2020 has been a year of teacher flexibility and innovation. We have come up with the Best Teaching Hacks we Learned in 2020. Teachers have dealt with a lot of changes to our routines, procedures, and methods and have persevered and come out on top! I have really enjoyed reading some of these from our colleagues from the Fearless First Grade Group. I am definitely going to be trying out Flippity this next week!
1 – “Not really a hack but Google classroom has kept me so organized… No more trying to find where I put that stack of papers to grade, or running to make copies last-minute ” ~ Laurie H.
2 – “Using more than one computer while teaching during distance learning.” ~ Jenn S.
3 – “Also in Google Meet learning how to use the “Stereo Mix” option so that they can hear the videos through their screens because some times it is nice to have someone else read to my virtual students.” ~ Mary G.
4 – “Document cameras so I can read a picture book to my class and project the pages on my Smartboard so everyone can see.” ~ Laura H.
5 – “Magic rainbow unicorn makes your font into a rainbow automatically (no more changing one letter at a time). Record to slides lets you record a video straight to your google slides.” ~ Andrea R.
6 – “Acting like your computer froze when you forget what you were going to do next. ” ~ Pauline L.
7 – “Voice amplifier/microphone that can slide behind my mask and my Bluetooth speaker!!! Saving my voice the best I can without trying to project through the mask. ” Lindsay H.
8 – “The mute the button! Lol completely jk!! ” ~ Nicole E.
9 – “On Zoom, when you share your screen, do the advanced settings instead of sharing your whole screen. You can share parts of your Google slides, etc. without seeing all the “extra” stuff on the side. Game charger for focusing students as they only see the part you want them to on their screens.” ~ Sabrena B.
Hacks for Health and Safety
10 – “Masks connected to break-away lanyards so they don’t lose them during lunch.” ~ Molly J.
11 – “Hula hoops on the floor so that my students can work and still stay ‘socially distanced’.” ~ Janessa F.
12 – “Soap containers for students to store their masks when eating.” ~ Caitlin G.
13 – “Individual student backpacks that contain items for them to play with whether we are outside for recess, or in the classroom.” ~ Jennifer M.
Websites and Apps We LOVE
14 – “Joining Tik Tok. I avoided it for so long but honestly, the teacher hacks coming outta there…. life-changing.” ~ Andrea R.
15 – “Flippity helps you make a spreadsheet and do all kinds of interactive things. Like memory, spinning wheel, spelling tasks, scavenger hunts. We use OG and I used it for the visual drill, blending board, weekly skill, and Red Words.” ~ Emily H.
16 – “Flipgrid is for kiddos to record on its so easy, I assign reading passages, sight words, phonics patterns, etc and they are able to read them and I can easily pull it up when I need to get data, I use it for virtual and face to face kiddos. For example, I had annual reviews this week and for phonics data, I was able to go back to the most recent recording and pull data to make new clams (I teach sped resource).” ~ Michelle O.
17 – “Pear Deck!” ~ Jennifer S.
18 – “Boom cards! I will never make phonics copies or grade theM again. Best is the reports and instant student feedback when I’m not with them. Love Boom Cards.” ~ Laura T.
19 – “Jack Hartman sight word videos!!! ” ~ Kelley G.
20 – “Arthub on Friday afternoons.” ~ Koedi M.
21 – “Pixel art! Can take some kids a long time to complete – hello mini break!” ~ Danielle C.
22 – “Wheel of Names instead of equity sticks, and you can customize to make it your own. My students love it!” ~ Miriam G.
Some TLC for Us
23 – “Xanax?” ~ Nancy N.
24 – “Wine and/or vodka!” ~ Amanda J.
25 – “Self-care, in and out of the classroom. Before the pandemic, we would take some time in class to lay on the floor, listen to some meditation, and relax. We do this on zoom too.” ~ Steph D.
26 – “Take a random vacation.” ~ Sherri H.
27 – “Leave of absence.” ~ Krissy V.
28 – “Just love your kids…” ~ Becky D.
29 – “Remember that what you see on social media is a collection of what MULTIPLE teachers are doing. You can’t do it all and you shouldn’t.” ~ Jen K.
30 – “Whiskey and water in the yeti!” ~ Kara S.
31 – “I’m all remote. Several of us do a virtual yoga class a few times a month. A couple of times a week I go for a mid-day run. These are luxuries I would never afford during a regular year of course but I have a principal who is very supportive of us putting on our oxygen mask first.” ~ Peggy H.
32 – “Tack it instead of Velcro.” ~ Samantha L.
33 – “A large amount of laminating sheets.” ~ Brenda R.
34 – “Dish drying rack for Chromebook storage!” ~ Jamie S.
35 – “Dry erase marker over a sharpie will remove the marks on many surfaces.” ~ Ashlee C.
Teachers have shown true resilience and ingenious this year! What are your Best Teaching Hacks for 2020? We would love to hear them in the comments below. Teaching has forever been changed by the tips, tricks, and hacks we have learned over the last 365 days! ❤️
Written by: Janessa F.
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