Building Relationships During Remote Learning

It’s All About Relationships

Everyone is likely to start off this school year with some version of online learning. Even those starting out face-to-face should be spending some time getting their students ready to learn remotely. When schools closed last spring, teachers had already established relationships with their students. This year we might find ourselves in a much less personal version of learning before those relationships can be established. That’s why it’s more important than ever to focus our early efforts on building relationships. I’ve collected and shared a few of my favorite resources for building relationships and a classroom community remotely.


Taking the time to play some fun games with your students can be a great way to build relationships. Make it your goal to have students excited about being in your class after the first week of school. Don’t worry, your syllabus can wait.

Options for Online Board Games

Check This Out podcast’s Brian Briggs and Ryan O’Donnell shared the 53 Best Zoom Games (below) and a hyperlinked PDF that lists tons of options for online board games.

Online Board Games
Image Source: Check This Out Podcast – Episode 130

53 Best Zoom Games to Play: Codenames, Scavenger hunt, Math, Words, and more!

In addition to 53 games, the folks at Nerd Chalk provide all the information you need to set up and play games over Zoom (or really any video conferencing platform. Because it’s a pretty comprehensive resource, it also contains games that wouldn’t be classroom appropriate (drinking games, truth or dare, etc.), but it’s a great resource.

Create Games in Google Slides

The real-time collaborative nature of Google Slides provides a great platform for creating virtual games. Check out these Twitter-sourced ideas:

Virtual Check-ins

Jessica Fuller has created a great way of remaining connected to students remotely with her Virtual Check-ins. Click here to make a copy of her Google Slides.

Virtual Check-Ins
Virtual Check-ins by Jessica Fuller
Seesaw Check-In Template

Fellow ADE, Maria Montemayor, created a Seesaw template to help her students check in with her weekly.

Virtual Lockers

As the father of a rising 6th grader, I know what a big deal it is to get your first locker. Unfortunately, many students won’t be using lockers this year in an effort to minimize hallway traffic. Nick Kempski created this awesome Google Slides template to build relationships and get to know his student by having them design virtual lockers.

Looking for More Ideas?

Check out Katie Martin’s 6 Ideas for Creating a Remote Community of Learners, and George Couros’ 4 Ideas for Building Relationships During Remote Learning.

How Will You Build Relationships During Remote Learning?

Please share your ideas in the comments below or on Twitter.

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