Announcing the 2017 Barrow Peace Prize with Flipgrid

flipgrid-peace-prize-5

Our 2nd graders have been working on an interdisciplinary project since the beginning of January. The Barrow Peace Prize has become one of our favorite projects each year in 2nd grade.  Students select 1 of 6 people from history to research through online & print resources such as Capstone’s Pebble Go, write a persuasive piece about why that person represents various character traits, create art to accompany their writing, and record their work using Flipgrid. For the past two weeks, we have been inviting people to view the students’ work and vote on a winner.

Part of our tradition in announcing the winner of the Barrow Peace Prize is to connect with our friends at Flipgrid via Skype. Last year, we even had the great fortune of having Charlie Miller and Brad Hosack join us at our school for a red carpet event.

flipgrid-peace-prize-celebration-61 flipgrid-peace-prize-celebration-66

Each year, Flipgrid enhances their product and it makes our Barrow Peace Prize videos even more powerful.  Ahead of the connection, the teachers and I select some student award winners.

flipgrid-peace-prize-11

Dynamic Designers are students who create powerful art work to accompany their persuasive essays.  Outstanding Openers are students who created opening lines in their persuasive essay to hook their audience.  Prolific Persuaders are students who create the complete package of persuading their audience to vote for their person from history.  I print certificates for these students and send the list of names to the Flipgrid team to announce during our Skype.

flipgrid-peace-prize-10

Also in advance of the Skype, I 3d print enough student-designed medals so that every student who researched the winner of the peace prize gets a medal.  Each classroom also gets a medal to display and the teachers create plans for how each student will have a chance to wear the medal.

When the Skype begins, the Flipgrid team gives the students a greeting and our students take time to explain the project to them.  We also take some time to look at some statistics.  I share the analytics map from Smore so that students can see on a map where people have viewed their work.

The Flipgrid team also share some statistics like how many seconds of engagement students have and how many views.  Then, we launch into awards.

flipgrid-peace-prize-6

With 100 students, it is hard to individually recognize each student during the Skype, but we encourage students to consider the Skype and winner announcement to be a celebration of our collective work.  Even if  you don’t hear your name called, you should be proud to know that your voice was heard by people around the world and made an impact on individual viewers of the project.  Your voice came together with all of the other 2nd graders to create a  project that inspires.

flipgrid-peace-prize-7

Joey Taralson at Flipgrid organized different members of the team to announce student winners.  Each person told a bit about what they do at Flipgrid and slowly announced each winner.  We had to take our time because of the roaring cheers and applause for each student. This was a powerful moment for us all because students really were cheering for and supporting their classmates even when they didn’t win themselves.

After individual students were announced, I introduced our student designers of the 2017 Barrow Peace Prize.

peace-prize-design-4

Then, it was the moment of anticipation.  For the 2nd year in a row, the winner of the 2017 Barrow Peace Prize is…

Ruby Bridges!

We passed out 3d-printed medals to all Ruby Bridges researchers and then attempted to get a photograph of the winners from our perspective and Flipgrid’s perspective.

After the connection ended, the excitement continued as congratulations and pictures poured in from Flipgrid and Capstone, creator of PebbleGo.

These are the kinds of projects that I hope to continue to inspire in our school.  There are so many parts of this experience that I love.  Every student is involved.  Every student has a voice in the collective project. Every student gets to showcase an area of talent whether it’s writing, research, art, stage presence, design, and more. Every student’s voice reaches beyond our school walls to inspire projects in other schools around the world. Multiple teachers are involved in the success of the project from the classroom teachers to the librarian to the art teacher to the many support teachers in our school.  Finally, the company that gives us the tool that propels our voices into the world takes time to learn about, celebrate, and amplify our project.  Thank you, Flipgrid, for always supporting our work and for constantly thinking about how to empower the voices of students in bigger ways.  We look forward to next year’s project and the many projects that will develop in the future.

flipgrid-peace-prize-4

Flipgrid Rolled Out the Red Carpet for the Barrow Peace Prize

flipgrid peace prize celebration (1)

