Let’s face it, we all know that virtual learning is not ideal for anyone. Yes, it is the safest option for students, teachers, and families right now, but that doesn’t make it easy! Teaching virtually is a whole new world. Teachers of all ages are starting from scratch and getting ready for a year full of NEW. However, just because this school year is new doesn’t mean it can’t be engaging!
One thing that has really helped me in my virtual classroom is keeping a routine, just like I would in the physical classroom. Every morning we start our day with a Morning Meeting. This concept was developed by Responsive Classroom and has 4 main parts: Greeting, Sharing, Group Activity/Game, and Morning Message. (You can read more about Morning Meetings here). Morning Meeting time is something I really value, and is something that has really helped me build my classroom community. Below are some things that have helped me have successful virtual Morning Meetings.
This is an example of my Welcome slide. When students enter my Zoom classroom from the waiting room, they will see this slide on their screen, as well as hear upbeat music playing. This stays up until everyone arrives!
Morning Meeting Agenda Slide:
This is an example of my Morning Meeting agenda slide. This is shown to students before our meeting begins. I’ve noticed this has really helped with behavior and students know after the morning message, they will get a wiggle break.
Share Question Slide:
The Share time is a great time to give students the opportunity to talk, talk, TALK! When students have the opportunity to talk and share, they feel valued and can learn more about their peers. To make Sharing work in our virtual classrooms, I have been putting students in random breakout rooms daily with 2-3 students. This way they are getting to chat with new students, not just their friends.
Morning Message Slide:
This is an example of a Morning Message you might see in our classroom! During the morning message, students read aloud and together (as in sync as possible! LOL). The Morning Message gives a quick breakdown of the day, and can be used to teach various grammar or punctuation strategies.