Saturday, July 30, 2011

Who's Your Teamie Linky Party?

I know that we are all getting geared up for BACK to School and our thoughts are starting to go to our other "Family."  You know...your School Family:)  These are the people and children that you spend the better part of your day with.  They are your support system~YOUR Friends.  
My Teammate and I were new together last year and I was a bit nervous about how we would gel but as most of you know...we didn't miss a beat.  In fact, we are more than teammates now.  We are good friends that have so many things in common.  Yeah,  I am a WEEE but older and wiser I might add but we have truly become a wonderful TEAM.   So,  I want you all to think about your TEAMIE...yeah I made that word up but I am a teacher and we are the BOSSES of the letters right? 

Please take a minute and think about your Teamie...even one from the past and answer the following questions in a blog post. 
A photo would be great if you have one:)  Here are my answers about my Teamie Mrs. Mccumbee:)
10 Teamie Questions about Mrs. Mccumbee!
#1 How long have you and your Teamie been teaching together?  Mrs. Mccumbee and I are heading into our 2nd year together.  I was in on her interview and was super nervous about making a choice because I had just come off a difficult experience with my past teammate. 
#2 What is your Teamie's best quality? She is a major GOOF but also so dang smart.  It is quite a combo I tell ya!
#3 Who will retire first?
Not sure...she will be my principal some day though.  I better get special treatment!
#4 What makes you two an awesome pair? Yin and Yang!  Totally opposite in some ways but the same in others.  I think her VERY young spirit and my still a little young spirit compliment each other well.
#5 Do you both have any rituals that get you through the day or a hard time?
BLOGGING...we bond over it and after school we often sit down together to recap our day.
#6 What is a word that describes your Teamie? I said it above Googariffic!  She can make you crack up and almost pee yourself.  I know that is a bit graphic but true!  But in the same sentence she will come up with something brilliant. 
#7 Is your Teamie in the blog world?  If so...what is their blog? (Don't forget to link it:) If not...will this post push them in?  She sure it THANKS to ME! You owe me girl -a school brownie!  Check her out at Mrs. Mccumbee's Class.
#8 What is the funniest thing that you and your Teamie had to face at school?  Well...shelves are a bit thing at my school...we saw one sitting in the hall that our janitor JUNIOR dropped off and we totally STOLE it and hide it under blankets in our office.  JUNIOR eventually came and some how he knew right where to look
#9 Complete this sentence...I would not trade my Teamie for a $1,000 gift card at the Dollar store  because...I don't have anymore room left in my classroom for tubs:)  Just kidding...she is amazing and working with her makes me a better teacher!  Thanks Friend!
#10 Add a special tribute to your Teamie:) Can't wait to stand in the hall and hug our kiddos together, sweat at recess with you, open 25 ketchup packages at lunch, and rush them out the door at 3:00 so we can have a PLC meeting.  You know what those letters mean!
To join this Salute to our Teamies you will need to create a post stating that you are Linking up with The Schroeder Page and then answer the following questions below.   BE SURE TO LINK BACK TO ME PRETTY PLEASE:) BE sure to GRAB the code at the bottom to add to your post!  I am soooo looking forward to reading these!
Just copy and past into your post and answer in color.  So stinking easy!
10 Teamie Questions about ______________
#1 How long have you and your Teamie been teaching together?
#2 What is your Teamie's best quality?
#3 Who will retire first?
#4 What makes you two an awesome pair?
#5 Do you both have any rituals that get you through the day or a hard time?
#6 What is a word that describes your Teamie?
#7 Is your Teamie in the blog world?  If so...what is their blog? (Don't forget to link it:) If not...will this post push them in?
#8 What is the funniest thing that you and your Teamie had to face at school?
#9 Complete this sentence...I would not trade my Teamie for a $1,000 gift card at the Dollar store  because...
#10 Add a special tribute to your Teamie:)

Link up below:

Paste it into your post at the bottom to link up!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

I LOVE being a BLOGGER because...

Yesterday was truly the day that made all the time I spend blogging more than worth it.  My goal when I started blogging was to help new teachers and to make connections to better my practice.  Well as I stood in the $ Store yesterday afternoon waiting for Mrs. Cleary my friend & assistant I overhead a mother talking with her "teacher" daughter.  It was so sweet to hear them talk about teaching supplies that I got all caught up  in the moment and went to reach for a business card.  I of course did not have one so I jotted down my blog info and went to pass it on.  Stalker-like behavior??

