Saturday, December 12, 2015

Impulse Control in the Classroom

Friends~Every Friday in my classroom we do an activity that goes along with our study of Executive Brain Functions.  This month, our focus was on impulse control. (Well, actually we will be working on this forever!)  I am so exited to share with you just how much fun we had! 

We had our guest speaker, Dr. Brain come in and give us the science behind impluse control and review how our brain works.  
We did a warm up game of FREEZE with some holiday music. (Click the link above to learn more about games that impact impulse control.)  I told the class that it was a very old game that helped students practice impulse control.  We talked about if you are falling on the floor, laughing, or moving you are being impulsive

We started with this video from The Cookie Monster! He is the perfect example of impulse control issues:)
In the video, Cookie Monster plays a waiting game and comes up with strategies to not eat the cookie so that he can earn another.  

We listed strategies that he used like:
Singing a Song
Pretending it was a Smelly Fish
Playing with a Toy

I then told the class that we were going do an experiment.    
The Shaving Cream Experiment!
Basically, all you need is some shaving foam and paper plates.  SOOOOO simple but SOOOOO powerful!
I told the class that I was going to give them some shaving cream.  They could touch it and play with it all they want.  BUT...I was going to leave and if they didn't touch the shaving cream,  I would give them more.  

So, I left.  Shut the door with 20 first graders and 20 piles of shaving cream.  

Round one went very well but as we progressed into round 2 and 3 their stress levels began to rise along with their pile of shaving cream.  It was AMAZING to see the strategies they naturally came up with to avoid touching the shaving cream.  
They were counting, reading, laying under the table, meditating and so much more. 
By the third round, they were exercising with push up and running in place to avoid touching the shaving cream.  It was fantastic! 
NO ONE touched it!  At all!  They were soooo determined!
They really practiced impulse control and I can't wait to see how their behavior changes as we continue to revisit the topic.  They now have a real life experience to draw upon when someone tells the to control themselves!
We celebrated by taking our plates filled with shaving cream outside and were totally impulsive!

The girls were a bit timid at first but don't worry!  They totally got into it!  
ALERT!!!!! We did have to go into the bathroom and have some adult help cleaning it out of hair, ears, and off clothes but it was all worth it.  My wonderful parents forgave me and I just know this is one lesson that will not be forgotten!

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Sunday, November 15, 2015

Portable QR Code Listening Center

Friends~I can't wait to share my QR Code Listening Center with you!  The best part is, it is totally portable and super easy for the students to manage in the classroom.
They are simple and cheap to make.  You can update as the seasons or themes change in your classroom. 

~The first thing you will need to do is head to your local $ Store and grab some old school photo albums. (I can't believe they are old school-totally showing my age!)  The one that you just flip open and slide a photo under the clear flap.  

~I then hopped on YouTube and collected some of my favorite books read online and copied the URL. Open a QR code generator, paste your URL and BAM you have your QR Code.  

I then take a quick snip of the book cover and add the code to it.  Print them out and add them to my photo albums.  You can check them out below!         (I make the images 4x6 just like a picture.) 
 (Keep in mind that if you are not making your own recordings, the URL may change or go away all together so you may need to make a new one next year.  I don't worry about this since they are so simple and fast to make.)

~My kiddos then grab an album and a Kindle and off they go.  (Just head to your App store and download a FREE QR Code scanner.) 

Be sure to grab a FREE copy of my covers and my November Codes Below!


Happy Scanning!!!

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Saturday, October 24, 2015

Halloween Math Centers

Friends~We had so much fun this week with our Halloween Math centers! We are working on number bonds and addition facts to 10.  

ALERT!  Please keep in mind that I am not in my regular classroom.  Our new school is being built as I type (Please hurry!) and I am at a local church.  I also move in every Monday and out every Friday so I have had to be pretty creative with my classroom.
~Oh, and I can't hang anything on the walls except Post it chart paper.  
~My classroom is totally mobile.
~All centers are on small carts on wheels.
~#Survival Mode

I wanted to share (FREEBIES) what I have in my math "CART" center for the Halloween season:
Pumpkin Tens Frame Odd or Even Sort
(Pumpkin Ice Cube Trays and Candy Pumpkins)
Skulls and Bones Number Sheet
(Candy at $ Store or HERE)
Spider Number Bonds
(Plastic Spiders from $ Store)
Eye Ball Greater Than or Less Than
(Eyeballs erasers from Target and candy corn for symbol)

Currently, I am running 4 stations so that my 4 tables can rotate through.  

