There are so many things to love about fall besides the pumpkin spice and fall scented candles, it is also so fun to bring fall and Halloween themes into the classroom. Integrating seasons and holidays gets your students excited to learn, and what teacher doesn’t love that?
One topic that my students love to learn about is bats! They only come out at night, they’re spooky, and might just share some qualities with vampires. They make a great science topic for fall or Halloween! Teaching facts about bats to your kiddos is exciting and will help increase engagement and retention.
Here are some bat facts to include in your lessons:
Bats are flying mammals
There are over 1000 different species of bat
They are nocturnal or active at night
They feed on insects, fruit, fish, and some even on blood
To help you take your bats unit up to the next level, I created a special Bat Facts Escape Room! This game is so fun, your students will be learning without even realizing it.
This escape room requires no prep and is super easy to use. It is great for in person learning or distance learning.
During the escape, students will be tasked with solving 4 lock clues in order to escape the bizarre bats buzzing around their building. There is a pdf included in this download with directions, the link to the site, an answer key and an optional note taking worksheet for students. This activity takes about 20 to 30 minutes to complete.
Listen to short audio directions and a YouTube video
Solve 5 Comprehension Questions
Solve a Jigsaw Puzzle
Work on problem solving as a group or individually
Learn about echolocation, colonies, different types of bats, vampire bats, and nocturnal animals
Do you have any tips for teaching students about these nocturnal animals? Let me know in the comments!
One of the first things we teach our little learners when they come to kindergarten is how to write their own name. It is so important for students to get plenty of practice and learn this readiness skill early on. It is something they will write often and for the rest of their lives. Knowing how to write it will help build their confidence in their own abilities in school and help set the stage for learning the rest of the alphabet during the school year.
Here are some different ways to practice and make learning names fun:
Handwriting. You’ll want to place a lot of focus on good old fashioned handwriting when it comes to learning their names. This is one of the most important ways to practice. It feels like second nature as we grow up but learning to hold and control a pencil takes lots of practice for our younger students.
Tracing with a finger. Write the letters to their names out and have your students practice tracing the letters with their fingers. This will help them get used to the shape of the letters and help with memorization.
Dry erase board practice. There’s just something about a dry erase board and dry erase marker that students love. It is just more exciting to use than a plain old pencil. Pass them to your students for an engaging and fun way to practice writing their names. A bonus is that it is easy to wipe away any mistakes!
Painting or shaving cream. What is more fun for kindergarteners than getting messy? Make this fun and educational activity by spraying some shaving cream on their desk and having them trace their name into it or by pulling out some paint and brushes.
Digital practice. These days, it is just as important to practice digitally typing and identifying letters in their name as it is writing it. Your students can practice this by identifying the letters in their name, counting the number of letters, and typing it out on their keyboards.
These interactive, Editable Name Practice Google Slides will help your students master this skill. They can be easily personalized to make sure your students will know their names, letters, and be engaged in learning. It is perfect for virtual or in personal learning. You’ll get 20 colorful Google Slides with titles, editable text boxes, directions, and moving parts.
Classroom calendar activities might look a little different this school year for teachers. With so many teachers teaching virtually, in the classroom or a mix of both, having resources that will help teachers in both situations is essential. Math concepts are a perfect combination to use during morning calendar time. The best bet you will have to reach all students in my opinion is using Google Slides to introduce concepts to students. Google slides make editing and sharing simple. This way you can use the slides during class in person or in a virtual meet up.
Tips and Topics for Morning Calendar Time
Have a slide that has a blank calendar template so you can update it easily each month.
Add holidays and celebrations to the calendar to hit social studies.
Make it a point to teach students about the UNDO button if they are the ones manipulating moveable parts on the slides.
Create a daily morning message slide to greet students each day. This can include a link to a good morning song. I like to use Jack Hartmann’s songs.
Discuss yesterday, today and tomorrow each day so the students see the pattern.
Include a letter of the week, sight words, weather or patterns in your presentation.
Number of the day, tally marks to mark how many days in school, telling time, greater than, less than and counting money are great math concepts and options to include.
List the months of the year out of order. Have a student put time in the correct order.
Seasons are great to cover each morning so students can grasp the length of a season.
You can find all kinds of great free spinners on the internet to make learning feel a little like a game.
Birthdays are always special days in the classroom. You can add music or photos of the children to a slide.
Include a review sheet for students to digitally send to you to see if they comprehend concepts.
No Time to Create Google Slides
Don’t worry! I have you covered! This is where TpT resources come in handy. Here is the pre-made and editable Google Slides for a Virtual Calendar that you can use at any elementary grade level for your classroom needs. No paper to print! (There is one page that is black and white for a review that you can print out for students who are with you in person.) Use what you like and delete the slides that you don’t want included in your morning calendar time.
There are so many unknowns right now because of the spread of the coronavirus and it has turned everyone’s world upside down. Especially those in the education field. Our plans were all put on pause and we were sent home to start learning from a distance. It was a hard adjustment to say the least.
Many teachers are wondering how we can possibly plan for a new school year with all of the unknowns. How is education going to change after coronavirus? Will things ever go back to normal?
There are a lot of changes in education that will likely be happening soon
There will likely be a surge in innovations like live broadcasts and online learning. Our online learning system now was rushed and imperfect. Now that there is such a huge need for this, it will likely lead to more streamlined and easy ways for us to connect with our students from a distance.
Private education may grow. There are many who won’t agree with the way that public schools are handling social distancing guidelines and that could lead to a surge in parents enrolling their kids in private schools. This means we might be seeing smaller class sizes.
This experience will build resilience. This pandemic has forced us all to be adaptable and go with the punches whether we liked it or not. This will encourage more people to be creative problem solvers and work together more to reach our objectives.
Budgets will change. School districts rely on state money which comes from taxes and income. Both of these sources took a hit with the economic downturn because of the coronavirus shutdown. This means that budgets for schools will be getting cut which could impact many facets of education.
Everything will be more digital. People are already weary of any cough or sneeze so extra precautions will be taken wherever possible, including the way we teach. The use of distance learning and digital classes will likely increase in the months to come.
Students are living history right now with the Coronavirus of 2020. It is a difficult time for them because of all the major changes in their life. Students can take responsibility to help protect the world by washing their hands, staying home when they are sick or using social distancing.