Fun with Flippity: Manipulatives | Toronto Teacher Mom

Fun with Flippity: Manipulatives

Saturday, September 05, 2020

During distance learning last spring, I explored a variety of ways to create interactive and engaging activities for my FSL students, and even designed a virtual French classroom in Google Slides. It was also the perfect opportunity to explore ways that I could leverage tools and so I created a fun Easter Egg Hunt. Then I tried out the Flippity Manipulatives template and I was hooked. It is a great tool for creating virtual "magnetic poetry" tiles of sorts so I created several versions of "Make your own silly sentences" and "Put the words in order" that coincided with activities and vocabulary for the AIM Language units we had been working on. Here is an example:

After you make a copy of the Flippity template, you can easily customize it. I love that you can add as many words as you like, although if you add more than 30 it gets too crowded, and that you can colour each tile, which is handy to identify parts of speech. If you don't specify a colour, it defaults to white.

Under the Backgrounds tab, you can add links to different background images such as the blackboard image I used. The manipulatives template on has a variety of backgrounds, such as columns,  rows, grids and a venn diagram, which are great for sorting words, and other textures. If you want a specific background set as the default, you need to list it at the top on the spreadsheet. Students can also select whichever background they want by clicking on the settings gear icon at the bottom right.

Under the Options tab, you can have the word times appear randomly every time students access the link or appear in the order in which you listed it on the Terms tab. Then, after you publish the Google Sheet to the web, you would go to the "Get the link here" tab and copy the Flippity url generated for you to share with students directly, or you could embed it into your Google Site, like I did here:

And the bonus is, as long as you keep it published to the web, anytime you makes changes to the spreadsheet, they will automatically appear for students whenever they click on the link or refresh the webpage.

Since I changed the share settings to this particular spreadsheet to "Anyone with the link can view", you can easily make a copy by clicking on the Share link at the bottom and selecting the Google Sheets icon and then got to File - Make a copy.

To have students show their work, I have them take a screenshot to upload via Google Classroom and then I publish them on our class website. I also curated videos to demo how to take screenshots on a Chromebook, Macbook and a Windows computer. The manipulatives will work on mobile devices, too, but if using a smartphone, they should turn their phone to landscape in order to be able to see all the tiles.

G Suite for Education Resources - Diana Mancuso
Click on the image above to access additional resources, tips and tutorials.

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  1. Thank you so much for sharing such great tips!
    Is there a way I can post a flippity onto a Google Slide (like in your calendars?) I created a phrases melanges but I'm not sure how to best share it with students so I can see their work. Merci!

    1. Thanks for the feedback! Unfortunately, the only things you can embed within Google Slides are YouTube videos or audio/video clips that are in your Drive. So I chose to embed my Flippity manipulatives within my Google Site (see the link above). You can also embed them into a blog, like I did above. Another alternative would be embedding it into a BookCreator book. When students click on the link, it opens up in a pop window. Hope that helps!


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