Hybrid Teaching Hacks

I took a class with Emma Pass @Emmabpass, author of The Hybrid Teacher Survival Guide and walked away with a handful of hybrid teaching hacks for Synchronous Learning, Asynchronous Learning, and Coordinating learning. Emma is an educational consultant and 7th & 8th grade
language arts at PSD Global Academy (PGA) in Colorado, a public hybrid school in which students spend half of their time learning in-person and half of their time learning from home.

When it comes to synchronous lessons, teaching and learning that occurs together, simultaneously in-person or online, Pass recommends the following structure:

  1. Begin with check-ins and community questions
  2. Movement and or mindful moment
  3. Review of norms and expectations
  4. Direct Instruction
  5. Practice and or application
  6. Wrap Up and Good bye.

There are many debates whether the students need to have cameras on while in a Zoom or Google Meet. Personally, it is not important to me that students have their camera’s on. Some of my students blur their backgrounds, while others are active in the chat or participate in discussions so I know they are still participating in the lesson. My school does not allow recording Google Meets so setting norms and expectations about engagement and participation is so important. Emma Pass recommends, “Start the year with a tour of the virtual environment,
teach your students how to use the different functions of the video conferencing platform, and be sure to clearly establish norms and expectations.” Her three expectations include: (1) Be present and actively engaged in the lesson; (2) Keep mics muted unless otherwise instructed; and (3) Stay on topic in the Chat Box during the lesson.

The idea of “Check Ins” are like a smile when students walk in the classroom door. Students feel acknowledged. This might be as simple as saying hello to every student online as well as in the class or posing a community question in the chat box and then sharing out the responses. Teachers can even have students respond on Answer Garden or consolidate student responses into Word Art or word cloud generator.

Emma’s idea of doing a mindful movement activity or challenge is great and one that I am going to incorporate more often. It can be as simple as having students copy the moves in a giphy, Supermovers, or Go Noodle. Our students are spending lots of time online and the opportunity to get up and move is important within the day.

For direct instruction, Emma talked about Peardeck to create her interactive lessons. Pear Deck allows you to add interactive questions, such as short-answer responses, multiple choice, drag and drop, drawing, and more, right into your Google Slides.

Closure is important to any lesson. Emma states, “I try to reserve the last bit of class for all the students to come back to the whole-class Google Meet to wrap-up, share, reflect, and say goodbye. If my students have been working on a project, I’ll have the “screen sharer” from each group share their screen and briefly present and share what their group worked on. If we
played a game, I’ll typically review questions that were commonly being missed, or sections with which I noticed students struggling. If they worked independently, I’ll ask for volunteers to share their work. Really, these are the same types of review most teachers do at the end of any class period.
If there is an exit ticket, it is most common just to type a response or reflection into the chat box. I look at those responses as quickly as possible and narrate out loud which students are allowed to sign off because their exit ticket is sufficient.” Additional exit ticket strategies include Padlet, Poll Everywhere, or a comment in a Google Meet or on Google Classroom.

One of the last standout ideas that Emma presented was how her middle school team decided to organize our Google Classrooms on my blog, but essentially we all post work labeled by day, and under a “Week #” header.

Google Classroom organized by week and daily assignment. Students can easily see what they are working on which days.

I highly recommend you follow Emma Pass on Twitter or visit her website to get a copy of her ebook The Hybrid Teacher – Survival Guide (2020). She provides great ideas for synchronous and asynchronous learning. More than I have provided here.

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