How to get your students excited and talking even before class begins!
Sidenote: (Entrepreneurs, you can do this, too! I do this in business training, as well.)
My students LOVE to show up early and have this connection time with one another. I often turn my camera off during this time and send private messages to my students welcoming them and asking them questions to get to know them better. This helps to create a familial environment in the class.
Sometimes, I also do this in the middle of the lesson. I put a 1-minute timer up and we all laugh out loud, jump around, or dance.
Show up Early.
Show up early, place a Welcome slide with a countdown timer on your screen (It can be in powerpoint, word, google slides, or you can even use the website https://tomato-timer.com/ (short break) ), then share your screen.
I show up at least 10 minutes early. On my welcome slide, I include a countdown timer that shows how much time the students have before class.
I noticed that when I started doing this, my students started showing up even earlier as well. Some with snacks (which I recommend). They chat and bond with one another.
What's on the slide?
A countdown timer
An announcement if I have one
A motivational message
A reminder that I love them
A reminder to have something to drink (I prefer for them to have something warm to sip slowly, this is great for anxiety and boredom, but water is also okay.)
A reminder that it's okay to doodle
A Welcome prompt with something for them to talk about before class begins if they don't know what to talk about.
What am I doing at this time?
I'm there, but I'm usually off-camera.
I send private messages to students, welcoming them, telling them things they said the day before that I found inspiring or interesting, asking them questions to get to know them better, and telling them something hard I was learning or working on to inspire them to do the same.
I give myself a goal to connect with each student privately before the ten minutes are up.
I try to have a "Goodbye" slide, too.
I also create a "Goodbye slide" and give them some time to connect at the end of the lesson. I inform my students that no one has to stay. But, they all usually do and it's nice for us all to see one another without relax.
Remember, when students feel center-stage, they show up.
Let me know if you have found this useful!! Sending you loads of love. By the way, I make my slides using Canva. But, it doesn't have to be so fancy.