Breaking The Ice - Section Zero!

Hello Teachers! πŸ˜‰

We are so excited that you have been enjoying your classes!

With the recent change from having 6 students in a class to only 4, this has opened the door for more personalized teaching and higher quality classes. This is wonderful news for both students and teachers! Since we are on the topic of making our classes more personal and student focused, we wanted to share some ideas to break the ice with your students in section zero of your teaching slides! We know sometimes students can feel a little.. spooked before classes -- Let's see if we can help make them feel more welcome!

Teachers are encouraged to enter their classrooms 5 minutes before their assigned class starts. This is really helpful for many reasons! When you enter early, you're able to identify technical issues such as webcam or microphone problems, and you're also able to develop rapport with your students. Getting to know your students can make your classes go smoother, make students feel excited to learn, and even improve your ratings!

These 5 minutes can seem like a loooong time for teachers old and new if they aren’t sure what to do in that time! To better aide our teachers with ice breakers, here are ways to make the most out of your time before the timer says, “Class Begins”!
  1. Get to know your students
    This is one of the best parts! Getting to know your students creates teacher rapport and helps the students feel important, which in turn helps them feel more comfortable in this new learning environment with you!  For lower level students, this can be as simple as asking them their name, how old they are, and what their favorite color or animals is. Higher level students can enjoy talking about their day with you!
  2. Props! Props! Props!
    Many of our teachers cannot recommend the use of props enough. Especially for students that seem more shy, this can help make them laugh! Students love to see what fun things our teachers have to show and tell. Do you have a drawing of Momo you made? Puppets of their favorite animals? There are so many things to choose from, we know you guys will come up with fun props to share! Your students will love it! Many students will find things to show you as well, like their favorite toy. Mind you, props aren't exclusively physical! You can use drawings, too.

  3. Be yourself
    Another important thing to remember - just be your wonderful self! The students are excited to meet you and learn from you, so show them you’re awesome personalities and excitement to teach. The more engaged you are with the students from the start, the stronger your classes will be.

  4. Put each students on the screen:
    One of the most important things you can do before any class is to have each of your students come up onto the screen. You can not only check the audio to make sure it's at the right volume, but you can also verify there are no echoes while asking fun questions. You can even use stickets to spice up portraits and make the students open up a little more. Make sure to click the green 'Individual Only' button on the bottom of the students interface so you can only hear from them to test most effectively. 
We hope that these tips for the opening slide and ice breakers will be of benefit to all of our teachers! If you do these things already, keep up the great work. Your students will notice your efforts!

Do you have any other ways you break the ice with students? Feel free to post it on our new “Teacher Tips” group on Facebook, @QKidsCafe! We can’t wait to see what you have to share. 😊

This article featured the talents and advice of teacher Shelby Gottschalk, one of our favorites. Want to see your contributions in our article? Leave a comment below and we'll get in touch! 

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