In our ongoing series to make differentiation more “bite-sized,” I thought I would take a moment to briefly describe one of my latest attempts in my classroom to make learning more accessible. I call it…

“Take a Flipgrid 5.”

But first: If you’re not familiar with Flipgrid already, I highly suggest 1) checking them out and 2) that you get a basic understanding of Flipgrid before trying “a Flipgrid 5” in your own classroom. If you’re looking for a place to start on that second one, I recommend the “Educator’s Guide To Flipgrid” put together by Sean FaheyKarly Moura, and Jennifer Saarinen.

Take a Flipgrid 5.

What is it? Well, it’s simply taking five minutes to add in scaffolding with Flipgrid AR that my students/parents may need to access my curriculum. 

It sounds simple. And it is.

To help explain how I came up with this idea, I’ve been bothered lately with two questions that really got me thinking:

  1. Do parents/students always know what the purpose of an activity/worksheet is?
  2. What if parents/students need to hear text read to them out loud at home?

That’s when I came up with the idea of using the new Flipgrid “Shorts” camera on everything. Literally. Worksheets, short readings in class, or whatever lacks the context of me being there in person.

And the beautiful thing is, it’s super quick to do and makes a huge difference. Flipgrid Shorts only allow three minutes of video recording (although I’ve doubled up on some longer readings by making two shorts back to back), and then copy/pasting a QR code into any doc, slide, etc. takes only a few seconds. By the time I’ve recorded, edited, and dropped in the QR code, it’s taken less than five minutes to add really powerful accessibility to my curriculum.

Want to see how a few of them work? Scan these QR codes with the Flipgrid app to give them a try!

Happy differentiating!


Nate Ridgway is a tech-loving history teacher in Indianapolis, Indiana and a co-author of Don’t Ditch That Tech: Differentiation in a Digital World. He specializes in lesson design and also is licensed in Special Education Mild Interventions. He’s taught in both middle school and high school settings, but currently is enjoying teaching World History & Dual Credit U.S. History. He is currently finishing a Masters degree in History at the University of Indianapolis.

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