Quick Tips for Returning to School with Social Distancing

social distance classroom ideas

Returning to school after having the summer off is always exhausting and an adjustment for both teachers and students.

Returning to school after distance learning for three months AND THEN the summer will be a huge adjustment for both teachers and students. Part of our stress comes from the unknown of what is ahead and the lack of control we have over this situation.

Returning to school with social distancing in place, A/B scheduling, or a hybrid approach to learning will be new to all of us, including our new students. You are not alone in feeling overwhelmed.

If you are panicking and not sure what to do, take a deep breath, make a list of everything in your control, and consider trying these ideas to get your school year started on the right foot.

Hold an Important Morning Meeting

social distance classroom ideas

I truly believe in the power of morning meetings. Typically my morning meeting consists of my students gathered in the reading nook as we greet each other with eye contact, a handshake, and singing our class song. With social distancing taking place, this model will not work. But that does not mean that morning meeting should be tossed aside.

Morning meeting offers so much and it is not something that I am willing to give up. Morning meetings:

  • build classroom community
  • help students develop social skills
  • sets the tone for the day ahead
  • provides an opportunity to have important classroom discussions

So what can morning meeting look like now? Morning meeting can still follow the same format, but instead of gathering together in a cozy spot, students should remain at their desks. Greetings should still consist of making eye contact and using each other's names, however "air high fives" and "smiles" and even "jazz hands" are more of an appropriate social distancing greeting.

When thinking about your morning meetings during the first week of school, these discussion prompts can help you transition your students back to school and provide an opportunity for students to share their feelings in an open discussion format. Since some of these questions can be heavy for students, try using one a day.

  • What was the hardest part about being away from school during distance learning?
  • What are you most excited about now that we are back in a classroom?
  • What might be the hardest part of social distancing in our classroom?
  • How are you feeling about coming back to school in the building?
  • Which do you prefer, remote learning or classroom learning? Why?

However you run your morning meeting, be sure to be consistent and follow the same steps. That way if school moves into a hybrid or remote learning format, you can stay consistent with the format that you use and hold virtual morning meetings, too. Your students will look forward to the consistency that your morning meeting offers, whether in the classroom or remotely.

Put it in the Jar

Quick Tips for Returning to School with Social Distancing

I keep a jar on my desk at all times for students to be able to drop in a question or concern that they have  that they would like to bring to morning meeting discussions anonymously. Returning back to school during a pandemic is the perfect time to introduce a jar into your classroom, too. What will be important during this time is to allow students to ask all the questions that they have and get all of their feelings out, addressed, and validated.

Here is how you can use the jar in your classroom during the first week of school.

  1. Invite students to write a question or concern that they have about the pandemic, COVID19, germs and viruses, what the year holds, their fears and worries, anything related to our current situation. 
  2. Remind students to not include their name when they place their question or concern into the jar.
  3. Pull out a slip and address the question or concern on it during morning meeting.
  4. Invite students to also weigh in and offer suggestions so that it becomes a full class discussion, a true conversation of peers.

The reason why using this activity is so effective is because many students are afraid to ask a question in front of their peers, yet many of our students are feeling the same way right now. Use their shared emotions to help you build your classroom community. By collecting their thoughts in a jar, you can share them during morning meeting a few at a time and begin to help students adjust and heal as a classroom community.

Involve Students in New Classroom Expectations

Quick Tips for Returning to School with Social Distancing

Every year we create classroom rules and expectations as a class. Of course, I help guide the students and our discussion on expectations to revolve around the rules that will keep the students safe, learning, engaged, and working kindly and cooperatively together.

This upcoming school year should be no different. However, we will be having a second classroom discussion about a second set of classroom rules and expectations all about staying healthy and keeping each other safe.

Prepare a list ahead of time that you want to enforce in your classroom that follow your school and district's expectations. Then invite students to share ways that they can stay healthy in the classroom and record their ideas. Share additional rules that the students may not have shared. Be sure to display your new classroom staying healthy and social distancing rules. These visuals will not only help students in your classroom each day but also show classroom visitors and parents that you are having important conversations with your kids about how to keep everyone safe.

