Community Building HyperDocs for your Remote Classroom

“We don’t want kids to stay busy, we want kids to stay connected and engaged.” 

Most educators around the world experienced a big shift towards remote learning in the last month. This has been an overwhelming change for all. 

Although parents are taking on the role of educator, it has become abundantly clear that nothing or no one can ever replace a teacher. Also, face to face time with friends and classmates is being recognized as a focal point of classroom life. Now more than ever we are craving the connectedness of day to day interaction. Traditional schooling offers interaction and relationships that help shape our lives as learners. During this shift in education, we invite you to find ways to keep the connections going. This can and should take precedence over content instruction as families adapt to new methods of learning.

Why spend time on (re)establishing connections? Personal relationships are the heart and foundation of any thriving classroom environment. Teachers connect with their students in their own ways -- greeting kids at the door, within the community circle, in a morning meeting, through mindfulness practices, listening in during a partner discussion, and many other ways. All we are called to do now is rethink how we connect with our students. 

How do you connect in your traditional classroom? How can you integrate these same strategies into your remote classroom? 

Morning Meeting/Community Circle -->  Google Meet or Zoom sessions

Spirit days --> Google Meet or Zoom sessions

Jokes --> Begin email messages or video conferences with a joke! Use Flip Grid for kids to contribute jokes! 

Read aloud --> Read to your students via videos or use Flip Grid to invite family members to read aloud their favorite books.

Fun Friday --> Only fun “assignments” on Friday! Keep it light and therapeutic!

Reminding students that they are still connected to something greater than their individual households will be critical to their learning. Learning is a social construction of knowledge. We must not remove the social element if we expect students to continue to grow ideas and learn new things during this time. Social distancing does not have to mean social isolation. Instead we can utilize technology to remove the distance barriers and reach students in new ways.

In this current global climate where remote learning has taken the forefront of education, we want to offer a solution -- teaching with HyperDocs. HyperDocs are well-packaged lessons meant to connect students to their teacher(s), classmates, and peers beyond the classroom, as well as to the content. Below are just a few HyperDoc lessons to highlight the ways that a teacher can foster community and maintain connections from a distance.

Here are a few HyperDoc lessons to foster community in your remote classroom: 

My Happy Place

Heart Maps

As with any HyperDoc lesson that you find and use, you will want to check links and be sure resources are appropriate for your students. Once you FILE>MAKE A COPY you can revise to meet the needs of your learners. This is the beauty of remixing a lesson. Below you can see how I remixed this Happy Place HyperDoc from it’s original version, intended for in-class instruction. 

A Word of Caution: 

Please be mindful of students who are not able to join virtual learning opportunities. Which faces are not being seen? How can we connect in unique ways to reach every learner? We would never want to exclude a child based on inequitable circumstances and want ALL learners to feel connected to a community and valued for their contributions. If you are able to keep track of student presence and those not participating, we encourage you to rethink your connection methods. Maybe a phone call, email message, or a hand-written note home is just what that child or family needs. There are many methods of building community and connecting with students. We know you will find creative ways to reach and teach every learner in your remote classroom!

Incorporate these fun ideas into your HyperDocs to foster community:

  1. Use GIF’s as a wellness check-in at the onset of a lesson on feelings or as a journal entry.

  1. Show and Tell with a collaborative Share Deck 

  2. Create a Pandemic Scrapbook using Book Creator 

  3. Foster reading community with Book Talk Doc


  1. Invite students to be the expert learner! Create a demonstration video or tutorial explaining how to do a personal skill at home. You might want to use Adobe Spark video templates to get students going right away on video making. Examples: How to make choc chip pancakes, how to take calm breaths, how to play chess, how to help with chores, how to stay happy, how to keep a gratitude journal, how to use Tik Tok.

  1. Connect 4 gameboard

Author: HyperDocs Admin 17-04-2020