When I got there the mom was the only one there so I quickly passed on my information and told her the blog community is a wonderful place for new teachers to learn and make connections.  She thanked me and  I walked away.

Soon after I heard..."Mrs. Schroeder?"  It was on of my families from the past and we spent some time talking and catching up.  As I walked away the Mother/Daughter that I stalked were waiting for me.  The mom introduced me to her daughter and she smiled REAL big and said I know who you are. all turns out the Miss Kim is a follower of my blog and she recently commented about the aprons I wear and I had passed on my NEIGHBOR/Sew-aholic MZ.  Dot to her. 
 This one says...I'm Watching you!  and is covered in eyeballs:)
Listen to this!  She had just come from Union County to pick up aprons at MZ. Dot's house which is right behind mine and she brought in the aprons for me to see.  They are soooo stinkin cute! 

Now what are the odds of that???  I just want to say THANK YOU Kelly!  For a small moment in time I felt like a celebrity and I swelled with pride knowing that I helped a new teacher like you!
Best wishes on that job...know that my fingers are crossed for you!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Friends OLD and Teamie and I are so excited about the response from our 2nd grade teaching friends about starting our own GANG.  The comments and support have been amazing.  Just to let you all know we are ferociously working on something BIG and EXCITING for all of you. Pass the word on to ALL of your 2nd grade friends about sending their info to us or just becoming  followers of both blogs.   They won't want to miss the chance to sign up with us at The Schroeder Page. There is a BIG Surprise in your future.  Keep blogging and creating but be sure to keep you eyes peeled for the next big thing from Teamies Team up!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Me and My 2nd Grade GANG!

Calling ALL 2nd grade bloggers!  My Teamie and I would love to invite you to join our 2nd Grade GANG!  When Mrs. Mccumbee and I talked yesterday we discussed how many awesome K and 1 blogs there are out there! We want to bring 2nd grade blogs out and together!

My secret weapon at Project 3 Designs is putting together a 2nd GRADE GANG button for us all to proudly post on our blogs. (You know I wanted to be a Pink Lady from Grease!) I am so looking forward to collaborating with all of  you!  We will also have a special page on our blog just for your buttons and a quick introduction.

If you are interested in this opportunity please follow my blog, Facebook, and Twitter.  So simple to do.  Just click the links at the top of my blog.  Then leave a comment below listing the following information:
1. Blog Name and address

Also head over to WE Teach 2nd Grade and become a follower:)

As we compile the Gang... will visit your blog and return the above" following" favor.  We will also add your blog button to the GANG List and you will be invited to make a comment about your blog!

Look out Blog World...Here comes 2nd grade!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Back to School Resoutions!

So...I was hanging out over at my Teamie's blog and I saw her post about linking up with The Clutter Free Classroom blog.  They are doing a linky party about Back to School Resolutions!  What a great idea.  I know I am always thinking of things that I can do better each year so here goes nothing!
The Schroeder Page's Back to School Resolutions!

1.  I will do my very best to get to school on time.  This is going to be a struggle because my little boy Ian is starting Kindergarten and I know have 2 kiddos to get ready for school!
2. I will get at least 2 other teachers in my building into the blog world!
Come on Eason, Allen, and Hall!  I know you are followers!  And if you are better get following!
3. I will have a Library Celebration when I open my classroom library to my students.  We will explore it like it is a museum and then dive into reading!  I think it would also be fun to do a collection of used books and give a gift to a needy school or organization.  We could even add labels Donation from Room 331:)
4.  I will make more positive phone calls home.  It is always sooo easy to overlook those kiddos that do their very best everyday.  I am on a mission to help them know how much they are admired by me. 

5. I will do my best to squeeze in some exercise and lots of lunches with green like veggies.  Also no more microwaving in plastic.  Bad FOR you! 
 This is an incredible book...check it out!

6.  I will focus on staying positive this year.  We are losing 2 of our 2nd grade assistants this year.  For me...I still have my partner in crime of 4 years Mrs. Cleary.  I do have to share her with 3 other teachers now but I still want my room to be her fav:)
Well...I am sure I could think of more.  We teachers do love to reinvent ourselves.  Here's to The Cluttered Classroom for getting me thinking ahead!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

My Favorite Back to School Activity!

