Top Tips for Teaching Live Lessons

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top tips for live lessons

We never thought we’d be here again – but here we are! Back to home learning and live lessons. This time around, lots of schools have decided to offer a wider range of daily live lessons, and this is providing its own challenges. Here, we’ve shared our top tips for teaching live lessons, and you can also read our top tips for using our resources without the need to print – using the main online learning platforms.

  • Introduce some live lesson rules before you start teaching so you have clear expectations, just as you would in the classroom. Asking everyone to mute themselves is a good one to start with!
Rules for Online Lessons Poster
Rules for Online Lessons Poster
  • Get everything you need ready next to you in advance, as you will not be able to get up and walk around if you have forgotten your flashcards or an object you need.
  • Remember that parents will probably be listening in and use this as an opportunity to get them engaged in learning. For example, if you are talking about phonemes explain what they are so that parents listening feel involved – and maybe learn something themselves too!
  • Expect to hear about; wobbly teeth, pets, birthdays, toys (especially Baby Yoda) and anything else! Show you’re interested.
  • Model speaking clearly facing the camera with your face in the centre of the screen so that students know they should also do this.
  • Use lots of visual cues to help keep the children focused on you. You could show them something interesting from your home like an ornament or other interesting object. Children love getting a little insight into your life!
  • Remember it is more difficult to have discussions on camera than in real life. You might need to ask older children to use the chat window to share their responses to a question so they do not talk over each other.
  • Give the children lots of chances to socialise with each other, to keep their social skills going. As advised by the Ofsted “What’s working well in remote education” guidance. This could be through peer talking, peer marking or through one of our live lesson warm up games.
Live lessons warm up games
Live lessons warm up games
  • Make sure your device is charged or plugged in before the meeting, the last thing you want is for it to run out of battery half way through an important teaching point!
  • Ideally have a blank background behind you so it is not distracting for the children, ensuring you are well lit. Don’t sit in front of the window, as the light will make you appear in shadow.
  • Encourage participation from the children using actions and gestures (e.g. thumbs up/down).
  • Use the chat window to paste in web links. For example online whiteboards like https://whiteboard.fi/ or virtual post it note boards like https://en-gb.padlet.com/dashboard )
  • If you are going to share your screen (e.g. to show a PowerPoint) make sure you have it loaded before you start.
  • If you are going to attend the same meeting as someone else in your school, make sure you are not in the same room as you will get feedback noise from each other – you can also wear headphones.
  • If you are going to share your screen think about what else you have open in the background (e.g. your school emails) that you might not want others to see. 
  • If you’re using Zoom and want to know who is on your Zoom call, just press the print screen button once all the participants are there (when the participant window is open), then later you can paste that print screen into Word to keep a record of who attended.
  • In Zoom – you can MUTE ALL.  Press participants, then when the list appears at the bottom it allows you to MUTE ALL.  The children then need to unmute themselves afterwards.  Warn them you are going to do this.
  • Allow time for children to collect pencil and paper but going forward ask children to have this ready at the start of the session.
  • If parents join, especially at the end of the first session, allow for any questions from them too.
  • Make everyone is unmuted at the end so children can say goodbye to their friends.  

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