Moving in Online Classrooms

From the Classroom to Online

Transitioning to online classrooms has been a learning experience for everyone. As our teachers and students become more accustomed to this new model, we've been generating waves of feedback about what's working and what needs to go back to the drawing board.

Each age group comes with its own set of challenges and opportunities. When it comes to young learners, you don't need to reinvent the wheel. Kids need to move - so we've got some tips on how to keep young learners moving in an online classroom.

If you're still learning the in's and out's of the virtual classroom, check out our article Lessons During Covid19. It offers tips about getting started and managing your resources.

Maintain Routines

Most of us have had to adapt to online lessons during the spring semester, which means you've probably already developed a routine for the beginning of your lesson. Whether it be a song, a chant, or simply saying what day it is, these are important to continue using in your online classroom. It helps set the tone for the lesson and prepares students for what to expect. If you don't already have a routine, now is the time to start one! Soon you'll be able to access our entire library filled with games, songs and introduction material to give you some ideas. For more updates, you can sign up here.

Act it Out

In an ESL classroom, acting is a big part of the job. Students are being introduced to new vocabulary words, and getting to act those words out is what makes it fun! Simon says and charades can still be played in an online classroom, but even those games can get boring after awhile. Try having students act out different emojis. You can easily share your screen or type them into the chat. You can use the emojis to create a story and then act it out together. Another fun way to keep students moving is by practicing prepositions. Have each student find a toy and then place their toys in different positions based on your instructions. You can also use adjectives to describe the toys, and practice possessive pronouns! 

Take a Break

Online lessons can feel long! It's good to take a break. Why not have a dance party? This is a great opportunity to introduce your learners to popular English songs while blowing off some steam. You can also use the 'dance party' as a reward. It can help students feel motivated to complete activities. Not all students will feel comfortable dancing, but you can still get them moving. Try a guided stretch or even some basic yoga exercises.

Keep it Fun

Body language can easily be lost when you're communicating through a screen, so this is a great opportunity to exaggerate! Try using lots of gestures and different facial expressions to keep young learners entertained. Props or toys are a great way to keep their attention, and don't be afraid of getting silly! You can try out virtual 'high fives', winks, special dance moves or even funny video clips to keep things fun and fresh.

Do you have any other tips or tricks to share with fellow ESL teachers? Let us know in the comments!