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April 8, 2020 | Ms. Jonker
I have found my new favorite thing.
When distance learning began, I was worried I would not be able to facilitate any kind of small group work. This came up in a conversation with Ms. Wu and she had a proposition immediately: Zoom breakout rooms!
The breakout rooms feature allows you to create smaller zoom sessions within your meeting. You can create as many “rooms” as you need, and you can assign participants to these rooms either manually or randomly. As the leader of the meeting, I can hop between these meetings one at a time. The students can also request my presence in their zoom room at any time.
Read on to hear about three ways we’ve been using this function.
We use it in fourth grade math to check our answers from the previous day’s work. This is both a partner-accountability meeting and a time to problem solve together.
We use it in morning meetings to share prayer requests. Students have been recording their prayer requests with their small groups and recording these requests in a doc.
We have used breakout rooms to share about our weekends, play games, and even serve the community. This morning after morning meeting, students had the opportunity to write encouraging notes to staff members. Some students did this, either as teams or by themselves, and got replies from the staff they emailed immediately. Even the smallest connections matter!
Fourth and fifth graders care deeply about connecting with peers. I am so grateful we don’t have to “throw in the towel” on group work!