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Sunday, June 11, 2017

10 Ways to Enhance Math Lessons with Flipgrid

“How can this be used for math?” This is a question I often hear and even ask myself when it comes to using technology in the classroom.
In today’s math classrooms, we need students to develop a deeper understanding of the math they are learning. It's no longer about completing computational steps correctly. Math today should involve more reasoning, explaining, and students communicating their understanding of the concepts being learned.

Flipgrid is perfect for this! As described on the website, “Flipgrid is a video discussion community for your classroom that supercharges your students’ voices. You add the topics, your students respond with short videos, and everyone engages!”

I learned about Flipgrid in early spring as part of a #DitchBook Twitter Chat that happens on Thursday nights. After I tried it out that night as part of the chat I was hooked. I caught the Flipgrid Fever! The next morning I signed up for a free Flipgrid One account, created my first grid and topic, and used it with my 4th grade class the next day! They loved it!
My students begged for me to include more Flipgrid in the activities that we were doing in class. It was even more exciting when I signed up for a free trial of Flipgrid Classroom which allows for even more functions, the best being able to reply to responses.
Next school year I am moving from teaching 4th grade (all subjects) to teach 6th grade math. I immediately asked the question, “How I could use Flipgrid in my math classroom?”

Well, the possibilities are probably endless, but here are ten ideas I brainstormed to use Flipgrid with math that can help us get started.  
One quick note before you continue. All these ideas include the same basic steps. So I will go ahead and put them here instead of repeating them over and over.
  • Using your Flipgrid account the teacher will create a grid and/or topic with Flipgrid and share this with the students.
  • The students get time to complete the task and add their response, sharing their thought process, work, and final solution.
  • Students can then view and respond to other videos if needed.
Okay, on with the show.
  1. Number Talks. Using Flipgrid helps slow down the pace of the discussion and allows more time for students to think about and respond to the math. Everyone gets to share their voice and add to the conversation.
  2. Weekly Math Problem. This could be done as a review or about the current topic. Mix it up by doing this with another class at your school, district, or across the country! For me, I’ll be teaching five sections of 6th grade math, so this could be a great way for students from other classes to interact with each other.
  3. Student Math Challenge. Put students in control and allow them to provide a math problem for classmates to complete. I like this idea for simple computational practice. My students in the past always loved to challenge each other with different problems. Some healthy organic competition can do wonders in a classroom!
  4. Find the mistake. Post a video or picture of a math problem that was worked out incorrectly and has the wrong answer. Students must then find the error and explain in their response how to solve it correctly.
  5. Would you rather…? Have seen www.wouldyourathermath.com? It’s a website put together by Classroom Chef co-author John Stevens. On the site are tons of scenarios posted that challenge the students to think, solve some math, choose a path and justify their reasoning. The best part is that new ones are continuously added and you can search them by categories!
  6. Student created math tutorials. I can see this happening two ways. The first option is to have students add math tutorial responses on a predetermined math skill. Then share the filled Flipgrid Topic as a resource for others to use. The second option is like a “math help hotline”. Provide a topic where students can post questions or calls for help. Other students can respond with a short how-to tutorial. For either one these options, a screencasting app could be used to create the video and then just upload those videos to Flipgrid.
  7. Math Notes. Flipgrid could be a great way to chronicle all of the different math topics and skills that have been taught in your class. Place either student or teacher created responses that students could go back to if they get stuck and need help. Make sure to have student save or bookmark the link to the grid and they can have access 24/7.
  8. Stump the Teacher. Students pose a math question they already know the answer to and teachers respond with the solution and how it was solved.
  9. Math Curse by Jon Scheszka & Lane Smith
    Photo credit: screenshot, amazon.com
    Use the video transcript. With each Flipgrid response, a transcript is generated. While they are not always perfect, students could go back and read over their explanation to a math problem to see if it makes sense.  If it doesn’t students could copy the text, modify it, and either record a new response using the edited transcript or submit the text via a shared Google Doc or Form. My thinking is this might be helpful for students to see text responses and know what to write for those questions on our standardized tests that want students to explain why or describe how.
  10. Share real world math experiences. Math is all around us! The more and more students can relate the things they are learning in math to their lives the better. Use Flipgrid and have students share their math experiences that happened outside of the classroom. They can share how they figured out if the had enough money to spend. Have them talk about what measurements they used when cooking a recipe. What angles did they notice at the playground? Possibilities are endless! One of my favorite ways to begin the school year is reading the book Math Curse to my students and have them create their own Math Curse stories. If you do this, students could add their Math Curse questions to Flipgrid for their classmates to answer.

