Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Jazz it up with Raz KIDS!


     Way back in Ohio time I was teaching first grade and we were using the 4 Block approach along with Fountas and Pinnell  book leveling.  At that time, my school district purchased a membership for Raz-Kids.
It was this great interactive book reading site.  My class loved it because they could read books online or have them read to them.
Sign up today to get your free trial today!
       Flash forward to my teaching in North Carolina.  When I first moved here I had to revamp many of my lessons due to the push of "text book" teaching.  I was able to make it my own and found ways to bring the text books to life for my class but I truly missed the openness of the 4 Block Model and Fountas and Pinnell.  Well HAPPY news for me came this school year with the adoption of The Common Core!  My  district is moving to the 4 Block approach and also the FP book leveling.

     That opened me up to branch out in my literacy planning and I turned back to Raz-Kids.  Let me tell you...if I thought they were good before now I think they are Incredible! On this site, you still get the great interactive books for students but now they offer online running records.  I can assign a running record to a child on their own log in page.  They read into the computer and Raz-Kids records the reading.  I then can go back and score it with their simple drop down menu.  I do this with the student and then print off their score.  I get a book level, words per minute, and more.  I can totally clone myself!  I run reading groups and assign running records to other students at the same time.  Plus the students love hearing themselves read and it has been amazing for their fluency!
     My students also earn points and when I review their reading I am then able to reward them points to be used on a "learning game" page.  I also love the fact that I can leave a message for the students:) Each student is set up to read books on their level and also take a Comprehension Quiz for each book they read.  I get a print out of the scores that allows me to monitor and teach to their needs. 

     It is so easy to use.  There is a Teacher's Page that will walk you through everything with video tutorials.  Watch this quick video on how to set up your student's On Your Own section and the benefits to you as a teacher!

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Romp with Reindeer Facts and a Pillow Fort FREEBIE!

Friends...I am just getting back mentally from my Thanksgiving trip in OHIO.  My Monday morning alarm was a bit tough to take!  We spent Sunday getting the house ready for Christmas by trimming a real Fraiser Fur, adding stockings and lights to the mantle and putting our outdoor lights up.  (My 5 year old isn't thrilled with the amount of lights we have so I am sure this weekend we will be out there again adding to the blazing site!) 

The good thing is my mind jumped from turkeys to reindeer!  I put together a nonfiction unit ALL ABOUT REINDEER last month and I spent my time after school putting it into my plans for DECEMBER.  I really think my kiddos are going to love the idea of learning about these amazing creatures. Below is a link where you can grab yourself a copy from my Teachers Notebook Store.  Just click on the image.   
This nonfiction unit also includes a few slides for Jan Brett's A Wild Christmas Reindeer.  If you have not visited her site...it is a must.  She has some of the most amazing links for teaching with her books.  Click the slide below to visit Jan's Site. 

We also have been working on How TOs in Writer's Workshop.  I decided that since we were going on Thanksgiving Break it would be fun to design our own Pillow Fort How TOs. After completing the How TOs we swapped papers to bring home and try to recreate over break.  The students then reviewed eachother's fort.  It was tons of fun and would be great to do over winter break.  Click the image below to download your own copy!

I sure hope you find something useful!  Merry Almost December to ALL and to ALL a good BLOG read!


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Thinking Wintery Thoughts!

This has been the best weekend!  Relaxing at home with my family.  Lots of time to create and blog hop.  I even logged way to many hours on Pinterest.  I spent the afternoon lingering through the aisles of Big Lots  & The Dollar Store.  A perfect ending to a perfect weekend.  I thought I might share a few creations with you all:) It is hard to believe that it is half way through November and I am just finding time to create some fun lessons.  (You all make it easy to slide by with all of your great freebies!)

So below I am posting a free winter writing activity sheet that is a part of my Once Upon a Snow Globe unit.  I just posted it to my Teacher's Notebook store.  I also added an interactive smartboard lesson to compliment it.  Grab em up and start thinking Wintery Thoughts.