One of my favorite Back to School Activities is Back to School Monsters!  I always make unpacking our book-bags into a group project.  For me it helps control the chaos and also allows me to organize during the day and not hours after school.  I set out tubs labeled with the school supplies the students should have in their book bags.  As they open packages and start putting their supplies into tubs I also ask them to place all empty packages on the floor by my Chat Chair.
 We then meet up in a big circle together and discuss how much trash there is to throw away.  We also brain storm some used for the trash.

Some how we always decide to make Back to School Monsters, with a little guidance from me. I make a monster on my SMARTboard and we talk about how that piece of trash might help our monster be a good friend.

I give the students a yellow piece of construction paper and they then choose their favorite piecse of Back to School Trash.  I love seeing what they come up with and their ideas for how to be a good MONSTER friend.
Glue legs to help friends stick together & colored pencil hair to show that we all come in different shades are two of my favorites. 

This activity gets the class thinking right away about friendship and we recycle too!

I am LINKING up!

Friends...I am linking up with my TEAMIE at Mrs. Mccumbee's Class.  She is doing a blog hop about what literature spoke to you as a child. 
Below I have attached a video of me book talking quickly about a favorite of mine.  Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIHM.  By Robert C. O'Brien.  This is one of the first books I remember as a read aloud in 2nd or 3rd grade.  I had the most incredible mental movies during the reading.  I had no idea that I was visualizing.  I read this book at the end of the year to my class and also spend lots of time talking about visualization.  We sketch after after each reading and keep a journal about our mind movies. We also watch the movie Mrs. Frisby and compare our visualizations to the movie. That is when the journal comes in handy.  The class and I always agree that our visualizations are way better than the movie. 

Just a heads up...for those you you that might want a copy just click the link above to purchase through Amazon.  Also keep in Mind that Borders Books is going out of business.  I am heading there today.  You never know what you might find!

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Winner, Winner!

 Let me tell you...not easy.  It was so difficult to choose.  All of you gals that participated in my Giveaway really deserve more training.  I wish all districts would think more about the types of trainings that they provide.  Learning the basics of SMARTnotebook is very important but there needs to be a more intense training offered on building lessons.  Sure it is easy to download premade lessons but true us!  Need to have the knowledge to create our own INTERACTIVE lessons to meet the needs of our students.  Just like we have always done in our lesson plan books.  SMARTnotebook is our new lesson plan book.  
Sara...comment #4 I and the Random Generator choose you!  Please contact me by Sunday.  Please email me a few days and times next week that will work for you.  I am so thrilled to get you started rocking your board! 

Feel free to pass the idea of SMARTbootcamp on to your districts.  I would be honored to join your school in technology.  Maybe they will find funds to bring more training (that you want and need) to you and your staff.  I am heading to Raleigh to present next month and Sarah from Southport is talking with her district about a visit from me:)  Please know that this presentation can be done in person or via computer.  Webmaster Ken in a Master and I am sure he can find a way to help you connect your computer through your TV like I did and invite your team over for a group presentation.  

Or Heck tell your principal that you want to do it at school and just project it onto your SMARTboard.   I am telling you!  Technology is amazing...I don't even have to be there.  You will interact with me through the computer via voice, video, chat, and the mouse.  Me at home and you at school!
Friends...I truly believe in teacher training teachers.  The best trainings I have ever been to are done by teachers just like us.  We need to support each other and learn from each other.  Please know that SMARTboard Bootcamp will bring your teaching to a new level and give you the confidence to build INTERACTIVE  lessons for your students.  I am so looking forward to hearing from you!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

FRIDAY Giveaway! Be the FIRST to train with Mrs. Schroeder from your HOME!

Oh MY...webmaster Ken has been BUSY!  

I am so stinking happy to announce that SMARTboard Bootcamp is now available as an  In Home Training Session!

I can now remote into your computer and present just for you.  

To celebrate this special event,  I am doing a Friday Giveaway

Starting NOW until Friday, July 22 at 9:00 PM enter this giveaway by completing the following steps. 
 1.  Become follower of The Schroeder Page.
  2. Visit (While you are there please like my FACEbook page too:)  
3. Blog about the giveaway on your blog:)
4. Head back to my blog and leave a comment about why you REALLY need a FREE SMARTboard Bootcamp Training session.  

Below is a link to view a tutorial at  Please know that SMARTboard Bootcamp will take you to the next level.  It is a personal session set to your needs as a SMARTboard user.  

On Friday, I will choose one lucky winner to be the very FIRST to train via Team Viewer with me! 

SCHOOL things I LOVE!!!

