Hi there teacher! I know that this a weird time for all of us right now, and we can’t go back to “normal” which can be frustrating. All of us are teaching remotely right now and doing our best to make it a fun experience for our students. One thing that you can do with your students is have a virtual pajama party together! It is so easy. Let me tell you how!
What is a Virtual Pajama Party ?
It’s exactly what it sounds like, a pajama party via zoom! What is so awesome about this is that you can choose to do it in the morning or you can do it in the evening. I like the evening since it gives the kids something to look forward to. You grab an engaging read aloud and invite the students and their families to join in! They wear their pajamas and bring their blankets, pillows and stuffed animals. If you are hosting in the evening this is the perfect time to offer up a fun bedtime story!
WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU HOST
I want to be clear with everyone: I am a teacher who is allowed to communicate with my students via zoom. We have a zoom session daily with each other to discuss a part of my lesson plan and work together on an activity that I have sent home. My principal knows that we are using zoom and is it approved. I know that there are a lot of teachers out there who are not able to communicate with their families this way to please make sure that this is an acceptable form of communication before you invite your students. If it isn’t something you are allowed to use then you can also record yourself and send it out as an email to your families!
HOW TO SET UP THE PERFECT VIRTUAL PAJAMA PARTY
As I said before, I use Zoom Video Conferencing for all of my virtual “face-to-face” meetings and lessons with my students. I meet with my whole class through Zoom. If you are not able to use Zoom you can also use Google Meet. Or you can record yourself and upload it to YouTube and send it out to your families that way. If you don’t want to use YouTube then you can also just do a video recording that gets emailed to your families.
You need to make sure that you are ready for your students when the session begins. There is nothing less fun than having a virtual room full of kids ready to get started and you don’t have something working. Here are some tips to make sure that your pajama party read aloud will be awesome:
- Make sure you have good lighting. If it’s too dark, your students will not be able to see. I use a Ring Light when I am doing my zoom sessions and it makes a huge difference. I LOVE my ring light because it brightens my whole screen! This ring light I have was also real inexpensive which is a huge plus. Not too fancy but it does the job. You can find it on Amazon by clicking here: RING LIGHT.
- You MUST use the waiting room for your zoom meetings. This is for your safety as well as the safety of your students. With the waiting room only you are allowed to let people into your meeting. When we do our meetings together, I always make sure that I recognize the names. If there is one I do not know, I won’t let them in.
- LOCK your meeting when all the students have entered the room. This is another safety precaution. This will lock anyone out of the room after you click it. Again, it is just another safety feature for you and your students. Nobody wants to get hacked when they are doing their pajama party.
- Use the Mute feature. Be sure to mute all your students when when you are reading your book. This will allow all of them to hear you clearly when you are reading the story.
- Make sure students can see only you when you are reading. There is a spotlight feature on Zoom that is really helpful for teachers during a read aloud session. When you have this feature on students are able to see you as you are reading and not the other students. I like this feature because it makes it so there are not a lot of distractions. If you’re using Zoom, you can spotlight yourself by clicking the three dots at the top right-hand corner of the box you are in. From there, you’ll see “Spotlight.”
HOW DO YOU TELL STUDENTS ABOUT THE PAJAMA PARTY?
There are a couple of ways that you can do this:
- Reach out via email. Simply email the families with the date and time of the pajama party read aloud. I would do this about a week in advance so they can get it on their calendars. Be sure to include what time you will be reading.
- Create an evite. You can also head over to evite or another online invitation company and create an invitation. This way you can send it out to the families and the students can have something fun to look at. It also make it feel more like a “party”
- Share on Class Dojo. If you are a teacher that uses this platform you can record a short video of you asking the students and their families to attend.
- Don’t forget to send a reminder. Whatever way you choose to tell your families about the party do not forget to remind them the morning of. You don’t want them to forget about it!
Virtual Pajama Party Books to Read
It is the day of your party and you are so excited to read to the kiddos! But what book do you decide to read to them? I would pick a book that has students engaged and excites. However you don’t want them TOO excited if this is a night. After all, they are supposed to be heading to bed after this. I would choose a book that relates to a night time theme somehow. I have chosen some books and listed them below for you to take a look at:
- Llama Llama Red Pajama. This book is loved by all and such a great read when it comes time for bed. Students always get a kick out of when Llama Llama gets VERY angry that Mama won’t give him what he wants, even though it is bedtime. This book is relatable for your students since I am sure they are doing some of the things that Llama Llama is doing in the book! After the story is over you can also have a conversation with your students about what pajamas they are wearing.
- Berenestain Bears In the Dark. After reading a scary book, Sister becomes afraid of the dark. Thankfully, Papa has some good ideas to help Sister conquer her fear. This story is a perfect way to teach children about bravery and overcoming their fears. When you are doing reading the book to your students you can discuss something that they are fearful of, or used to be fearful of but are not anymore. If you want, you could also have the students say one thing that makes them brave. This would also help them with self confidence!
- Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site. This book is a lot of fun for students. They always love to point out the different types of construction machines they have seen out and about during their day. I love this sweet book as it talks about how after a long and busy day we all need rest.
SCHEDULE YOUR VIRTUAL PAJAMA PARTY NOW!
I hope that there are some good tips and tricks for you to schedule your first virtual pajama party with your class. Remember that they are looking for normalcy as well, and they always love to see their teacher. This is a great way to connect with one another and show each other how much you care!
Are you looking for DIGITAL RESOURCES to use with your students? Be sure to check out my Teachers Pay Teachers shop for your distance learning needs including: Alphabet letter pages, preschool math ideas, TK letter pages, and so much more! Be sure to check it all out!