How are you supposed to teach kids who don’t show up for class either virtually or in-person? We might have more answers for managing frequently absent students in a regular classroom setting, but what about when students don’t attend virtual, online classes? That’s the million dollar question we’re all asking, and it’s an issue that many teachers are struggling with right now. How can we encourage students to show up daily for virtual instruction? I always go back to what I know, and that is “keep ‘em guessing”.
I’m not a teacher who particularly enjoys daily routines even though I establish and use great systems and procedures to ensure my classroom runs smoothly. Those are a must. Keep them guessing means making kids curious. Kids will show up even if it’s just to see what you’ve got up your sleeve. I know you’re short on instructional time, but these strategies motivate and excite students to check in so you can teach them. Here are a couple of ideas to get you started.
Begin with an answer that relates to your unit or lesson. Come up with four clues that lead to the answer starting from most difficult to least. Release a new clue each day. Reward the student who discovers the mystery answer first.
You can use mystery places, novel titles, parts of speech, or anything related to your learning objectives. The possibilities are endless.
Bingo Bakers is an online site where you can easily create your own custom bingo cards or search for those already created.
Go to Bingo Baker https://bingobaker.com/
Create a simple 3x3 custom bingo card to connect with your unit, lesson plans, or standards. Share the card generator with students. This will generate their individual bingo card based on your original one. Each day call out one or two items/numbers/etc., until you have a winner. The winner must screenshot their card to show proof of a “Bingo”. Reward the student at the end of the week.
Watch the video on creating your cards HERE.
Some virtual rewards that have been successful are:
Ten points on an upcoming quiz
Use a virtual background during class
Class leader for a day
Don’t Count Me Late Pass (Turn in one assignment late)
Free (or paid) e-book sent to the student
Recognition as Student of the Week bio spotlight on your webpage
Virtual Dance party
Use the Wheel of Names website to announce your winner. Check it out here!
To make this strategy work, you have to create excitement and hype around the activity. Build students up by promoting the activity ahead of time. I hope this helps you increase online attendance and keep your students engaged. Send a message if you’d like help or need to know more about how these can work for you.
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