Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A Castle of Fairy Tale Elements and a Freebie!

Friends~I totally can't take credit for this!  My super, amazing, handy, crafty, organized, punctual, assistant Valerie Cleary took it upon herself to create this amazing bulletin board for our fairy tale unit.  My kiddos are gawking at it every time we head into the classroom.  The amazing part is I don't know how she found the time.  This lady has three 2nd grade classrooms that she supports, co teaches with me in my leveled math group, she runs a daily Direct Instruction Reading group, teaches 9 different 50 minute sessions a week so teachers can have planning time, she also runs small groups for upper grades in math, plus her morning duty.  She is like the Tasmanian devil some days.  She flies in and out of my classroom and gets things done!

She is not the only one.  Our school runs on Teacher Assistant POWER.  Without them our students would miss out on so much!  I am so very thankful everyday for all that they do.  From morning duty to just watching my class so I can race to the bathroom.

 Thank You to all Teacher Assistants, your support does not go unnoticed! 

If you are interested in grabbing these elements for a bulletin board in your hallway just click HERE! (After you click, just scroll down to May and click the PDF for Elements.)  See below:)  

 BEWARE, you will be heading to my new .com site and you will be sucked in with all the fun so make sure you have lots of time to hang out!

Check out more Fairy Tale fun by clicking the image below. 
 Be sure to download the preview to get a copy of my 

Guess that Fairy Tale sheet!


Monday, April 22, 2013

Just Some Mother's Day Fun!

Friends~I am always trying to incorporate technology into my classroom and now I have found a way to bring technology into my Mother's Day gifts.  This year along with some fun poetry and writing my students will be reading my Thumb Body Loves You poem into Croak It and I will be creating QR codes of their readings. They will use their thumb prints to make these adorable key-chains with stamp pads!  I ordered the key chains from Oriental Trading.
I am so excited about how they turned out!  I just love the idea of parents being able scan this code and hear their child's voice years from now.  

I am planning on sending directions home with the students on how to download a QR scanner on their phone or ipad.  For my families without QR Readers,  I am planning on doing the key-chain and the code but I am also sending a copy of the poem.  You could always send the recording via email too.  

Grab a Free copy of the poem by clicking the image below!

I used the same poem last year to make these thumbprint necklaces.

I have also made pot holders with fabric markers for Mother's Day.  They are super easy to make. I ordered the potholders from Oriental Trading and passed out fabric markers.  I let the kiddos decorate the potholders and then add the following poem. 

Mother, I made this pot holder just for you. 
I decorative it with things we love to do.
Use it each and every day.
Remember it was a gift for you on Mother's Day!

Watch the video below to see more about what my kiddos will be doing on Mother's Day!


Monday, April 15, 2013

Award Season!

Friends~It has been award season in the Schroeder House.  I am not bragging but I am.  On Sunday, I had the privilege of watching my daughter and fellow teachers & students accepting their Young Author awards.  It was such an amazing moment. I don't have Lily's writing home tonight because I brought it to school to share with my students but I promise to add it tomorrow.  I am so very proud of her.  Check out my baby girl on the stage! That is her...2nd from the left.  The rest are students and teachers from my school.  We filled the stage!

This is her best buddy Marley who won from another 
school in the district.  Marley has won 4 years in a row!

The story goes on!  Tonight I had the honor of accepting the Hilbish Ford Teacher of the Month Award.  When I came back from spring break I had an email from Hilbish.  One of my sweet parents (Mrs. Cramer) nominated me and I won!  Check me out below:)
Sorry about the basket of clothes...I just got home!  The best part is Hilbish Ford donated $ to my classroom.  I can't wait to go shopping.  I have lots of goodies in mind for my kiddos!  

These 2 awards show the power of the written word.  Lily won with her own words and I won because of someone else's.
A special thank you to Sarah and her family.  Thank you so very much for taking the time to nominate me!
It is an honor I won't forget!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

My Dirty Little Secret

Friends~Most of you know me as a teacher but I am also a mother.  I have an 11 year old daughter and a 7 year old son.  This morning however, I was just me.  I ran in my first 5K with a team of other teachers from my school.  We have been "training" for it for several weeks.  (Really we have been squeezing in running and walking during our crazy schedules.)  

I felt guilty at times because I ran after school and did not come straight home.  I felt guilty when my son asked to come run with me because I let him once and we only made is a few trots before he was tired. This little goal of running a 5K was mine.  My dirty little secret.  

Also, I hate running or so I thought. I am not fast at all.  In fact, I have little stubby legs which equals a little stubby stride.  My friends at school come from all different age groups and athletic ability but we all supported each other.  We all had our own reasons for training but mine was always because I knew it was going to be hard for me not to win.  You see, I am extremely competitive and I LOVE to win.  Now that my little ones are getting older and not needing me as much- I knew I needed to find something to challenge me.  Something hard.  

I have to report that I did not win at all.  I did however run the entire 5K.  No stopping at all.  I actually had my fastest time today.  When I crossed that finish line I was amazed.  Amazed that I actually did it.  Amazed at my team cheering and waiting for me.  Amazed at how good it felt to cheer on my teammates that followed after me.  

It truly was just amazing but I do have one problem now...I have another dirty secret.  I can't wait to do it again and someday I am going to win!

Friday, April 12, 2013

We are not hatching WASPS & a GIVE AWAY!

Friends~When I taught in Ohio, I remember the schools not having air conditioning.  I remember sweating all day long with 23 other kiddos and coming home exhausted!  It was always 2 showers a day in the warm months.  Well, we got a taste of the hotness this week in Room 331 because they did not turn the air on until Thursday.   It was in the 80s all week!  

