It has been CRAZY trying to get used to this quarantine and virtual learning. If you're like me, you're probably doing daily or at least weekly virtual interactive sessions with your students. Maybe you're using Google Meets or Zoom, but these are some fabulous activities you can do during your online class time! I really hope they help you.

4 Easy Activities For Virtual Learning Your Class Will LOVE - by A Word On Third

1. Beat The Teacher

This is a free resource that I created for you. In short, you are combining probability (dice-rolling) and place value to make the largest (or smallest) number possible, one die roll at a time. Once you roll a die, you place the digit in an empty place value space. Once you've written it down, you cannot move it. The students will to beat you by creating a number larger (or smaller) than you, which happens often enough since you are using chance in this game. After playing, you might have students help you place your number on a number line. You can also compare your number with their numbers. When you play Beat The Teacher, all you need to do is present your screen to use this during live interactions.

All of the directions for using this are in the presentation notes of this Google Slide. I've created a differentiated version so you can use this if you're teaching Kindergarten all the way up to middle school. It probably won't be super challenging for your middle schoolers, but you could always add decimals if you want to. I use this a lot in my classroom, so when virtual learning is over, keep in mind that it makes a great brain break or math warm-up!

2. Questions and Clues

I really love this game. I've blogged about it before, and it works perfectly in a virtual learning setting. It's kind of like the game headbands. One student needs to guess a word that everyone else knows.

I pick one child to be the "Guesser" and write down a word or phrase that he or she will need to guess. Since I can't tape the word to the child's back during virtual learning, I have the "Guesser" close their eyes while everyone else in the class reads this word silently. If you teach younger grades, you might pick simple words and include picture clues next to them. 

Next, they ask 5 yes or no questions which the class answers with a thumbs up or down. After that, they are given 3 clues. I tell the students to be as specific as possible with their clues without using the word or phrase on the index card. Once the class sees how the game goes, I also assign a "Counter" who keeps track of how many questions the "Guesser" asks and how many "Clues" their classmates share. Each round is short, so you can do many at one time. Words can be content-related, random, or even silly words/phrases that could be related to inside jokes in your classroom.

3. Scavenger Hunt

I've been sending my kids on all kinds of scavenger hunts, and the possibilities are endless! I've even made a few Screencastify videos to give kids instructions on what to do on their scavenger hunts. Here's one I did for short vowels. (Please excuse the silly pink plant lights in the background... I am growing vegetables in my office right now until I can move them outside!)

You can either do the scavenger hunts right on your interactive meeting, or you can have students record what they find and bring their findings to the meeting!

Here are some fun ideas for scavenger hunts:

  • Find numbers (you can even get specific and find numbers with a specific quality... even, prime, with a 4 in the tens place, fractions, etc.)
  • Find words or sounds (in my case I did short vowels, you could also have them hunt for words in their independent reading books).
  • Items of a certain color.
  • Classmates in their virtual meeting (someone with brown eyes, someone wearing a hat, etc.)
  • Items outside (bugs, pollinators, grass, two different types of pinecones, etc.)

4. Esti-mysteries

I love, love, LOVE Steve Wyborney's blog. He's a phenomenal math educator. I know you'll love him too. How about trying an esti-mystery with your class? All you need is powerpoint, and he's done ALL of the work for you! Just present your screen.

After checking out the esti-mysteries, I recommend looking around on his blog. I recommend trying estimation clipboardsplat, and literally everything else this genius man does!!! You AND your kids will love them.

I hope you LOVE these ideas! While I'm not happy that this virus is here, the silver lining is that it has given me time to get back into blogging and creating products for teachers... something I really love to do! I plan to share a lot more resources on here to help during this wild time, so please comment below and let me know what you want to see more of or what would help you most.

By the way, if you're looking for something students might be able to use to help hold themselves accountable, this free rubric might be useful. Click here or on the picture below to download it. It's a very simple continuum with three topics that students can use to set their own goals.

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