This sheet is again from my Once Upon a Snow Globe writing unit.  I love working with Snow Globes during the holidays.  I have a collection that I get out and allow my students to handle.  They sit in a quiet corner and write about the scene inside.  Perfect for those visual learners!

I also am adding a link to my All About Reindeer unit.  This is an interactive literacy unit for introducing the Reindeer theme to your class.  I have done this for years with The Wild Christmas Reindeer
by Jan Brett but this year I wanted to add some nonfiction too.  


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Virtual Teaching Expo Question and Answer

 Thanks so much for visiting The Schroeder Page from
The Teaching Blog Expo!
Welcome!  I hope you found many exciting tips and ideas to add to your daily teaching from the presenters today!  I was so very honored to be involved with the EXPO.  If you have questions about my presentation on Beyond Flipping Cards or anything on The Schroeder Page feel free to post below. I would be happy to guide you on your journey in creating independent learners.  Remember...if you are just finding this you still can sign up by clicking the image below.

I also wanted to let you know where to get the sign about children making memories!  I finally found it again:)  http://www.etsy.com/listing/57831022/please-excuse-the-mess-the-children-are
I did want to mention that the stop signs I use in my classroom are not my original idea.  I can't remember what site I found them on several years ago but they work beautifully.  If they are yours...please let me know so that I can be sure to give you credit! 
Click the Stop Sign Below to download a set for yourself!

Below I am posting my behavior reflection sheet that I send home to parents when a student highlights his/her name in our OOPS Book.  I also email them if a student just can't seem to get it home.  Remember this is another way to keep documentation on behaviors.    Enjoy the free download!

Be sure that you grab my Behavior Incentive Smartboard lesson from the Expo's Goodie Bag to use in class while you begin to train your students to work as a team.  There are wonderful goals and rewards for your class to work towards on each page of the file. Remember you will need to Download Smart Notebook on your computer to use it.  You don't need to have a smartboard.  Your students can simply move the pieces on a computer.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Mrs. Schroeder's Class Brags it up!

Friends...I am so excited to share something really worth bragging about!  We are totally into BRAG TAGS from Image Stuff!  Stacey Stapleton was so kind in helping me create a special tag that was just for my class.  I loved seeing my kiddo's faces when I passed them out!  Our classroom theme this year is PEACE, LOVE & 2nd GRADE!
Now part of my beliefs on behavior management is not rewarding good behavior.  I reward EXTRAORDINARY behavior.  Like helping a friend in need.  Being kind to a new student or cleaning up a mess that was not theirs.  These tags are perfect for just that!  You can also hear more about my classroom and behavior MGT techniques at the next Virtual Teaching EXPO on November 12th!

Our Brag Tag KIT! 
Click the image to check out the Teacher Packs!

We recently did an activity on bulling to go along with our school wide Anti Bulling policy and of course my Image Stuff pack had a great Brag Tag for this.  We crumpled a piece of paper up and basically BULLIED it.  Then I asked the class to make the paper like new.  We found that you could not get the paper back to how it was originally.  This was a great visual for how bulling is something that we can never totally heal from.  We can only learn from it and use its "scars" as a reminder of how we want to be treated. I passed out the Brag Tags and then interviewed my class about them:) Check out some of our videos below. 

We also have been reading a book called The Monster's Ring by Bruce Coville  it is a great read aloud for 2 graders and up.  It is perfect for Halloween time so keep it in your thoughts for next October.  It is a about a boy who gets bullied and turns into a monster.  Click on the picture below to get a copy of The Monster's Ring. 

Hear from some EXPERT Brag Tag users!

If you have been looking for a way to positively reward EXTRAORDINARY behavior in your classroom Brag Tags are it!  I love that they are a constant reminder every day of great successes in our classroom!  Thanks Stacey:)