Thursday, November 29, 2012

Click Clack Let's WRITE!

Friends~Coming off all of the Thanksgiving and turkey fun I wasn't sure what direction to head into the last week of the month.  Well, I struck gold with Click Clack Moo Cows that Type!  We have had the best week working with Doreen Cronin's books.  I focused primarily on teaching Voice in Writer's Workshop.  I wanted to introduce the writing strategies of personification and onomatopoeia.  Click Clack MOO did it and Giggle Giggle Quack brought it home.  The first thing I did was to share the book Click Clack Moo with the class and discuss its story structure and sequence.  I wanted to stay closely aligned with the Common Core State Standards so I decided that I would create a make shift timeline and retell the story structure with my Plot Timelines.  Check them out below!

 My kiddos took a large piece of white construction paper and made 8 flaps.  They then created illustrations on the flaps of the cover, beginning, middle, and end of the story.  Under each flap they added words describing their illustrations.  We partnered up and shared our work.

We spent today hunting for personification and onomatopoeia in Giggle Giggle Quack.  My students just loved saying those big words and I was totally amazed how quickly they picked up on the concepts.  I sent them off on a Personification Hunt in our classroom library.  They were amazed at how many fiction stories contained personification.  They also found lots of examples of onomatopoeia.
Click the image below to download a free copy of my Personification Sheet.

We also made a list of animals that did not live on Farmer Brown's farm and what they might ask for if Duck was typing for them.  I then challenged my students to choose an animal and begin to create their own Click Clack story.  I can't wait to let them work more tomorrow and for them begin the editing process with these pieces.  I think they are just going to be amazing because my students are so very excited about our lessons.

Always remember: Reading is the inhale and Writing is the exhale.  If you introduce your writing strategies with quality literature and give your students time to comprehend before they write you will witness amazing things!  

Check out my Click Clack Moo: Teaching Voice through Reading and Writing packet on Teachers Pay Teachers.  Be sure to download the preview to see what this unit is all about!  

Buy the book by clicking and clacking the image below!  It will be a favorite for your classroom!


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Busy, Busy ME & a Christmas FREEBIE!

Friends~I made it!  10 hours in the car yesterday with 2 kids and my hubby listening to the Ohio State/Michigan game!  (So proud of him...he really held it together and only pounded the steering wheel once!)  It was an amazing visit with family. I would first like to challenge you to a game of Where's Waldo but you won't be looking for Waldo!  Just Grandma and Grandpa Schroeder.  Check out all the cousins below!

I'll give you a hint-Lily and Ian are on Grandpa's knee!  Yep keep counting.  There are 14 grandkiddos in that picture. Baby Nathan was not forgotten.  We celebrated that little guy with a Christmas tree just for him and Aunt Tracy made us each ornaments with roses and a photo of him.

 Lily and Ian had a total ball!  In fact, I hardly saw them the whole time we were there.  They were just soaking up their cousin time.  That gave Glen Dale and I some time to head off to Christmas shop.  I got a huge surprise when I was cornered in Khol's and was told I won my entire purchase FREE!

Thank goodness that we spent a pretty good chunk:)  Our first round of gifts were FREE!  Thanks Khol's.  You are now my new favorite store.  Don't worry we went on to shop more and had to pay for the rest at other stores!

All the while my MOM was up to sneaky tricks with my good buddies Chris and Ken!  She refinished my very beat up dining room table as my Christmas Gift!   When I walked in and took a look at it I could not believe it was the same table!  Gone were the MANY scratches and there lay a sleek shine!  It is beautiful and I can't wait to serve our Christmas meal to family and friends.  Thanks MOM!

What I learned is I am one lucky gal!  I am so thankful for my many blessings.  I woke this morning with a big smile on my face and I am so looking forward to decking the halls today and getting our tree up.  I will be spending the day with my family & making new memories.  I sure hope you all had an amazing Thanksgiving with your special ones too!

BTW!  I am saying thank you to all of my many followers by participating in the following sales!  Be sure to use the code CMT12 to get your full discount!  I would love for you to follow my store so that you don't miss out on my new January products!

If you can't wait til Monday to shop-I am also having a sale in my Teacher's Notebook Store!

Click below to grab a Christmas Freebie to get you in the seasonal mood!  It is my 5 Days before Winter Break!  I grab some small goodies at the $ store like holiday pencils, gingerbread cookies, I make snowman soup, erasers, and puzzles.  I give them a little gift each day and we add to our song.  It is a great way to keep them focused during the holiday craze!  Just click below to download your copy!

You can check out my Holidays Around the World Wreath below.  
You will get to hear me sing the song-YIKES!  

I also have an nonfiction ALL ABOUT Reindeer unit that I am totally in love with.  Be sure to check it out while you are there!  There is even a fiction section for The Wild Christmas Reindeer by Jan Brett!
Click the link below to grab a copy of the book.  


