By Tabitha Peoples
Keeping students engaged in a personalized virtual learning environment can support their learning.
Here are 5 tips for working with students virtually while establishing relationships:
Tip 1: Create a Sense of Warmth
Establish clear boundaries in a space where students can feel relaxed and comfortable. Use routines and procedures as a foundation to create a sense of warmth around these expectations.
Tip 2: Use High and Low Check-Ins with Each Student
Check-ins could start as soon as you greet students by naming each student one-by-one. Throughout the lesson, continue by incorporating student interests whenever possible. For struggling students, teachers can implement a similar version to the 2 x 10 Relationship Building Strategy (also known as “Two-Minute Intervention”) created by researcher Raymond Wlodkowski. With this strategy, teachers can set aside 2 minutes on 10 consecutive school days (or even longer!) to build rapport with a struggling student, subtly and authentically, to best meet the child’s needs.
Tip 3: Offer Regular Feedback
One of the best components of our Dailies programs is that we provide daily and weekly feedback, mentioning the student strengths and weaknesses. Our Glow & Grows, Weekly Reports, and sharing student work within our school community are a few opportunities where we offer feedback to our students and families. Consistent and regular feedback is important for building a positive classroom culture and to foster positive relationships with others.
Tip 4: Facilitate with Interactive Learning Resources
Open-ended, trivia-based, and collaborative activities are just a few ways in which learning can be made interactive. Learning resources can range from virtual field trips to crossword puzzles, memory games, crafts, scavenger hunts and more. Interactive learning resources are great for students in a virtual setting as they are able to share what they know, all while keeping the students engaged and having fun.
Tip 5: Maintain Balance
Incorporate small breaks between activities to break up instructional time from group work and from independent work. Breaks can also serve as another opportunity to check-in with students and a chance for them to reset! Breaking up lessons helps to establish routines and can create opportunities for children to flourish in multiple ways.
By Tabitha Peoples