Thursday, February 28, 2013

The BIG Day Our Mock Iditarod!

Well, today was the BIG day!  We hosted our first annual Mock Iditarod at Harrisburg Elementary.  The students were so excited about the day that extra parents even came to help out.  They emailed and said that their 2nd graders begged them to come.  We even had a student dress up as a dog! 

Check out the decorations that our parents put together! 
 Thanks to Mrs. Beaty for organizing all this jazz!
Yes...those are Christmas Trees!

We made these fun dog masks and added our DOG names to dog tags to make the day extra special! 

 Plus they were both great souvenirs from the day!


Once we were all dressed for the big day we headed off on our Iditarod journey lead by our parent mushers.  

We started the day with 3 different rotations.  Our students were broken up into sled dog groups and each group had a parent musher.  The students followed their musher from task to task.  Thank goodness for all our our parent support! 

The students rotated through 3 different presentations.  
In one area the students enjoyed Scooby Snacks, juice boxes, and a movie all about the Iditarod.  

The 2nd presentation was an interactive Iditarod race using our classroom smartboard and QR codes.  Thanks to Krista Eason from Thoughts from the Ladybug Lady for putting the codes and smartboard file together!  
Check them out below! 

We were a bit rocky at first learning to scan the codes but once they got the hang of it... they were amazing.  I loved hearing them puzzling through the questions.  

The last presentation was the best!  Voted on by room 331: 
Denver and Shyann the AMAZING Sled Dogs!
Brought to us by Mr. and Mrs. McKissick! 

They were the nicest couple ever!  I met them through a friend of mine.  They are mushers and they just got back from Alaska where they spent time mushing with sled dogs!
They brought so many goodies for the students to check out.  The dogs even put on a mushing demonstration! 
Check out some of the presentation below!

  I could not be happier about how this day turned out for the students.  It was a perfect ending to our Balto unit.  
I think we are all going to be sad that it is over:) 
If you are interested in introducing your class to Balto and the Iditarod click the images below.  
If you decide to have a Mock Iditarod with your classes feel free to email me with questions.  I would be happy to help you make this happen for your students.  It was so worth the effort and I know it is a day that they won't soon forget!
(Please know that the Mock Iditarod presentations are not in this file.  This file will allow you to teach the history of Balto to your class.)  

Grab a Freebie from this file and read more about it by clicking the image below!

The Iditarod begins March 2, 2013 so there is still time to make this historical learning experience for your students a reality! 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Clever Tom and the Leprechaun!

Friends~This is my very favorite St. Patrick's Day book ever!  Clever Tom and the Leprechaun.  It is a really fun tale all about how Tom finds a leprechaun and he how gets him to lead him to his gold...but Tom makes one mistake that causes him to lose out.  The kiddos love this entertaining story and it leads to great discussions in class.  
Here you can listen to me reading the book.  
And Yes,  I am trying to sound Irish:)  

I also love to give out Story Souvenirs to my kiddos to help them remember a special story like this. I copy this poem and add a red ribbon to a baggie for my students to take home.  Click the image below to download a FREE copy of my poem!  

You can find more St. Patrick's Day fun by checking out my two units below!  


Monday, February 25, 2013

Friends~My Eye of the Tiger & Doing Nothing Freebie is here!

Friends~My Eye of the Tiger & Doing Nothing Freebie is here!  The time of year when my kiddos start to get a little lax in their work ethic.  I know they are getting ready for Spring Break... I sure am but we still have our benchmark testing and the rest of the year to finish:)  I have been brainstorming ways that I could encourage them.  One way that has helped a lot is this silly song.  We sing it before we go out to work independently or in partners.   It reminds us that if we are doing NOTHING we are not learning anything!  Click any of the images below to download all 3 freebies!  
Doing Nothing Free PDF, photo
I also created this letter to send home with students that are really struggling with doing NOTHING.  I talked with the class and we decided that we really wanted to find a way to stay focused and that we did not want to waste a minute of our learning time.  They all liked the idea of the letter and the fact that I give a stop sign as a warning before the letter is sent home.  This gives them time to correct their behavior.  
It has been working beautifully, the students are even beginning to remind each other! 
Doing Nothing Free PDF, photo
We also started talking about our benchmark testing and how I needed them to stay focused so that they could show all that they have learned so far in 2nd grade.  I brought back this oldie but a goodie!  We listened to the song and analyzed the words.  We talked about how they connected to our benchmark testing and our daily work.