Go a step further and have students read about germs and COVID19. Make your first writing piece of the year intentional and important by having students write a procedural writing piece about how to stay safe and healthy.

Find the Perfect Read Aloud

back to school read alouds

Nothing builds classroom community and a sense of unity than reading that perfect chapter book with your students. And nothing is easier to continue during remote learning than reading aloud class favorites to connect students once again.

I am often asked my favorite titles for upper elementary chapter book read alouds. While I have some favorites that I always go to, I enjoy finding new books that will interest my students. Additionally, the books that I read aloud to my students shift each year as the interest of each year's cohorts shifts.

Here are some read alouds that you can not go wrong with:

I am currently reading the brand new chapter books pictured above. I have just finished reading The Great Pet Heist written by Emily Ecton and loved it and know that students will, too!

By starting the year with amazing read alouds will you get your students invested in reading and looking forward to hearing new books. This excitement will continue even if you shift into remote learning. Grab reading at home tips and FREE book tracker HERE.

Lay the Groundwork for Remote Learning

Quick Tips for Returning to School with Social Distancing

Even though many of us will be returning to the classroom with modified schedules or a hybrid approach, it is important to lay the groundwork right away for remote learning. Focus on these three things right away to help make any transition to remote learning easier for everyone involved.

  • Be Consistent with Instruction - Make sure that you are consistent with whatever teaching strategies you use. If you begin each lesson with a mini lesson or inquiry based question, use it daily. This way, when your instruction shifts to remote learning or through prepared videos your students know what to expect in the format of your lesson.

  • Use Technology Regularly - I know, I know, using technology when we are actually face to face with kids may not be the top of your to do list, especially knowing that they will need to use so much technology for hybrid teaching approaches and at home remote learning. But if you use this time to teach your students how to use platforms such as Google Classroom™ and Schoology, or any program your district uses, it will be easier for them to know what to do and your expectations should you shift to distance learning once again. Practice assigning activities for students to complete in Google Classroom™ for different subject areas as practice. Get the complete know how and step by step tutorials on these two programs HERE.

  • Set Up Parent Communication - If you are like me, you love using cute newsletter templates to communicate your classroom happenings to parents throughout the year. Now is the time to shift. Look into program such as ClassTag, Remind, Class Dojo, and Bloomz. Whichever you choose, begin using it right away. This way you are training parents right from the start of the year to know where and how to find information that they will need.

Prepare now for back to school season and the changes that may come this school year. By being proactive and setting routines, expectations, and communication in place now, you will have a successful year whether you are in the classroom or teaching remotely.

Have a great school year, teacher friends!

Love these ideas? Pin to save them!

back to school ideas social distance

You May Be Interested In:

resources for teaching students about social distancing

*affiliate links: “Think Grow Giggle is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.” (source: Section 5)



  1. I am wondering if anyone has any advice on teaching ideas in covid, social-distancing classrooms. I am particularly seeking advice on how we can teach in small guided groups as well as providing students with independent, center activities at their own desks? Thank you for any advice 🙂

  2. All things considered, check for the destinations that are generally well known and play out the bookmarking mindfully. visit site

  3. I can’t believe focusing long enough to research; much less write this kind of article. You’ve outdone yourself with this material without a doubt. It is one of the greatest contents. social pilot

  4. I wanted to thank you for this excellent read!! I definitely loved every little bit of it. I have you bookmarked your site to check out the new stuff you post. Buy TikTok likes

  5. This restriction should include personal use and use on company owned sites. But be specific. discover this

  6. Provident Fund (EPF) account is one of the most important monetary responsibilities of an EPF account holder. These days the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has made everything visible in the digital domain and majority of the provident fund (PF) related information is available on the official website of the EPFO Download EPF Slips Download EPF Slips, EPF balance, EPF statement, etc. all such information is available online now. EPFO Statement helps the EPF account holder to know his recruiter's contribution in Provident Fund account. It also helps the EPF account holder to transfer EPF contributions too. This is possible because the EPF statement contains important information like PF account number, details of the pension scheme.

