Wednesday, June 29, 2011

1,2,3,4...a Great Tranisiton that's for sure!

I love using songs and chants for transitions and I can make a rhyme out of just about anything but I struggled with dismissing my rows from the floor.  Sure I could send the students back by colors or numbers but I needed more pizazz! 
Then I came up with The Row Rap!
Now when we are in our 4 rows on the carpet I start dismissal with this simple rhyme!
Another transition that I use is the opposite of this.  When the students come to the floor I use a simple Body Check.  It is my way of making sure that we are in a good learning position before I begin teaching.
If you are interested in any of these transitions...just let me know and I will send you a copy!

Story Book Souvenir!

Hey Friends,
     I woke this morning thinking about Story Book Souvenirs that I used when I taught first grade and knew that I just had to post about them.  For me...a Story Book Souvenir is a small reminder of the text read in class.  I would leave the souvenirs in a center during the day.  After a shared reading that introduced our theme for the day-I would then pull out our travel box.  Which was just a shoe box covered in contact paper.  I printed labels off with the title of the story and picture image of the book.  I had a volunteer add the label to our box and then open to see what souvenir we earned from our book traveling adventure.
     The souvenir was a great way to spark retelling of the story.  I would then add the Travel Box to our writing center and the students could visit it during free choice to pick up their souvenir and write about their book adventure.
     I also encourage my students to find a special place at home for their maybe their own Travel Box.  Parents love this because it is a conversation starter at home. At the end of the year, any student with all or most of the souvenirs receives a special treat and can bring their souvenirs to school so we can take a trip down memory lane.
     Check out the dinosaur souvenir that I found at the Dollar Store to go along with the book 
How Do Dinosaurs Eat their Food?  By Jane Yolen and Mark Teague.

Below is the link to download a basic response sheet!
Sure hope that you can find a way to bring in some Story Book Souvenirs to your classroom!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

My Good Friend Hal!

Well I believe...People say that people come into you life for a reason and I now believe it too.  Two summers ago I signed up to become a ROCKstar teacher through an email that I got at school.  In fact, several of my teaching friends joined me.  See us below! 

Now I went thinking this was going to be a regular old workshop where I take notes and get ideas to improve my classroom MGT and student learning.  I did take notes and I did get strategies for teaching but little did I know just how much I left with that day. 
Hal is an incredible motivational speaker.  He reminded me that what I was doing was important and valuable to the world.  There were many laughs and MANY tears.  I left exhausted and inspired.  Time passed and I went right back to teaching my class.
Once I started blogging, I began to feel that inspiration again  It was almost a year later that I became compelled to contact Hal.  I did and he has been a great support in all that has happened in the last year from the moment I sent him the message.  My website, my blog, and my having the courage to jump into the presenting world truly stems from him.
Click on this post he did for me...little old me!  
So if you you are feeling that you need a transformation in your teaching... check out  Tell Hal I sent you!

Thanks to Hal Bowman!  You are a ROCKSTAR Friend!

The Schroeder Page gets a FACELIFT!

The Schroeder Page is finally getting another facelift.  Over this past week, my webmaster and I have spent many late evenings changing my site.  He did all of the technical work and I complained until he made it pretty.  We are in the process of adding many new items and growing the smartboard section.  There you will find tutorials on the basics of smartboard use.  I have heard from several of my students through SKYPE this summer so be sure to check out that section.  The activities tab offers many free downloads and the classroom tab has lots of  self created units.  If you got a copy of my Fairy Tale unit last week...this section is where you can use your coupon.

My video page also offers small tours of my classroom:)  See if you can find the crawling snail. He is my favorite graphic.  It reminds me of how I want to live my life...slow and steady!

My newest venture is a booklet titled SMARTboard Bootcamp.  I did a presentation at UNCC this past spring and now I am taking it on the road with some support from my great friend Hal Bowman. I am so very excited to be presenting at a school in Raleigh.  I have so many ideas going on in my head!  If you are getting SMARTboards in the future...let me know if you would be interested in viewing my booklet so far and giving me your honest opinion.  Or even just some tips you have for integrating the SMARTboard into your classroom.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Like Mother...Like Daughter!

Hey BABY has a blog.  My daughter Lily Kay who is going into the 4th grade this year has been watching me build my blog and website over the past year.  She is totally into it and I finally got around to making her a "BABY" blog.  Now, I am not much with graphics but I did my best.  She is so excited!  Look for her first Book Review to hit the blog world soon.

