Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Winter Listening Snowman Activity

Friends~Today I am sharing my Winter Listening Snowman Activity.  You are going to LOVE it!  

The season is upon us!  The students are a bit preoccupied with something-SANTA and Christmas. We do our best as teachers to make the lessons fun and exciting but let's be honest,  you really spend your day just trying to keep a lid on things.  

This past Friday, I decided that I needed to have my firsties pay attention to their listening skills and see just how much they are needed to complete a lesson. 
So, I put together the 
Listening Snowman! 

The Listening Snowman: The Schroeder Page
It is such a simple concept but it packs a big punch when students see the finished products.  We all listen and interpret things in different ways.  Each one turned out unique and the students were so very engaged throughout the lesson.

 It was the PERFECT Friday activity.  

Here are the supplies you will need:
The Listening Snowman: The Schroeder Page

Yep!  You read that right.  NO SCISSORS allowed.  I have found that when you take scissors away during a craft you get a more authentic representation of what the students visualize.

We started by watching All You Need for a Snowman.  I had the students listen for what the characters used to create the snowman in the book.  
We then made a list together as a class.  
The Listening Snowman: The Schroeder Page
The class then followed my directions for creating the snowman with the provided cut pieces of paper.  
You can download the directions and links for the videos in this FREE file HERE
The Listening Snowman: The Schroeder Page

The best part was at the end, after their unique snowmen were created, I put on this Snowfall Meditation video and the students used a white crayon to for a winter scene for their Listening Snowmen. 
I just loved the way they turned out and the students were so into creating their scenes.  It was a calming way to end an exciting and involved listening activity. 
The Listening Snowman: The Schroeder Page

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Words their Way: My Way!

Friends~ Words their Way has been a challenge but with some help from a teacher friend,  I am finally making it work!

I am telling you, I was pulling my hair out trying to fit it all in!  Now, I am just making it work in my classroom.  

Words there way is a developmental word study program in which students learn to spell words by sorting words based on their spelling patterns.

Basically, I gave my students the spelling assessment at the beginning of the school year and scored it based on the WTW rubric.  That was super simple and it gave me lots of good information about where my firsties were with letter sounds and phonics.  

I then broke my kiddos up into groups.  One of our Kindergarten teachers helped me get organized with folders and color coding of levels.  It turns out that I am running about 3 different sorts during the week.  ELL Toolbox is a great site that shows and gives you downloadable sheets for organizing your groups!

My savior teacher (Who may start a blog and totally should!) pointed me in the right direction of using premade sheets for my students to practice their words on. I tweaked them to fit my kiddos and off we went.  

Here is how my week goes:  

Words their Way and The Schroeder Page
Click HERE to download your own set of these files!
On Monday, students get their new sorts or word lists.  They cut them apart and practice sorting them for the spelling pattern they are working on. 
 (I meet with groups during this time to go over their words and patterns.)

Tuesday they glue their sorts down and label spelling pattern. 

Wednesday they write 5 of their words and box tall and short letters. 

Thursday they use 5 words in a sentence and circle their words.  

Friday they work on writing their words on lined paper paying attention to letter formation.  

Once they complete their sheets, they turn it in to me and I check it over.  If it is complete, I stamp it with my Word Wizard stamp and they move to our making words center activities.  (This is what we do the 2nd week.)  My students work on their sort words for 2 weeks. 
Even during Daily 5 Centers!  
Here are some of our favorite activities:
Playdough stamps and scrabble tiles!
Words their Way and The Schroeder PageWords their Way and The Schroeder Page

Click the image to head to my Amazon Affiliate site  and check out a set of playdough stamps!
I just ordered a set of LCD Writing Boogie Board Tablets for my kiddos this week.  I can't wait to get my hands on them!  I know they will be a big hit!
Words their Way and Making Words FUN!
I really like the direction that we are moving with Words their Way. I am starting to see some bulbs flicker on about spelling patterns in their daily reading and writing.  

I am totally still working on this in my classroom and would love to hear about anyways you all make Words their Way work for you!

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Monday, November 3, 2014

Body System: Our Skeletal System Exploration

Friends~Today I jumped into the word of body systems!

       At my new school, I am using a new curriculum called Core Knowledge.  It has taken some work to get a handle on it but I am really feeling good about our body systems unit this week.  

In first grade, we just touch on many subjects to help build prior knowledge for more complex study in older grades.  Body systems is one of those subjects that we get to introduce our little learners to.  

