Integrating Pear Deck and Flipgrid for Warm-Ups & Activating Prior Knowledge

By: Matt Rhoads, Ed.D

Dr. Matt Rhoads is a Tech and Instructional Leader and Innovator with hands in Adult Ed, K-12, and Higher Education. He is the author of several books and is the host of Navigating Education – The Podcast.

App-smashing is one of my favorite instructional integrations to help support students in their learning by ensuring I hit many of the elements of the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) within an instructional sequence in my lesson. The goal of this post is to show this through several examples that can be quickly incorporated into your instruction and lessons using the EdTech tools of Pear Deck and Flipgrid together in an instructional sequence. These strategies will offer your students overt and covert opportunities to actively learn in any classroom setting!

Integrating Pear Deck and Flipgrid for Warm-ups/Activating Prior Knowledge

In our classes, we want our students to problem solve. Yet, we also want them to demonstrate HOW and WHY they took that course of action. Now, we have the ability to have students do both tasks within a sequence, which benefits learning. What this does is activate prior knowledge and builds conceptual frameworks. Additionally, when done in a sequence, it provides the opportunity to lessen the cognitive load on students. Last, it gives students the opportunity to complete a task that is multimodal because students complete an initial task by demonstrating a skill and then have to then transition to another task requiring a different skill to discuss the task and their problem solving verbally. 

Two examples are going to be provided of this integration: Write a Claim + Provide Evidence & Solve a Problem + Math Talks. Both of these integrations can occur at the beginning or end of a lesson for a formative assessment and as a way to activate prior knowledge. The goal here is to show the integration and demonstrate how it can be implemented step by step. 

Note: For students to maneuver between slides, you can turn on control to students on your Pear Deck slides by doing on your teacher panel. We do this so  students can review their work once they are on Flipgrid. 

Write a Claim/Answer Prompt + Provide Evidence

First, we have an example that can be used in the humanities. During a quickwrite or short writing task, we can provide our students with the opportunity to answer a writing prompt with a thesis statement relating to a text or historic event you are studying. Then, with students knowing this while they are writing their statement, they must provide evidence related to their thesis statement immediately after answering the prompt using Flipgrid for about 30-45 seconds. 

Then, on the following slide, students will then click on the link and record their evidence. You can provide prompts and sentence frames to help students think about how they will articulate evidence verbally to support their claim. 

When students are completing their Flipgrid response, you can provide feedback on their initial claims/thesis statements they have created responding to the prompt. This can be a number of students who work better with individual covert feedback or students you feel need immediate feedback. Then, once the students complete their Flipgrid response, go back to the initial claim/thesis statements students have generated. Call on two students to read their claim/thesis statement and ask them to paraphrase their Flipgrid response to the class. Additionally, if you need to make any whole class corrections or need to model to the entire class, this can be done during this time as well. 

Solve a Problem + Math Talks

Second, let’s focus on math warm ups and math talks. Essentially, in a very similar way as the first example, students complete a problem as a warm-up. Students use the drawing tool to show their work step by step. Give your students a time lapse to initially solve and then have them move onto the next sequence. If you want to add a twist, you can have students pair up in a break up room for a few minutes to compare their steps before moving on to the next step which is the verbal math talk on Flipgrid. 

Have students first solve the problem and show their work. Then, you have three options. First, send the direct link to Flipgrid in the chat box or move to a new slide after a time period has elapsed and have students click on a direct link (as seen below). Third, as mentioned above, you can turn on your Pear Deck slides to student paced, which can give them control to move back and forth between their work and the Flipgrid hyperlink slide. 

After students have completed their Flipgrid response, go back to the initial warm-up slide and ask one or two students to share how they solved the problem (you can have them share their screen or pull it up through Pear Deck). Then, model and clarify questions students may have. Additionally, be sure to provide feedback as students completed their Flipgrid response, you can provide feedback on a number of students’ Pear Deck responses covertly. Ultimately, individually and collectively, feedback can be given and students can make necessary adjustments before moving on to the next portion of the lesson. 

Other Ideas of How the Integration Can be Used

HumanitiesMath/ScienceWorld Language
1. Social-Emotional Learning
2. Similarities/Differences
Support an argument with relevant evidence
3. Making predictions and inferences
4. Review a text or piece of media
1. Social-Emotional Learning
2. Comparing/Contrast phenomenon
3. Discussing relationships among scientific concepts 
4. Math Talks and Proofs
 Constructing explanations and interpreting data  
1. Social Emotional Learning
Learning new vocabulary words
2. Response to a prompt and then further practicing the language Interpret a concept in writing and verbally 

Other Tools for this Integration and Strategy Sequence that Work!

  • Google Slides & Flipgrid
  • Nearpod & Flipgrid
  • Padlet & Flipgrid

Published by Matthew Rhoads, Ed.D.

Innovator, EdTech Trainer and Leader, University Lecturer & Teacher Candidate Supervisor, Consultant, Author, and Podcaster

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