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Teaching Virtually AND Face-to-Face | 4 Ways to Make It Work

Teaching Virtually & In Person

When I found out a couple months back that I would be teaching both face-to-face and online, my favorite t-shirt that applies to me 100% once again rang true- "Hold on while I overthink this!" And let me be very transparent when I say that overthinking is putting it lightly. I had nightmares about forgetting to let my Zoom kids in (that one came true)… you name it, I thought of it.

Now that I'm in the trenches of online and teaching in-person, I'll admit, it's definitely doable. It's not easy. In fact, it's hard as he**, but as you all know, teachers are flexible superheroes that somehow find a way to make it work. 

This is how I make it work:
#1- Chunk your time- in my district, we're required the kids who are doing online learning are required to be logged into Zoom and spend the same amount of class time as the hybrid students do. Break up the monotony! Kids cannot sit online for (in my case) close to 2 hours and listen to me talk. I divide up the block by spending around 15-20 minutes on a grammar activity. I typically introduce the lesson using Google Slides or a premade video explaining the skill. Then we move into the main lesson. For example, we made read together a short story together, silently, by listening to an audible, or by putting students into well thought out breakout groups in Zoom. After reading the story, they may continue in their breakout room to complete a task on, for example, author's purpose and main idea. Then the last part of the class students will do a digital breakout on these skills. This can be done in breakout groups or independently. 

#2- Use interactive online programs- Nearpod, Edpuzzle, & Flipgrid are 3 of my favorites that are used regularly in my classroom. Nearpod can now be used hand-in-hand with Google Slides, making the lessons even more interactive. Edpuzzle is a program that lets you turn any video into a lesson, whether it's one that you made or a video you found on Youtube, Khan Academy, etc. They now have Edpuzzle Live where students can complete the lesson in real time. It's AMAZING! Flipgrid is a great way for students to express themselves, especially if they don't like speaking in front of their peers. I give a ton of ways you can use Flipgrid here.

#3- Two screens are a must have- I don't know what I would do without having 2 screens. One is for instruction, and then I extend the screen to my 2nd monitor and slide the Zoom kids over so that I can monitor the chat and make sure they're completing their work. I know we don't want to spend money out of our own pockets, but for the more inexpensive projects, Donor's Choose is a great way to get items that you need in the classroom. I use this 24" monitor that is under a $100 on Amazon (affiliate link). 

#4- Daily Agenda- Start each day by sharing a daily agenda with your students. This allows them to know what they're doing that day as well as what the homework is. This is also a good way for students who are absent to know what they missed. You can access a free agenda template here

How's your school year going so far? Reply to this post with any questions you have or ways that I can help. 

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