Building Connection and Relationships with Students Using Interactive Slides – Part 1

By: Matt Rhoads, Ed.D

Dr. Matt Rhoads is a Tech and Instructional Leader and Innovator with hands in Adult Ed, K-12, and Higher Education. He is the author of several books and is the host of Navigating Education – The Podcast.

For today’s post, we are focusing on how we can use interactive slides to build connections, relationships, and social-emotional learning skills for our students!  You will see examples of how to do this throughout lessons to amplify your student’s learning and your connections with them. 

Activities to Build Connection with Students

To build instant connections with students, we want to ask them about themselves as well as provide opportunities for them to share with you about themselves. As a result, two activities where you can obtain this information from students are through Quickwrites and Poll Questions. 

First, we have Quickwrites. With both Pear Deck and Nearpod, we can create open-ended questions where students write their responses. Usually, I will model my answer and then provide students to write their responses. Once students have completed, we can either cold call, call on them at random using Wheel of Names, or having volunteers. Immediately before calling on students, you can provide an overview of the responses of the students by summarizing the class’s responses. 

Second, we have polls. Both Nearpod and Pear Deck have polls and multiple-choice features that allow us to poll a class. What’s great about polling your students is that you can quickly learn about them individually as well as your entire class. This can be done to activate prior knowledge or as a way to build motivation as a hook and/or lead into a new portion of your lesson. 

Social-Emotional Learning

Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) is a set of strategies to help build our student’s emotional and social intelligence through teaching them a series of skills. Interactive slides are a great opportunity for your students to build these skills through active learning. Examples provided demonstrate how students can self-assess how they are feeling by interacting with a mood chart. On the mood chart, students draw circles around how they are feeling. 

Pear Deck and Nearpod both provide templates for SEL. As seen below, here are two that Pear Deck provides. These include activities on what is filling your bucket versus what’s training it. Additionally, we can use SEL strategies to help students practice metacognition as seen in the slide example of a series of questions regarding how the lesson went for the student. 

Throughout our lessons and classes, we want to build connections and relationships with our students as well as work on their SEL skills. By incorporating opportunities as discussed today with interactive slides to work in these areas throughout your lesson, active learning opportunities will yield more connections with your students as well as bolster their SEL skill set. For more information on how to do this further, check out the following webinars below. 

More Ideas on SEL – Two Videos for Further Investigation

Plain Talk: The power of human connection | TBR News Media

Published by Matthew Rhoads, Ed.D.

Innovator, EdTech Trainer and Leader, University Lecturer & Teacher Candidate Supervisor, Consultant, Author, and Podcaster

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