Who knows when distance learning is going to end for you and your students? It’s important to be prepared and continue to build community with your current students and even the students who may be in an online classroom in the fall. Regardless of where the next weeks and months take us, building community with your students should happen wherever you’re at! Here are some tips you can use to build classroom community while your students are learning from home.
For your current students, you’ve all made a lot of memories on and offline. Share a digital end of year memory book with your students as you wrap up the school year. This gives your students a chance to reflect on their favorite moments and memories. Build community by allowing your learners to share their memory books on Seesaw, Google Classroom, or other online learning platform. In addition, you may ask your students to pick out some of their favorite pages to share via Zoom or Google Meet with their classmates.
Host a Scavenger Hunt.
Nothing gets your kids talking, sharing, and laughing like a scavenger hunt! What a great way to build community! This editable scavenger hunt allows you to add your own options appropriate for distance learning. Share the PowerPoint via your Zoom or Google Meet meeting and have your students safely race back with items they find in their home.
Incorporate math by asking them to find specific shapes (circle, sphere, pyramid, cube, square). Have them bring their favorite toy or stuffed animal. Get silly and tell them to put on a hat or find a funny book. Set the ground rules for safely yet quickly returning to the screen.
An alternate offline way to use this activity is to share it directly with families to do at home. In fact, this is a great opportunity to make an outdoor scavenger hunt to incorporate science standards. Offline scavenger hunts can still build community by having your students share the favorite things they found the next time you meet for class!
Foster a Growth Mindset.
Positive language and a focus on growing as learners and people definitely helps build classroom community! Try these growth mindset activities with your students while they’re at home. Share some inspirational videos (linked with the growth mindset activities) with your students and their families.
This is the perfect way to help your students understand the difference between fixed and growth mindset. During this time of distance learning, it’s perfectly understandable for your students and parents to feel frustrated and have a fixed mindset. These activities incorporate reading and writing while teaching your kids and their families that they can do it!
Send video messages.
It’s easy to send a quick email to parents (or students if they have email), but taking a minute to record your face so your students can see you will help them feel comfortable. Your kids miss you just like you miss them! Don’t stress on making a perfect video. Just pull out your phone, use the camera app, and send!
Help your students know they are still a part of your classroom while they’re learning from home with these easy to implement activities to build classroom community!