7 Tips for Virtual Class Meetings during Distance Learning

Are you hosting virtual class meetings on Zoom, Google Meet, or other such platform?  If so, this blog post will give you several ideas you can use to keep your meetings simple yet engaging!
Create an agenda.  Go over the agenda with your students.  Set expectations during this part of the meeting.  I try to keep the order of the activities in a similar order.  Usually mine look something like this....
-Everyone Shares 
-Read Aloud
-Review of math or phonics activity for the week
-Show and Share (2 friends share; there is a sign up ahead of time)

Students need to be up and moving at least once during the virtual class meeting.  Below are a few games you can play that incorporate movement! 

Simon Says
One student is the Simon and everyone else does the action that child selected. 

Scavenger Hunt
Ask students to find things in their house.  Think simple; "find something that is green," "find something that you can eat," "find something that starts with the letter m," etc.  

Change the Motion
One student in the class picks a motion to do (waving hands, jumping up and down, etc.).  Students do that motion for about 10 seconds.  When you say "change," the student that picked the motion chooses another friend to change the motion.  Then the kids do that motion.  Repeat with multiple students.  

Select one engaging text that will keep your kids entertained and excited to hear you read!  Think about the types of books they like in the classroom and that can be your guide.  Short and sweet is good; but I have used longer books as well with success.  Stop and ask questions to monitor for comprehension as you read...just like in class! 

With each book I read, I plan an activity.  This is usually something that requires creativity in some way.  Things like a how to drawing, drawing a picture to respond to the text, etc.  

Times like this are busy for families!  It's always helpful to have reminders; you can send a class message, email, Dojo message, etc. to remind families about the virtual class meetings.  In our classroom, I always had a morning message to start our day, so I use a morning message to send a reminder.  I hope this is something that brings a bit of familiarity to their "at home" school life.  

Start your meeting with every student sharing.  This can be with a question; such as "What is one thing you have learned this week?" or "What was the best part about your week so far?'   You can also do a "sun and a cloud" share where they share something good and something not so great.   Let everyone share their answer so that every student speaks at least once during the virtual class meeting.  

Every once in awhile; change things up!  Have a costume day, pajama day, hat day, etc.  You can pick a read aloud that goes with the theme!

We hope these tips help you have productive, efficient, and fun class meetings!