Today we focused on the skeletal system.  I of course wanted to bring this unit alive for my students!  

I started by collecting my supplies.  Rubber gloves, masks, and Dr. hats.  I created baggies for each student and labeled each piece with my student's numbers. 
Body Systems: The Schroeder Page
I also grabbed these skeletons from the Dollar Store last week!  Just before Halloween! They worked perfectly.  
Body Systems: The Schroeder Page
The skeletons were placed in my teammate's room on large tables while our students discussed what a system was in my room. 
Look at these cuties! 
Body Systems: The Schroeder Page

The best part about this activity is the only real teaching before my students observed the skeletons was about a system.  A set of things or parts forming a whole.  We brainstormed some systems and I was amazed with what they came up with. 
Body Systems: The Schroeder Page
Just as we finished our discussion on systems, my phone rang.  I answered it and put it on speaker. One of our awesome 2nd grade teachers called to let us know ALL doctors were needed in the other room.  
You should have seen their faces!  One of the kiddos said, "This is serious!" 

Watch my kiddos in action below!  They were directed to only observe what was on the tables. They made a sketch of what they saw and then wrote about their observations.  They were also looking for the important parts of the system and tried to name it.  

Grab a FREE copy of our recording sheet HERE!
When we got back together we watched this video and discussed our findings!
We Give Books has 2 really good online books on the body system.  Be sure to check them out below!
We Give Books is a free site.  You will just need to set up an account.  
Body Systems: The Schroeder Page
Tomorrow is all about the muscular systems! 
You can check out my All About Human Body Systems file by clicking below!

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Christopher Columbus and Ship Races

Friends~I can't wait to share about our Christopher Columbus week in class!  We had the best time learning all about his travels.  

We started with a mysterious delivery of a scroll that lead us on an adventure through some landforms on our school grounds.  (The blue islands are our outside lunch tables.)
Christopher Columbus and Ship Races from The Schroeder Page
We found a box marked with a red X!  Inside was a book all about Christopher Columbus.  We read the book and watched this video.  
This is one of my favorite books about Christopher Columbus!  Give it a click to order it on Amazon!
Christopher Columbus and Ship Races from The Schroeder Page
We also wrote about his life using this awesome file from my friend Katie Knight from Teacher to the Core!  I just love her stuff and so do my kiddos!  
We made maps of the new world!  They turned out totally awesome and it was such a great connection to our mapping unit last week!
Christopher Columbus and Ship Races from The Schroeder Page
The best is yet to come!  We created these fun glyph sailor hats in class!  We added adjectives and the year Columbus sailed to the new world to our hats. The students followed my directions from the glyph to complete the rest.  
Christopher Columbus and Ship Races from The Schroeder PageChristopher Columbus and Ship Races from The Schroeder Page

Grab a free copy of the glyph HERE
You can check out more Columbus fun by clicking the image below!
We also created our own ships to race to the new world!  It was so much fun.  My teammate had the idea of using foam for the boats.  It worked perfectly.  We used a toothpick and a plastic bag for the sail.  
Check out my kiddos practicing with some force and motion in the classroom.  
Then we took them outside!  My teammate and I used large baking tins from the dollar store.  We added start to one side and land to the other.  We divided our classes into groups of 4.  The groups each had a tin.  They used straws to blow their boats to the land and when they reached the land they shouted Land Ho!  It was SOOOOO much fun! 

I even got in on the races!  Thanks to our Kindergarten friends that came and cheered us on!  
Christopher Columbus and Ship Races from The Schroeder Page

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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Math Workshop & More

Friends~Today I am sharing some of our Math Workshop activities.  I have been crazy busy getting my classroom moved and learning a new grade level~curriculum.  It feels good to be back at the keyboard blogging again!

This week in first grade we focused on number bonds.  We may be a bit behind the eight ball due to our delayed start.  (Construction!) 

My kiddos loved this decomposing activity.  I grabbed 2 different colored plates.  I gave partners one pink plate and 2 green plates.  They got to scoop out chips for their whole.  They counted their whole and started their number bond.  Then they separated their whole into parts and finished the bond.  I love how this activity is easily differentiated. Many groups started with small numbers and then moved to larger numbers.  
Math Workshop and More; The Schroeder Page
Check out their personal slates
 They love them!  
I also ordered this HUGE hundreds grid from Zulily.   My students loved working with the inflatable dice and frames for before and after. Some students were even counting up and back by 10! 
Math Workshop and More; The Schroeder Page
Unifix cubes are a big hit in class this year!  I added them to our math workshop centers with fact triangles.  We built the parts and then checked the whole.  
Math Workshop and More; The Schroeder Page
Check out all the math fun I have been pinning on Pinterst!  

