Chances are, you are spending some time teaching your elementary learners from home. By March, you had this classroom management thing down at school, but what does classroom management look like with online learning? How can you keep your students engaged and learning while remote teaching? Here are some tips to help you manage your distance learning classroom online.
Keep Playing Classroom Management Games! (DIGITAL versions!)
Classroom Management games are my favorite tools to use in the classroom. They are so engaging, create instant student buy in and can be adapted and individualized. And I love anything that makes teaching life easier – and these games do just that! I wanted a way to bring them into distance learning so a few of them have recently gone DIGITAL! Use Classroom Management Bingo or Classroom Make a Deal digitally on Zoom, Google Meets, or recorded videos for your students. This can help keep consistency, keep them accountably, and continue to positively reinforce your whole class!
Use Slides with Timers
Even though you aren't delivering lessons in the same way, you can help manage your students' time on task with timers! These editable slides have built-in timers. Sharing the slides directly to Google Classroom through your Google Drive will help your students spend the time needed on assigned tasks. You can even choose to “Make a Copy for Each Student” in Google Classroom when you upload the slides. Each student will have their own editing rights on their personal copies to get their tasks done.
Choice Choice Choice
In physical classrooms, you are used to giving choices to facilitate differentiation and help with student engagement. Use station slides to help your learners engage in specialized math and reading tasks.
Also, assigning learning menus is a great idea for this time! Letting your students choose the activities or even the order in which they do things can really help keep them engaged!
Here are some of my favorite menus for reading responses!
Send Out Agenda Slides
Share your agenda slides in Google Classroom to let your students know what to expect during distance learning. Whether you are sharing weekly assignments, having live Zoom or Google Meets with your students, or simply giving a menu of optional activities, setting an agenda gives your students the consistency they expect from your classroom to keep them on task and learning. You can get a free copy of these slides HERE!
Communicate with Parents
More than ever, parents are partners in your students' learning. Even if you are providing specific lessons, it's the parents that are making sure the kids log into Google Classroom or whatever platform you are using. They're helping them get materials they need and stay on task. Provide parents options and communicate so distance learning isn't another stressful task to add to their busy lives.
Here are a few ways to do this with as much ease as possible:
– share out your class slides for the day or week with activities and instructions (send the link on Google to VIEW)
-share out your agenda slide for the week as a great overview for families and students (send the link on Google to VIEW)
-Use Digital Classroom Newsletters to send out important information for the month or week! You can share these as a Google link, PDF, or as a picture file attachment!
Keep in mind that some parents may still be working outside the home. Some of your students may not have access to the internet, or they may be attending childcare services. In fact, some students may be responsible for watching younger siblings in their homes. Be flexible, let parents know that the goal is to continue learning, and you will support them however you can. Student work and behavior will be at it's best when you get parents involved early and often.
Use Google Classroom
Google Classroom is an online learning platform that will help you deliver and organize content for your students. Classroom is available through your Google Suite account. Any resources you have to share can be posted to Google Classroom. You can even grade assignments, make announcements, and send out automatic summaries of work and grades to parents.
These tips to help redefine classroom management for your distance learning classroom will have you ready to finish the school year strong whether you are allowed to transition back to your school building or are required to teach at home. In fact, putting these tips into play from home will help all students have a better transition back to school when everyone is allowed to return next year. What tricks and tips do you have for classroom management in your distance learning classroom?
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