The back to school season is full of excitement, new school supplies and the promise of a fun and inviting year. As teachers, building the proper classroom community is the focal point of the first week of school. As we prepare for a potential year of distance learning or a hybrid model, educators are asking the same question over and over again–
“How do we build a classroom community over a computer screen?”
Zoom breakout rooms make this possible and more!
In a recent blog post I talked about 5 activities for creating a classroom community. One of the activities I mentioned were our Digital Classroom Escapes. Students are yearning to interact with one another. Start building community in your classroom with these fun, collaborative games.
What is a Digital Classroom Escape?
A digital classroom escape is an interactive activity in which teams of students use clues to solve challenges. In addition, they are perfect for distance learning because they don’t require any equipment like traditional escape rooms. Also, your students can work together to problem solve via Zoom breakout rooms!
How To Present a Digital Escape Remotely
For distance learning, there are a few ways to have your students complete an escape. First, you can complete an escape in a whole group setting via whatever platform you use to video chat with your students. I would recommend completing an escape/introducing this activity in this setup. You want to go over the layout and how an escape works with your students to maximize success for future use. Once you have introduced a digital escape to your students there are two ways that they can complete them: 1.) Students can complete the task independently or 2.) They can complete an escape with a group of students via Zoom breakout rooms!
Zoom Breakout Rooms
Zoom breakout rooms allow you to split a zoom meeting into smaller sessions. As the teacher you can toggle back and forth from room to room and check in with your groups as they are working on an escape! You can pre-assign students to breakout rooms prior to the initial meeting so you can do your thing with grouping students using your observations and data.
Below are the steps for how to create breakout rooms in Zoom!
Tips for Conducting An Escape Using Zoom Breakout Rooms
- If you have the ability to email your students the link before you meet, this will help save time! Sometimes clicking links from the chat in Zoom isn’t the most efficient.
- When you are creating your groups try to put one tech savvy student in each breakout room. Students will have to share their screen with other participants within the group.
- Keep your groups small. I recommend groups of 3-4. You’ll be bouncing from room to room and you want to ensure that you can provide support if students get stuck.
- As with any resource you provide to your students, make sure to read the directions carefully. Our Digital Classroom Escapes provide several pages of tips, clues/hints, and important information so the activity is beneficial to your class.
No matter where you are teaching your students just want to see your smiling face and the faces of their peers. With Zoom breakout rooms they can have that and more!