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Showing posts with label #teachingandtapas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #teachingandtapas. Show all posts

More BATS!

Hey everyone, Alyssha here from Teaching and Tapas. I am one of those people who LOVE everything October. Aside from it being a way-too-busy teaching obligation month (progress reports AND open house for some of us), it is so fun to get into the fall spirit!

One thing I love to do in October is a class vote/graph - Are Bats Cute or Creepy? Hang it up at the beginning of the month. Make sure the kids are able to change their votes because by the end of the month, you can convince the most squeamish students that bats are definitely cute. Like, the cutest of all animals.

On Monday, Matt from Digital Divide & Conquer wrote up a post about Bat resources using Symbaloo. I may be the last teacher alive who hasn't heard of Symbaloo. It looks AWESOME!
There was one video in particular that you MUST show your students. Lil' Drac is the epitome of every cute animal video on the internet. Seriously, so sweet.

Here is another one that you have to play with the sound on -

Okay, here is one more can't miss. This one goes beyond just cuteness - it's a great learning video.

I love surprising my students with little videos every once in a while. They're short and awesome!

Along with the bat theme, I have a great close reading freebie on bats that you may find useful. It a passage that is written at two levels (yay for differentiation!). It's perfect for 2nd and 3rd grade but could be used 1st-4th. Snag it up here!


Remember, it's free and super awesome! Enjoy!
Link -

Alyssha here, from Teaching and Tapas. Hi!

I am shy.

Yep, it's a part of me that I feel like is so obvious when you are around me in person. I feel my cheeks warm up and heart racing when talking to new people. So much of that shyness is internal. I say this because I have had people tell me they would never describe me as shy. That's me covering up a lot of my weird nervousness :)

As teachers, we are all trying to tune into our students. I remember 3rd grade clearly and at the end of the year I realized I had never once raised my hand to talk in front of my class. Yikes!

I've had teachers who tried forcing me to talk in front of groups. Some of my teachers were helpful and could coach me in a gentle way. Other teachers made me feel humiliated and where I wanted to hide deeper in my shell. Both of those models helped shape the way I interact with my students today. Here are a few tips to keep in mind with your own students...

1. Don't tell the student they are shy. 
When someone would point it out to me, I always felt more embarrassed and like everyone was staring at me waiting for me to speak. Yuck. The feelings of sitting there, anxiously worrying that everyone is going to notice me feeling super uncomfortable. Bad feeling. It's better to just acknowledge the shy student when the speak up just as you would acknowledge every other student. Make it seem like no big deal. Of every student/teacher relationship is different and if you have an open line of communication with a shy student, your judgement is the best.

2. Give your students plenty of options to interact with silent signals.
This does not have to be a special trick reserved only for some students. Re: Tip#1, when you point it out, shyness and anxiety may become worse. So just give ALL of your students the options to use silent signals such as sign language (thumbs up, thumbs down, "I understand" signals, etc.). Not only does this get more of your students interacting in your lessons, but you are able to check the understanding of even your quietest students.

My signal for "I agree"
My signal for "I made a connection"
3. Give a silent sign before calling on a student.
If you are confident that one of your shy students has something to add, give a little warning such as place a finger on the corner of their desk or give them a wink beforehand. It can take away that deer in the headlights feeling :) With a little warning, the student may be able to find their words and think of what they want to say. This means giving them plenty of wait time.

4. Strategic buddies.
Be sure the student is sitting near someone they can relate to and feel comfortable with. This can make such a huge difference when it comes to partnership activities, turn & talks, etc.

5. Assign special jobs.
Do you have a classroom job that requires someone to interact with individuals, but not in front of everyone? In my classroom, I had a job for someone to check book bins and make sure everyone had between 3-5 books. If they had too many or too little, this person would go remind the student to adjust their book bin. A job like this is perfect for a shy student if they are willing to talk to classmates.

So there you go! I hope my perspective gives you some more tools for your toolbox when it comes to doing all the great work you are doing with your students!

I am such a sucker for Valentine's Day stuff. The colors. The candy. The memories of trying to figure out what the choice of Garbage Pail Kids card meant from the boy I was crushing on... In my classroom, I definitely DOWNPLAY the love stuff with the holiday. I try to make it more of a friendship holiday - with pink, red, and hearts of course!

Just in case you are still looking for a quick Valentine's Day math activity, I made a short FREEBIE that includes 8 task cards for one step and two step word problems. It is perfectly aligned to the 2nd grade standards but could easily be used with some 1st graders and as a review for 3rd grade. You can pick it up for FREE by clicking here.


Informational Mentor Text List (for every 2nd Grade CCSS)

Wanna know what is funny? EVERY grade in our K-5 school is in the middle of an informational text unit RIGHT NOW. Totally by coincidence or teacher think-alike? Not sure. All I know is that our library is cleared out!

Thankfully, I thought ahead! At this time last year I started searching for copies of books that I was certain would be perfect for a mentor text book cart. I stocked up and found about 35 excellent books that are my go-to books for "Everything Informational Reading Related".

I am happy to share my suggestions for awesome texts that go with each Common Core standard. This list is specifically for 2nd grade, but it could also be used with most 1st grade standards as well.

(If you would like to download the list in a neat, easy pdf format, click here.)

Having these books on the ready has saved my butt this year! Here we were today comparing two books presented on the same topic.

I feel like they are learning a ton right now! Now, let me back up and say that we do work with informational texts ALL year long. But this is the time we REALLY delve in! How about you? Do you just mix them in throughout the year or do you have a unit specifically focused like me?


Woohoo! October FREEBIE and MONSTROUS Giveaway!

l can't tell you how excited I am to be in October! You know those people who put up Christmas decorations at the beginning of November? Well, that is what I am like for Halloween! I have way too much fun with this holiday :)

If you have not already entered the awesome MONSTEROUS giveaway, you better get in on that. There are only a few days left and this one's a good one!

I also have a little Halloweeny freebie for all of the 1st and 2nd grade teachers out there. It is pack of math task cards focused on 1 and 2 step problems (2.OA.1). Your kids will love it! Enjoy :)

Like what you see? You can download the whole pack for free by clicking here.

- Alyssha from Teaching and Tapas