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Second Grade: Thanksgiving Turkey Fun and Facts from The Schroeder page

Friends~I brought wild turkey facts to a new level in 2nd grade.  If you have been reading this blog for a while you know that there is very little that I won't do for my students.  That means I will contact a friend that may work for a taxidermy business and ask if we could borrow a wild turkey.  I would also then have it mounted in my classroom for my students the day after we began our All About Unit: Turkey-Fied Unit!  See the proof below!
2nd Grader Learn All About Turkeys from The Schroeder Page
How much trouble will I get into?  I am being observed this week so I am guessing other people are going to find out about our guest!  My plan is to act like it has been here all along!

I have to give a shout out to Stuffy's Taxidermy and Game Processing.  They were so great about letting us borrow this amazing bird.  I have my eyes set on the bear on their site too!
2nd Grader Learn All About Turkeys from The Schroeder Page
Now we are not really hunters in our family but it is really pretty fantastic to read about Stuffy's.  In fact, Stuffy's is a family business and the gal you see in the photo on the site actually "stuffed" the bird in my room.  Thanks DANNY for sharing!  Thanks to Jeff for delivering!   AMAZING!!!
2nd Grader Learn All About Turkeys from The Schroeder Page
I just can't wait for my kiddos to see that guy in the morning!  I really did not think I could top our turkey voting today but I think a stuffed turkey wins every time!  Below you will see my teammate's kiddos reading our campaign posters and looking over our National and Vice turkey posters.  They then went into our voting booths.
2nd Grader Learn All About Turkeys from The Schroeder Page
We used our cubbies and added a strip of Fall table cloth for privacy.  Each booth was labeled by number and I held the ballots.  When they were ready to vote they came to me and I send them to a booth that was open.  Now this was fun but counting the ballots when my students came back from voting for my teammate's turkeys was serious fun!  
2nd Grader Learn All About Turkeys from The Schroeder Page
We could hear them next door cheering and I know they heard us!  I had a student come up and tally the votes as other students read them.  They were so intense!  I was cracking up when it ended in a tie between Mr. and Gray and American and Flag.  We had to have our principal cast the deciding vote.  On Tuesday of next week we will then present the winning pairs of turkeys from each class to our custodian Mr. Almond.  He is going to decided on which pair to pardon.  So much fun and I loved seeing then experience the intensity of an election!

AND the winners are...American and Flag!  Check out my students sharing about their turkeys below!

Here's to another day of learning in room 331!  I am so proud to say that these kiddos are mine!
For more information about my Turkey-fied unit click the image below:)  You also can preview the file from the video!


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Smartboard Bootcamp and a Chicken

Friends~Have you ever been so excited that you were nervous?  Well that sums up how I felt on Saturday morning when I was on my way to Union Elementary in Brunswick County, NC.  I was heading there to train their wonderful teachers on Smartboard Bootcamp.  Luckily there was a greeter that put my nerves at ease!

Here is the staff that I worked with and no, it was not a typo when I said Saturday.  These fantastic teachers came and spent their entire Saturday from 8-3:00 with me.  Laptops in hand they came in smiling and left buzzing with excitement.  I would give anything to be in their classrooms on Tuesday when they present the lessons they built in Smart Notebook with their students!

Guess who took this picture?  
Superintendent Edward Pruden of course.  
He even came out to spend some time with his Union Elementary Teachers!

I have to thank my past principal Mrs. Laboy and old teamie Mrs. Mccumbee for bringing me to Union to present.  I got to spend time with both of them and that was priceless. 
 People are truly brought into your life for a reason.  
The funny thing is Mrs. Laboy hired me 6 years ago at my current school and then moved to the beach to teach at Union.  Mrs. Mccumbee came in to teach next to me the next year and then she moved to the beach to teach and just happened to be hired at Union.  I am starting to think my future might be calling me to the beach! 
 At least I know for sure I can wear flip flops when I teach! 
I would also like to thank Principal Mrs. Vicky Smith for having me at Union and for sharing her staff with me.  Check out Principal Smith and Principal Laboy below!

Another truly special group that I need to thank is the PTO at Union!  They made much of this day possible and I know their staff is truly grateful!

Union Elementary 2012-2013
PTO Officers
President- Leah Connick
Vice President- Allison smith
Treasure - Cindy cheers
Secretary- Heather Hughes

Here are a few more shots from the training.  These teachers were total troopers!  They hung with me through technology glitches and downloads.  They ventured into new worlds like Youtube Channels made by teachers, websites, graphics, blogs, and sooooo much more.  I was a bit worried that they were going to blow with all of the excitement but no, they hung in there and kept building!