For the past 2 weeks, people from around the world have been viewing and voting on our 2nd graders’ Barrow Peace Prize project. Across the course of the project, students have:

  • researched one of 6 people from history using PebbleGo, Encyclopedia Britannica, books, and other resources
  • developed criteria for a peace prize
  • written a persuasive piece about why someone should vote for their person from history
  • created a piece of art to accompany their writing
  • recorded their writing using Flipgrid
  • skyped with the creators of PebbleGo to learn about how this important research tool was made

flipgrid peace prize celebration (4)

All of the student work was pulled together onto a Smore so that it could easily be shared with the world, and people voted for the Barrow Peace Prize via a Google form.  Across 2 weeks, the student videos had 3,413 views, 1,161 likes, and visits from over 165 different locations around the world.

A very special ceremony was held at our school to announce the 2016 Barrow Peace Prize winner. We typically Skype with the Flipgrid team to announce he winners, but this year when I called to plan our Skype, I was surprised to learn that the Flipgrid team had much bigger plans for this year’s ceremony.  Charlie Miller and Brad Hosack, the creators of Flipgrid, flew down from Minnesota to join the celebration. They wanted the celebration to be like a mini Academy Awards. They rented a red carpet to roll out at the entrance to the library. They also bought enough pizza and drinks for all the kids, teachers, and families. In addition to the Barrow Peace Prize, we handed out special certificates to students which were chosen by teachers. The Flipgrid team also designed their own 3D printed award and gave it to 5 students chose by the entire Flipgrid team.

flipgrid peace prize celebration (2) flipgrid peace prize celebration (7)

Ahead of the event, the teachers sent out an RSVP invite to families so that we could get an estimate for chairs and pizza. We didn’t tell the kids very much about the ceremony except that they might want to dress up. The teachers all decided that they would dress for the Academy Awards, so I of course had to pull out my tux and red vest for the event.  I printed out all of the certificates to hand to students and shared the doc with the Flipgrid team so that they could announce the winners. The day before the event, Charlie and Brad flew down. They took care of the red carpet, balloons, pizza, and drinks.  Mr. Jordan, our student support technician, and I prepped the library.  When Charlie and Brad arrived, we setup the red carpet with some spotlights and put out the balloons.

The ceremony was the most special ceremony I’ve ever been a part of. The teachers, students, and families entered the library with movie theme music playing and took time to strike a pose on the red carpet for pictures. We also had many other special guests including Carol Williams for the CCSD Board of Education and Gretchen Thomas from UGA.

We connected with the Flipgrid team in Minnesota via Skype so that they could be a part of the entire ceremony. I gave a quick overview of the project for families to hear, and then we launched into awards.  Our awards were presented by two very special Minion guests, since Charlie and Brad weren’t quite ready 🙂

The Flipgrid team gave students all of the statistics of their videos so that they heard the impact that their work was having around the world. Team members took turns announcing student winners in 5 categories, and students came up to receive their awards from the Minions with the help of my wife, Denise Plemmons.

  • Outstanding Opener: For creating an opening statement that hooks your audience into your writing. Congratulations to Daly, Makenzie, Penn, Martavius, and Morgan
  • Prolific Persuader: For using multiple strategies to persuade your audience to vote for your person from history. Congratulations to Joshua, Ben, Kate, Copeland, and Cara.
  • Radical Researcher: For combing through multiple resources to find the most accurate facts to include in your writing. Congratulations to Isobel, KP, Kenderrious, Josie, and Terry
  • Dynamic  Designer: For creating a dynamic image to represent your person from history and engage your audience. Congratulations to Janae, Julian, Tad, Katherine, and Jeffrey
  • Powerful Presenter: For speaking confidently and powerfully as you shared your person from history with the world. Congratulations to Oriana, Ava, JD, Huda, and Blake

The Flipgrid Team handed out their unique 3D printed awards to Eli, Maggie, Iayah, and Zykurea.

The thing that I loved the most is how excited kids were for one another as they received an award. Each winning name brought on a round of cheers and applause almost to the point that we couldn’t hear the next name being read. I love that this project brings students from multiple classrooms together through the common goal of celebrating a person from history. That teamwork that was a part of the entire project, we still evident as we celebrated one another at the ceremony.

