Right now, teachers are doing some impossible tasks. They are being asked to be two people at once or to do an insane amount of work. Either way, teachers are superstars and are doing a great job.
But I see one question coming up again and again for virtual learners and that is “how do I engage them?”
Today, I am going to share with you SIMPLE ideas to engage your virtual learners!
Morning meeting is my favorite part of my entire day!
When students log on, have something already presented on your screen for them to do in a notebook or journal. This could be math problems, a writing prompt, or a fun challenge!
Then, once everyone is on we do a greeting, an activity, and a question of the day!
This is ALWAYS so much fun!
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Centers are an easy way to get kids moving from one activity to another often. This keeps them engaged.
Assign them reading or math centers like you would typically do. They move through the centers each fifteen minutes and you are meeting with a group in a breakout room! They know which time they meet with you!
You could even have them doing their centers on Google slides in partners to make it even more fun and engaging!
Reading Center Ideas:
EPIC: My students LOVE this for listening to reading!
Google Slide Centers: I do this as a Google Classroom Center and my kids LOVE it!
Word Work Digital Centers: These are perfect to do with partners! Students can practicing their words for the week with fun and engaging activities.
Write a Book: My kids LOVE this site! They are always making their own books.
Math Center Ideas:
Prodigy: Read all about this website here!
Math Google Slide Centers: These are simple, but fun! They include videos and games to keep the kids extra engaged!
ABCya Math: The kids LOVE these games and they have a ton of math choices that can help them work on their skills.
Brain breaks are ESSENTIAL during virtual learning! Kids are in front of the computer WAY TOO MUCH.
You can do so many fun things for a brain break while you are on your zoom.
*Displaying GoNoodle on your screen so they can do it in their home.
*Scavenger Hunt: Tell them to run and find a red shoe or a picture of their family. It gets them moving!
*Stretch breaks: I do this so often! I just say stand up and touch your toes and then sit back down. This simple and easy movement can help kids get that stretch that they need and only take a few minutes on your part.
*Let a Kid Lead: If you let a kid plan and lead a quick brain break it will add to engagement even more! Tell a student that the next day they get to lead a brain break and see what they come up with! I bet you’ll be surprised!
Students are in desperate need for social interaction if they are still in distance learning.
**Partner Activities on Google Slides: This can be challenging, but you can assign these assignments to two people. They can both play or work while on their computers. It works better if they can both also be on the screen or talking, but if they can’t they can chat through the comments.
**Group meetings with you-Have your groups meet at a time and allow them to have a few minutes to talk at the end.
**Group projects in breakout rooms- Complete a group project like you normally would in class, just do it online instead!
**Book Clubs- I love to have kids all reading the same book. You can do this on EPIC because they have tons of chapter book options. Then, assign them reading at home or read it together in class. Have group discussions, do book projects together, and more!
I pray in this post you found one or two ideas to help with engagement in your virtual classroom!