I am truly hoping that having this blog will encourage more reading and writing out of her this summer.  I told her that she can't let her followers down!  One blog post a day is my motto! 

If you all are interested in seeing her blog and following her click the link below.  Thank you in advance for all of the support you will be giving my girl!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Grab a Schroeder T SHIRT!

 Hey Friends...I just make the cutest T Shirt at Cafe Press.  Come check it out and grab one of your own. 
I also added a fun I LOVE Blogging shirt for us all to sport this summer.

Graphics on my shirt are from:

So Darn Jealous!

Hey some organizing for me.  Poor Mrs. Schroeder is not allowed back to school until AUGUST 8th.  Yeah that's right...August!  Can you believe that???  So that means Mr. Schroeder has to put up with my traveling classroom.  Take a look at the crazy mess my dining room has become after  a week and a half!

So while some of you are organizing, labeling, and playing in your classrooms...know that I am 
Label a tub for me OK!


Monday, June 20, 2011

Time 4 Learning!

Hey Friends...I've been invited to try Time4Learning for one month in exchange for a candid review. Time4Learning can be used for homeschool, afterschool and summer skill sharpening. I can't wait to try it out with my TuEEEEs and my own kiddos this summer.  
Be sure to come back and read about my experience.


Saturday, June 18, 2011

My TuTEEEES are Coming!

As crazy as it sounds...I spent a few mornings a week working with kiddos in my neighborhood and past students. Spending time as a tutor keeps me in the creative mode plus...I love it.  This summer, I have 6 friends coming.  I have been putting together some things for them and I thought I would share.

Now I am excited to have them...but working on school stuff for kiddos in the summer is usually not their favorite thing.  So, I always try to make them feel like they are in a special type of summer club from day one.  This year, I found these super cute bags at the dollar store.  I usually do canvas and letter them up but that gets expensive.  I was thrilled to find these tropical bags and thought for $6 -I am in.  Then I grabbed some ribbon to match and I was off to check out.  GET THIS-they were only $0.50.  I have NEVER gotten anything at the $ store for less than a $.  Big day for me!

I added ribbon and wrote their name and Day of the Week on the ribbon.  Each bag has a folder inside that I am preparing for each kiddo.  I add books at their level and interest.  Fun pencils and erasers.  They love it.  This summer, I plan to make them T shirts at the end of our sessions!  Maybe...CAMP Schroeder:)
It is hard to see but the label reads: 
I belong to Mrs. Schroeder!
Summer 2010-2011


Friday, June 17, 2011

Once Upon a Summer-A FREE Fairy Tale Unit!!

Happy Friday Y'ALL!  I have a  Fairy Tale Introduction Unit that I finished at the end of the school year and I am finally getting around to posting about it.  The unit is how I begin my Fairy Tale studies in Writer's Workshop.  It includes a Guess that Fairy Tale game, making words activities, and lots more.   If you are interested in this unit please send me your contact information and I will email you a FREE copy.  I will also include a coupon for purchasing more of my units at

Thanks for supporting a little ol' teacher like me!


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Turning a Letter into a Keepsake!

 The fantastic gals at eighteen25 did this adorable post about pen pals and it got me thinking about letters and how they have become a lost art.  For many years after my beloved Grandma died... I carried around a letter that she wrote me.  It was simple and sweet but seeing those pen strokes always brought comfort to me after her death.

I had many panics about losing that letter.  I kept it in the depths of my wallet and carried it everywhere I went.  One day,  I left my purse at a store and all that I can remember was that I was frantic about that letter.  That day I made a decision that it needed it's own special "safe" house and this is what I came up with.
It now sits on my dresser and I get to look at it every morning... I am reminded of how special family is!  

I took this same idea and found a fun piece of grapevine at a craft store and mounted it to my pantry door.  I was then able to tuck photos of all of my Grandparents into the vine.  I like to think of it as my own special Family Tree.  ~My kiddos love to see their Great Grandparents and often ask to hear stories about them. 

Funny...You would think I learned my lesson about not carrying special items around with me but I sure haven't.  I am carrying a letter around right now from a special friend that supported me through a major transition in my life.  I think it is time to get crafting again and find this one a home too. 
So the next time you think about saying something to a family member or friend...try it in a letter.  

What sentimental items do you carry around with you?


Monday, June 13, 2011

And the Winner is...?

And The Winner is...?
Congratulations Jo! Please contact Mrs. Mccumbee by Monday, June 20th so that she can get your information and send you your beautiful basket.  Thank to all that have made this giveaway so much fun!  We are both amazed and flattered by the response.  Happy blogging to all and to all a great post!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

My Fellow BLOGGERS...Let's Make a Soldier's Day!


