Finding the time to give students the focused support needed to teach students to read and write is a major challenge for any teacher of ELA or ELL. Inviting your students to “study sessions” on Google Hangouts can make a big difference.
Google Hangouts is free and easy to use with a Chromebook, laptop or mobile phone. Even better, your students probably already know how to use it!
ELA teachers who have used Google Hangouts have reported that it makes many
students more willing to participate in Hangouts sessions than in the classroom. Some students said that seeing their friends jumping in and asking questions made them feel they could, too. This may be because students are now more comfortable with “virtual” interactions than they are with “real live” interactions. Or it may they find it less intimidating to ask questions while in a place where they feel more relaxed, comfortable and less “on display.”
Some teachers have created study or discussion groups with students in other classes within the school or district — even in other schools around the country. (Could you be the first to do it with a school in another country?
Ask people in professions that students don’t tend to associate with reading and writing — such as an IT manager, a financial planner, an architect, a marketing analytics manager or a colleague who teaches science or math —to talk about how much reading and writing their job requires. Tap a journalist, advertising, marketing or public relations writer to tell your students how they’ve turned their writing skills into a lucrative profession.
NOTE: Check your school or district policies before recording any Hangout sessions to ensure that you are following any guidelines or laws that apply, and obtain any necessary permissions.
Have you held Google Hangouts with your students? We’d love to hear about your experiences!