Saturday, November 23, 2013

Primary Thinking Skills with The Schroeder Page

Friends~Do you want to get your kiddos thinking? This week in room 331, we were THINKING with the P.E.T.S program from Pieces of Learning.  I am just getting to know this program but I am loving what I see!  My kiddos are totally getting the fact that we all think differently.  We LOVE Dudley the Detective and his no nonsense approach to thinking.  
He gathers facts and doesn't jump to conclusions.  
We even made a song about him.  
Check out their cute badges. 


We loved meeting Isabel the Inventor.  
(She is totally my kind of thinker:) 
Check out our BRAINFOCALS!  
We made these so that we could practice looking at problems differently. 
Primary Thinking Skills with The Schroeder Page
You can download a sample lesson here!
Speaking of problems.  I totally threw my kiddos a curve ball during our problem solving in math.
  I gave them ALL the answers!  
You should have seen their faces:)
I told them I wanted them to prove how those answers were correct.  
Check out this little guy proving with pictures and words!
Primary Thinking Skills with The Schroeder Page



My kiddos even met our newest pet!  Stella the Hedgehog.  She is the sweetest thing!  After meeting her they begged to hear Henry's book again.  I can't tell you how cool it is to hear them chant Spike, Spine, Poke!
We also went on an amazing field trip to Frank Liske park.  It is a local metro park in our area.  The instructors taught a lesson for each of our CCSS science goals.  
Check out force and motion below!


I did crack up a bit when one of my students told me that when we walked on the trails in the park it was like walking in Crystal Pond Woods like Dudley! 


I also ran across this ebook that I am looking into.  
I love that is focuses on classroom management and how that is the key to managing successful learners!

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

North Carolina Teachers WANT the Best for their Students!

North Carolina Teachers WANT the Best for their Students!
Friends~ North Carolina Teachers!!!!  We need you to take back your voices.  Support your students, your schools, your districts, and yourselves!  Speak up and let you parents and community know what is happening to education in our wonderful state! 
Watch as some extremely strong educators stand up and take back their voices.  
Watch them be honest about their passion and fears of losing it.  
Click below!
CLICK BELOW!



We are losing teachers!
Please read the following link for more information: 
http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/11/01/3332060/walkout-walk-in-lets-keep-our.html


We are taking back our voice!  

Please join us on Saturday, November 23rd from 
10:00 AM-4:00 PM.
We will be spreading the word about this new legislation and how it is hurting our schools! 
Please feel free to show up at the following locations:

Target at Afton Village

Concord Mills Lake Area


Kmart-Highway 29

Walmart- Highway 29

Walmart Exit 60 North Light Shopping Center


Please know that ALL are welcome!
Teachers, parents, students- come, make signs, wear red and support our public education in North Carolina.



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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Technology in the Classroom with Ebooks and QR Codes!

Technology in the Classroom with Ebooks 
and QR Codes!
Friends~Do you want to learn how to easily bring technology into your classroom? Ebooks and QR Codes are the ticket.  My kiddos are going crazy over them!  

I also have to share that I sold my first Ebook today!  Yep!  I wrote one and as of 4:00 p.m. I have sold 3 copies:)  I feel pretty good about that!  Fingers crossed that it really takes off!  
Technology in the Classroom with Ebooks and QR Codes, The Schroeder Page

Here is what my book lookes like in its different forms:
This is the printed version.  I print it by changing the setting on my computer to print 2 pages to a sheet of paper. My setting says multiple.  
(Totally saves on ink and paper.)
Technology in the Classroom with Ebooks and QR Codes, The Schroeder Page
I then cut out the pages. 
I laminate only the front and back cover and bind using a book binding machine. 
I added a QR code so my students can scan it to watch a video recording of the book.  There is some neat animation in the book thanks to Power Point!
Technology in the Classroom with Ebooks and QR Codes, The Schroeder PageTechnology in the Classroom with Ebooks and QR Codes, The Schroeder Page


Technology in the Classroom with Ebooks and QR Codes, The Schroeder PageTechnology in the Classroom with Ebooks and QR Codes, The Schroeder Page