I always grab the skulls and bones candy at the $ Store every year and my kiddos work on representing numbers with them.  Be sure to grab the freebie above!

The pumpkin trays make perfect tens frames and I teach my kiddos that they only need one.  They identify the number in the ones place and make that number with candy pumpkins in the the trays.  They then use dry erase markers to write the numbers in the correct side of their Tchart.  (Simply laminate the freebie above!)

The eyeball greater than, less than is so simple with candy corn as your symbol.  You could use any manipulative but eyeballs are super fun!

With the plastic spiders, my kiddos represent each part of the number bond with different colored spiders and then the whole is a combination of 2 colors.  SOOO FUN!

I am crazy excited about my math next week!  It is based off the book BONE Soup!  Check out my file below! It is on sale until the 27th!

We are going to be making BONE SOUP!!!!!!
I am so excited!  It is going to take the place of my Witch's Brew activity so that all my students can participate.  No worries about food allergies:)

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Number Bond FUN!

Friends~I LOVE number bonds! This year, we are using Math in Focus which is a math program centered around Singapore Math.  I am still working my way through the program but I am thrilled with the results so far. 

My students have spent the week working with numbers to 10 and creating 2 and 3 part number bonds.  It has been so exciting to see them decompose numbers.  

Number bonds are simple.  The are made up of parts and wholes.  (Think fact family!)  The parts are the numbers added and the whole is the sum.  Math in Focus uses basic unifix cubes to represent number bonds in trains.  I also use base ten cubes and paper plates for my students to explore. 

Notice that the paper plates are different colors.  I have them use the green to represent the parts and the pink to represent the wholes.

This app is awesome for number bonds and for challenging those higher level students!  We will be using it next week in centers! 
We played the best game with number bonds last week.  All you need are some paper plates, 2 different colored markers, and some unifix cubes.  

Directions: Create number bonds by writing the parts on individual plates in one color and the whole on the other.  

*Place plates number side down
* Students then go off and choose a plate.  
*They must find their other part and then their whole.
*Students head to the unifix cubes to represent their bond. 
(When they were done, I had them come to me for a check. If they were correct, I took the plates and put them back out.  The students broke apart their bond and moved on to the next one.)

Example: 3,7,10 would be 3 red cubes, 7 blue cubes in a unifix tower/train that equals 10.
 I am also soooo obsessed with this number bond scale! It totally helped my students see how the numbers work together!  Click the picture to check it out on Amazon!

We are finishing up our number bonds next week and heading into the BIG world of addition.  I am super excited to see how these number bond help my students with more traditional algorithms! 

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Friday, October 9, 2015

Halloween: Where's My Mummy

Friends~I just love Halloween and Fall is my favorite season!  Where's My Mummy by Carolyn Crimi is one of my all time, most loved books for the season!  It is filled with vivid illustrations and fun alliteration!  I love the pictures of the Baby Mummy and Bones cracks me up.  

It is the one book that is NEVER in my library because it is usually in a student's reading bag.  I usually read it in class as a read aloud but this year, I decided to take it to a much more exciting level.  

I am planning to start with this online reading by Jennifer Fourcade on Youtube!  I love how she changes her voice with the characters. 

I will also be reading the book in class with the students.  You can grab a copy of the book by clicking below. 

When we read, my students will be listening for alliteration.  I am going to pass out these fun mummies and when they hear an example of alliteration the will be able to hold up their mummy!

We are also going to make this super simple mummy craft.  I plan to supply the class with paper plates and ask them to color in their faces.  I will then give them a supply of white strips of paper to paste over their face to create a mummy.  The students will then hide their mummy and write directions to where it is located in our classroom.  
I have so much more planned like my Where's My Mummy Vowel game! I'l be sure to post a video when we play so that you can check it out.  

