teaches AP Calculus AB. Andrea and I both teach in Maryland, but she teaches in a public school in a different county.
Andrea and I coordinated an activity in Flipgrid so that our students could collaboratively talk out their solutions to a past AP Calc AB FRQ and then critique the solutions of two videos they wanted to review.
Goal: to collaboratively complete the 2018 FRQs even though our classes have never met. Each student is tasked w/watching the last video response & solving the next piece of the question that follows
In summary, each student was asked to pick up the solution from where the last person’s Flipgrid left off. So student 1 responded to the Flipgrid by answering question 1(a). Then, student 2 watched the Flipgrid response to question 1(a) (to get to the same spot where the first person left off) and created a Flipgrid response to 1(b).
Here are more specifics on the instructions we used —
PART 1 — CREATE A VIDEO SOLUTION
- watch the last Flipgrid video posted to see which question needs to be solved next
- remember, you will be solving the next part of the next question that needs to be solved
- ~so if the last person who posted a video solved 3(b), you would solve 3(c)*
- ~in case any of these videos get out of order, just look at which questions have been posted and do the next sub-problem that you see unsolved
- ~if we’ve reached the last problem (ie: 6(c) has already been solved) and you still need to post a solution, just start back at 1(a)
- on a piece of paper, neatly and carefully write out your full response to the question you are solving. make sure you have either printed out the problem or have re-written it at the top of your paper. you’ll need this for your Flipgrid recording.
- ~you should consult the scoring guidelines to check your answer before you record your Flipgrid. if you have made any mistakes, fix them. but don’t mindlessly copy the scoring guidelines. you will be graded on the clarity of your explanation. so if you write it on your paper, you need to understand it well enough to explain!
- open the Flipgrid app on your phone and enter Flip code: _add code here___
- watch my video introduction to make sure you fully understand all instructions and expectations
- hit the big green “+” sign and log in
- you will have 5 minutes to record your response. by no means does your video need to be that long!
- alternate between using your front camera to record your lovely face and the back camera to record your handwritten work
- ~your video should start by identifying the problem you are solving. show us the question and read it aloud to us before you begin solving.
- ~you can click the pause button if you need a break mid-recording
- ~press next when you are done recording & review your response
- ~for your “selfie”, take a snapshot of the problem/your solution but DO NOT hit submit until you…
- ~hit the pencil icon
- at the top right of the screen. use your finger to write the question you just solved… like this:
- now you can hit submit
So what happens if…
- I start solving a problem and somebody else posts the solution that I’m working on
- I start a problem but don’t have time to finish it and need to come back to record later
If this happens, then we will have two of the same solutions in the Flipgrid. This might happen in a couple of instances. The goal is for you to watch the previous solution post, understand where that person has left off, and pick up the next part of the solution from there. If the Flipgrid gets a little out of order, or if a couple of answers have more than one reply, we can clean that up later. It’s no big deal!
Note: this DID in fact happen in a couple of instances!
PART 2 — CREATE A VIDEO REPLY
After everyone has posted and we have answers to all 6 FRQs, it’s time to reply.
- print out the 2018 scoring guidelines so you have them in front of you
- go back to our Flipgrid solution posts: ___add link here________
- pick two videos that you have not yet watched (meaning not the problem you solved or the video solution that your answer followed-up on)
- for each video that you watch, compare the solution and explanation to the scoring guidelines. in your Flipgrid reply, get ready to talk about:
- ~particular strengths in the video solution you watched
- ~any areas that the video solution skimmed over or missed
- ~if any points would have been missed based on the scoring guidelines for this question, what was missing and what should be added?
- ~anything you would have done differently if you were to solve this problem
- ~one major takeaway you had from watching this solution and/or reviewing the scoring guidelines
- when you are ready to record, hit the reply icon within the video you are responding to.
OUTCOMES & REFLECTIONS
I think that one of the best things about doing this activity was:
- my students got to hear how other students, from a different school and with a different teacher, thought about and went about solving a problem;
- it served as extra motivation for students to complete the assignment since they knew that the success of this project relied on their contribution;
- students took extra time to thoroughly verbalize their solution process since they knew that somebody from outside of our class would be trying to understand their video solution.
What I love most about using Flipgrid in my math class, in general, is the ability to hear students talk through their solution. We can gain so much valuable insight into what students are doing right and what might be holding them back when we ask them to talk through solutions in this way. It also helps the student self-identify what they know and what they don’t know. So many times my students have told me that they thought their solution was solid until they went to record their Flipgrid and fumbled to justify how to get from step (a) to step (b). And for me, when grading, that’s really all I zone in on — is the student’s response fluid or choppy, have they skimmed over certain key areas, etc?
To close, I’ll share some of the wins and fails from this collab. So the first fail may have been how we assigned this. Andrea and I had coordinated a specific date for students to initially respond and then another day where students would do the commentary. The way we talk about “due dates” at our schools are a little different so, we had a small glitch in how we communicated things to our students. So Andrea’s students were contributing a bunch of responses before my students got started… but it ended up turning out okay in the end! But that was the first lesson learned.
Next up is a win: both Andrea and I were at a point in the year where students were consistently missing deadlines. For me, all but one of my students engaged in this assignment and put their full effort into giving a detailed solution. So I would say that having this accountability to an audience beyond just our class was really helpful.
On the commentary end, students were instructed to focus replies on students outside of our class. Neither Andrea nor my students quite got this part right… This taught me that there is definitely a level of comfort required and perhaps something that we needed to ease into or more explicitly state. Looking back, we would have benefited from getting this idea started earlier so that we could have done an intro Flipgrid where students said hello to one another or something light to get them chatting. From there, we could have launched into this assignment. That being said, students did a great job sticking to the guidelines we posted regarding how to structure their Flipgrid response. Students were really thoughtful about analyzing their peers’ solution, comparing it with the scoring guidelines, and reflecting on things they would do the same/differently if they were to solve the same problem. I would definitely recommend posting guidelines for the commentary if you choose to do something similar in your classroom.
Overall, this was a great experience! I think that the most challenging part about this type of assignment is just doing it that first time and being in-sync on when your calendar can align with somebody from another school. In the future, I would pick one buddy class (Andrea, can we do this again?!) and make sure that we do a small handful of assignments like this. And, like I said above, start with an “introductions” Flipgrid. As I’ve learned in doing Flipgrid assignments in general, students get so much better at verbalizing their solution process by repeatedly doing this type of activity. It also takes them a while to understand what a “reflection” response should look and sound like. Ramping them up to doing these types of assignments well definitely pays off. So in the future, I’ll have to think of this collab in the same way.