Transitions between activities are crucial to maintain momentum and student engagement. They are also necessary to reduce wasted time.
Here are some easy ways to check for understanding. The idea is to consistently perform simple, disarming checks for understanding–ideally around the lesson objectives or related ideas.
Consider ice-breakers at the beginning–or entry slips–and fun team-building or exit slips at the end.
Among other benefits, creating breakout rooms before class even begins forces you to have reasons for those breakout rooms–that is, provides a kind of framework for grouping, station teaching, collaboration, small-group instruction, and more. You can read more about them in What Are Breakout Rooms? A Definition For Teachers.
Generally speaking, the definition of synchronous learning is learning the same thing at the same time. Broadly speaking, limit lecturing during remote teaching (this is a common synchronous teaching strategy) and use alternatives to lecture instead.
This helps build relationships with students while also improving the credibility of online learning–helping them to see that they’re not simply fulfilling their academic duty but rather connecting with people who care around content designed to (hopefully) make their life better.
Personalized learning is always a good idea, but in remote teaching, it may be even more critical than a standard classroom (if for no other reason than it’s easier to ‘lose’ students or for students to ‘hide’ during synchronous distance learning). A basic strategy here is to create tiered learning targets. For example: Tier 1: Students will be able to roughly define a metaphor Tier 2: Students will be able to define and identify two obvious metaphors in an excerpt Tier 3: Students will define and identify a ‘less obvious’ metaphor Tier 4: Students will define, identify, and analyze the effect of a obvious metaphor
Online classrooms, as mentioned before, run differently than traditional classrooms. These classrooms have the potential to feel cold mechanical. Initiating and encouraging discussions can go a long way in terms of how your students feel in class. Encourage participation, much like you would in class. There are a variety of ways you can encourage participation from discussions to posting lectures, to assigning reading material, to monitoring progress. You want your students involved on a weekly basis as opposed to just turning in assignments. Student involvement (planned, in-depth discussions, for example) gets your students working with the material in ways that they may not do on their own. This leads your students to get more out of your class - more than just a grade.
We’ve successfully traveled all over the world while teaching with VIPKID. Take advantage of VIPKID; make your own schedule, work remotely, and get out to travel more. We’ve been able to see so many unbelievable places because of this job. There are so many tricks and tips to teaching with VIPKID while traveling and you can find a few of them right here: How to Teach with VIPKID While Traveling the World (World Travel) How to Teach with VIPKID From Your Car or Truck (USA Travel)
There, I said it. Props aren’t as important as VIPKID makes you believe. The most important prop at your disposal is yourself and your ability to connect with these kids. Something that I have found to be very useful instead of physical props is the last slide on the PowerPoint. VIPKID leaves that slide blank 99% of the time. So instead of using toys and stuffed animals, I use the last slide to play games with my students. Sometimes I even use it to write out a few concepts that need more of an explanation. In order to skip forward to the last slide, I type in the last page number in the bottom left corner box. This quickly brings me to the last slide. I also take note of which slide I was previously on so I can jump back to where I left off. Use this last slide to play games with your students for rewards and to explain new concepts and vocabulary words. For example, if my student doesn’t understand the word “sun”, I go to the last slide and draw a sun. Easy!