Each training comes with my Resource Manual that is filled with over and hour of video tutorials.
Click the image to read all about it.
Resource Manual can be purchased for $14.99! 

The above video is my a preview of my Virtual Training.
  You can find out more about this training by visiting 
If you are interested in an onsite visit from me and Smartboard Bootcamp please contact me at 

   Wait!  That is not all Mrs. Smith handed out door prizes.  5 of those prizes were iPads!  

Superintendent Pruden pulled out Mrs. Mccubee's ticket number!  She will be picking up her iPad on Tuesday!  Her class is totally going to love using this technology in class!

I am going to end with more teachers to thank.  These teachers were not present but their spirits were there encouraging the Union Staff . 
Before I went out to Union, I contacted my Blog and Facebook teaching friends and asked if they would donate a product from their TPT stores so that I could fill 2 flash drives with lessons.  I was planning on giving them away as door prizes.  By the time I left on Friday, I had over 25 products donated!  
I can't thank them enough for their generosity.  
Please know that if you were one of the teachers that donated-this staff has been introduced into the blog community.  
Some of them visited Teachers Pay Teachers for the first time.  Some of them visited teaching blogs for the first time.  
The online teaching community is such a powerful force for teachers and I am honored to tell you that I  that we will be hearing from the Union teachers through our blogs and also blogs of their own. 
I am humbled at knowing that I was a part of this movement for them.  
Thank you to all the above and all that will join us in the future as we change the world of education, one blog post at a time!




Thursday, November 8, 2012

ARE We Pardoning Turkeys for Thanksgiving in 2nd Grade?

ARE We Pardoning Turkeys for Thanksgiving in 2nd Grade?
Friends~Holey Cuteness!  We are pardoning turkeys next week during our Turkey-Fied All About Week in 2nd grade.  My teammate has done this for years so much of this is her idea.  I just added the glitter as she likes to say.  Check out my kiddos naming their National and Vice Turkeys!

We had so much fun learning about how the National Turkey Federation presents the president with a National Turkey and a Vice Turkey.  The turkeys have names that go together like Apple and Pie or Marshmallow and Yam!  Marshmallow and Yam were the first turkeys flown to live in Disneyland!  Crazy right?  Check out this article of how the idea of sending turkeys to Disneyland got started!  These pardoned turkeys live out their life in the happiest place in the world!

 ARE We Pardoning Turkeys in 2nd Grade?

 ARE We Pardoning Turkeys in 2nd Grade?
Here is President Obama pardoning a turkey last year!
Below are my kiddos working in groups to come up with their names and their turkey's characteristics. It was top secret until we gathered together to share what they came up with.  It was so fun!  We had Ice Cream and Sprinkles, Cam and Newton, and American and Flag.  They then recorded adjectives to describe their turkeys.  Tomorrow we are going to color and decorate our turkeys in groups and create our campaign posters.  We are then going to switch classes with other 2nd grade classes so that we can vote for their turkeys.  Each class will present 2 turkeys to our "President" who is really our custodian Mr. Almond!  He is going to pardon the turkeys and the rest are going to run free in the gym for the rest of the month of November.
 ARE We Pardoning Turkeys in 2nd Grade?
You can read more about my All About Turkey unit Turkey-Fied by watching the video below!
You also can click the image below to head to my Teachers Pay Teachers Store to read my description.  I would love for you to become a follower of my store so that you will stay updated when I add more items.
 ARE We Pardoning Turkeys in 2nd Grade?

My newest upload is a Common Core Math Workshop card game called Go Turkey. It is a fun filled game of matching with place value, expanded form, word form and number form.  It also makes a great set of flash cards for students to practice with.
 ARE We Pardoning Turkeys in 2nd Grade?


Monday, November 5, 2012

Totem Pole Timelines

Friends~We are in full FALL swing in 2nd grade!  We started tepees and Native Americans today.  I had so much fun sharing just the vocabulary.  We went through a smartboard lesson that had links for the students to click that told more about each vocabulary word.  We then headed back and wrote the words on our tepees.  My kiddos made a great connection to the tepee we saw on our Nature Museum trip last week.  Check it out below!

I am planning on making lots of artifacts to go along with our unit on Native Americans like a totem pole timeline for Squanto's life.  Check out my reading below...know that I am doing my best to pronounce some of the Native American words:)

After the reading I am going to have my students use the below images to create a timeline of Squanto's life.

Click below to grab the images that I use for this craft.  It is pretty simple to recreate.  I just have the students roll tubes of brown paper and then cut the images into strips.  They then write words to describe each image.  They create a totem pole Thunderbird for the top.
Click the image below to download!
We are also using the Totem Pole Maker below.  I love that it tells the students what the animals represent.  You can use it on the iPad too!
Just some fun ideas to get you started on your journey Native Americans!