Distance learning is all the rage these days, not by choice, but by necessity. One of the greatest apps that have been getting me through is Google Meet. Being able to see my students faces and talk to them in live time has truly been getting me through this time. That being said, I want to share with you why I think Google Meet is such a great application that goes unnoticed. Students love being able to see a peak into your world – especially if that world involves dogs or kids. Letting them see you and know that you care about them is a great reason to get on the screen. It motivates them to want to engage in learning every day.
Schedule your Google Meet or video session in advance with your students. My fifth grade team and I came up with a schedule that somewhat mirrors the school day and students know what teachers are available at what times. We use Google Calendar to remind students when the meet is going to happen. You can watch my YouTube video breaking down how to do that here.
Set expectations with students prior to your meet with them. They need to understand that distance learning is still learning and what is required of them during the time you are video chatting with them. I created a Google Meet Expectations list for students so they know exactly what to do during our meet. You can find that here!
Flip your classroom. Give them content beforehand so they have questions in the meet and it’s not an awkward dinner party. I give my students access to my Google Slides the morning of my meet and if they have any questions they know when I am available to them. This also helps me with scheduling my time and not spending 24/7 at their service. Self-care is so important!
Leave time for regular chit-chat. I give my students 5-10 minutes in the beginning to just talk. Let them have a mini hang out with their friends so that they can socialize. This will help them get out anything they need and see that you are the support they need.
Play virtual games with your students. After all the learning, you can continue the learning by hosting live Kahoot or Quizizz games with your kids. This will also boost the morale of the digital classroom and give students a chance to have fun while being out of the classroom. I wrote about some awesome websites that kids love in this blog post, you can head there to check it out!