Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Real Teacher!

So last night was Curriculum Night in my daughter's 4th grade class.   She attends the same elementary school where I teach.  It is a BIG school with over 900 students.  I was nervous this year about her moving to 4th grade because for once I did not really know the teachers.  I knew their names but when you work in a place with that many students and that many teachers it is hard to get to know everyone.

Lily, my daughter, has been floating on cloud nine since the first day of school so I new she was loving school and she has had wonderful teachers in the past but this year was different.  You Lily Kay is very hard on herself.  Her New Year's Eve resolution in 2nd grade was to be perfect.  She struggles with disappointing herself.  As much as we try to reinforce life is not about being perfect-she still strives to achieve it.  (I know it sounds like a good thing but watching your little girl SOB because she missed one on a spelling test or struck out in softball is heart breaking.)
Well, last night I meet the reason for my child's love of life right now and her name is Mrs. Newman.  She is a teacher from her head to her toes.  As I sat and listened to her I could feel the energy that she gives off and her love for teaching was everywhere in that classroom.  Her words were inspiring for me as a teacher.  She had all of the parents take a minute to introduce themselves to each other stressing that we are a team and we need to get to know each other.  She shared about her life as a mother and grandmother.  She stressed that she has been in our shoes and she understands.

Mrs. Newman told us that Homework is a behavior and not a grade!  I love this idea.  Homework is about practice and teaching responsibility.  She told us to relax about it.  To make it important but if our children struggle we are to not FREAK out about it.  Just send her a note and she would take care of it with our child at school.  She stressed that READING and a LOVE for it is the most important thing right now.  She talked about behavior like it did not exist except in a good way.  Children want to behave and learn.  She reinforces ALL positives to rid the classroom of negatives.

I tell ya...I wanted to get up and hug the women.  The Schroeder Family is Blessed beyond belief this year.  I can already see a change in Lily's confidence and her love of reading. 

I sure hope all of you with little ones are on the same path that we are...when I grow up I want to be just like Mrs. Newman!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

So We Played the Number Circle Game!

I was so excited yesterday to introduce The # Circle Game to my class.  It is a basic number sense game and I love to do it at the beginning of the year because it gives me such a good idea of where my students are in understanding how numbers work together. 
It is pretty simple...the pictures above are of my smartboard lessons that I use to explain how the circles work.  Each page has 2 circles with random numbers.  This year I have a pretty high class so I went with larger numbers.  It can be easily adjusted for all learners.  I have a prerecorded page that my students get to view that shows me representing a number using words, numbers, and pictures.  They loved that part.  

I then set them free to work on a sheet on their own.  We partnered up by using our "Lazar Beams"  or eye contact.  I teach them this early...they mill around and choose their partners by making eye contact.  There partner shakes yes and off they go.  The rule is the first person who you make eye contact with is your shaking NO!  We also discuss prior knowledge and how we all have different prior knowledge and if we always choose the same partner-we won't be able to GROW our Prior Knowledge. 

I am so super proud of my has been a wonderful BACK to School!


Friday, August 26, 2011

Is your Courage on?

Today was my 2nd day with my students and I am happy to report they are amazing.  They have learned the routine quicky and we are off to a great start.  I always spent the first few days focusing on the routine in the classroom and I like to introduce my idea of courage.  In my manual Beyond Flipping Cards I introduce this idea of doing what's right when others are doing wrong.  Below you will find a write up from BFCs. 
Today was special becasue when I went to visit my good friend Mrs. Streby she introduced be to the best little book called Courage by Bernard Waber.  It is a very easy read with great examples of what courage is.  I have been reminding my class all day to focus on their courage and set goals for themselves.  Trying new things, practicing more, staying focused. 

If you have not read this is a must for any group of kiddos.  The message is simple, you need courage to be the best you can be:) Happy Weekend!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Meet the Teacher Night!

I have been super busy setting up my classroom this past week and today.  I am finally feeling like I have it undercontrol.  I am so excited about my new class of kiddos.  I have some really fun things planned for Meet the Teacher Night.  First, I have Mrs. Schroeder's wish list for 2nd grade.  I took a Lakeshore catalog and circled some things I liked.  (I do the same for my husband too just in other catalogs:) I added some post its and pencils just uncase anyone wants to take orders
 Next, you will find my Happy Birthday to your KIDDO station.  I leave out cupcakes with markers and I let my parents write in their child's name and birthday for our birthday graph.  It is a BIG help at the beginning when I am hurring to get things labled.

 I have seen tons of lollipop trees and I wish I could remember who's site I saw it first at so if you want me to link back to your post just let me know.  I decided to make one for my students and I am calling them Welcome Pops!
 Last! My Tattoo station.  I am so excited about this.  Each child will get to put on a little tattoo that says I belong to Mrs. Schroeder room 331. 