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Monday, September 1, 2014

My Back to School Adventure

Friends~I am totally on a Back to School adventure! We are on location while our permanent classrooms are in limbo with the electric company.  A local church has allowed us to hold class at their facility until our classrooms are ready.  FINGER CROSSED for THIS WEEK! 
I am literally teaching out of a wagon.  It is hysterical as I watch my fellow teachers wheel in and out. It is defiantly made me realize one thing: I am more important than things.  My kiddos are loving school not because of how cute my classroom is but because of the lessons I have created.  Check out my new firsties below!  We started with a camping theme. 
My Back to School Adventure from The Schroeder Page
We worked all week with their names.  We started making them in playdough, then tracing with dry erase markers, and also bending pipe cleaners.  
They loved their name cards!  I used Hello Fonts in Hello Firstie Big to type their names.  I also had them color their names and we dissected them focusing on tall and short letters, capitals, vowels and consonants.   
I was super excited about how much they loved the flashlight reading.  Totally rocked the nonfiction.
My Back to School Adventure from The Schroeder Page
It all made sense after watching them spot frogs and caterpillars at recess.  Check out this cutie's finds on the playground. 
My Back to School Adventure from The Schroeder PageMy Back to School Adventure from The Schroeder Page

We also practiced self control with bubbles.  If you haven't done this it is a must.  It is so simple to do. Just grab some bubbles.  This is my favorite bubble machine! Just give it a click to check it out. 
My Back to School Adventure from The Schroeder Page
Have your kiddos sit on the floor and the rules are simple.  You start the bubbles and they have to sit criss cross with their hands in their laps.  No talking! Blow bubbles and have the students sit still.  No one can talk or move until the last bubble has popped.  
It is soooooo fun and a great way for them to understand self control. 
My Back to School Adventure from The Schroeder Page

I know this post is long but I have to share 2 more things!  We went fishing and made fishing hats using a glyph!  We played Fishing Swat with foam fish for math number sense.  
My Back to School Adventure from The Schroeder Page
And last!  We measured with SMORES! The students each got a bag filled with 2 white pom poms (Marshmallows) 4 large tan foam squares (Graham Crackers), 8 small brown foam squares (Chocolate), and a straw.  They blew their marshmallow with a straw and them measured the distance with their graham crackers and chocolates.  
My Back to School Adventure from The Schroeder Page

Since I love these 2 activities soooo much you can grab a 3 page freebie to help you get them going in your classroom!  Just click below!
Back to School from The Schroeder Page

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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Bright Idea: Story Souvenir

Friends~Welcome to another Bright Idea post!  Today I am going to share with you one of my favorite ways to connect home and school.  Story Souvenirs!  They are super easy to do and my students from K-2 have loved them. (So, have their parents!)  
Have you ever gotten your own child home and asked what they did at school and the response was...I don't know or nothing?????  Well, a story souvenir will take care of that in a jiffy!
Yes, story souvenirs are an extra step and sometimes cost a bit but they are so effective!  You can make them as elaborate as you want or as simple as you need.  
Sometimes, I add a poem or a quote from the story. 

We might make a hat in class or I will print off a coloring page of a character.  I try to be consistent in how I send them home so that my parents know what to look for. I simply use a sandwich bag or a gallon bag with a label that reads Story Souvenir: Ask me!
 (This was our Hedgehog hat last year.  I sent it home in a gallon bag.) We read this nonfiction animal book.  
Story Souvenirs can be used with any type of book.  Check out some of my fun examples below!
Swedish fish, Grocho Marx glasses, Cookie Crisp, Crayon Erasers.  
Be sure that is you have a food allergy you stay away from edible souvenirs. 
Bugles(Shark Teeth), dinosaur puzzles ($ Store), plastic spiders ($ Store).  
Once you get going you will be able to come up with tons of possible ideas!
Birthday candles, vampire teeth ($ Store), Dem Bones Candy, Eye Patches ($ Store). 
 I don't do a story souvenir for ever book I read but I try to do one for each theme.  Believe me, once you start the kiddos will remind you! 

If you liked this post, I would love for you to follow me on Pinterest, Instagram and on my Facebook page!

Be sure to head back to the linky and checkout all the other great Bright Ideas! 

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