I also use the Ebook on my classroom computers. I keep a folder on my desktop with all my Ebooks in it.  My students can open a book and use the arrow keys to flip through the pages as they read.  
Some ebooks I have read into a video formate and linked to an image in the book.  Like in Henry's below!
Technology in the Classroom with Ebooks and QR Codes, The Schroeder Page

Another option is GoodNotes on the ipad.  
Technology in the Classroom with Ebooks and QR Codes, The Schroeder Page
The cost is $5.99 but it is totally worth it.  You can upload PDFs and create handnotes and diagrams.  You can mark up the PDFs with a built in pen or hightlighter.  I love to use this app during guided reading so that I can share my novel studies and not have to print off copies for everyone. 
 
I also keep ebooks for my students in my Kindle App. As you can tell, my kiddos love Roscoe Riley and Hedgehogs!  
This is my personal ipad so you can see my books too. 
Duck Dynasty and Writing a Children's Book for Dummys! HA!
My kiddos have a seperate iPad and I only place children's books in their Kindle app!
Technology in the Classroom with Ebooks and QR Codes, The Schroeder Page

Here is my QR Code Listening Center!  
My kiddos love it!

You can download a FREE copy of my Fall books so far by clicking below!
Technology in the Classroom with Ebooks and QR Codes. The Schroeder Page
I hope this post gives you some ideas on how to bring more technology into your classroom!  
If you download, I would love to hear how you use technology in your classroom!

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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Brain Gym and The Ultimate Learning Position


Friends~Combining ideas from Brain Gym and years of teaching- I have found the Ultimate Learning Position! 
I pride myself in running a tight ship in my classroom.  Don't get me wrong, we have a ton of fun but it is managed in a way that there is still structure.  My students know what I expect in all situations.  One of the ways that I make this happen is instructing my kiddos in what a learner looks like.Brain Gym and The Ultimate Learning Position, The Schroeder PageMy kiddos know that when I am teaching or giving directions I am looking for a couple of things from them.  I like them to sit crisscross with their hands in their laps and eyes up front.  I also ask them to push their buttons to turn their focus on.  They gently push their tongue behind their front teeth.  This increases relaxation and extends focus.  
Most students can sit in this position for mini lessons and directions. 
(I have had to modify this for certain students.)
 I have had students that have needed to hold an object to find ultimate focus. Or a student may need to sit in a chair or use a cushion.  The important key is to have them cross their midline in some way to achieve focus. 

The reason I always insist on crisscross with hands and legs is because it forces the student to cross their midline.  I like to tap into the idea of Brain Gym in my classroom. Movement with intention to increase learning.  I truly believe that this movement allows students to find a focus and a calming point.  
Brain Gym and The Ultimate Learning Position, The Schroeder Page
Learning to read and write go hand and hand with crossing the midline.   I watch every year as my struggling students learn to track words across a book and write across a page of notebook paper.  It seems so simple but until a young learner is able to cross their midline tasks such a shoe tying and letter writing can be almost impossible to master. 
This is a great beginner video to introduce you class to the ideas of Brain Gym and crossing the midline.   

I also love some lazy eights!  This is a great exercise where students trace an 8 in the air and on paper.  It allows the learner to activate both sides of their brain.  
Discovery Den has a great post about lazy eights and crossing the midline.  
Be sure to watch the Smilebox at the end.  
I hope you will try out some of these ideas in your own classroom!
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Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Thanksgiving Story in 2nd Grade

The Thanksgiving Story in 2nd Grade
Friends~Take your class on an unforgettable Thanksgiving journey.  Bring the story of the pilgrims and their Mayflower journey to life in your classroom.

Every November, I turn my class into the Mayflower and my students into pilgrims and native americans.  Check out their cute hats below!  We also make Native American hats during the journey.
The Schroeder Page, The Thanksgiving Story in 2nd Grade

I begin by passing out their boarding passes.  Some are for the Speedwell and others for the Mayflower. I have them sit on the floor in my classroom on 2 pieces of bulletin board paper.  One labeled the Speedwell and the other The Mayflower. 
The Schroeder Page. The Thanksgiving Story in 2nd Grade
The Schroeder Page, The Thanksgiving Story in 2nd Grade
We even make these neat log books!

