Helpful Tips for Facilitating

Do the PREP for each lesson. Feeling prepared will give you confidence to lead!
Get the room ready. Make space to do your "Words to Know" activity like charades. Have desks and tables cleared off and pencils or pens ready, so individuals will be able to do the Learning Activity. Set up or check your technology. Turn on the big screen and turn up the volume for the video. Make sure laptops are charged and nearby if you are doing a Digital Learning Activity. Double check your internet connection. Gather any special equipment you may need for individuals to help them be successful during the lesson.
Relax. You have prepared for the lesson! You know the participants! Trust yourself to lead the lesson and meet the needs of the individuals.
Give structure. At the start of the lesson, outline what the lesson will look like so individuals know what to expect. You may say something like, "Today’s lesson is called _______. First, we will play a game to make sure we know what some important words mean. Then, we will watch a video and talk about it. After the video, we will review what we learned here in this room and then out in the community!
Be interactive with the "Words to Know." Try one of the Words to Know Activity Options!
Watch the video or part of a video more than once. You may opt to watch it all the way through once without pausing and discussing. You may watch it with captions or without captions. You may want to watch a video again to reinforce some important concepts or to review.
Speak loudly and clearly. Face the participants when you speak and make sure they can hear you. Have individuals give you a thumbs up to indicate that they can hear you.
Take your time. Do not rush through a lesson or feel pressure to squeeze a lesson into one day. It’s okay to break up a lesson over several sessions or days if participants need to learn at a slower pace or unforeseen circumstances arise.
Encourage everyone to participate. Do not call on the first person to raise his or her hand each time or the same person over and over. You may want to have people answer first with a partner, and then with you. Or you may want to draw names to call on so that everyone has a chance to participate. If you have people with communication needs or equipment, make sure they have everything they need, like their device or switch, in order to participate to the best of their ability.
Smile. It’s simple, but it can go a long way to invite participants to share if they are reluctant to do so.
Be patient and give wait time. After you ask a question and call on someone to answer, give that individual time to process and answer. It may take several seconds or a few minutes. If someone is struggling to come up with an answer, give 2-3 easy choices. Or hold up a visual cue to help them remember.
Be personal. Be willing to share your personal experiences to help start conversations. Oftentimes, once an individual listens to someone she or he trusts, an individual will be more open to sharing
Move. Do not stay in one spot. Walk around to different spots of the room as you do the lesson. This will help you and the participants stay focused. If you find it is more distracting for particular participants then you can move around less.
Get your group moving. Invite participants to move around, too, if they are able, so they do not stay in one spot for the entire lesson. Moving around can boost brain and focus power! You can have them move around for a part of the lesson, or you can put on a song and take a "brain break" to move around before getting back to the lesson.
Mix up partners, trios, and small groups. Change up who individuals are working with to provide variety and an opportunity to work with people who are alike and different from them. Pay attention to who works well together.