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How to Keep Students' Engaged During Online Lessons

One student doesn't hear you, another won't show their face, and yet another has turned their video off! Have you been in one of these situations? These struggles are some of the hardest that online teachers face. For us teachers, we feel powerless when a student sneaks out of their chair, spins in their chair, or shuts us off.


Let's try to look at this a little bit differently. Do you think the students know why it's important to show up in video? Role playing with a student can help them understand the importance of video. It's not enough for us to say that it's important to be in video and that you need to see them. A student, especially a younger one, can't comprehend this and understand why.



Just like we model and practice things in the classroom in the beginning to establish classroom management, we must do the same thing on the computer. This works because it sets the standard of what you are expecting but in a light and friendly way. So, here are some role-playing activities for you to do with your students. They'll only take a few seconds but will set you up for success during all your times together.


These are a lot of fun because they get to be the teacher through the role playing. By acting it out, the students get to see the value from the start. The best part is that it takes only a few seconds out of your time together.



Activity 1: "Suspicious Spinning"

Spin around in your chair so the back of your head is facing the screen. Ask your student if they want you to teach like this. They're mostly going to answer no. Then you can have a conversation with them about why you wouldn't want to teach them without seeing them.



Activity 2: "Slouchy in the Seat"

Slouch down in your seat. Ask the student if they can see how happy you are or if they can tell if you are upset. Then, reverse roles and show them the importance of the video.


Activity 3: "Shut-Off Shout"

This one is a little tricky, but the students need to know that it is not fun for anyone if they shut you off. So, you have to do it in a fun way. Shut yourself off and have your student start shouting, "Where did you go?"


By doing these simple things before you start working together, these role-playing activities will help when you're redirecting a student and trying to tell them why video is so important. This week, I'm also sharing a free Thanksgiving 🦃 spelling words game. Click here to download. Thank you for being part of this community!


I hope you find these activities helpful. Let me know what else you are struggling with so I can help support you. If you missed the free webinar on the introduction to the document camera, click here to get access to the replay.


Have a great week!


Michelle

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