Students had a chance to ask the Flipgrid team questions. I always cherish this chance for students to step up to the camera and speak directly to the people who created the tools that they use. Students had such awesome questions such as “How do the videos we record get onto Flipgrid?” and “What are all of the jobs at Flipgrid?” The team took time to fully answer each question in the most personal and age-appropriate way.

Jim Leslie, co-founder of Vidku, talked to the kids about how they were all as much a part of Flipgrid as the people who created it. He stressed the importance of student voice and how much of an impact these students have had on the people who work at Vidku and Flipgrid.

Charlie Miller and Brad Hosack were able to arrive after the Minions left the building. Charlie talked to the kids about how tools like Flipgrid give every person an equal voice. He emphasized to students how many thousands of people had viewed their videos and they are only 7 or 8 years old. He stressed that if you can have that kind of impact at such an early age, then imagine the impact you can have as you grow. The messages shared by Charlie, Brad, Jim, and the whole team are something that I stress to our kids every single day, but it was so powerful for students, teachers, families, board members, and other special guests to be in the same room together hearing this message from a company who truly cares about its users.

flipgrid peace prize celebration (24) flipgrid peace prize celebration (29)

At the very end of our ceremony, we announced the 2016 Barrow Peace Prize. We would like to give a big congratulations to Ruby Bridges for winning the 2016 Barrow Peace Prize. The 18 students who researched her received a copy of a 3D printed medal that was designed by 3 second grade students. Each classroom also received a copy of the medal along with Charlie and Brad of Flipgrid.

Afterward, I had several families come up to me and say that they had no idea what to expect at this ceremony, but they were blown away by the generosity of Flipgrid and the work of the students. So many students were celebrated, and families and students couldn’t help but smile and get excited. We enjoyed celebrating the winning videos by eating pizza. Students returned to their classrooms to watch more of the winning videos, which Brad pulled onto one grid for us.

We can’t thank Charlie, Brad, and all of the Flipgrid and Vidku team for making our 2016 Barrow Peace Prize project the most memorable one so far. You are a company who listens to your users, celebrates their stories, and amplifies the impact students have on the world. Thank you.

 

 

The 2015 Barrow Peace Prize with the Flipgrid Team: And the winner is…

Flipgrid Barrow Peace Prize (2)For the entire month of February, people around the globe have been voting on our 2nd grade black history Flipgrid project.

After all of the research, the writing, the filming, the promoting, and the designing, we are ready to announce our winner.

Flipgrid Barrow Peace Prize (4)

Today, we Skyped with the Flipgrid team in Minneapolis, Minnesota to learn about Flipgrid, announce the winner, and also give out some very special recognitions.

First, students got to meet the Flipgrid team and ask some questions about creating an app.  I love when students get to talk directly to the developers.  They gain an understanding of how coding plays into real careers.  They also hear that app developers come from many different backgrounds and didn’t necessarily come into their role with all of the expertise to create an app.

Flipgrid Barrow Peace Prize (3)

One of the very special parts of our Skype with Flipgrid is giving out awards.  I combed through our grids and looked for students who had the most views and the most likes.  These students received some special awards called “The Global Like Award” and “The Global View Award”.  Three students had more than 100 views each so they received a special award called “The Super Global View Award”.

I emailed the names to the Flipgrid team and they took turns calling out student names.  The teachers and I handed out certificates, and it was so much fun to see the kids cheering each other on.  It was a supportive community.  Since there were several awards, we did our best to do silent cheers and silent claps for one another.  Even the Flipgrid team joined in with our silent celebrating.

Another special moment happened when Taylor, the designer of our Barrow Peace Prize medal, stepped up and told the Flipgrid team about his design.  I presented him with the very first Barrow Peace Prize to take home with him.

We also told the Flipgrid team that we are sending a Barrow Peace Prize medal to them as well.  They are going to hang it in a special place in the office with their many other awards.

Finally, it was time for us to announce the winner of the 2015 Barrow Peace Prize.  The votes were very close between our 6 people from Black History, but in the end, we are happy to announce that the 2015 Barrow Peace Prize goes to….Jesse Owens!