Sometimes an Email is more than an Email!

On Sunday I opened my email and found the most exiting message EVER!  It was from Amanda over at The Kindergarten Chick! She is a new blogger so head over and check her out. 
Her email made my morning and I emailed her to ask if I could share it and she said YES!  So...check it out below.
To ME!
I just read your behavior management philosophy and I love it!!  I am no longer flipping cards but after a week of school I am searching for what to do. I am going to discuss the 2 paths next week. We have been role playing right and wrong and I feel my students get it, however they are K and they are loud and a little crazy in line and during bathroom breaks (20 kids). I line them up 5 or so at a time but by the time the back is in line the front is crazy. HELP!! (We've had 5 days of school)

To Amanda! have a BIG job with those little Kindergartners:)  It is going to take more than 5 days to train those sweeties.  My advice is to slow everything down and model.  Even if it is standing outside the bathroom for a long time modeling good behavior.  You may want to have them observe a first or 2nd grade class walking in the hall or using the bathroom.  Those students that are not able to stand in line should receive a consequence.  Did you make any red stop signs?  I am attaching an updated file of Beyond Flipping Cards for you.  I have added a few new things and I am not sure if you have the updated file or not.
I would make the stop signs that say stop and make a better choice hand it to them and have them sit on the wall across from the line of students.  Do not walk a line of rowdy kiddos.  Stop and wait.  If they can't control themselves I would head back to the room and have a meeting.  This is the time to train...know what you let them get away with now will follow you all year.  Set your expectations now!

Our K classes at school have a plastic jar and they fill it with NOODLES.  Macaroni to be exact.  They call it using your noodle.  You may need this for your class and it is ok.  They wear aprons like I do and they carry noodles with them.  They hand them out to students who are using their noodles.  It is a great motivator.  I know they do something special when the jar is full.  Just make sure that you get a large jar because this should be a goal that takes a long time to get.  Students do not need to be rewarded all the time.  I would explain this as a group goal one that the whole class will need to work together to accomplish.  Feel free to Skype me at monica.schroeder7 if you need to talk more.  I am so proud of you for taking this on.  Know that it will come and one day you will look out and see a classroom of students managing their behavior because they are strong independent learners.

Stay on the path will come!

To Me!
The OOPS book was a godsend today, bathroom break went great!! THANK YOU!~Amanda

I was so thrilled to have someone contact me about how an idea or philosophy change how they did something.  I felt so proud of Amanda for having the confidence in herself to make changes in her teaching to benefit her students.
To Amanda
YEAH!!!  Funny you emailed about the OOPS book because we start with kiddos on Thursday and I was looking my OOPS book from last year and I was cracking up!  Those little goofballs do the funniest things. 

Another note...would you be OK if I posted about your emails and share some of your words.  I don't think you know how much it means to me to hear about how Beyond Flipping Cards is working for you.  Let me know what you think.

I am heading off to bed soon with a smile on my face!  This is what blogging is all about. Sharing with each other and supporting each other.  I learned a bit of a lesson.  I need to give more positive feed back to the authors that I download and purchase from.  There are many of you out there that I use some of your documents in my classroom and I LOVE them.  So from now on...more feedback and support from The Schroeder Page!  Thank you to all of my blogging buddies! 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


So, I was on the best road trip today.  I was heading down Highway 49 to Chatham County to present SMARTboard Bootcamp at their elementary.  My friend Valerie, who is also my assistant at school came along to help and we made it a fun girls day OUT!  We start school for teachers tomorrow so this was our last big day of FUN!  I was so excited to present today because it was at my good friend Mrs. Streby's school.  She teaches first grade there and is an amazing teacher.  Her school just got their first of 8 SMARTboards and I was heading their way to help them with lessons building and MGT.  I wanted it to be fantastic for their special teachers and then I realized I forgot my cute little springs that I use to hold my jobs.  Yes, I put them to work with jobs during the training like The Electrician, Calendar, and Attendance.  So, we decided to stop at LOWES to grab a few.  When we got there and found that they did not have what we needed we were lost at what to do.  Enter Mark and Donnie!
These guys were fantastic.  I asked them if they could cut a spring jiffy quick and they said it might take a bit:)  No worries!  The called in Jennifer to help. 

Between the three of them they thought of the idea of using these little plastic display clamps.  Jennifer went back an grabbed me a bag and I was out the door...FREE of CHARGE! 
So the lesson learned~ check once and check twice and if that doesn't work head to LOWES in Pittsboro, NC and ask for Mark, Jennifer, and Donnie!

