Distance Learning Engagement Ideas

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • July 13, 2020, 12:44 p.m.

Using Ice Breakers

This tool can be used to get students comfortable with online interaction. I love doing ice breakers with discussion cards (i.e. Table Topics Cards from Chick Fil-A). An ideas that I recently saw done in my book club group was that at the bottom of each card there was a code that would say L for left and R for right and then a number to say how many people to your left or right to go (i.e. L4 = Left 4 people) and that would be who would read their discussion card next to share. For virtual classrooms, this can be used on Zoom when you have the students in the Grid Mode or as I call it the "Brady Bunch Mode" with boxes of students screens in view.

Here are some discussion cards I made to get to students talking! Some are silly and some are social and emotional learning.

Exit Tickets 

Exit Tickets are a normal part of my instruction for in-person learning and can easily be used in the virtual classroom. Exit tickets are a great way to gather data after instruction. The information collected is used to determine what and how we teach next.

Two questions that serve as a basis for all exit tickets are: 

  1. What have you learned?
  2. How has your thinking changed?

I use these standard questions because it's saves time creating exit tickets for every lesson and students think at a deeper level about what they did in the lesson. Students are demonstrating comprehension and analysis of the new learning through these 2 simple questions. 

Virtually, students can write their answers in the chat room which is auto-saved by Zoom when the meeting ends. It's also important for students to see what others are saying and how it compares to what they took away from the lesson.

Another way you can collect this information is use Google Forms. These forms are part of the G Suite and are extremely easy to create and analyze. Here is my Google Form Exit Ticket.

Kelly Harmon and Randi Anderson

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Kelly Harmon & Associates began in 2001 with a mission of instructional coaching and providing rich literacy resources for educators and parents. Our work incorporates research-based best practices for teaching and learning.

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