Another copy of the Barrow Peace Prize medal was presented to the 2nd grade in  honor of Jesse Owens, and it will be passed around among the classes.

Flipgrid Barrow Peace Prize (1)

Of course, when you’re Skyping it’s always interesting to see the perspective from the other side.  Here are a few views of what it looked like in the Flipgrid headquarters.

At the close of our Skype, the Flipgrid team let the students know that they would be getting a special Peace Prize party complete with Flipgrid stickers!

Flipgrid Barrow Peace Prize (19)

We would like to send another big thank you to the Charlie Miller, Brad Hosack, and the whole Flipgrid team for taking time out of your day to connect with us and remind our students that their voices matter in our global community.  This project just keeps growing and inspiring us (and others) to do even more.

Celebrating Our Explorer Project with the Flipgrid Team

Flipgrid Skype (1)

Today our 4th graders had the chance to Skype with Charlie Miller and the rest of the Flipgrid team in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  This was the conclusion of the explorers project that 4th grade students have worked on for the past few weeks.  As part of the project, we encouraged people around the world to watch our Flipgrid videos and vote on whether explorers were heroes or villains.

The team congratulated our students on their hard work on this project and also took questions and suggestions from students.  Several 4th graders stepped to the microphone and shared suggestions such as:

  • Extending the 90 second time limit by offering a choice of time limits
  • Allowing you to categorize your video with tags

Other students shared what they liked about Flipgrid such as:

  • the ability to watch other people’s videos before making your own
  • the like button
  • being able to film your video again if you weren’t happy with it

Since this Skype came the week after our hour of code lessons, it was also a great time to hear about how an app was developed.  It sounded like developing an app is a much longer process that developing a website because in one of the student questions we learned that the app took about 6 months to create while the website took 2 really long weekends.  We also heard how an app is never really done because you are always trying to make it better.  I loved how this connected both with our hour of code sessions but also to other areas such as writing instruction.  Students also learned about how the name Flipgrid was chosen since the videos are on a grid and they flip when you play them, but they also heard other considerations that go into a name such as web domain registration and what is actually available.

Flipgrid Skype (11)

One of the most fun parts of the Skype was the announcement of awards.  Several students received awards for Excellence in Writing, Shout-outs from authors, and Global Persuader awards.  I sent these names to the Flipgrid team and they took turns calling out student names as I handed out the certificates.  Students had fun giving silent cheers for their classmates as awards were handed out.

I also took time to share with the students the results of all of the voting that had taken place for their project.  It was interesting to see their reactions as they heard that Christopher Columbus was the only explorer voted to be a villain.

Just for fun, we closed out our Skype with a Christmas singalong of Rudolph.  Luke performed on the guitar and we belted out our best Rudolph even through the time delay on Skype.  It may not have sounded like it was together, but it was still fun.

Thank you to the entire Flipgrid team for creating a tool that has helped our student voices to reach a global audience, and thank you for taking time to celebrate with us.

A Flipgrid Celebration with 2nd Grade and the Flipgrid Team

Flipgrid Skype (1)

Our 2nd graders just wrapped up a huge research project.  During the project, they chose a leader from black history, researched that person, wrote a short persuasive piece about their person, designed a US postage stamp, and recorded a video using Flipgrid.  Their videos were pulled together on a Smore which included a Google Form for people to vote on their favorite leader from black history to be featured on a postage stamp.   Read more about our project:

Post 1

Post 2

Along the way, the students had several connections to an authentic audience.  They started the voting portion of the project by sharing at our schoolwide assembly.  Students stood in front of the entire school and told about the project as well as shared a video from each question of the grid.  The Smore was emailed to every teacher and student in the school.

I also shared the Smore on Twitter and our library Facebook page.

facebook post

 

Shawna Ford, librarian in Weatherford Texas, saw my tweet and had her 2nd grade students view the project.

Shawn Ford Students

 

As the project continued, my posts and tweets were shared and retweeted until our Smore had 480 views and counting.

smore hits

Our project was viewed in 161 locations and counting.

