Hosting online meetings might not be your ideal way to teach but it provides you with some unique opportunities to further build your classroom community. Here I’ve put together 25 ways you can kick off your virtual learning.
1. Scavenger Hunts
2. Kindness Challenge
3. Show and Tell
4. Twenty Questions
5. 30 Seconds To Find...
Provide a rule for something students should find in 30 seconds or less. You may choose a color, something with a number, an item starting with a letter of the alphabet, or even a favorite book. If you have time provide just a few seconds for each student to hold up and share what they found.
6. Simon Says
7. Directed Drawing Activities
Students love directed drawing activities and it’s another fun way to work on listening skills and setting up expectations for the virtual meeting. My favorite ones are from First Grade Blue Skies and can be found here.
9. I Spy
10. Best/Worst of Your Day/Week
11. Favorite Stuffed Animal
Allow a 3-4 students at the beginning of each online meeting to share their favorite stuffed animal. Who knows? Maybe other students in your class will have the same stuffed animal at home.
12. Share a Joke
Share a joke and get your class laughing or better yet have students submit your jokes and pick them randomly to share throughout the week or month.
13. Bedroom Tour
Just like in #3, students love a chance to show off their rooms. Pick a student or two each day to wrap up your virtual learning by giving them a chance to give a tour. Promote classroom community by asking students to share something they liked or ask a question.
14. Guess the Number
15. Dance Party
16. Would You Rather
17. Mystery Box
Mystery box is not just a great way to tease new content but can really help increase engagement when you're teaching virtually.
18. Science Experiment
Conducting a science experiment is a great way to get students engaged and talking. Sometimes teaching virtually the students can be more shy than usual. Having something for them to make predictions about can not only guide the conversation but get students excited when their predictions or hypothesis is true.
19. Lunch With Teacher
20. Pajama Party
Throw an online pajama party. I think pajama day is one of my daughter's favorite school dress up days. Students will love being able to "show up" in their pjs.
21. Bedtime Stories
22. Virtual Field Trips
I always find my class seems closer after a field trip. Why not plan a virtual field trip to build classroom community during this time? There are now more options than before to choose from with one of my favorites being the San Diego Zoo.
To play Kahoot you’ll need to sign into the meeting, then click play and host live and share your screen. You can find the directions here.
25. Spirit Day
There you have it – 25 ways you can build classroom community when teaching virtually. I hope you can incorporate some of these ideas whether you use Google Hangouts, Meet, or Zoom.