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The Purpose of This Page
It is safe to say teachers during remote/hybrid teaching are having difficulties reaching students. Some students have poor Internet connection at home, some are easily distracted by the items in their room, and some who tune in to the remote learning session fall asleep or mute their computers entirely. There is not one teacher I have talked to this year that has not mentioned the getting students engaged “struggle bus”. The question seems to be as follows: How can we engage students when over half of them are at home?
Timeline Of Technology in My Teaching Career
Here, I have a timeline of my technology usage and evolution in my teaching career, even in a pandemic.
Epiphany: Hybrid Learning/Teaching Style
Because you are reading this, I am going to assume you are an educator trying to survive the 2020-2021 school year. This year presented itself with a multitude of questions, which I address my own in the YouTube video embedded on this page. I have had many learning epiphanies this school year, but I have addressed the main ones in this video. Thanks for watching! 🙂
Engaging Students When They Won’t Turn Their Cameras On
We all know this struggle; we have yet to see some of our students’ faces! How can we combat this issue? Below, I have included games I have used to inspire students to turn on their cameras, if this has been an issue for you. I have included instructions on how to play and URL links (if applicable). I hope this helps!
Guess Who: I did this at the end of a class when I had some extra time, and I let them know it was totally optional. However, they needed their cameras on to play. So, start with all cameras on. Pick someone to be the “chooser”. The chooser will private message you (or email you) who they pick so you can hold them accountable. Then you call on people to ask yes or no questions, such as does this person have glasses? If the person in charge says yes then anyone without glasses turns their camera off and can still ask questions but is not to be guessed. This keeps going until someone guesses who was chosen. The chosen one then becomes the chooser. It just helps them get to know each other a bit better. If your classes are mixed grade levels, this seems to be a popular question.
Scattergories: For Scattegories have everyone get a piece of paper and a pencil. It works just like the board game – you will have a random letter (picked on the site) and then a list of questions pops up. At the end of the allotted time we review each question and people type their answers in the chat. The top score wins. I send funny prizes in the mail like my school picture or funny stickers. I will say that all my categories I have gotten have been school appropriate, but I make no promises, you may want to preview before you share your screen! Here is the link I use: https://swellgarfo.com/scattergories/.
Establishing a Classroom Culture
Another question many teachers have faced this year is as follows: How do I establish a classroom culture when only half or all of my classes are at home? It has been said that the first three days of the semester are crucial for teachers to create the culture of their classrooms. Even though some or all students cannot be in person, here are some resources I have used to help students get to know one another:
- Vocaroo: I used this for students to record themselves saying their names.
- The Name Is…: Students can use this to introduce themselves. They can include their Vocaroo recording on the bottom of the slide as well. Once everyone turned this in, I compiled it into one Slideshow (you could also use PowerPoint if needed).
- You Are Matter: I use this in my science classes to get students to introduce themselves. I use this mainly for my reference, especially in chemistry. This could be modified to fit other disciplines if needed.
- Who Are You? : I use this in my biology course, mainly for me to get to know the students as many of them are coming in from middle school.
- How Are You a Scientist? : I use this for biology students to begin thinking about how they are scientists in everyday life, even if they may not even realize it!
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