Update 9/25/17 - I'm adding a #11 because since moving to a math classroom I have discovered another great way to include Flipgrid in my math classroom.

11. Notice and Wonder. I discovered notice and wonder after reading this blog post over the summer. It is another great way to get students to share their mathematical thinking and connections. What you do is give students a interesting image to study or a mathematical data set and ask them two simple questions, "What do you notice?" and "What do you wonder?". Then have students post a response to your grid sharing all their mathematical connections they noticed and wonders they had of the situation. A great example of this would be from Jornea Erwin's Flipgrid Integration Idea on the Solar Eclipse, which I used with my students this school year.

So there you have it. Again these are just merely possible ways I’ve brainstormed to use Flipgrid to enhance the mathematical discussion and learning in my classroom next year. As of right now, I'm not sure which ones I’ll want to try first, but I do know that…

Flipgrid + Math = Amazing Potential
Do you want to see more ideas on how to use Flipgrid in your classroom? Check out this amazing blog post by my friend Karly Moura on 15 ways to use Flipgrid in your Class. Also be sure to look up the #FlipgridFever hashtag on Twitter. Teachers from all over are sharing the incredible ways they are using Flipgrid in their classrooms.

What are your thoughts on this? Which idea would you want to try first? How have you used Flipgrid in a math lesson before? Leave me a comment below or connect with me on Twitter @SEANJFAHEY.


  1. How long is the flipgrid classroom trial good for?

  2. Sweet! I am a High School math teacher and just found out about flipgrid. I just made my first flipgrid, https://flipgrid.com/fylgrp2 not sure if I set it up correctly. Maybe I should have called my one grid Geometry and made a separate grid for parallelograms (I think I need the classroom account for that so I will use your promo code) Any suggestions? Let me know

  3. Grids are where you post your topics for students to respond and discuss. My only suggestion would be whenuou introduce it to students don't have it be about math. Let them talk about themselves or something they like. After that introduce it using a math task. Reach out if you need any more help.


  4. Thanks for your information, now in this new version there are so many new feature and bugs fix.

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  5. These are all great ideas for the math classroom! I just tried out Flipgrid this past June. I am a sixth grade math teacher too! So I am always asking,"Exactly how can this new tool be good for math?" So thank you, thank you! I love the ideas of the student tutorials, real world math sharing, stump the teacher, and student math challenges by fellow math students. I used Flipgrid in lieu of typical homework one night, and asked students to show and explain how they found the mean absolute deviation for a data set and to explain what the mean absolute deviation meant. It was awesome to hear the quiet kids explaining and it really made it clear to me who was just going through the algorithm and who really understood. The down side was that I had over an hour of videos to watch, so this use would not realistically be manageable on a daily basis. My second use was a year end prompt of "Tell me what you enjoyed about 6th grade and give advice for next year's new sixth graders on how to have a great year." The students asked if they could work in pairs or small groups, and I let them and loved the results. Their collaboration was creative and fun and made for a lot fewer videos for me to review. I can't wait to try out your ideas next year! And I am going to use it to have my new students introduce themselves. Maybe even have them create videos to introduce their parents to what it's like to be on our team for meet the teacher night! If I can get my fellow teammates on board, the students could interview the teachers asking us questions that they or their parents have!

  6. I am new to flipgrid. I am trying it tomorrow with my 7th grade math students as a why for them to respond to a journal prompt. I was having trouble figuring a way out to post an equation in the journal question though. Any suggestions? I couldn't find a way to add exponents or fractions.


  7. Thank you for sharing valuable information.