While You Wait Virtual Agenda Slides

by Stephanie, May 12, 2020

I’m all about the soft start opening for professional learning. Teachers deserve time to settle in, chat with colleagues and orient themselves to the learning ahead. I might ask teachers to ponder a quote, connect with a fellow table-mate, visit a website or even get hands-on with some arts and crafts for their classroom. And while some of these experiences might be more difficult to recreate online, I have found a few favorite ways to engage teachers as we slowly pop into our virtual meetings. This is one of them.

I like to open up my virtual meeting space a few minutes before the meeting begins to give teachers a chance to check in and mentally prepare for the session. I’ll share my screen (but keep the video off) with a ‘while you wait’ activity and a promise to return to the screen. So when I saw this virtual agenda slide by Laura Cahill, I knew I wanted to create my own. Here’s one of them:

I have a few core staples on my ‘While You Wait’ slide: the date, the materials teachers will need, a quote to ponder and a question to lead into the content of the session. Some days, I keep it simple and other days, I’ll jazz up the slide with clip art. Regardless, the slides serve the same purpose: to welcome teachers, orient them to the session ahead and facilitate a learning state of mind.

When the session is about to begin, I turn on my video and make sure it is positioned within the picture frame. It adds a fun element to the session and is a great way to literally pop into the screen.

I use Google Slides to create my While You Wait slides in just a few easy steps:

  1. Create a new Google Slides presentation and choose the ‘blank’ layout.
  2. Format the background with colors that suit your content and personality.
  3. Create text boxes and insert shapes to represent the various sections of your slide. Play around with colors and borders to make each section stand out.

I keep all of my While You Wait slides in a single presentation to easily make a copy and revise for a new session. Then, I can look back on my slides as a portfolio of learning, too. You’ll find a few of my templates here.

Why not give it a try?! Share your slides and let me know how it goes!


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  1. Thanks for sharing so many useful resources.

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    1. I'm happy to! I hope you find this helpful!

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  2. How do you position your video so it fits within your picture frame? Does that work with Google Meet?

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    1. In Zoom, you can easily move your screen to where you would like it on the screen. I am not sure if this is possible with Google Meets. Are you able to move your video at all?

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  3. Innovative! Thanks for sharing. I want to try this out. :-)

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    1. I hope you do! I'd love to see your slide. You can tag me at @AffinitoLit on your favorite platoform!

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  4. I love this idea and am going to try it out at the next Instructional Coaching meeting I hold, but I am struggling with how to have the video appear in the box that I have reserved for it. Is there a certain way to share the screen OR do the participants have to move their video screen to that box? Thanks!!!!

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    1. Hi, Alyssa! You will need to position your camera box so that it appears within the slide. Then, once you let teachers into the room, it will appear there as they pop in. However, once they are in, they can move it wherever they would like. I hope you try it!

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  6. Ok, great! Creating mine right now!

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