Now back to the presentation!  I want to Thank Mr. Aiken and Mrs. Streby for bringing me to your wonderful school.  Your teachers and staff were most welcoming.  I so enjoyed sharing with you all.  Please know that if you have questions or need support in anyway you are now a FRIEND of The Schroeder Page so you just need to ask!
This is the WELCOME sign we found when we entered the school. 
Now the title says Part 1 because I am saving Part 2 for tomorrow.  This day just kept getting better and better.  
Friends...please remember that people come into your life for a reason and we all need to trust in that.  Over the past year, I have had so many amazing people that have changed my life in the world of education.  I think I am going to start a list...Mrs. Cleary, Hal Bowman, Janet Rushing, Mrs. Mccumbee, Ken Musk, Mckenna Stafford, Charity Preston, Mrs. Streby, Mr. Aiken, the teachers at Chatham Elementary, my virtual teachers, Tamara Chilver, and MANY more to come I am sure.  (Plus I am sure I forgot a few:)  Thank you to all listed tonight!  Please know that you have touched my life in so many ways!  I am a better teacher because of ALL of you!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Teachers, Children, Action LINKY PARTY!

Today was a wonderful day in the classroom.  I pretty much have everything set and my Teamie and I got to work our bulletin board between our 2 rooms.  Now we always try to do a pretty fantastic job but this year...SHAzam!  It turned out super cool and the best part we only had to by the border.  The rest we just dug through the trash for.  It was so much fun!
My Teamie forgot to send out the Movie and the Park notices last year so we kept them and laminated them for the board this year.  Those are the cute popcorn boxes.  We even popped some corn and hot glued it to the boxes.  (We also may have eaten some of the glue due to it sticking to our hands and us eating popcorn during the process.)
We made the Action sign out of the top of a paper box.  We painted it black and added the wording in chalk.  The top is some Styrofoam that we found in our closet.

We decided to use the words Teachers, Children, ACTION! instead of Lights, Camera, ACTION!  I just love making our rooms exciting and also the hallways.  I get such a thrill out of the oooohs and aaaahs that you hear on Meet the Teacher Night as the new 2nd grade families head down the hall.  It makes the paint under the nails, the hot glue burns, and the millions of staples worth it. 

I would love to see what your Back to School Bulletin board looks like.  Link up below:) 


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Me and My Gang Authors!

Hey ALL!  The Teamies have been working late into the night with Secret Weapon Mckenna to update Me and My Gang.  We have decided to change our email system to allow us to  better navigate for you... our authors!

To help us in the process we need all of of our current authors to help us by sending us an email to our new email account www.meanmygang@gmail.comIn the subject area please spell out your grade level.  This will filter the emails into grade levels for us. In the future...please ALWAYS include your grade level ONLY in the subject.  Example: First Grade

In your email please send us your html button code again.  Just for us to double check and make sure we have not missed anyone.   If you do not have a button just send your blog address.  (Mckenna at would love to help you with your button.)  It is our hope to have all of the buttons added to the correct pages of Me and My Gang by the end of the week.

We are also in the process of reworking the pages to better help our Teamies.  You will only be able to FOLLOW Me and My Gang on the 2nd grade page.  Please head there and make sure that you have done that so you don't miss any updates.  If you have followed any of the other K, 1, or 3rd MMG pages you will need to Follow the 2nd grade page.

Thanks so much for HANGING with us through this process.  We are so amazed with the response that we just want to make sure MMG is the best it can be for all of you:)

Feel free to contact us if you have questions. 
Monica will be the contact person for K-1 and Stephie will be the contact person for 2-3. 



I was just looking at all of the great Math Games on Teacher's Notebook and decided I would try to put a couple of my favorites into smartboard lessons for this coming school year.  I love the game 3's a Winner.  We learned this simple math game at a workshop last year and it is a favorite of my students.  It is great to put into centers once they learn how to play.  They basic set up is number sense from 1-10.  I like the fact that it is easily adapted to meet all learning levels. With a few tweaks you can do multiplication, subtraction, division and I am sure tons more.  You could even use it with letters before and after.  

Once you introduce this rules students can play without much support from you.  I always introduce this as our first math game at the beginning of the year. I made a demo using the page recorder in SMART Notebook so that I could easily introduce the game.  I also added a copy of the board that can be printed out and made into hands on gameboards.  
You can find this game on Teacher's Notebook but for my wonderful followers.  I am giving away a free copy to the first 3 people that leave a comment on this post.  


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Calling K-3 Teachers to Me and My Gang!

 Hey GANG!  We have had such and amazing response to Me and My Gang we are going to open it up to other grade levels.  The cool thing will finally be able to hang out in the lounge. 

