Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tried it Tuesday-Differentiated Instruction-TAPS and Next School Year Linky

Happy Tuesday everyone. I hope you all enjoyed your long weekend as much as I did. Only 8 1/2 more days of school for me (that is counting today!) I'm "double-dipping today" and joining two linky parties.

First, I'm linking up with Holly at Fourth Grade Flipper for Tried it Tuesday.
If you read yesterday's long post, you know I plan to share many of the ways I have started to differentiate in my classroom. Today I want to share a quick and easy way that you can differentiate your instruction. That is by using TAPS. As a self contained classroom, I try to use TAPS each day. The acronym TAPS represents the ways we should be instructing our students and the ways they should be working on assignments or activities.

T-Total-this is whole group instruction
A-Alone-students working alone, or meeting with you one-on-one
P-Partner-students working with a partner or meeting with a partner
S-Small Group-students meeting and working in groups of 3-4 (I find groups of 5 get a bit crazy)

When I first learned about TAPS I was excited to see that there is a place for whole group instruction in a DI classroom. I was also excited to see that I use TAPS all the time in my classroom. I think most of us who teach elementary students naturally do this. Since learning about it though, I have tried to be more on-purpose with doing TAPS each day. I naturally use TAS (because my students sit at tables groups are easier than partners) so I have had to be a little more creative to add the partner activities. One of the best ways I have found to quickly partner kids up is using "Clock Partners."

It takes about an hour to set up the clocks with the kids during the first few weeks of school, but once you have them set-it is done for the year. I have my students store them in a sheet protector in their binder. You can download a copy of my clock partners chart here.

Do you use TAPS in your room? Which part of TAPS do you have to be more "on-purpose" to use in your classroom?

Even though my year isn't over yet, I'm also linking up with  Finding Joy in 6th Grade for her first linky party.


Here are a few of my plans for next year!

I am super excited about implementing this next year!

I love to read, but during the year I tend to struggle with finding time to read for myself.

Please tell me I'm not the only one who struggles with this!
What do you plan to do next year? Link up with Kim to share your plans for next year.


  1. Ha ha--stay within budget for school supplies. No chance for me. Not with Dollar Stores and Target close by my house. I'm doomed.

    Digital: Divide & Conquer

    1. Oh no, being that close to both of those stores would be very dangerous! I'm about 25 min. from Target-so that is a bit helpful.

  2. Love the TAPS idea. I haven't heard it put quite that way before. And ha ha, the budget goal is teacher impossible for me. Going to school today to clean out and organize, before I even consider going to Target so I am trying:). Glad I found your blog through the linky party.

  3. I love the TAPS information you shared. I am getting better as I get older spending less on my classroom - maybe because I've already bought so much!!!

    1. I am good...until I hit the bookstore, then all hope is lost!

  4. Love clock buddies! They are so easy to use and it makes partnering students so fast! I've never heard of TAPS before but I really like that idea. Definitely something to keep in mind as I think about planning for next year!
    Polka Dot Lesson Plans

  5. My partner picking cards will be perfect for your partner work in TAPS-so excited you got that freebie! Can't wait to hear more!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  6. I love using the clock partners too! We call them "appointments". :) I like the acronym TAPS and it makes so much sense! Thanks for sharing!
    Fourth Grade Flipper