Zoom isn't going to be the same as a physical classroom, but there are small ways to make a session feel friendlier. Pick strategies that resonate with you.
- Play music while waiting for class to begin. Establish a positive tone, and spark non-class conversation.
- Start Zoom sessions 10 minutes early, just to talk. Casually greet and chat with students as they come in. As additional students join, draw them consciously into the conversation.
- Share some hobbies and interests. One of the best ways to get to know your students better is to open up, perhaps a little even more than you usually would, about yourself and your personality. Even something as simple as showing a special object on your desk to the class can really help students warm up to you.
Meeting start and end times are actually arbitrary--as long as you're the host, you can start and end a meeting whenever you like.
If playing music, you'll need to be sure you're sharing computer sound. Within the meeting, click "Share" (same as you would to share your screen). If you're also sharing slides, make sure "Share computer sound" is checked, or if you just want to play music, go to the "Advanced" tab and click "Computer sound."