5 MINUTE CONNECTORS
Connecting through a screen can be a challenge, and yet we need to continually find fresh ways to build that sense of community throughout the year. We hope this helps!
EDIT: These are useful for any classroom learning scenario!
Curated by Sarah Landis
Ideas from Christine Helmer
Ideas from PUSD EdCamp
Brain Breaks From Buoy
Describe a monster in detail and have them draw it (quickly so it’s not an art contest)then have fun sharing the silly art with each other, have them share a bag with 5 things that tell something about them, create a jeopardy style game to test student knowledge about one another after the share, anything to get them smiling and comfortable, oh we also played Pictionary using the annotate tool on zoom so kids can practice using the tools. We used break out rooms to plan what kids would draw so they’d have practice going in and coming out of a break out room. If they have books you could do a scavenger hunt with the book-find a word that begins with the letter - or text features.
HOW TO USE THIS RESOURCE
These slides are stand alone activities for you to use in your LIVE sessions. Just grab a slide, and go for it!
Bookmark this slide deck so you can quickly find a connector activity when you need it throughout the year. You will need to adapt for your grade level and specific students.
Build community and connectedness at the beginning, middle, or end of a LIVE classroom meeting … in just 5 minutes!
Reminder: These can be used all year long. Relationships take time.
Gather five (5) items around your house that best represent you.
Students ask questions to get to know classmate better. Practice speaking and listening.
One at a time, share them with the class (or small group). Maybe do one student a day?
Idea from Sabrina Caulfield
DIGITAL ALL ABOUT ME
It will take longer to get to know each other this year, since we are building relationships virtually.
This activity will not only help young learners get to know themselves, but also their classmates.
Idea from Meredith Morgan
CAMERA ON IF ...
Turn your camera on when the statement applies to you …
This is a great game to help students feel comfortable coming on camera briefly, while also seeing what commonalities students share! Make connections!
Idea from Tina Wagner
#1 Watch this video
about puppies and kittens meeting each other for the first time.
#2 Ask your students,
“I wonder … what are some ways that we can get to know each other?”
Idea from Sarah Landis
Identity matters! Create a collaborative space for students to share who they are! Each child gets an individual slide to share all the parts of their life they wish. This can be done separately, and then compiled together; or with older students each one can work on the same slide deck with open share settings.
Click here to
make a copy!
PUSD teacher examples
STAND UP or SIT DOWN
This game can be adapted for ANY age group.
HERE is a version designed for Kindergarten.
Practice listening with this fast-paced game to get kids out of their seats!
(Could be adapted for content areas, too. Maybe a review game?)
Idea from Beth Patock
WHAT’S YOUR JAM?
Pose these questions to individual students, in a shared slide deck, in a 1:1 conference, or even in the chat.
You might even look for commonalities among students to build partnerships for future learning projects!
Vocabulary - anthem, nostalgic
Build a playlist of student choices
5 Ways to Build Relationships article here
MOVE YOUR MARKER
Pose a question. Use Google Drawing to
have students participate!
Idea from Scott Padway
Move your marker-vacation
Move your marker-Video Games
Move your marker-pets
Move your marker-sports
Move your marker-food
Move your marker-blank template
SHARE A TALENT
View Brad Montague video about Rodney, the bird
Discuss and share your own talents with your classmates (in the chat, in a breakout group, on a collaborative doc, in Google Classroom, etc.
to access questions
Would You Rather
THIS OR THAT?
Idea from Kim Calton + Laura Stange
An adaptation for world language students … respond in different language!
VIRTUAL SHOW AND TELL
Use this slide deck to host a virtual show and tell.
Can be done slowly over time, or as a longer activity. Maybe for Fun Friday?
Idea from Meredith Morgan
SHOW AND SHARE
This is an invitation to share a new learning or something happening at home.
This can be digital - use one time or collect over time. sample slide deck
Of course this can be non-digital, also. Just a sharing check-in if you wish!
Idea from Kathleen Whitworth
Which of these traits best describes you? Which would you like to develop this year?
Create your own learner profile sketch!
