In a chaotic year filled with constant changes, what every teacher wants to feel right now is a sense of control over their routines and procedures within the classroom. You know how crucial it is for students to feel comfortable in their learning environment, whether they’re in person, online, or hybrid. Use these online tools with your online learners, and continue to use them as students transition back into the classroom. Keeping things consistent will smooth the transition and keep students engaged!
Fun timers to keep your lessons running smoothly
Timers are a huge gamechanger when it comes to keeping your lessons organized, whether you’re setting a three-minute timer for a warm-up, or a twenty-minute timer for a bigger assignment. Some kids would prefer to complete an assignment in about thirty seconds, and others would love to spend a solid two hours on that same work, so a timer signals to these kids (and any kid in between) exactly how much longer they should work.
1. Colorful classic timer
This timer is cute, comes in a range of different time settings, and has a nice dinging noise at the end that will not startle you or your students.
2. Natural calming timer
If you’re looking for a timer with calming music, this is a great choice. Your class will know that the timer is over when the music stops playing.
3. Exciting techno timer
This is another musical option, with a more upbeat, “electric” sound, and the music stops to signify the end of the timer.
4. Peaceful rainbow timer
In addition to seeing the time count down in this video, your students can also see a visual of a rainbow forming every few seconds. It ends with the sound of birds chirping!
5. 20 minutes of cute dogs
If you want a timer that plays music and has a slideshow of dogs throughout the whole video, this is the timer for you! It ends with a musical alarm to signify that the time is up.
Mindfulness videos and apps to ensure a calm start to class
When you start your class with mindfulness activities (of any length!), you and your students will be amazed by the power of focusing on your breath. Even online learners will benefit! Not only will the kids feel calmer, but you will, too.
6. Yoga with Adriene
Yoga with Adriene is a YouTube sensation, with over nine million subscribers. And the best part of watching these videos is that you’ll always get to see Adriene’s adorable dog, Benji!
Did you know that the Headspace app is free for educators? There are SO many meditations to choose from, of varying times and topics. There’s even a whole section specifically for kids.
8. A World of Calm on HBO Max
If you’re looking to watch beautiful videos narrated by celebrities with soothing voices (like Idris Elba and Kate Winslett), look no further than HBO Max’s “A World of Calm.” It’s a ten-episode series of thirty-minute videos, with topics ranging from the process of glassmaking to the underwater lives of sea turtles.
9. Satisfying Videos
Kids absolutely love watching these “oddly satisfying” videos that showcase a montage of visuals that make you feel instantly calm. There are so many to choose from, and they’re usually accompanied by relaxing music.
10. Cosmic Kids Yoga
Cosmic Kids Yoga videos include kid-friendly explanations of mindfulness concepts, and they have a wide range of times that can meet your daily relaxation needs.
Check out this full list of apps and websites for movement and mindfulness in the classroom!
Online design tools to make your slides visually appealing
Whether your students are in-person, online, or both, your slides will be a big part of what they see during your class. Instead of presenting with the black and white presets of PowerPoint or Google Slides, you can use some of these easy-to-use design tools to show off your creativity.
Slidescarnival has so many amazing slide designs, and you can download them as Slides or PowerPoints. You’ll have cute slides with minimal effort.
If you want to design your own slides, you can make that happen with Canva. You can choose from a wide variety of color schemes, images, and fonts.
13. Text Giraffe
Text Giraffe is an awesome site where you can type in any text you want, and it will give you pages and pages of that text in different fonts. It’s perfect for titles and headings.
If you really want to mix it up, try using a PechaKucha instead of a typical presentation. With this method, you’ll create a timed presentation with only pictures to guide you.
Fun learning resources to keep learners engaged
There is nothing kids love more than getting competitive! When you add competitions to your learning routines, it’s almost like you’re tricking them into learning. Fortunately, there are so many options that you can mix it up and keep students engaged every step of the way. Even better, each of these resources can be accessed by both in-person and online learners!
At this point, even the sound of Kahoot music gets kids excited. Use this online quiz platform to let kids show what they know!
Blooket has different modes and challenges that allow students to test their knowledge in various competitions, and kids take it really seriously.
Whether kids are studying for a test, learning new information, or reviewing old concepts, Quizizz lets them test their knowledge independently or as a team.
19. Quizlet Live
Quizlet Live has different modes, but it encourages students to work together as a team to find the correct answers.
Nearpod is an amazing interactive website that gives you so many new strategies for online teaching, whether you’re showing videos, polling students, or sharing content-related games.
Classroom management resources for online learners
Finally, in our tech-infused world, it is incredibly beneficial for teachers to have access to their students’ screens during class. Kids are, after all, kids, and we understand just how tempting it is to stray when the whole Internet is at their disposal. All of these sites allow teachers to see what their students are doing on their school computers, whether you need to check student work or confirm that kids are on task.
Classkick is one of the ideal go-to resources for online learners to be monitored and receive timely feedback from teachers. It’s free and easy to learn!
With GoGuardian, not only can teachers monitor student devices, but they can also control and filter what content is available to students.
Dyknow is simple but effective, both inside the classroom and online. A quick way to see and block student activity on their devices, students will behave more responsibly when they know they are being monitored. As seen on their website, a high school student complained (and it’s music to our ears), “I hate Dyknow, but it is the only reason I get any work done in class.”
A free resource that does it all, Impero enables teachers to juggle the various facets of online learning, including lesson planning, monitoring and filtering student device activity, detecting concerning student behavior, and tracking student well-being.
Great for the in-person or online classroom, Hapara is a must for any teacher learning to navigate and capitalize on their school’s one-to-one devices.
Sometimes teachers have a love-hate relationship with technology, but we can’t deny that, by embracing tech, we are changing the way we teach. When the world goes back to normal, we’ll forget that we ever taught without any of these amazing tools!