I am printing these tiger eyes below to place on my student's desks  this week as a reminder to stay focused and to try hard! 
Eye of the Tiger Free PDF, photo of

Friends~Just an alert on this.  I am getting some negative-like comments below and I am so open to everyone's opinion but I wanted to make sure it is understood that this letter and song are not used to humiliate students. 
 The song is sung as a class and they all get a kick out of it. It is a reminder.  The best part is, I don't have to say anything to the person that is not working. (No one really knows who is not working except the person who is not working.)  
 I just start the song and that is enough. 
 The letter is sent home privately only after lots of reminders.  I am all for independent thinkers, in fact I strive for independent learners that can think and monitor their own learning but at times there has to be a consequence to shape behaviors.  

I am very positive with my students and I work extremely hard to create a positive atmosphere in my student lead classroom.  I would love to hear your suggestions on how you handle students that do not work/do nothing on a consistent basis during centers.  
Doing Nothing meaning:
On a regular basis~
Watching others play computer games when they are assigned to another center.  (After several warnings.)
Using materials as toys for distracting themselves and others.  (After several warnings.) 
Off topic discussions that distract from centers.   
(After several warnings.)
Not completing assignments.   (After several warnings.)
I look forward to your comments and suggestions about how you have handled this in your classroom.   


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Lucky the Leprechaun RETURNS & a Clover Freebie!

Friends~It is that time of year again!  The little door is back.   Every year this little door appears in my classroom and the St. Patrick's Day inferring begins!  

Every day in March, little items are left outside this door and my kiddos work really hard trying figure out what they mean.  We work on generating questions like who lives behind the door?  What does L.T. L. stand for? It is really amazing how my students turn into little detectives! 

We also plant clovers for good luck!  We plant them on sponges and in flowerpots.  We then create a hypothesis about which growing condition will produce the best clovers.  It is always lots of fun to chart the clovers progress over the month. 

I have bough my clover seeds on Amazon.  Click the image below to head to Amazon to order. 

Click below to grab a FREE copy of our Clover Recording Sheet! 

On St. Patrick's Day, the real fun begins!  Check out what a certain leprechaun does to my classroom every year!

I even caught him on video one year.  I always show this video as PROOF that it is a leprechaun and not ME!   
Click the video below to see for yourself:)

If you want more St. Patrick's Day learning fun you can check out my full file of Lucky Returns by clicking the image below!  

Or just watch this video preview of all the file has to offer! 

Here's to hoping you find a little door in your classroom soon!


Thursday, February 21, 2013

A One of a Kind Keepsake!

Friends~I have been seeing these adorable fingerprint necklaces all over Pinterst.  I bet I have pinned at least 10 of them.  I am such a sentimental fool that I am always sucked in when it comes to sweet memories.  I have a framed letter from my grandmother on my dresser and all of the keys to all of the houses I have lived in with my husband.  Don't tell that I have Ian's last pacifier in my nightstand's top drawer.  I can't bear to throw it out. 

I made these sweet Mother's Day charms with my kiddos last year. 
I told you they have been on my mind for a while! 
 Check them out!  

Well this past weekend, I visited my favorite jewelry story Ellis Jewelers and saw the ultimate keepsake.  I just had to share!

Can you image wearing the fingerprints of your kiddos or your grandparents?  I am so in love with this idea! this for your wives when they give birth!  
It is a keepsake that will melt their hearts! 

