Quarantine Online Teaching Tips
1. Gamification in Online Teaching
Now, if you’re a loyal reader of this blog, you’ve heard me rave and rant about online teaching games in the past (and offline ones, too!). What better way to engage students that provide them with games?
Here are a few tried and tested online teaching games I love to use:
- Mind Games – This website is incredible for crossword puzzles, word searches, puzzles, kid’s board games, and more. I especially love the vocabulary games. They allow students to have a lot of fun online, too!
- Hangman and Word Games on Zoom – To make it even simpler, use Zoom‘s whiteboard feature to draw up a hangman or word game. For example, you can “find as many words as you can, using the letters of a longer word”. So, using a word like “communication”, have students scramble the letters and make wors like “mat” or “moat”. Be sure to use Zoom’s “remote control” feature to let your students participate, too.
- Speaking Board Game – Of course, I often default to my trusty Speaking Board Game. This was my first printable for this site, way back a few years ago!). All you have to do it upload the .pdf and share your screen. Then, use Zoom’s “Annotate” feature to let students draw their “playing piece”, too. Don’t forget to use an online dice roller to play the game!
By the way, both kids and adults love games. So don’t forget to check the links above out with your adult ESL students, too!
2. Movies & Comics for Homework
Just last week, I was chatting to one eleven-year-old I am now teaching online who seemed so stressed about his schoolwork. In fact, his mom asked me to play as many games as possible. The rest of the day, he had been overwhelmed with school meetings and homework. Some schools here in Barcelona seem to be opting out of the “Zoom” format. Instead, they are assigning piles of work for kids to do on their own!
So, I used a few helpers to incorporate movies, cartoons, and comics into the mix!
Zoom, Netflix Party & Other Online Teaching Helpers
First of all, I’m sure a lot of you are using Netflix. I find it’s the perfect way to keep students engaged. Homework assigments like “watch this movie” or an episode of The Magic Schoolbus can be a hit. In fact, I have my First Certificate students write movie reviews to practice for Written Essay #2!
Now, Netflix, iTunes and others seem to have gotten smarter over the last couple months, and blocked screen sharing via Zoom and Skype. So while you can’t watch a movie online with your students, you can assign it for homework and discuss it the next class. Alternatively, check out the Netflix Party extension to watch together (and chat about vocabulary words).
Be sure to suggest relevant and exciting movies your student is sure to love, though. How do you know? Ask! I find the better you know them personally, the better online teaching goes.
3.Involve the Family in Online Teaching Presentations
Well, I’ll fully admit that this one is new! Actually, I just decided to use this a few weeks ago, smack in the middle of COVID-19 quarantine. A student who loves animals wanted to see a video about marine animals. So, I asked him to choose a particular animal, and we started to learn more about Humpback Whales in English.
Then, I gave him a Google Slides assignment. We worked on it over three classes, and created a wonderful presentation about a topic he loved. What was even better was the “presentation” we gave with his family as an audience. Online teaching and online audience! It was a fantastic success and I can only recommend it.
What’s more is I could teach my student new vocabulary words, how to give a good presentation, and how to use a thesaurus all online, and all with the same topic. His family was proud, and I was a happy online teacher!
4.Theme-based Online Teaching
One of the new ideas I’ve had for online teaching this term has been co-creating projects together with students. Google Slides is a great way to do this effectively. It’s free, too.
Some themes you might want to consider are:
- Your student’s favourite characters from novels or films
- COVID-19 and its effect on our lives (one of my students is currently doing a mental health and anxiety project based on this theme!)
- How To Quarantine Videos (e.g. recipes they’ve learned, new skills they’ve learned, etc.)
- Quarantine Poetry and feelings journals (let your students express their emotions creatively)
- Many, many more (share yours in the comments!)
5. Use Quarantine As a Learning Opportunity
- How will we exit quarantine? Will we be the same people as before?
- What’s the most important part of your life? Have your thoughts changed since school went online?
- If you could tell the world one message about what you’ve learned in quarantine, what would it be? (Do a Google Slides presentation – 5 minutes long).
Staying Strong in Quarantine Teaching
Sometimes, though, visualizing just isn’t enough.
Grab Your Free Teaching Printables!
Join to grab your Ultimate Phrasal Verbs Game and Goal Setting Template freebie. Also, get access to a library of free teaching printables and motivational posters which I update monthly, and other exciting updates! Don't miss out!