     I am writing to you today not about school but about patriotism.  My family has several members in the Armed Forces and my BABY brother Paul was just deployed to Afghanistan with the United State's Army.  He will be serving a 1 year tour and fighting for freedom.  I have seen many TO DO lists coming out and I wanted to let you in on one special item on mine.  Monday of next week...I will be heading out with my kiddos to shop for items such as:
toothpaste                                    Aleve                              
toothbrushes                                 chap stick
shampoo                                      cookies
deodorant                                     magazines
canned meals with flip pulls           books
baby wipes                                  cards
Oatmeal Pies (Paul's Favorite)      Suduko...and anything else that I find that would bring him some comfort.

I would like to challenge the blog world to flood Paul's troop with letters and packages!  He has no idea that I am blogging about this... so if you decide to jump on board make sure you let him know that his
BIG SISTER Monica says HI:)
Here is his address:
Sgt. Paul Weigand
C-CO 2-27BN 3BDE
APOAE 09310
My Baby Brother Paul.  My son looks so much like him it is scary! 

Sargent Paul at work in his Bradley Fighting Machine.  This was from his last tour.  This time he is on foot~ which is so much more dangerous.  When he came back from this tour the first time he had an old, dirty, wrinkled photo of my daughter that he carried in his Bradley. 

He is all grown up now!  Married too!
I thank you all in advance for joining me in this journey to support our Troops!
Pray for them all and say a special one for Paul!


Monday, June 6, 2011

A Tisket A Tasket ... Behavior Management in a Basket.. GIVEAWAY

A Tisket A Tasket ... Behavior Management in a Basket.. GIVEAWAY  
Its that time again! My teammie and I have teamed up once again to bring you a wonderful giveaway just in time for you to start planning for next year. We are going to offer one lucky winner a monogrammed teacher basket with lots of behavior management tips inside. The basket includes the behavior management system both my teammie and I use in our classroom. It also includes tips for how to play games to keep your classroom in tip-top shape all year long, a CD with Behavior Slides for SMARTnotebook and so much more!  All you have to do to be entered in this giveaway is become a follower of both blogs and leave a comment. It is as easy as that! One lucky winner will be drawn Sunday, June 12, 2011. Good luck and thanks for following.
Click on our Buttons below to become followers of our blogs and then leave a comment letting us know your have done so.  That is it!  You will be offically entered into the drawing! 



Keep 'em Reading ALL Summer!

As the school year comes to an end, I like to try to make sure that my kiddos keep on reading all summer long.  I decided that this year I would try a summer reading log created by our class.  I sent home the sheet below and asked each child to list 3 of their favorite books.    As they return their recommendations, I am added them to a classroom log. I passed out a copy to each child on the last day of school & I also added a a copy to my Google Docs.  You can download a FREE copy of the sheet I sent home with my students below!
Download your copy below!

Be sure to follow my Teachers Pay Teachers store while you are downloading your copy:)

Friday, June 3, 2011

My Memories Software WINNER!

Can you believe it is Friday, June 3rd?????  4 more days with my kiddos at school!  Plus, I finally get to pick a winner for the My Memories Software Giveaway!
A BIG DRUM ROLL.............
Ms. Parker...please contact me by Monday, June 6th so that I can get you the information for your FREE download of the My Memories software!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Flood Gate Opens AGAIN!

So,  I was standing at my desk shuffling papers and felt a presence behind me...I turned to look and found a very grown up version of a second grader that I taught a few years ago.  He had a silly grin on his face right before he handed me a letter.  YEP, you guessed it.  He is a 5th grader at our school and he wrote to me to thank me just like my friend Lizze did two days ago.  Just as fast as he showed up he was gone.  My kiddos begged me to read the letter and knowing how I cried the day before I was a bit reluctant.  Well, I read it and cried again. Come on!  Two days in a ROW!  

Now my current class is plotting against me.  When they get to 5th grade they are planning to make me cry every day before they go to middle school.  

Here is Quinn's letter...
Quinn is quite a jock so him doing this was a big deal.  He went into poetry not loving it and came out a wonderful poet!  I still use his poem when I teach.  It is in my Poetry Hall of Fame.  Which is poems written by past students that I use to inspire new writers.  This year,  I went to grab him and asked him to read his poem on video for me and he did.  Every time my class sees him in the hall now they start to chant the poem a bit.  To my class he is a bit of a me he is just Quinnie!
Man I totally love my job!