While some school districts have made their decisions about how school will look this fall, others are still working hard to offer the best scenarios for families, teachers, and students. It is likely that few people will be satisfied with whatever option they must follow.
What is certain is that educators will do everything they can to implement as many learning strategies as possible to ensure that they cover the required material and that students have multiple opportunities to demonstrate mastery of key concepts.
Here are just a few techniques to consider if some or all your instruction is relegated to online delivery.
- Start class each day with a 10-15 minute “warm-up” activity or question that involves two or three students sharing about themselves and what they are doing at home with the family. Questions can be light-hearted or more thought-provoking.
- Provide frequent feedback via email, highlighting both positive and negative comments about student work, attitude, diligence, etc.
- Screen sharing is beneficial for teachers and students, both for completing assignments and addressing technical issues that may arise with computers in general or the specific platform your district utilizes.
- Permit side chatting between students if the instructor can monitor the conversation. Some students have become more comfortable contributing to class in this format as it does not require them to “speak up” in front of others. Students enjoy it when the teacher participates, too.
- Prepare innovative assessments for individuals and groups that are interesting and fun.
- Develop a closing activity each day for each student to complete. It could be a simple form with questions about the lesson, a chat between students or groups, or a discussion that the class has about a given topic.
There are dozens more ways to actively engage students online. Note that these methods can also be utilized in an on-ground setting, as well.
No matter what form your classroom takes this semester, having a plan ensures that you can meet the needs of all your students.