Instructional Materials & How-Tos
In order to get the Affinity Groups off to a good start it is important to set up class norms/ agreements for how students will interact in Affinity Group time. Especiallly since some students struggled with wifi issues online and also camera anxiety, we had to have agreed upon options and levels of participation. We created the agreements below during a whole group discussion time led by the teacher and then Affinity groups had time to give input and make adjustments group by group. We reviewed these ageements weekly.
TIPS FOR BREAKOUT ROOMS: I started the year using Google Meet but our school plan did not allow me to set-up breakout rooms so I switched to Zoom. Affinity Groups in my class included a mix of virtual and in-person students so Breakout rooms were a necessity. Zoom allows you to set up the breakout rooms by title before you start your meeting. This saved a lot of time in class. Instead of me manually moving kids into breakout rooms, I simply set up the rooms and labeled them with the names of each Affinity Group (ex. Video Games, Art, Pets. etc.) and then when it was time for groups to meet, students self-selected their room. From the Zoom screen you can see where each student goes so there is still accountability that kids are in their correct group. Once they are in the breakout rooms, pop in by joining a group. The connections between teacher and kids is equally important as the student to student connection. I could not always get to every group in one class, but over several days I would meet with each one and check in. Of course groups can also request you join them in a breakout room in Zoom if they need help.