 I begin reading The Thanksgiving Story by Alice Dalgliesh.  It is a great story that carries us through the journey on the Mayflower.
The Thanksgiving Story in 2nd Grade, The Schroeder Page
My students soon find out that the Speedwell takes on water and some decided to stay in England. (Those students play the part of the Native Americans later in the book.) 
Below is a video recording of the book:)

 On the backs of their tickets,  they are able to see if they are staying or moving to the Mayflower.  They are always amazed at how tight it gets when they try to squeeze more on to the Mayflower.  The tickets are labeled throughout the story.  Some students get sick.  Some go an hunt for corn.  Some wash clothes.  Their tickets guide them through the journey. 
The Thanksgiving Story in 2nd Grade, The Schroeder PageThe Thanksgiving Story in 2nd Grade, The Schroeder Page

The Thanksgiving Story in 2nd Grade, The Schroeder Page
Even a baby is born.  I use a doll from my childhood and the student with the ticket A Baby is Born gets to hold her.

I love to use ocean sounds that I download from the computer and I also spray them with a misting water bottle during the storm.  I am telling you this is an unforgetable day.  It takes some prep but it is sooooo worth it!

Below is my The Thanksgiving Story file.  It has all the parts and pieces you need to make this happen in your classroom.  Let me know if you have any questions.  
This is a MUST DO for November!
Here is the great news!  
I am giving away one FREE copy of this file to one of my Facebook follwers.  
All you have to do is click the word Facebook and leave a comment telling what your 
FAVORITE November actitiy is. 
 I will pick a winner on November 4, 2013!
The Schroeder Page, The Thanksgiving Story in 2nd Grade
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Friday, November 1, 2013

Thanksgiving: Getting into the Turkey Spirit!


Thanksgiving: Getting into the Turkey Spirit!
Friends~Create some turkey excitement these adoable turkey themed activities!  I love creating a little Thanksgiving fun by learning and making turkeys with my class. My teammate sent me this fun pin from the Children's Museum of Phoneix and I knew that these hats were just the ticket to getting my kiddos ready for some turkey learning.  (Be sure to check out all the other great crafts they have to offer!)


Thanksgiving: Getting into the Turkey Spirit!, The Schroeder Page

Here is my version of The Drumstick Hat.
Thanksgiving: Getting into the Turkey Spirit!, The Schroeder Page
It was pretty simple to make.  I just took 2 brown lunch bags.  Filled them with scrap paper and twisted the bottoms.  I then stapeled a strip of white paper arount the ends.  
I grabbed a setence strip and stapled the drumsticks to the sentence strip.  
Thanksgiving: Getting into the Turkey Spirit!, The Schroeder Page

I really think my kiddos are really going to love these!
We will also be making How to Turkeys. Check out how much fun my students in the past had with these.  We also do a writing project using transitional words.  
Thanksgiving: Getting into the Turkey Spirit!, The Schroeder Page

Download a Free Copy by clicking HERE!
You can find more of my turkey activities in my file below. 
Thanksgiving: Getting into the Turkey Spirit!, The Schroeder Page
We will also be using my Go Turkey cards during center. My plan is to have my student play the game like Go Fish. We will also be use the cards for greater than and less than. 

Thanksgiving: Getting into the Turkey Spirit!, The Schroeder Page

My kiddos love using these popsicle stick symbols!
I wish I could think of a cute name for them!
Thanksgiving: Getting into the Turkey Spirit!, The Schroeder Page

Stay tuned-my turkey business is just beginning.  

What are some of your favorite turkey activities for November? 

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Brain Break: With Go Noodle!

Brain Break: With Go Noodle!
Friends~Halloween is over and today you will spend the day educating a class fool of sugar zombies:)  Calm their jitters with GoNoodle!  I love this site and I can't wait for my 2nd graders to check out Airtime.  I am pretty sure that they will need it today. 
Click below to check out their different types of brain breaks avaliable.  

The best part is this site is completely FREE!  
Just sign up and get moving with your kiddos!
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