Due to this, I was forced to open the windows which in turn let in several wasps.  My kiddos have been obsessed with watching them, predicting about their every move, and comparing how many each class had.  (I did not create ANY of these lessons:)

Finally, Thursday allowed us to get back to business and the wasps were gone.  I may have killed 2 of the 4 but don't tell anyone.  

Thursday morning I was so excited to bring in our Unidentified Creature Hatching Basket.  I set it back in the science center.  I decided I really wanted to keep them predicting about what might be hatching so I made a quick video and then created a QR Code.  I wanted them to scan the code and write their prediction on an index card. 

The funny part is they totally starting predicting as soon as they saw it.  Butterfly was first because there was a butterfly book on my desk and then came the best prediction.  WASPS!  Those sillies thought we were hatching wasps!  I still chuckle about it!

Here is the code that I created: 
This is the really fun part!  Guess with your class!  Scan the code with your students and leave a comment below with your email.  I will collect all of the correct predictions and place them in a drawing.  My plan is to have my students draw the winner next
 Friday, April 19th!  

Happy Scanning!  


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Earth Day Celebrations!

Friends~We are really spending lots of time reading and writing about the wonders of nature.  Today we dissected seeds to learn all about the seed's parts and pieces.  

They loved that the seed coat came off after soaking and that once they opened their seed-they could see their baby plant.  All this plant fun is just leading up to our Earth Day Unit in a couple of weeks.  We will be making these fun hats on April 22!

We will also be doing a book study on the book City Green.  If you have not read it, be sure to check it out.  It is a wonder story of diversity coming together to make a beautiful city garden.
Click the image below to watch a video read of the story!

I also just finished up my book study for this book combined with my fun Earth Day lessons.  Grab a FREE making words activity from my Earth Day Celebration file by clicking the image below.  It comes with letter cards!

Click the image to see more Earth Day fun!

My City Green activities are included:)


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

R U QR-ing?

Friends~Another addiction for me!  I just spend the day with my kiddos putting together QR codes for some of their favorite books.  We have been working on our book responses everyday after our Snack and a Book Time or Silent Reading:)  I let them choose a favorite response and turn it into a book recommendation summary. We then read them into this really cool voice recorder our tech facilitator introduced me to.  Check it out below.

It is so simple to use.  Just open the big grey button in the middle and press to record.  Then press the green copy button to copy the generated code and then past the code into your QR Generator.  

Check out some of our QR Codes below.  You will need to download a FREE QR Scanner to your phone or ipad to scan the codes.  I am so very proud of them!

Scan this code to hear about the book I Survived the Titanic

This code is for The Chocolate Touch!

My plan is to print off all of the codes and add them to our classroom library books so students can scan the codes to see if the book might be a good fit for them.  
(Now... to grab more devices that will scan the codes!)

Be sure to scan one more!
This is more learning fun from Room 331!

I totally told my class if you plant a jellybean after Easter it will grow!  I also told them that singing to plants helps them grow:)
We are inspecting Lima Beans for the Life Cycle of a Seed too!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Down in the Schroeder Hive!

Friends~I am sure that by now you think that I am totally insect crazy after my creepy crawly post & butterfly business post. The truth is, I really want to be a bug lover but they freak me out.  I only pretend to love them for my kiddos and my students.  

Please don't tell!
I did have tons of fun learning about bees over spring break.  They truly are amazing creatures.  I wanted to take a minute and show you some really cool stuff I found while getting my unit together for April.  First, here are the books that I used to plan with.  Great reads and tons of fun information!
 Click any of them to check them out!


Here is another really neat resource that I collected over the years.  I have had a bee keeper come and visit the class.  His name is Buddy the Beeman and last year he brought baby bees hatching.  Check out the video below.  Try to ignore all the babbling in the background.  We were just really excited!

Below is Buddy and his presentation!  The students loved him!  He brought tons of gear and live bees!

If you are interested in more bee fun you can check out my newest unit.  You will be cross pollinating and doing the bee dance with these fun hands on science activities. 


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Butterfly Business!

Friends~I just love integrating science and reading with my daily lessons.  With the warm weather and spring in full swing my mind turns to one of my favorite life cycles: BUTTERFLIES.  If you have not raised butterflies with your class you are truly missing out on a beautiful learning opportunity.  

Check out just a few of the fun things I have collected over the years to bring the world of butterflies & into my classroom.  

My very favorite is this GEO Safari Talking Telescope.  It comes with tons of insect slides for kiddos to explore.  It tells insect facts and even gives a quiz!  Click the image above to purchase:)

I also have models of the life cycle out for my students to refer to.  Insect Lore offers fantastic life cycle models.  Here is the one I use in class. 

My favorite butterfly book to read with my class when studying the life cycle is The Life Cycle of a Butterfly by Bobbie Kalman. 
This book is wonderful because it walks you through each stage of the life cycle! 

When reading this book, I journey with my students through the stages while focusing on text features of an informational book.  Like captions, bold face words, insets, and diagrams.  We make a craft to represent each stage.  I then display them on the bulletin board outside my classroom.  I change them as our study develops.  Check out our caterpillars!

Yep...those are gummy worms!  They work perfectly!  I use the image below to diagram with the class.  I blow it up big on my smartboard.  Once we are done labeling, my students have a great model to use when creating their own gummy caterpillars!
Click the image below to grab a FREE copy to use with your own gummy caterpillars!

(Just a tip...I hot glue the gummy worms first to card stock:)

If you are interested in the other stages and how I represent them in a craft, just give the image below a click!  I promise your students will LOVE them all!