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1. Daily Check-Ins Checking in with your students builds trust and rapport not only with you as their teacher but with each other as well. Using check-in Topics with your students helps to ensure they are heard, valued, and connected.

Example questions: What do you miss from being at school? What kinds of things you have done since you’ve been home? What is driving you crazy? How do you feel about doing online school?

2. Send Positive Vibes Whether you are virtual or in-person, I think we can all agree there is no “normal” right now. Using Flipgrid to share positive vibes can help design Topics for healing as well as building rapport.

Example topics: Send a shoutout to a classmate. Share how someone helped you today or how you helped someone else. What is something you do that makes you happy? Tell me three positive things that have happened this week!  

3. Stress Relief Students and teachers are stressed. We will all be juggling that work-home-life balance in addition to other stressors. We can’t fix that, but we can offer students moments for stress relief.

Example topics: Post a joke of the day (either by you or your students). Play a game like charades: A student acts out a movie or object in the video and others respond to guess. Record yoga videos: Post a walkthrough of how to do a pose and students post a video of them practicing. Share a tutorial of a MakerSpace/STEM project and have students record themselves doing it at home.

4. Human Connection Human connection lowers anxiety and depression, helps build empathy, and aids in self-esteem. It should be, and is, an essential component of education – just ask Vygotsky.

Example topics: Post introduction videos: Ask students to show three things they would take to Mars. Participate in show-and-tell with your littlest learners. Post icebreaker questions: If you were a famous baseball player, what would be your “to bat” song? Host a talent show or “open mic” week: Encourage a theme, like Broadway or superhero.

5. Self-Reflection Offering Topics that allow for self-reflection helps our students (and educators) learn awareness about their emotions, thoughts, behaviors, goals, strengths, challenges, biases, mindsets, and more. All these layers impact our behavior and choices. Let’s offer students a safe space to explore and learn about themselves.

Example topics: Post an SEL Challenge of the Week, such as a video response showing us at least 5 things that help you calm down when you are angry. Use 3-2-1 Reflections (3 things you learned, 2 interesting things, 1 question). If you participate in a virtual field trip or connect with your GridPals, have students reflect on their experiences.