As a father, I know how losing that face-to-face connection with teachers and classmates is effecting kiddos. I also know how much my own children have enjoyed Google Meets, Zooms, Facebook Lives, and Flipgrids with their teachers and classmates. So, when I heard about some of the fun things that Laura Lavery has been doing for her students, I knew that I wanted to share them! Here’s a guest post from Laura . . .
1. Creating a special theme for Zoom sessions
This is a way to spark student interest and make remote learning fun for all. For example, I hosted a virtual vocabulary egg hunt on Zoom. I created a Google Drawing and imported eggs with Spanish vocabulary on them. While we were on Zoom, I projected the Google Drawing and students had to translate the eggs.
Another successful Zoom session was our “Paw Party.” Students were encouraged to bring their furry friend and/or stuffed animal to Zoom. Everyone had a great time as it continued to build our online classroom community and have fun. The dogs and cats were literally all over the screens. I noticed a lot of smiles during this session in particular.
I want to get all stakeholders involved during Remote Learning and having a special theme definitely sparks inquiry from your students!
I created electronic invitations using Evite templates. I then sent these out to my students for our Zoom sessions. These Evites help students feel part of our classroom community and make them excited for our upcoming Zoom sessions.
3. Sidewalk Chalk
I have been writing inspirational messages and vocabulary words on my sidewalk and then posting them to Google Classroom.
4. Google Classroom Daily Posts
Each day I post a daily check-in with my Bitmoji to cheer the kids up and checkon them. They usually reply with a short greeting by telling me how they are doing. It’s good for our students to know we are thinking about them!
Keep students motivated by using your own personalized Bitmoji to leave inspirational messages, give positive student feedback when students turn in work online, and check-in messages to see how they are doing on a daily basis.
6. Kahoots, Quizalize, Quizizz, and Quizlet Live
These are wonderful ways to engage all students and have some healthy competition among their peers. These are a favorite of my students and help them stay engaged and compete with one another. I also find these resources beneficial because you can have students play “live” on Zoom or they can complete these activities on their own time.
7. Google Classroom Trivia Posts
I also post a daily trivia question for students to (culture, famous landmarks, vocabulary, etc.) on our Google Classroom. The questions change daily and the kids look forward to responding on a daily basis. I have had a great deal of success with this in particular and received a ton of responses. They enjoy racing each other to see who can guess the correct answer the fastest.
8. Slide Templates
Make slides aesthetically pleasing by using these awesome templates from slidesmania.com, slidesgo.com, and slidescarnival.com. These websites have beautiful templates that make your slides so cool for your students to look at!
I have sent out an email to all my students’ families to record a message of encouragement using FlipGrid. This has been very fun to see students and many of their family members.
10. Bingo Board
I also did a BINGO board that has several free activities for students to practice their Spanish at home. Most of these activities can be completed without technology. My goal is for my students to interact with the material in a fun way and to involve their family members in the learning process. Some activities have included: order food from a Spanish-Speaking restaurant, follow a recipe, teach your sibling some Spanish, etc.
This guest post was written by Laura Lavery, a middle school teacher in Tennessee. Connect with Laura on Twitter @TechnologyLaura!