POETRY WRITING: COLLABORATIVE SLIDE DECK
Click HERE to access the sample autobiopoem slide deck.
File>Make a Copy
and create your own class edition!
*by Sarah Landis
*Will take longer than 5 minutes… maybe students create beforehand and read a few during a LIVE video conference.
Click HERE to access this instructional slide.
3 … 2 … 1 ...
This is a great way to connect in class, virtually, or both.
Click HERE to access the detailed directions!
Idea from Kim Ortiz
TYPES OF CHECK-INS article by John Spencer
BRADY BUNCH WAVE
Sometimes all we need is to be seen, and feel part of a community.
Go into Grid View.
Everyone look around and do a good ol’ fashioned Brady Bunch hello/wave to one another. Can you really see your friends and classmates?
That’s all. That’s the activity.
Use the chat or polling feature to check in on students’ feelings. You can show the options like this. Choose an image that best represents how you’re feeling about ________.
(new school year, this assignment, etc.)
SELECT AN IMAGE
Use the Inside Out emotional zones as a way to check in with students. You can then view the live data from the Google form to discuss strategies with students. Might you add one more neutral/positive emotion to the form in addition to joy?
Take the Emotional Zone Check-In
Click here to make a copy of the form
Using the poll feature, or chat, invite students to share how they
are feeling, using a weather word. Some examples listed above.
Find something in your work space that puts a smile on your face.
Hold it up. Share it!
*Idea from Kim Ortiz
SELF CARE CHECK-IN
Refer to this self-care menu
to facilitate a check-in.
What have you done this week to take care of yourself?
Which of these options come easy for you?
What would you like to do in the next day or so?
*Self-care menu created by Sarah Viles, Vintage Hills
Click HERE to choose a
gif to show how you’re feeling at the end of this awesome session together.
This could be used in the middle of a lesson, also.
Connector - which meme best represents how you’re feeling - choose one and share in the chat which #
WHAT DO YOU MEME?
Click HERE to access the collection of meme check-in’s.
This could be used in the middle or at the end of a lesson.
*Curated by Kim Vogue
THE BLOB TREE
How do you feel today?
Select a blob that best represents your current state.
Click HERE to submit,
and learn more!
Answer Garden is a free web tool.
You can pose a question or prompt to the class.
Students can quickly add a word or phrase as a response. You can collectively gather thinking and ideas within minutes!
PEAKS AND VALLEYS
Share a peak (high) and a valley (low) from the last week.
It’s ok to be honest.
How can I help with your valleys?
This is my favorite on “Thankful Thursday,” but can be done on any day of the week!
Share something you are feeling grateful for today - right now! Gratitude comes in all sizes...
Medium (support from a classmate)
HOW ARE YOU?
Use the annotate feature in Zoom to show how you are feeling today.
What word might you use to label the expression?
Share a color word (or emoji) to describe how you’re feeling.
That will help us see your feelings, but not make students feel too vulnerable.
Create a ‘theme-based’ reflection like this one. You can adapt anyway you want! Kids can even jot their partner’s responses - practice listening! Students can share in ...
Jot in a notebook or on Google Doc prior to meeting
MAKE IT PERSONAL
FOLLOW A MONTHLY CALENDAR
Use a calendar like this to give you daily tips and ideas on how to support learners! The calendar dates are often links with details! Click HERE.
Maybe students can work in teams to create a calendar?
Use a calendar like this to give you daily tips and ideas on how to support learners! The calendar dates are often links with details!
Click HERE for a sample.
Maybe students can work in teams to create a calendar?
NATIONAL DAY OF ...
Have fun thinking about the day of the year! These can be silly connections, or meaningful, depending on how students connect personally.
Access the daily calendar here.
Host a midweek pick me up by asking your students, “What do you wonder?”
Then, support curiosity and wonder with one of the resources below:
The Kids Should See This
(because that is important, too)
GUESS THE LYRIC
Play a song that most students would recognize. They have to enter in the next word/phrase of the lyrics into the chat. Who is the first one to say it correctly?
*promotes listening comprehension