Student engagement is key for teachers, students during mixed learning lessons

Teacher gets creative to boost virtual and in-person engagement

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - Since many school systems have some form of in-person learning in place now, teachers are having to modify their methods and students have had to adapt to new ways of learning.

It still seems unusual—teachers talking to students face-to-face in the classroom, and also having to engage other students still learning from home.

But sixth grade math teacher Amber Adams says she’s just about figured it out.

“It’s been difficult for me to build that relationship with the students that I normally do have a very good relationship in years past,” said Adams. “Especially when we spent the first nine weeks...I didn’t even know what they looked like.”

Those first nine weeks, when all students learned from home, were some of the school system’s toughest. Failure rates skyrocketed and participation was hard to come by.

But Adams says that’s changed with students back at their desks.

“I’ve seen a huge improvement since they’ve been back the second nine weeks and it really shows they need that one-on-one attention,” said Adams.

One way she’s tried to boost student engagement is with a game of ‘roomies versus zoomies’. Remote learners against in-person learners in a friendly competition.

Any response, whether a right answer to a math equation or a plea for help, is a win in her book.

“I try to involve them as much as possible, having them answer questions, whether that’s through the microphone or answering in the chat in zoom,” said Adams. “Just being actively engaged, answering questions participating or letting me know they’re struggling.”

Adams tries to interact and follow-up with her students as much as possible.

She constantly reaches out to families, and even goes as far as sending post cards to keep the lines of communication open, trying to engage everyone in the learning process.

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