To teach math remotely is definitely a new challenge for teachers everywhere and making it meaningful is so important. Keeping students engaged in a math classroom is no easy task, and keeping them engaged remotely for math might be even harder! Here are a few things you can do to keep students engaged while virtually teaching them.
Use What You Have
Don’t re-invent the wheel to teach math remotely – use what you have! I grabbed a few essentials from my classroom when I knew I was going to be teaching remotely. I also grabbed a few physical manipulatives to model some of the questions. The white board came in handy when I was video chatting with my students and they had questions!
Let The Computer Do The Grading
Google Forms is an amazing tool to help you grade, and it isn’t the only one of its kind. Quizizz, Kahoot and Quizlet are great alternatives that make the assessment fun! I wrote about these websites in this blog post. Basically, the websites make the quiz that you create a game and can be assigned as a self-paced activity. The data can be accessed easily from the website. Also on Prodigy you can assign students standards based activities and it has the data beautifully organized! I wrote all about it in this post.
Animate in Google Slides
I’m not going to lie – teaching math without being able to show work has been such a struggle! I use Google Slides along with Screencastify to help me model step by step how to solve a problem and it helps! Below is a video where I share how to use the animate feature to model a math problem.
Flip Your Classroom
Realistically speaking, you can’t expect all students to be on when you’re available to teach them because they might have siblings and shared devices. If you give students the slides and notes before hand, when you are on a video call with them you can be there to just answer questions. This will alleviate the stress of students coming in and out of a chat and missing something important. Remote learning is a totally different ballgame and students can get turned off easily. Students have the ability to log out easily when teaching remotely and can be disengaged.
Supplement with Videos
There are so many videos out there of different math concepts and they are amazing! Khan Academy and LearnZillion are two of my faves, but nothing beats recording your own video! All it takes is your cell phone and a white board. The kids will love to hear your voice teaching the math to them and may be more inclined to watch the whole thing. I’m not saying to record your face, prop your phone up on some books and record your hands writing on the white board or using manipulatives.
Stick to a Routine
Try to keep as much of the class routine as possible when making the switch to remote learning. I have always taught in a 90 minute math block, but I only plan for 30 minutes at most for my students each day in remote learning. There is a lot going on for everyone at home and it alleviates the stress on the parents as well. When my school first switched to remote learning, my team and I came up with a schedule to help keep students in a routine while learning from home. This has alleviated a lot of questions from parents of the requirements for their child learning from home.
I hope these tips help you navigate this new way of teaching that we are experiencing for the next few weeks or months and as always, thank you for stopping by!