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Tips to Keep Your Students Engaged During Online Classes

Keep Your Students Engaged During Online Classes

 

If you’re a teacher, your world has likely flipped upside down since the beginning of 2020.

The pandemic has forced many teachers across the country to get used to online classes.

For those who have never taught online classes before, it has been a big learning curve. There’s no denying that teaching on Google Meet or Zoom is not the same thing as teaching students in person.

It’s much easier for students to zone out or get distracted when listening to a talking head during a virtual class. If you’ve encountered that struggle, I have some tips on how to keep your students engaged during your online classes.

TAKE FREQUENT BRAIN BREAKS

I listed this one first because it may very well be the most important. If students need brain breaks for their in-person classes, how much more do they need them while staring at a computer screen all day?

In most cases, it takes even more energy for children to understand a lesson if they’re watching you talk virtually than if you’re teaching them in person. So give their brains a break every once in a while so they can jump back into the lesson refreshed and ready to focus.

Some ideas for brain breaks include:

  • Would You Rather
  • Charades
  • Virtual dance party
  • Animal pretend (This game is for younger students. The teacher calls out an animal, and the whole class acts like that animal.)

MAKE ASSIGNMENTS AS SOCIAL AS POSSIBLE

With everything being online, it’s important to incorporate social learning as much as possible in your lessons.

That might mean breaking the students up into small groups to discuss the lesson or a particular assignment. Zoom and Google Meet both have a feature that allows you to do this virtually.

Making assignments social might also mean having students peer review each other’s work if the assignment lends itself to that.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions during a virtual classroom. Have students raise their hands if they know the answer and then unmute them so they can share. (Remember, you have control over their mute button, too!)

USE APPS TO SIMPLIFY DIFFICULT LESSONS

Apps are a great way to solidify a lesson in a fun and interactive way. Some apps even allow some good-natured competition with fellow students, which adds another social element to the activity.

Here’s a list of 10 free interactive learning apps that you can use for your online classes. Whatever subject you teach, there’s something in this list that you can use. And the best part is that your students will enjoy using them to learn.

MAKE GRADING FUN WITH STAMPS AND STICKERS

My last suggestion is to make grading as fun as possible for your students. This is a little harder to do virtually, but you can still add some fun pictures or icons to your graded digital files.

Whenever possible, though, it’s nice to physically grade assignments for your students because you can add stickers, fun stamps and handwritten notes. It adds a special touch you can’t quite get virtually.

To create your own fun, unique stamps for grading, try our self-inking custom rubber stamps! Messages such as “Great work,” “Wow,” “You ROCK,” and “Awesome!” are an easy and whimsical way to encourage your students.

Click here to learn more about how to use custom stamps for easy, fun grading.