Getting the most out of your kids in your virtual classroom
Online teaching isn’t always easy, here are some tips to get the most out of your kids
We’ve made the shift to teaching remotely using a variety of platforms including Khan Academy, Class Dojo, and Zoom. We think it is important for children and teachers to continue to have face to face contact time during school lockdowns so we’re using Zoom to host virtual classrooms.
We’re using Zoom in three ways:
- For 1:1 teacher-child tutoring sessions and wellbeing check-ins,
- For whole-class check-ins (average class size of 12)
- For peer to peer contact time (for projects and virtual lunch buddies).
We think its NB for kids to continue to connect with teachers and peers.
This is how we got kids ready for virtual Zoom participation, step by step:
- Kids set up their own learning spaces at home. Teachers encouraged them by sharing their own learning spaces and asking kids to submit a picture of their set-up space.
- Kids had 1:1 practice meetings with teachers. Teachers used this time to check if:
- Audio and video are working.
- Quality and direction of light (one’s light should come from the front to avoid shadows)
- That they have the quietest spot possible for their home context.
- Kids’ had their hands-free and device propped up in a stable position.
If kids were;t set up teachers could guide them in getting set up and talk kids through some expectations for a future Zoom calls.
3. Kids had a practice call with their whole class.
- Our kids were muted if needed so that the teacher could talk and that the kids only had to listen to the speaker’s audio.
- If kids wanted to share they had to use “thinking thumbs” gesturing they would like to speak. This allows for more fluid turn sharing and guided listening.
- We also discussed our virtual classroom agreements (Our school does agreements because they are something that teachers and students come up with together for keeping each other safe and being respectful).
Managing kids, in your physical classroom is sometimes really hard and so is managing kids online. I hope these tips for managing your virtual classroom on Zoom enable you to get the most out of your kids during your contact time.