Smore Map

 

 

Throughout the project, Charles Miller and Bradford Hosack, our friends at Flipgrid, were following along and sharing our work as well.  It has been an incredible experience for students to use a tool, encounter success and frustrations, and be able to offer feedback to developers that respond to that feedback.  The Flipgrid team has been so responsive to all of the feedback we have provided to them, and they consistently work on Flipgrid to make it better.

Flipgrid Skype (9)

Today, our 2nd graders came together in the library to connect with the Flipgrid team via Skype.  The team shared information about how Flipgrid was developed and talked to the kids about coding.  All of the 2nd graders had background in this concept because they all participated in the Hour of Code back in December.  I loved how the Flipgrid team reiterated what I had told the students many times.  You have to work through the frustration.  You have to be willing to fail and learn from your failures to make things better.  The team said more than one time that they wanted to create a tool that works for users, so they are constantly listening to users of Flipgrid to improve their product.  I hope that the students carry these ideas into all area of their lives to be willing to take risks and work hard at what they are passionate about.

Flipgrid Skype (3)

Charles and the Flipgrid team then gave us some stats about our videos.

  • 1875 people watched the student videos
  • 699 people clicked on the heart to like videos that the students made
  • students created 1 hr 15 minutes of video all together

During this presentation of facts, Charles reminded students that when they make a project like this and share it with the world it really is giving them a global voice.  I loved that he said this because it is something we strive for in our library:  giving students a global voice.

One of my favorite parts of our Skype was the awards.  We wanted to honor several students during this segment.  Because each video was “liked” by viewers of the video, I could easily see which videos had the most likes.  This became an award category.  We also had specific students who received shout-outs on Twitter because people watched the videos and cared enough to specifically name a student video that they loved.  Finally, we had some students who worked really hard to express themselves in their writing and persuade people to vote.  I created a certificate to use.

certificate

 

After selecting all of the students, I sent a list of the awards to the Flipgrid team and they announced the winners via Skype.  It felt like the Academy Awards as the Flipgrid team cheered for students as I handed out the certificates, and it was amazing to hear the shouts and claps of all of the 2nd graders cheering on their peers.

Flipgrid Skype (8) Flipgrid Skype (6)

 

Mixed in with our connection the kids had a chance to ask the Flipgrid team questions.  I loved the moments where one student said “sometimes it doesn’t work” and another student said “I think you need to be able to turn up the volume for people who talk soft”.  These weren’t questions, but the Flipgrid team let the students know that because of their videos they were already thinking about volume and that they were working to make sure Flipgrid always worked for users.

During and after our Skype, the Flipgrid team and I shared several pictures from both sides of the Skype: Georgia & Minnesota.

We closed our time together by revealing the results of the overall voting for the favorite leader from black history to be on a postage stamp.  The votes were extremely close, but Rosa Parks came in just 1 vote ahead of Jesse Owens.  By this point, the kids were so excited about all that had happened with their project that the vote didn’t even seem to matter anymore.

Thank you to Charles Miller, Bradford Hosack, and the entire Flipgrid team for helping us celebrate this project today before we move on to our next adventures in the library.  Thank you!

 

Northeast Georgia District Library Media Specialist of the Year

I am excited to announce that I have been chosen as the Northeast Georgia District Library Media Specialist of the Year for 2011-2012.  In October, I will speak on a panel with other incredible district library media specialists of the year at the COMO conference and attend a luncheon where the state media specialist of the year will be announced.  I am honored and humbled to be recognized with this award.  Media specialists around our state and our country are doing critical work with our students, teachers, and families, and I’m proud to be among so many dedicated professionals.  The past 3 years in the David C. Barrow Elementary Media Center have been amazing.  The work that our students have accomplished in collaboration with the media center is inspiring.  Students have published their own work in a variety of formats from print to multiple forms of web 2.0 technology.  This year promises to be another innovative year as projects are already beginning to take shape.  Every year I look forward to what seeds get planted in my work with students and teachers and can’t wait to see how those seeds of ideas sprout and blossom into thriving learning experiences.

Awards! Awards! Awards!

