Hi, friends! How many times have you logged into a lesson and your students just don't show up in the screen? If you are struggling with this, keep reading as I list some tips to keep your students in-screen. First, let's talk about why they might not be in-screen.
Some of the most common reasons for them not to be in-screen are:
They don't know how.
They don't know why it's important.
There's no way to redirect them, so it becomes a power struggle.
Sometimes, we may not realize that we aren't always in-screen, so how can we expect our student to do so? 🤷♀️
Sometimes, our students just need things broken down into simple steps or explanations. Isn't it so easy to just say, "Sit up" or "I can't see you, where did you go?" Now, let's chat about why these "simple" sayings just don't work. I'm also going to give you some easy steps to get them in the screen and keep them there! 😊
Kids Need to Know Why
They also need to be told to do it. Sometimes, a student will ask "why does it matter?" I tell them that I don't like to teach a vase or to a wall. 😆 Seriously, I explain to them that it is important for me to know if they are upset, frustrated, confused, or happy, and the best way for me to know these things is to see their faces and expressions. When it comes to reading, I also tell them that I especially need to see their faces during dictation of nonsense words. I need to see the position of their mouth, especially when they repeat nonsense words back.
I also like to provide examples. I tell my students that if I taught from a lying position on my couch, I wouldn't be very good at my job. If they want to do their best at learning, then they should be in an upright position also. When we are too comfortable, our brains want to slip into sleep mode. You know what I'm talking about. 😴
They Need to Know How
Like I mentioned previously, some adults just don't know how to stay in their screen. How many times have you had a Zoom meeting, and a lot of the attendees are nowhere to be found in their screens. Teach by example. Model how students should appear in their own screen.
Code Phrases to Help
⭐️ 🎶 Sing the following song to the tune of "Head, shoulders, knees, and toes".
Head and shoulders, neck and face, head and shoulders, eyes and ears and smile and your nose. Head and shoulders, neck and face, online we go! 😃 Watch the video above to see this in action. 👆
⭐️ Use the phrase "Head, shoulders, neck, and face; everyone (or student's name) in place!"
⭐️ This works better after you've introduced the song to all students so they see how it works. It quickly redirects students without having to tell them to sit up or engage in a power struggle with them.
⭐️ For older students, I like to introduce the code phrase "Body Check". This also works well with in-person learning. This basically means that the student is sitting with their back straight allowing oxygen to travel efficiently to their brain providing the much-needed energy to learn effectively. They will be doing their best work, which means that you can assess them properly. I especially make sure I check with my students right before I collect diagnostic data, like while charting words. I want to give them credit for everything that they do well. 😊
They Need Practice and Role Play
It really helps to role play how to stay in-screen. Allow students to slump over in their chair, and then give them a code phrase. Let them walk away from their device, and then give them a code phrase. I also like for my students to see me play "where's the student?" Slump in your chair, walk away for a moment, and let your student see what this looks like. Let them give you the code phrase. It's good to do this when there's not a lesson in progress. There's no pressure of the lesson, and you won't engage in a power struggle.
I hope these tips help you see more of your students in-screen! If you're struggling with other behavior issues or need help with the flow of your lesson and getting over the troubling bumps that occur in all online lessons, sign up for a coaching call. I'd love to help! 😊 Use code: Summercoaching21 for a 20% discount off your own individualized lesson. Let's role play and solve your struggles!
Have a great week!