Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Do you Doodle? and a Freebie!

Friends~I am so excited to share one of my special, engaging, and student loved center and morning work activities.  It is my Doodle, Draw & Write Journal!  

It is simple and easy to create.  I print out the pages and run the cover and back page on card stock.  I then add the sheets inside and use a book binding machine to put the packet together for my students.  
 In a nutshell, my students look at & analyze the doodle and try to create it into an image.  The students then create a story to go along with their illustration. 

My kiddos love to work on this activity and I love to see them get their creative juices flowing as they turn their doodle into a detailed illustration.  Their stories are always amazing because the doodle takes the pressure off of coming up with something to write about. 
Click the image below to download a freebie to try out with your class.  Be sure to encourage them to look at the doodle in all directions before they begin to add to it! It allows them to see it in a different perspective.  I also do a demo the first few times we work in our 
Doodle, Draw & Write Journal!
Click ME!
 Another fun idea is to take a few of the sheets and mount them on file folders, laminate and allow your students to use vis-a-vis markers on them to practice doodling. 


Friday, March 23, 2012

Creepy, Crawly FUN & a Freebie!

Tis the season Friends!  Creepy, Crawly insects are coming out and invading our space.  My little guy got up close and personal with one tonight!  Check out our country snail!

He is all boy with those dirty hands!

This little crawly guy got me thinking about my Creepy Crawling Fun insect unit. I started collecting items from tons of different places to add to my centers.  Check out some of the BUGGY things I have found.
I also put together a Creepy Crawly Fun insect unit for my class.  I can't wait to try it out.  You can preview it below by clicking the image.

It is a 41 page unit that integrates Science, Math, and Language Arts.  
You can also download my FREE 9 page Fireflies unit.
This unit includes: A Literature activity with When Lightning Comes in a Jar by Patricia Polacco. A writing Prompt, making words, firefly fact sheet, and an acrostic poem. 

Thanks for following me while you are at my Teacher Pay Teacher store!


Monday, March 19, 2012

Linky Party!

Kindergarten Lifestyle is hosting a fun Linky Party over on her blog!  I love a good link up PARTY...well really any party:)  Head over and join in the fun by clicking the image below.  There are already tons of blogs linked to check out!


Thursday, March 15, 2012

My World Around Me FREEBIE!

Friends~I just completed my Mapping Unit in time for us to start it in class next week.  I just know my kiddos are going to love climbing into the world of mapping.  We are going to be making maps of our classroom, treasure maps, and a fun land form book.  Check out how our land form book will be coming together below.

I just love having this visual when we study the different land forms that make up our country. 

We will also be pulling out a great book that I know lots of you use for teaching mapping skills.  It is perfect for an introduction. 

I will be heading out to Triple A to grab some current maps for my students to check out.  I can't wait to see them sprawled out on the floor pouring over all the maps.  I think I will have an exploration day after I read this book.  Just like I do in Writer's Workshop when we introduce a new style of writing. Check out the image of the 2 response sheets my students will work on after reading Me on the Map!

We are also going to do a postcard exchange and a Great State Report too!  Grab a FREE copy of my compass rose activity below!

You can find all of the activities that I will be using in class in my
 My World Around ME file by clicking the image below.
Have a Wonderful Day in class!  I picked up great things for the classroom yesterday.  Be on the look out for some remodeling pictures soon!


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Classroom Circus of Learning with Circus Vowels!

Friends~I am thrilled to share a fantastic reading and writing strategy with all of you.  Last week, I found out about an amazing book called Circus Vowels.  The author of  this book is Jodi L. McMaster, a first grade teacher from Michigan and the illustrator is Diane L. Friese who is a retired special education teacher of 30 years.  I knew right away that with the background of these writers... this book was going to be amazing. Click the image below to find out more about Circus Vowels.

The book takes students on a trip to the circus with The Vowel Family.  The vowel children are a bit rambunctious and pinch and yell tons!  That is part of the fun. The simple decoding strategies for CVC, CVVC, CVCV, and CVCCVC words were described beautifully for the students.  On the Circus Vowel Website you will find step by step instructions and also learning videos for teaching the strategies in class. It takes the MAGIC E to a whole different level!