Hey Friends...I was visiting my Teamie's new blog and saw that First Grade Blue Skies is hosting a what you are in LOVE with linky party and I just had to LINK up.  I also became a follower of this cute blog.  Be sure to check it out:)
First, I love a fun echo microphone but I really WANT & LOVE  a stand up microphone with applause for Writer's Workshop!  I found this one on Amazon.  Plus I of course would have to use it every once in a while.  

Another item I am loving is this chalkboard contact paper.  I am thinking of tons of ways I can use this.  Center labels, desk boards, centers, cover clipboards, and the list goes on!  I also found this at Amazon.  
& the list goes on.  I love tattoo paper.  My kiddos and I have had so much fum tattooing each other this summer.  I even tattooed my husband.  Check out this very short video I made of a tattoo I designed for my class this year.  TOO cute! 

Now Y'all know I LOVE my SMARTboard!  Click the link to count my ways!

I LOVE, Love, LOVE my website.  I get to watch my classroom on videos, I get to help teachers learn to SKYPE, I get to share ideas and lessons.  I have been on the best journey this past year with technology.  My only fear is that it will end too soon!  In the mean time I am going to keep on TECHIN!

My list goes on but my other LOVE needs me...the kids are hungry:)  Happy Blogging!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

New videos and SMARTBOARD tutorials!

Friends....Just a quick update!  I have several new videos and tutorials added to  Under the SMARTboard tab you will find basic tutorials for getting started with your SMARTboard and under language arts you will find a Reading Coaches Meeting and First Day Jitters videos.  I have many more being added daily.  Be sure to check them out:)  Enjoy!


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Professional Development at Home.

Well...last night I attended the best professional development session.  Yes,  I am a bit partial because I was the presenter but it really was amazing.  Now my SMARTboard Bootcamp lacked a bit without an actual smartboard but my webmaster Ken wired it through my TV and I invited neighbors, friends and fellow teachers to come on over and bring their laptops. We had a variety of people there from K-3 teachers, EC teachers, Preschool teachers, teachers with and without smartboards, and even moms that homeschool their children.  It was an amazing time of sharing and collaborating from many walks of teaching. Along with some yummy snacks and drinks:)

I never thought that homeschool parents would be interested in using the smartboard but by downloading smart notebook to their computers they can create interactive and engaging technology type lessons. They can provide the same technology to their children at home that my students receive in the classroom.   We even talked about tailoring them to each individual child with photos of them and some of their favorite items in clip art.  We discussed linking websites and videos to compliment their lessons.  I even mentioned have a family member do a book talk with them as a surprise.  Also it is a great opportunity for them to respond to text by creating their own slides, graphic organizers, and more.  This opened a who new idea on using SMARTnotebook.

We were also able to compare how different schools in our district do things.  We were able to then share and learn from each other.  One thing we discussed was what programs we liked best for smart notebook and we talked about how Real Player is great for adding videos. 

The funny thing is... it all came very natural.  We were in a group of about 8 people and with educating children as our common goal and  the conversation flowed and flowed.  I have made new friends and connections in the education world because of this.    I of course introduced them to my blog world and I am willing to bet we have a few new stalkers out there.

I am going to plan another night like this to share and collaborate with my peers.  SMARTboard Bootcamp was a huge success and I am so proud to be able to share with so many educators that truly have the best interest of children at heart!

Plus...I presented in my bare feet and my pets enjoyed the show too:)

Thank you to all that attended.  I used to sell Silpada Jewelry and did my share of parties but never did I leave with so many "jewels!"
Maybe I am on to something...would you invite my to your house to present SMARTboard Bootcamp?

Not the best is a sign I made for the door to invite everyone to SMARTboard Bootcamp!  Complete with Camo:)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Smartboard Bootcamp!

For those of you in the Charlotte, NC area I will be doing and informal SMARTboard Bootcamp presentation at my  home in Concord, NC July 18th at 6:30.   I would like to welcome you to join us.  I will have the smartboard lesson routed through my large screen TV.  Feel free to bring your laptop and join in on the fun.  All that come will receive a free download of my SMARTboard Bootcamp manual.
If you are interested please contact me as soon as possible.  SPACE is limited:)

Drinks and appetizers will be provided! 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Phonics Dance!

