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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    An InLinkz Link-up

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

BTS 2014 YouTube Party and Giveaway

FriendsI am SERIOUSLY excited (and a little bit nervous) about this post. You see, my blogging friends and I at the Primary Chalkboard wanted to do something BIG for back to school for you. When I say big I really mean HUGE!!!!

It's a You Tube Party filled with tons of tips and tricks to get your school year started right!

Now this isn't just any party!  It is also a fantastic giveaway that will make heading back to school just a bit easier.

Would anyone like a.... 

$100 Amazon Gift Card 

$100 TeachersPayTeachers Gift Card

 or A fabulous Michael Kors bag? 

So what do you need to do?

Did you see that?    

 You can EVEN gain EXTRA entries in the giveaway by watching our videos and entering our SECRET WORDS into the Rafflecopte
(but I know you were going to do that anyway, so... 2 birds, 1 stone).

We will be linking up 5 new videos every day this week... so you can come back, watch, and enter every day!

Here is my video tip!  

It is called Individual Celebrations.

 I love praising students 

for extraordinary behavior and kindness.  

Click the video below to see just how easy this can be!

Sunday, August 10, 2014


Friends~In honor of SHARK Week on Discovery Channel, I am going to share some of my most favorite shark lessons and activities! Be sure to check out the different fin cams on the site above. AWESOME!

I like to start with a KWL before we read.  It is always interesting how much background knowledge your student's have on a topic or what information they have that is correct.  Here is a quick tip: Make your KWL on a huge sheet of bulletin board paper in the shape of a shark.  Then pass out white triangles (TEETH) for the students to add their thinking on. Tape the teeth to the KWL.  
Sharks The Schroeder Page
I leave out (Teeth) in our research center during the week.  We add to the learned section as we answer our questions.  We even add questions as we learn. I love keeping it interactive! 

You can even serve bugles (TEETH) while you read a shark book!  They make a great story souvenir for students to take home!
Shark Teeth The Schroeder Page
 I also have collected several shark teeth samples from trips to the beach.  I always place them in the science center for my students to explore and measure. I got the shark teeth pictures from Enchanted Learning.  
Shark Teeth The Schroeder Page

I love the world of sharks!  They are amazing creatures with tons for us to learn about.  One of my favorite books to introduce shark facts is Sharks! by Gail Gibbons.  Her books are always perfect for sharing facts and diagrams in a picture book kind of way.  
Be sure to have a tape measure on hand while you read this because it is so cool to show the students just how long these creatures are as you read.  
After we read this book, we measure the sharks in students.  I love the look on my kiddo's faces when we get to the whale shark!
(I pre measure yarn in the lengths of the sharks below.)  I then lay the yarn out and invite students to lay next to the yarn on the floor.  They fill in the table below.  
Shark Measures The Schroeder Page
I then share this video!

I love this book for my guided reading groups! The pictures are fantastic and the students are always super engaged. 
My kiddos also love my Flipping Fins Math Game.  It is so simple to play.  Just grab some plastic sharks like the ones below.  Print out the center and you are all set.  

Click the picture below to grab a FREE copy of my Flipping Fins Math Game!
Shark Week Freebie
If you are interested in more SHARK fun click on my SHARK file below.  It is filled with more fantastic shark learning fun!

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