  7. Good website! I truly love how it is easy on my eyes it is. I am wondering how I might be notified whenever a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your RSS which may do the trick? Have a great day! click here

  8. There are those around who wish to acquire popular Instagram accounts in order that they can market to the account's followers. his comment is here

  9. Used to be you'd see a billboard advertising a product or service with a phone number underneath the company logo. Then the phone number became a website address, then a Facebook user name alongside the unmistakable blue square with rounded corners. Today, you are more likely to find advertisements that display none of these things as they are replaced by a hashtag and a simple word. 먹튀검증업체

  10. Great write-up, I am normal visitor of one?s blog, maintain up the excellent operate, and It is going to be a regular visitor for a long time.sa gaming

  11. Nice to read your article! I am looking forward to sharing your adventures and experiences. Social media

  12. Watch movies online sa-movie.com, watch new movies, series Netflix HD 4K, watch free movies on your mobile phone, Tablet, watch movies on the web. ดูหนังออนไลน์

    SEE4K Watch movies, watch movies, free series, load without interruption, sharp images in HD FullHD 4k, all matters, all tastes, see anywhere, anytime, on mobile phones, tablets, computers. ดูหนังใหม่

    GangManga read manga, read manga, read manga online for free, fast loading, clear images in HD quality, all titles, anywhere, anytime, on mobile, tablet, computer. อ่านการ์ตูน

    Watch live football live24th, watch football online, link to watch live football, watch football for free. ผลบอลสดa

  13. samudra slot merupakan situs judi slot online terpercaya Indonesia yang menyediakan permainan slot games terlengkap bet kecil jackpot besar sangat mudah menang free spin dan bigwin online 24 Jam.

  14. This article will outline all the different strategies you should be aware of when it comes to soccer.

    best ias coaching in delhi

  15. เราคือผู้นำด้านเกมพนันออนไลน์ Major168 เราคือผู้ให้บริการ คาสิโนออนไลน์ ที่ได้รับรองว่าดีที่สุดในประเทศไทย มีค่ายเกมส์ให้เล่นมากมาย Sagaming, Sexy bacarat, Dreamgame, Ebet, Wm casino, Vivo gaming ไม่ผ่านเอเย่นต์ ระบบปลอดภัยมีทีมงานดูแลตลอด 24ชม.

    SAGAME88 แหล่งรวมเกมส์พนันออนไลน์ คาสิโนสด บาคาร่า กำถั่ว คาสิโนออนไลน์ ไฮโล รูเล็ต รับเครดิตฟรีเล่นได้ทุกเกมส์ โบนัสสมาชิกใหม่เพียบ พร้อมระบบฝากถอนออโต้ 10วิ เรามีทุกค่ายเกมส์ให้คุณเลือกเดิมพัน SA Game Sexy bacarat Dreamgame WM Casino VIVO Gaming Ebet เล่นได้ทุกเกมส์

    Our website ufabet provides betting services in the system of Auto Deposit-Withdrawal. Our members are not only in Thailand. Online football betting UEFA Bet market And this makes a guarantee that Ufabet168 is another reliable football betting website

    ufa through the website UFABET1688 a web gambling online , one that integrated all the bets from online casinos , online casino , online , and also have a game a lot more to be chosen to play such games.

