Resources for teachers using the Zoom platform to teach online

(updated 4/28/20)

This quarantine has been a particularly stressful time for everyone. For teachers it has turned our jobs upside down as we try to teach in a completely different medium! I have been doing a lot of research to find resources to do this. However, I have been running into roadblocks being a teacher that works for an Orthodox Jewish day school. Many of our families do not use the Internet in their homes and/or do not allow much screen time. Our school also prefers not to use outside sites in our virtual teaching.  We are using Zoom and Parent Locker (our communication and grade website), though.

So I have been looking for resources to help me make the most of using the Zoom platform. I am so appreciative of the teachers and homeschoolers who have offered their wisdom and time to the rest of us. Here is what I have found so far!

After several weeks of online teaching, I have tested many of these ideas. I added a next to the ones I have been using on a regular basis and work well for me.

∞ Zoom activities and tips:

  • Fairy Dust Teaching put together an amazing booklet of Zoom activities and a video about teaching virtually to young children.
  • Lucky Little Learners has an article filled with many activity ideas, ground rules, links to resources, and a summary printable.

∞ Access to a virtual library books – Epic offers FREE access for teachers to 1,000s of ebooks. This would be great for using with “Share Screen” in Zoom.

∞ Use Google Slides, PowerPoint presentations, or Microsoft Word documents – Check out the variety of Google Slides and PowerPoint activities on Teachers Pay Teachers. These work great with the “Share Screen” option on Zoom. I have also been creating visuals on Word to use in the same way.

∞ Turn your iPhone into a Document Camera – Check out this video by Mrs. Young’s Teaching Corner. If you have an iPhone or iPad you can set this up directly through Zoom without an additional app. Just click on the iPhone/iPad choice on the “Share Screen” choices and it will give you directions. Document cameras work great if you have items you need to show students that are not in digital format – a page in a book, a page in the kids’ workbooks, manipulatives, etc.

∞ Play games using the Whiteboard feature – I found several great articles with games you might play on your Whiteboard at school. The same is true for using the “Share Screen – Whiteboard” on Zoom. Hangman is a very simple idea you can do.

∞ More activities that work well over Zoom – I have been collecting various ideas from Facebook groups as to what things might work well to do via this platform. Here are a few I have gathered: (Please comment below if you have any I can add!)

  • Share a read aloud with a lesson.
  • Do “Show and Tell.”
  • Have your students prepare Book Talks.
  • Have your students share their writing.
  • Go on scavenger hunts around students’ homes for objects related to what you are learning about.
  • Teach some of your regular lessons and allow students to participate using a dry erase board or dry erase pocket at home. They hold up their answers/work.
  • Play Bingo together. Kids can create the board under your direction (on a dry erase board or pocket or on paper (or email one to parents to print).
  • Do your usual calendar routine, morning meeting, movement activities or Daily Language Review. You can set up your background to include things you might have near you at school or use the “Share Screen” option. If you are not allowed to link to outside sites as we are, you can play the songs you normally use in the background.
  • Do a “Guided Drawing” lesson. This would be great for younger kids or if you are wanting to help your students enhance their writing projects.

∞ Google Classroom resources – If your school is allowing use of Google Classroom (and your students are old enough, there are also many resources for that on Teachers Pay Teachers. You can also search on Google for many tutorials on how to use Google Classroom.

∞ Scan using your phone! – Parents and teachers can use their phones to scan documents to then email to each other or post to an online service. Great if you do not have a printer/scanner!

  • On an iPhone or iPad – Go to the ‘Notes App’. Open a new note, press the camera button, and the option to scan a document will pop up. Once the document is scanned, you can email it with less bandwidth than a photo.
  • On an Android phone – You can use the Evernote app to also scan items.

∞ Zoom general tips – The Zoom platform offers a multitude of helpful articles and videos for you to make the most of their program (click the link above to see them all). Scroll down to Section 2 for Tips for Educators. Here are just a few I thought would be helpful.

If you have any other tips or resources to add here, please let me know!

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