I have had a few questions about the phonics song that you hear in my Day in the Life of a 2nd Grader video so I am going to post a bit about The Phonics Dance!  Now it is not mine, but I have been dancing it for at least 8 years.  When I first did the training,  I was teaching first grade and it fit perfectly into my literacy program.  Ginny Dowd the founder and creator presented to us in a small hotel conference room.  She was such a breath of fresh air and totally just a teacher.  Like me!  I connected instantly with her and have been using her teaching strategies ever since.

The picture above shows my Phonics Dance board.  This is where we keep our Chunks after they are introduced.  We dance every chunk...everyday!  I have a pretty magic wand that I mount at the bottom of the board.  Each chunk was purchased from The Phonics Dance. I started with the black and white ones and colored them.  I mounted them on colored card-stock and laminated them.  Eventually, I moved to the beautiful colored ones you see in the picture.  I also have The Phonics Dance alphabet posted around the room.  When you purchase the manual to go with the cards you will receive the chants.  Please do not worry if you don't get them perfect.  It takes a lot to memorize them.  They offer a CD as well.  I just went with it and made them my own.  It is fun to learn them with your class...the students love to add their own take.  

Another good idea to help with learning the chants is to print them on the back of the cards.  As you show the card to present them you can check the chant on the back.  (You will get all of the chants when you order The Phonics Dance book!)

To introduce the dance, I start with our Magic Sprinkles...just some fun cake sprinkles.  I use my wand to put a spell on the sprinkles.  This is the best part!  You can find more information about this in The Phonics Dance manual.  I HIGHLY recommend this book! 
Be sure that once you introduce a dance it EVERY DAY!

Like I said,  I taught first grade when I first began using the dance. I so excited to get it started!  I wanted to begin right away but first graders take a bit longer to learn the one thing  I did to get us going the first week was to learn the ABC chants and also work on my What's My Ending Packet.  I used the same format as The Phonics Dance I just made it with basic word families.  It is a great review for students and also gets them ready to start The Phonics Dance.  

Download a copy of a basic week of at, it, ot, ut, and et families.  Feel free to edit the file if your crew of kiddos need more practice with word families.  I usually only do this for a week and jump right into The Phonics Dance. 
Another thing that I have done is to create a powerpoint of the Chunks.  I wanted to save on paper and when I moved to 2nd grade I felt like my class had a good understanding of basic phonics so we did the pages for each Chunk together on our SMARTboard.  
I had my students record the chants for each chunk and I linked them to each chunk image on the slides.  The next slide I added The Phonics Dance page.  
 When I introduce this Chunk...we look at the picture clue and write the letter sounds phonetically.  Then I write the word spelled correctly and we Hunk and Chunk.  Hunk is a word inside a word and "sh" is the Chunk.  In my class we underline the Hunk and circle the Chunk. We also give our E some magic with a star and underline our blends with a squiggle line. By doing all of this we are training our eyes to look for parts of words that we recognize.  WORD ATTACK!
Before we go through the phonics page we sing We Will Hunk and Chunk the tune of We Will Rock You!  It is a great movement activity.  

In 2nd grade we also Hunk and Chunk poems for our poetry journals.  This is a great way to practice our word attack strategy.  I promise that if you start training your students to look at words The Phonics Dance way you will see some amazing readers and writers develop.  Just promise that when you do the do it loud and proud!

A Day in the Life of a 2nd Grader!

At my school we have Curriculum Night where just the parents come to school and I get to talk with them and explain how our classroom works.  Parents get to ask lots of questions and we get some time to get to know eachother.  One thing,  I always do is put a video together with my class.  It is such a wonderful way for the parents to get the feel for what happens during the day.  Another wonderful thing,  is as we make the video the students are truly reviewing classroom procedures.  

If you have a great idea about making your parents feel welcome...I would LOVE to hear about it!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Fan Page!

Hey Friends!

I just put a fan page together for The Schroeder Page and I need a few more followers to get my user name.  I would love it if you would come on over and like my page.  I am really excited to get this fan page out there for my followers.  The like button on my blog goes to another Facebook page so please click my button below to go to my fan page:)

Sunday, July 10, 2011


 So yes...I am on vacation and I am blogging.  I was down for the first night at the beach and found 3 mermaid purses.  Shark egg sacks!  I love teaching about sharks.  The life cycle of a shark is amazing.  Below is a picture of my pretty purses. 
Just to share the good vibes, I going to give a free download of my Shark Unit until I get back from the beach.  If you download...please leave me a comment and be sure to be a follower.  
 Click the SHARK to get your free download!