Now I am always hunting for ways to help my students with spelling and decoding words.  Of course,  I always want it to be fun and engaging for my students.  So I was super happy when Jodi asked me to share Circus Vowels with my class!  I decided to share in a small group and focus on the students that needed support with short and long vowels.  My students giggled throughout the story as the vowel children got into decoding mischief.
After sharing the story in group,  we then practiced the strategies from the book on my dry erase table in our Guided Reading NOOK.  Again on the Circus Vowels blog you will find free down loadable worksheets for practicing the strategies in the book. 

My students were so excited to try out what they learned about the vowel family on some real words.  Check out the video below!
I sure hope you take the time to head over an check out Circus Vowels on their blog.  If you have students struggling with short and long vowels this is a fun and educational way to help them make the connections needed for decoding.  Have a great night!


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Interactive Read Alouds with Storia!

Friends~I am so excited to share how I have been using Storia in my classroom.  For those of you that are not familiar, with Storia it is an interactive read aloud site from Scholastic.  You can download it for free and when you do you will receive 5 free E Books.  These books will be kept on on your own personalized shelf.  You can even shop on Scholastic to purchase more E Books for your class.  You can click the image below to head over and download your copy of Storia. 

 It is pretty simple once you get started.  After your download,  your free E Books will be waiting for you.  You can add them all to your shelf at once or just a few.  Be sure to pick the age group that you want.  Teachers and Parents can set up their readers on their own shelf and track their reading.  There is a book order for the E Books to share with your families. 

You will find  games and quizzes that the readers can participate in.  You will know by looking for the lightning bold.  Readers can even click on unknown words and be directed to an online dictionary that pronounces the word when opened.  

There is an app for the i Pad and Scholastic is working on one for the Droid.  

How am I using it?  Well it all started with our shared reading time after lunch.  We started a chapter book called It's a Dog's Life.  This book is a Guided Reading Level Q and a Lexile of 870.  It is perfect for a shared reading or a guided reading group!  I use it with my 2nd grade class as a shared reading to practice inferring and predicting. 

 It is an amazing story of a Dog's Life told through the eyes of a dog named Squirrel.  There is great inferring that goes along with this story and that is one of the main reasons I chose it.  
My students always want a copy of the book to follow along with me as I read.  Our school library never has more than 2 copies.  The town library has one or 2 and we have a used book store in town that sometimes you can get lucky at.  

This time...we got really lucky!  It is an E Book on Storia!  I did have to purchase it but it has been TOTALLY worth it.  So now I can put it up on my Smart Board and my students can follow along.  We do the lightning bolt quizzes together and use the online dictionary tons.  

Now almost all of my students have downloaded it at home and can reread or read ahead if they wish.  
I also have downloaded it for my 4th grader and Kindergartner.  
Below you can see what my shelf looks like.  I named it Room 331 at school.  I downloaded it onto all of my classroom computers and my students visit it daily during our Listening to Reading Center.  
I plan on doing more shopping for E Books for my class. 

 I hope you enjoyed this fantastic tool for bringing shared reading to life in your classroom.  
Please leave a comment and let me know how you are using Storia or how you use shared reading in your classroom!

Be sure to check out my Novel Study for A Dog's Life.  It is a 42 page download filled with thinking and response activities for your students to use during a shared read or a guided reading group!


Friday, March 9, 2012

Knock, Knock! A Freebie is HERE!

Who has been knocking at my door?  Well, it is Lucky the Leprechaun.  Check out how cute my Fairy Door is and how my kiddos have been buzzing with inferences today about the door and the signs next to it. I added clover stickers for footprints.

I made a sign that says KEEP OUT!  & one with the initials L.t.L (Lucky the Leprechaun)  I am planning on leaving lots of items outside the door so my kiddos can infer all about our Leprechaun.  Download your FREE copy of an inferring sheet below!

Speaking of doors!  We are also going to start our week of Questioning next week.  We are going to be reading lots of St. Patrick's Day stories but focusing closely on asking questions from SUN UP TO SUN DOWN! 
Head over and preview my Great Questions UNLOCK many DOORS packet!  It is an 11 page download that will help you introduce the reading strategy of questioning in a fun way!

Have a Great weekend!  
Be sure to sign up for my Schroeder Newsletter on my sidebar.  
There is a FREE St. Patrick's Day Freebie included! 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Let's Make a Reading Pizza!

Friends~I read the very best book this past summer and in fact, I am still reading it.  The title is Comprehension Connections by Tanny McGregor.  I have it highlighted, post it marked, and even dog eared.