Your own Grade Level Lounge!   Each grade will have their own page and their own authors.  This is an incrediable opportunity for us to collaborate like never before!  In order to be granted author permission you must be a follow the following  3 blogs.  Once you have done that head to Me and My Gang and click on your grade level lounge at the top of the page.  There you will find an email link under contacts.  Please be sure that you are sending your email to the correct grade level.  Example: If you are in first grade be sure that you are sending your response to

A Shout out to the original worries the 2nd grade page of Me and My Gang will still remain the same but you will have access to all of the other grade levels too.  It is going to a wonderful way to find differentated activities for all learners. 

This is just the beginning of the Teamie Fun for this school year.  We have something else brewing:)  Stay tuned!


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Holey Pumpkin Freebie!

 Friends...I just uploaded another Smartboard lesson to Teacher's Notebook.  It is a month or two ahead but Halloween is one of my favorite times of year and I am getting geared up!  Loving Halloween is one thing but when you have a student that doesn't celebrate it makes is tricky to enjoy the fun.  I love carving pumpkins and I found a way to still do this in my classroom and not make jack-o-lanterns.  We make LANTERNS...Holey Pumpkin lanterns.  You can check some of the pages from the lesson.  Included you receive the directions for Holey Pumpkin Day, Secret Teacher Tips, Life Cycle, Jokes, Math, and a Witch's Brew activity.  I am excited to offer this FREE to the first 3 people that leave comments on this post. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Back to School FUN!

Well I am totally into the swing of back to school.  I spent the last two days getting my furniture moved back.  It was a total mess...lots of dust and grim.  Amazingly I smiled the whole time.  I love being in my classroom and I sure wish I never had to leave.  I felt good after I left today and I started thinking about how I wanted start my year off. 

I decided to take several of my favorite Back to School activities and make them interactive by using SMARTnotebook.  I just uploaded it to Teacher's Notebook.  
It is called Follow the Yellow Brick Road Back to School!
Throughout the lessons students can click on the yellow bricks to go to the next page. 
Happy Planning Y'all!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Interactive Class Schedule

Have you ever wanted all of your interactive sites and documents all in one place on your interactive wipe board?  Well that is exactly what I did in my classroom.  I created a SMARTboard lesson that maps out my day.  Each page is dedicated to a specific subject.  I add the time and link any interactive links I need for that subject.  I also have linked music for my calendar time.  NO more fumbling through CDs to find the right one.  My class just clicks the image and the music starts.
 Just made an editable one and you can preview it on 

I love having it for substitutes because I can just type in all of their directions and my class can still have their lessons smartboard style. This truly helps with behavior because it keeps our daily routine in check.  I can even record myself reading a book for the students and link it to the specific slide for the substitute to play back.

I also struggle with all of the passwords that I need for our online student books.  So...I typed them into the page that corresponds with the code and I am all set.

Below you can see a sample of some of my slides.  Once you get your schedule started it is super easy to start linking the documents that you use everyday.  

More than a Frame Winner!

Well I have a winner! 

Tessa at Spotlight on Kindergarten was my 36th comment and she will be receiving the "Center" Digital Picture Frame:)  
Tessa...please contact me as soon as you can.  I will need your address:)
Thanks to all that participated.  I am looking forward to using them this year with my own class. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Blog Traffic School!

I am back in not Masters!  Traffic School!  My Professor is Charity Preston the GREAT!  This chic knows her stuff and she is sharing it with me.

The OC Blog Button

I am so excited to post today about her Teaching Blog Traffic School. I have spent the summer watching her videos and LEARNING.  This course is for any blogger and anyone that wants to understand social networking.  I will admit I am only half way through my schooling but I am floored at how much I have learned.  Blogging etiquette, how to REALLY work my FACEBOOK page, set up my Twitter Page, and also I get to belong to a community of teachers that support each other and help each other grow in the world of blogging. 

SO...while you are blog stalking today be sure to head over and check out her site at The Organized Classroom Blog's Traffic SCHOOL to learn more.  If you decide to purchase...tell her Mrs. Schroeder at The Schroeder Page sent you.  We Traffic Girls like to stick together:)

Friday, August 5, 2011

More than a Frame Giveaway!

Schroeder Friends...I have a fun Friday Give Away for you!  I was shopping at the Goodwill a few weeks ago and I stumbled across a stack of digital picture frames.  I grabbed up 4 for school and one for a lucky follower of The Schroeder Page.  Check out the many ways that I have been using them this summer.
Here is how you can enter my giveaway.  It is super EASY.  
1. Watch the three videos and come up with a quick way to use a digital frame  in your classroom.  
2. Leave a comment on my blog post telling me about your idea. 
3.  One more must follow of my blog and my new blog...

This give away will run until Monday, August 8th.  If you just can't can grab your own frame at...