Proven strategies used in our own classes.

Module 1: Work Smarter, Not Harder.

Teachers must have a comprehensive and flexible Learning Management System (LMS) website for teachers to collaborate and share resources. Google Classroom is not a robust Learning Management System website because it does not include basic and common features of most LMS. 

  • Streamline grading with auto-grade and auto-updated gradebook
  • Easy to create and share customizable resources
  • Easy to create personalized activities from the shared resources
  • Easy for students to navigate and complete their assignments
  • Easy to use online resources: Open-source textbooks, YouTube, Khan Academy, Publisher’s resources.
  • Easy to provide individualized intervention to one or more students.
  • Easy access to view and analyze students’ data for EIP and other intervention

What should a comprehensive and flexible Learning Management System look like?

Module 2: The First Week of School

Classroom Management for Distance Learning

Effective classroom management for distance learning with accountable routines and norms

  • Routines: Have a fixed and consistent schedule for synchronous live sessions.
  • Norms: Students need to show their faces and participate during live sessions. 
  • Explain privacy laws, and how it is illegal to record others and share with others without their prior consent.
  • Grade students each time based on routines and norms

Classroom materials and organizations

Require a composition notebook or binder for students to organize their work.  I use a composition notebook where students organize their works based on online activities in a unit, so it is flexible for students to organize their work and fix any mistakes. Most importantly, students can find online resources to review.

Expectations for asynchronous activities

Provide consistent deadlines and fair grading policies for all students. 

  • What are some easy, fair, and individualized interventions that you can quickly provide for struggling students?
  • Can students make up missing assignments for partial credit?
  • How do you provide instant feedback 
  • How do you provide tutoring and support for struggling students?

Module 3: Teacher-Student Relationships at a distance

Use routines and norms from live synchronous lessons to create a safe and socially motivated learning environment.

  • Start each session with students/teachers sharing positive news. Don’t focus on content immediately.
  • Introduce thoughtful quotes or events and asked students to reflect on it and share their thoughts. Use equity sticks to call on students, and selected students can call on another student.  Students will feel as if they are in classes. If your Learning Management System, you can give students points each time they participate.

Module 4: Live Asynchronous Direct Instruction

Low-quality internet or video-communication makes it very difficult for students to hear your lectures, and it’s difficult to determine if students are listening to you are not.

Asynchronous video and embedded interactive questions (some LMS has the feature or use Edpuzzle or Playposit). Students can watch a video lecture and answer questions at their own pace.

  • Free tools to record screen:  Screencastify (Free for 5 Minutes) OBS studio (Unlimited)
  • Improve your audio tremendously with a Blue Yeti Nano. 
  • Free Video editing software: Movie Maker (Window) or iMovie (Apple)
  • Free video hosting: YouTube (You can hide your video by choosing unlisted, so users with your link can view it)
  • Use your phones: Use your phone to record hand-written explanations, such as solving math problems. Then, upload it to your computer to edit your video. You can improve your audio tremendously with a USB microphone.

During a live asynchronous direct instruction, you can view the live data from your Learning Management System website to identify struggling/ off-task students to provide private intervention through private chat.  This makes the process make everyone feels they are in class together.

Module 5: Live Asynchronous Independent Practices.

It’s very boring for students to work alone at home when teachers assign independent work during school hours. Using live video conferencing, teachers can bring the class together virtually. Students can privately chat with another student, to all students, or to a teacher as if they are in class together. Also, teachers can address all students as if they are in class together.

Module 6: Group Activities

A teacher can create google presentation with slides that are assigned to different groups. On that specific slide, students in that group can collaborate as if they are in class. Combined with live video-communication, students can chat with other students in their group.

  • Grading is streamlined to grading only one organized Google Presentation. 
  • All students can see other groups’ work as well, so they can self-evaluate themselves by looking at other groups’ work. If each group has different focuses or topics, there will little cheating.

Module 7: Informal assessments, feedback, and grading

Depending on your Learning Management System website, you can create embedded auto-graded informal assessments that provide students instant feedback and adaptive learning experiences.

  • Redefine Worksheets: Working with other teachers, you can convert boring worksheets into engaging and fun online activities. Because it’s auto-graded with instant feedback, you can save hundreds of hours on grading and providing feedback. 
  • Redefine Google Presentations: You can embed informal assessments in your Google Presentation to keep students on task and check for understanding immediately. 

Module 8: Common Assessments, Feedback, and grading

Using a robust Learning Management System website, you can create summative assessments that are meaningful for students and teachers.

  • Teachers can auto-graded assessments with question formats similar to high-state tests: drag-and-drop, multiple responses, matching, short-answer, multiple-parts questions, and diagrams.
  • Teachers can assign open-ended essays that teachers can grade with a common rubric.
  • Teachers can assign projects that teachers can grade with a common rubric. 
  • Teachers can assign students projects that they can evaluate each other based on a common grading rubric.

Module 9: Social-Emotional support at a distance

Depending on your Learning Management System website, you can access data about students’ performance to create opportunities to show that you care about your students and their achievements. 

  • High achieving students: Use data to praise students effectively, either through private-chat or positive parent calls.
  • Struggling students: Use data to provide constructive feedback through private-chate or parent calls. 
  • Gamify activities using real-time data and data analyses from your learning management system website.

Module 10: Transition to In-person/hybrid teaching

Depending on your Learning Management System website, teachers can quickly and transition to in-person instruction or hybrid instruction. 

  • Teachers use strategies from Module 1 through 9 to enhance their in-person instruction. 
  • Auto-grading and adaptive assessments with instant feedback
  • Meaningful and flexible organization
  • Comprehensive, adaptive, and auto-updated online gradebook
  • Gamify activities
  • Meaningful and customizable common assessments
  • Instant intervention and support