Zoom Tips for Teachers

Tips for Using Zoom with Your Students

A member of the STEM Teachers Group asked for everyone’s best tips for using Zoom with their students. The tips were so awesome and useful that I compiled them in this post (and downloadable graphic) so that everyone could benefit!
If you have additional tips please be sure to let me know via email so I can add them in!

1. Set Expectations

Set out expectations clearly at the beginning of your meeting on a slide, or keep a poster propped up behind you with expectations and procedures. Build community by having your students help come up with expectations and procedures!

2. Use the Waiting Room Feature

Use the virtual waiting room feature and enable the doorbell sound/chime when
someone enters. Not only will it alert you if someone enters late, it will help keep your meeting more secure. Once all students arrive, lock the meeting.

3. Make Sure to Mute

Make sure your meeting is set to “mute upon entry” and encourage your
students to mute themselves after speaking.

As a backup option, learn where the “mute all” button is in the event they
forget to mute themselves!

4. Set a Meeting ID

Set up a meeting ID and password so it’s always the same for a particular group.

Beware, though that if the link gets shared with others you may need to change it.

5. Use Breakout Rooms

For small group collaboration, utilize the breakout room feature. Rotate through to pop in and check on each group. *Breakout rooms may need adult supervision, so ask for volunteer helpers if possible.

6. No Annotation, Chat, OR Screen Share

Turn OFF annotation and screen share, or students will be able to draw on the screen or share their own screen with everyone.
Turn OFF chat for everyone but the host.

7. Basic Requirements

Consider having basic requirements for your meetings for your meetings, such as:
  • Students must use their real name when logging in.
  • Cameras must remain on.
  • Students must virtually raise their hand to speak.

8. Headset Quality

Built-in microphones are often not clear. Your voice should be clear for the
students and you want your ears to be comfortable, too! Invest in a good headset or mic.

9. Try New Things

Not only can you keep your meetings more interesting, you can make them run more efficiently if you keep tabs on what your students see as a student participant, using keyboard shortcuts to not have to constantly search in menus for what you need, and having a variety of ways to interact to keep students engaged.
  • Backgrounds
  • Split screens
  • A document camera
  • Using two computers/devices (one as yourself and one as a student)
  • Learn keyboard shortcuts

10. Pre-record

Pre-record video lessons for your students to watch prior to your meeting, or find a suitable YouTube video on the topic you are teaching. Give students tasks before the meeting, so that when you do meet, you are following up with them and addressing issues or questions.

11. Take Breaks

Have a fun activity like scavenger hunt while students are waiting to join. Try quick brain breaks, stretching exercises, or mindfulness activities to help your students stay focused.

12. Be Willing to Learn

If you have a meeting that didn’t go well, take a deep breath and try again next
time. There will be kinks to work out, but enlist your students to help brainstorm
ways to make your meetings work for everyone!
Download the tips! You can download this graphic to keep a copy of the tips:

Do you like STEM? Try Elementary STEM Club!

You may have noticed that little logo at the bottom left corner of the image for Elementary STEM Club. If you are a K-5 teacher and incorporate STEM, or a dedicated STEM teacher, I would love for you to check out Elementary STEM Club!
What is it?
Elementary STEM Club is a 3-month experience to kickstart your back to school months with support, activities, and tips for navigating the year, whether you are in person, distance teaching, hybrid teaching, or mobile.
Each month, you will gain access to:

    • A tried and true STEM resource with a video walk-through of what you need to get started, how to use it, and tips for success.
    • A LIVE panel discussion, featuring educators chatting about a timely topic in STEM.
    • A book chat: a focus on K-5 picture books to enhance your STEM lessons and learning.
    • Some surprise bonuses along the way (from our hosts, presenters, and guests)!
    • Interaction with other STEM educators in the private Facebook group and club site – you may even find your new STEM teacher bestie!

      Most of all, you will receive a solid foundation and the support you need this fall to start your school year off right.

Find out more about Elementary STEM Club:
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