  16. That is why it is seen that fans play the most crucial role In making or breaking an account and their creator's social media influence. These fans will only become loyal supporters, chain marketers, and customers for their followed people and business accounts. classement youtubeur français

  17. Wonderful blog! I found it while surfing around on Yahoo News. Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Appreciate it. buy google reviews

  18. Howdy! Would you mind if I share your blog with my twitter group? There’s a lot of people that I think would really enjoy your content. Please let me know. Thanks matka result

  19. I am looking for some good blog sites for studying. I was searching over search engines and found your blog site.
    Regards : spanish lessons online for beginners

  20. Awesome blog! Do you have any tips and hints for aspiring writers? I’m planning to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you propose starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m totally overwhelmed .. Any recommendations? Many thanks! บาคาร่าออนไลน์

  21. Starting your own Growing Commercial Electrical, or any contracting business, can be extremely rewarding. While it is a lot of hard work, I believe that the potential benefits are well worth the effort.
    A Demat Account Along is also known as Dematerialised account. Here, the physical shares and securities that you have purchased are converted or dematerialised
    HTML Advantage Disadvantage, the standard markup language for documents designed to displayed and viewed on the online during a browser also helps to create the structure of the web page.
    Excel is still the world’s favourite business software and there are some Useful Excel Tips, 250 million knowledge workers use it for at least half an hour every single working day.
    The best time to visit Hilton Head Vacations is April and May as well as September and October. Spring and fall offer fewer crowds and lower lodging rates all the while maintaining temperatures that are still beach-friendly.
    Local SEO Important helps your business stand out – even if you don't have a website – and helps drive more traffic to your premises through online leads.
    Online & Offline Businesses?- Let us discuss major differences between online and offline retail that should be considered before setting up a business.
    Basic Tooth Problems are never any fun, but the good news is that most of them can be easily prevented.
    As many as three-quarters of current and prospective buyers are new to Own Boat Sea ownership. This has many would-be buyers wondering, “how much does a boat cost?” If you’ve been wondering the same thing, here’s what you need to know about the cost of a boat.
    A Need Mortgage Broker is an intermediary between a financial institution that offers loans that are secured with real estate and individuals interested in buying real estate who need to borrow money in the form of a loan to do so.
    The Bail Bond Service company sells the accused a surety bond, which acts as insurance that the accused will show up in court when ordered to do so.

  22. It has fully emerged to crown Singapore's southern shores and undoubtedly placed her on the global map of residential landmarks. I still scored the more points than I ever have in a season for GS. I think you would be hard pressed to find somebody with the same consistency I have had over the years so I am happy with that. Play Free slots

  23. I found this is an informative and interesting post so i think so it is very useful and knowledgeable. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. SMM Panel

  24. Blog is amazing!! You have mentioned very thoughtful information. Digital rights management software is designed to create balance between content protection and ease of use, contact Video Multi-DRM providers now.

  25. I check your blog everyday and try to learn something from your blog. Thank you and waiting for your new post. https://www.buyyoutubesubscribers.in/

  26. After the pandemic situation its really difficult for everyone to get back normally OTT platform providers

  27. Building your own educational video streaming services from scratch can be tedious not to mention the long duration you might end up taking to launch it.

  28. We can cover both long-term and short-term security solutions, and if necessary provide our clients with supporting equipment to enhance the security of their children.security services

  29. I cannot explain the perfection you have integrated into your blog post. Technologies like web app development leveraging the market with UX, contact top web app development company for more.

  30. Students coming for online paper help told us that they are afraid to return school but these tips will help them to keep safe and secure!

  31. Oracle Financials Cloud training will provide an indepth understanding of your applications, including Accounting Hub, General Ledger, Payables, Receivables and Revenue Management and teach you how to setup, administer and use your Financials Cloud applications.

    There are various categories Oracle Financials Cloud training which is mentioned below:

    Oracle Accounting Hub Cloud Training
    Oracle General Ledger Cloud Training
    Oracle Payables Cloud Training
    Oracle Receivables and Collection Cloud Training
    Oracle Financials Cloud corporate training
    Oracle Revenue Management Cloud Training
    Oracle Financial Reporting Cloud Training
    Complete Customization of Oracle Financials Cloud training’s course content is possible for Individual students and for Corporate. Oracle Financials Cloud online training is available for individuals and for corporate we may arrange the classroom as well. For more information on Oracle Financials Cloud training do connect us.
    Email: contact@maxmunus.com
    Call / WhatsApp: +919035888988


Back to Top