I also love the idea of engraving a saying or a quote. 
 Even a birth date would be super sweet. 

There are so many options to choose from. 
 Check out some of my favorites below! 

Press Play!

I talked with Dan Levinson from Ellis Jewelers and he is working on a link for his website so that orders can be placed.  In the time being, if you would like to order you can call the store or contact them through email.  
I suggest that you stop by if you are in the area.
  You won't be disappointed!
Tell them The Schroeder Page sent you!

29 Union Street South
Concord, NC 28025
Store # 704-782-9314


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Operation Peeps!

Friends~It is Operation Peep Time!  Every spring just before Spring Break my kiddos adopt Marshmallow Peeps.  We create Peep houses, weigh, measure, read to, play tic tac peep, and so much more.  It is a fun filled day of learning that my 2nd graders NEVER forget. 

It takes some planning but it is so worth it.  I start by asking parents for donations of Marshmallow Peeps, Easter grass and large plastic Easter Eggs.  I add a Peep to each egg and put them in a large nest made of bulletin board paper and Easter grass. 

The hospital in my home town does something special every time a baby is born.  They put a chime sound over the speakers so everyone knows a baby has been born.  I do the same thing in class.  I pre recorded bell sounds for my students.  So every time a bell rings another Peep is Adopted!  It is so adorable!
Click the image below to download a FREE poster to use with your adoption! 

If you are wanting more check out my It's a Peep Thing unit!  It is everything you will need to adopt PEEPS in your classroom!

Be sure to hop over to check out!

Be sure to go to the tour tab and click Factory Tour.  The site walks you through the process of making


Monday, February 18, 2013

Brushing and Flossing Fun!

Friends~It pays to be buddies with the school nurse!  She came and did a guest presentation with my 2nd graders for Dental Hygiene month.   She talked with them about proper brushing and flossing.  The did some really cool experiments and even made homemade toothpaste!  Check out the fun below!

This is a video of what acid does to your teeth!

Click here to grab a copy of the homemade toothpaste labels. 
 You can print them on return address labels.   

They even participated in this fun flossing activity.  I am so happy I got it videoed because I was able to show it to my 6 year old son when we were talking about brushing this past weekend. 

This is one of my very favorite books to use during Dental Hygiene month.  It explains the different customs for the Tooth Fairy around the world.  My students always get a kick out of it. 
You can click the book to purchase a copy!

Grab a FREE writing prompt that I use with this book!
Click the image below!


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Just Another Day in 2nd Grade?

Friends~It's not just another day in 2nd grade!  Tomorrow is Valentine's Day.  I don't care what you do you will never be able to ignore the fact that it is a special day for your kiddos.  I always think that if I just keep it simple things will run more smoothly.  Well. that never seems to work.  The kiddos will storm the doors tomorrow armed with valentines and sweets.  They will ask me 150 times when we will be passing out valentines.  So, I have just decided that if can stop them...I will just join them in the craziness! 

Here is what my kiddos will walk into!  Candy Heart Science!  I posted about it early this month but I am really excited about how it all turned out.  Check out the fun below! 

You can grab a free download of my Science Safety Goggles by clicking HERE!

I also was thinking that even if you don't have time for Candy Heart Science tomorrow...Friday would be a perfect day to use up all those left over candy hearts.  
I am putting this file on sale on V-Day!
Head over and check it out!

I also put a cute writing activity together for my kiddos called Silly 
Heart Sentences.  I snatched up some candy heart containers with fun messages printed on the front. I added a who and a where inside and I ended up with silly heart story starters.  
My kiddos loved working with them today!  I added them to my writing center for the rest of the month! 

Click the image below to download a FREE copy!

Have a wonderful Valentine's Day!

I CAN Winner!

Friends~Here is the winner for  The Complete Common Core State Standards Kit from Carson Dellosa!

Mrs. G...Please email me at with your address so that I can have your kit shipped to your house!  

Congratulations and thanks to all that participated in this give away.