Today was a day full of awards in the world childre’s literature. Take a look at some of the award winners below. We have a few of the titles in our media center and I’m putting others from this list on our next book order.

Newbery Medal
“The Graveyard Book” by Neil Gaiman, HarperCollins Children’s Books

Newbery Honor Books
“The Underneath” by Kathi Appelt, illustrated by David Small, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing

“The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba’s Struggle for Freedom” by Margarita Engle, Henry Holt and Company, LLC

“Savvy” by Ingrid Law, Dial Books for Young Readers, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group in partnership with Walden Media, LLC

“After Tupac and D Foster” by Jacqueline Woodson, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, a division of Penguin Books for Young Readers

Caldecott Medal
“The House in the Night,” illustrated by Beth Krommes and written by Susan Marie Swanson, Houghton Mifflin Co.

Caldecott Honor Books
“A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever” by Marla Frazee, Harcourt, Inc.

“How I Learned Geography” by Uri Shulevitz, Farrar Straus Giroux

“A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams,” illustrated by Melissa Sweet and written by Jen Bryant, Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co

Belpré Author Award
“The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba’s Struggle for Freedom” by Margarita Engle, published by Henry Holt

Belpré Author Honor Books
“Just in Case” by Yuyi Morales, a Neal Porter Book published by Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing Holdings Limited Partnership

“Reaching Out” by Francisco Jiménez, Houghton Mifflin Co.

“The Storyteller’s Candle/La velita de los cuentos” by Lucia Gonzalez, illustrated by Lulu Delacre, Children’s Book Press

Belpré Illustrator Award
“Just in Case” by Yuyi Morales, a Neal Porter Book, published by Roaring Brook, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing Holdings Limited Partnership Press

Belpré Illustrator Honor Books
“Papa and Me” illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez, written by Arthur Dorros, Rayo, and imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

“The Storyteller’s Candle/La velita de los cuentos” illustrated by Lulu Delacre, written by Lucia Gonzalez, Children’s Book Press

Geisel Award
“Are You Ready to Play Outside?” written and illustrated by Mo Willems, Hyperion Books for Children, an imprint of Disney Book Group

Geisel Honor Books
“Chicken Said, ‘Cluck!’” written by Judyann Ackerman Grant, illustrated by Sue Truesdell, HarperCollins Children’s Books, a division of HarperCollins Publishers

“One Boy” written and illustrated by Laura Vaccaro Seeger, a Neal Porter Book published by Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing Holdings Limited Partnership

“Stinky” written and illustrated by Eleanor Davis, The Little Lit Library, a division of RAW Junior, LLC

“Wolfsnail: A Backyard Predator” written by Sarah C. Campbell, photographs by Sarah C. Campbell and Richard P. Campbell, Boyds Mills Press

2009 Coretta Scott King (CSK) Illustrator Book winner: “The Blacker the Berry,” illustrated by Floyd Cooper, written by Joyce Carol Thomas. The book is published by Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

Three 2009 CSK Illustrator Honors:

“We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball” written and illustrated by Kadir Nelson, published by Jump at the Sun/Hyperion Books for Children, an imprint of Disney Book Group.

“Before John Was a Jazz Giant” by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Sean Qualls, published by Henry Holt and Company.

“The Moon Over Star” by Dianna Hutts Aston, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney, published by Dial Books for Young Readers, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group.

2009 CSK Author Book winner: “We Are the Ship: The Story of the Negro League Baseball,” written and illustrated by Kadir Nelson, published by Jump at the Sun/Hyperion Books for Children, an imprint of Disney Book Group.

Three 2009 CSK Author Book honors:

“The Blacker the Berry” by Joyce Carol Thomas, illustrated by Floyd Cooper, published by Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

“Keeping the Night Watch” by Hope Anita Smith, illustrated by E.B. Lewis, published by Henry Holt and Company.

“Becoming Billie Holiday” by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Floyd Cooper, published by Wordsong, an imprint of Boyds Mills Press, Inc.

2009 Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award: Shadra Strickland, illustrator of “Bird,” written by Zetta Elliott, published by Lee & Low Books.