It is filled with tons of wonder ways to bring concrete examples of reading strategies to your students.  My favorite is the Reading Salad.  McGregor shows how thinking is like a salad.  You can add parts that are reading and parts that are thinking to create the big picture of the story.

I wanted to bring this idea into my classroom but I needed it to be a bit more advanced so I added some data collection and created a Reading Pizza!  The concept is similar but I had my students begin to tally the results from the reading to monitor if they were thinking enough during the story.  The goal is the think more than just read.

I introduced the concept as a whole group by reading the story The Stranger by Chris Van Allsburg.  It is a wonderful book for teaching inferring so I know there would be lots of good thinking going on.  I had students share during the book and then they added a green pepper for the thinking.  Before I started reading I chose a student to then add a pepperoni for the text I was about to read.

I  set them free during the Daily 5 and left the Reading Pizza out as a center for independent reading.  It worked beautifully. 

That night I went home and knew I had to create something that would allow my students in my reading groups to join in on the Reading Pizza Fun.  Click the image below to see what I created:)

 Check out the video below to find out how I am using the file above with my guided reading groups.  

If you download the file, I would love to hear how you are using Reading Pizza in your classroom.  Keep me posted!  Feel free to pin this to Pinterest or share on Facebook.  My students love it and know yours will too:)
Have you signed up for The Schroeder Page News?  If not, head to my side bar and click Newsletter.  There is a great St. Patrick's Day math FREEBIE for Newsletter subscribers ONLY!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Reading Karate! Chop, Chop! & My Rubber Stamp WINNER!

Friends~I am so excited about Reading Karate!  Shannon Dipple over at Primary Education Oasis introduced me to this motivational program and it has been a HUGE hit in my classroom. 

My students have been soo into it.  I even have a student who studies Karate so he has been able to explain more about earning belts and such.  Talk about a connection!

 Enjoy the video above and see how I am using Reading Karate in my classroom. 

My 2nd graders loved having their faces put right on the Karate people!  We keep them in our Guided Reading area so that we can keep track of each others belts.  Just a bit of friendly competition:)

We used our Scott Foresman weekly story as one of the picture books for the white belt.  
It becomes much more challenging as the students progress through the belts.  
Including: reading folktales, poetry, & biographies.
The students response sheets have graphic organizers, text connection sheets, sequencing and tons more.  
I keep reminding my students that it has to be their best work on the response sheets to earn the belt.  
I am the judge and jury on that. 

If you have reluctant readers, I highly recommend this program!  It has worked wonders and also has jump started thinking while reading because of the response sheets.  
I think next year I may have a Karate Instructor come in and talk with the class about the belts and also about the focus that is involved in Karate.  

I also use Teachable Poetry from Primary Education Oasis.  It is wonderful for increasing fluency in students. 

Congratulations to Jennifer at The First Grade Dream!  
She is the winner of the My Rubber Stamp Give Away!


Friday, March 2, 2012

Time Saver and a Give Away!

Friend...sometimes I feel like I am signing my life away or buying a house!  I feel like I am constantly signing my name on agendas, documents, notes home, forms for the office and so on!  As a teacher,  I will take any little time saver that I can find.  My Teamie had her signature done on a stamp at the beginning of the year and I loved it.  I finally got around to getting mine done this month. I found this fantastic shop on ETSY called My Rubber Stamp!  Ian and Eunice we so very helpful as I changed my mind a few times:)  I wanted my signature but I also wanted it to always remind my students of me!

When I close my notes at school I always write- From, Your One and ONLY 2nd Grade Teacher!  Well, Rubber Stamp made it happen for me.  Check out how fun my stamp is!
My kiddos loved having their agendas stamped today and I truly enjoyed buzzing around and stamping! 

The Great thing about Ian and Eunice at My Rubber Stamp is they are going to allow me to give a stamp away to one of my lucky my followers!  
Starting today until Monday, March 5th The Schroeder Page will be holding a contest.  To join in you will need to do the following things:
Be a blog follower of my site:)

 Once you have clicked away at the above sites.  Please visit My Rubber Stamp on Facebook and leave a comment for them about their sites.

    Leave a comment for each site you followed to increase your chances of winning. 

You can earn another entry by heading to my Teacher Pay Teacher store and becoming a follower!  
Just add a blog post telling me you did so!

I will choose a winner on Monday after school by random number!  The winner will receive their own personalized stamp designed by my friends at My Rubber Stamp!  Good LUCK & have a great weekend!