If you are interested in any of the activities above or you want to check out my literature unit for Where's My Mummy, you can click the image below.  I am off to get printing!  I have a ton of mummies cards to make:)

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Sunday, August 2, 2015

Back to School SALE on TPT

Friends~It is that time again!  Back to School and Teachers Pay Teachers is having their annual BTS SALE.  Totally one of my favorite times of the year.   My wish list is usually chalked full of goodies that I can grab at great prices.  

This year,  I am linking up with my friends at The Primary Chalkboard to share some of our newest products that will be included in the sale.  Check out what's new on The Schroeder Page and more!

My newest baby for BTS is a book study for Lacey Walker Nonstop Talker.  It is a great book for teaching those ever important listening skills at the beginning of the year.  I will be using mine during my morning meeting.  Be sure to check out my Morning Meeting file too!  

Both are MUST haves for your Back to School!
(Read more about my favorite BTS books HERE!)

The next product that I am so SUPER excited about is my Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Blow Dryer Challenge! 
Even if you are not working on a fairy tale theme now this challenge would be a great back to school team building activity! 
Watch a video of my kiddos in action over on my BLOG

Finally, I HAVE to share my Human Body Systems unit!  I had the most AMAZING time putting this together for my students and finally got the file together for you all!
As you can tell, I love a theme and body systems is a great one for OCTOBER! 
Now for some more fun!
Check out all the other great products from my Primary Chalkboard friends below!" title="click to view in an external page.">An InLinkz Link-up

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Top Back to School Books

Friends~Here are my top Back to School Books! Every school year,  I start back with some great books to review and teach character education.  I thought I would share some of my very favorites! 

I use a book a day during one of our shared reading times.  I love these books because they are silly and fun but also teach great lessons.  This year I will be adding them to our Morning Meeting Time: If you haven't added MM to your classroom routine,           U MUST! It is an awesome time to create a classroom community!  

This year,  I am going to start with the book: What Does it Mean to be Present? by Rana DiOrio
This is a beautifully illustrated book that touches on the idea of seize the day!  It will start a wonderful discussion on appreciation for what we have and to live to the best in life.  I can't wait to hear what my little first grades are going to say about being present in class. 

Another one of my favorites is Hurty Feelings by Helen Lester.  I love this book for when we talk about how we treat each other and how we respond to each other.  Plus, I just LOVE Fragility the hippo!
A total must have is Helen Lester's Listen Buddy!   Teach listening skills with my fun FREE Follow Directions Listen Buddies.  
I love All for Me and None for All when we talk about sharing.  Totally by Helen Lester too!  Gruntly makes his a big entrance as a ball hog, snack hog, and a treasure hog.  Your kiddos will be cheering at the end when Gruntly finally learns how to share.  (Plus, I love hearing my kiddos all remind each other not to be a Gruntly!)
My newest find is called Lacey Walker, Nonstop Talker by Christianne C. Jones.  This book is another book that hits the nail on the head about listening to others and being present.  Not over talking but paying attention to what your friends are saying to you.  Total adorable Owl character!!!  I can't wait for my kiddos to make their Lacey Walker owls with speech bubbles in class.  You can check out my newest file for this book below.

What are your favorite back to school books????  
Let's compile a list in the comments below!
(This add contains affiliate links for purchasing the books mentioned.  I have purchased all of these books and many in hardback because the are must haves for my classroom every year.  Totally worth the investment!) 

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Monday, April 20, 2015

The Reading Game

Friends~I am so excited to tell you all about this new guided reading game we have been using in class. I absolutely LOVE it.  The game is called The Reading Game!  Check it out below! 

It is so simple to use and my students are crazy about it.  In each set, you get sight word cards to use in a game of memory, quick read cards and books. Students work in sets of cards with 5 different sight words.  After mastering a set of cards, they move to the quick phrases.  These phrases are made from the sight words cards the students worked on.  
This is a sample of the quick read cards.  The pictures are super clear and sharp.  I really like that the sight words are bold for the students to zoom in on.  

Just look at the smiles on these kiddo's faces!  

I am most impressed with the fact that my students can then read a book based on the sight words they have mastered.  The simplicity is so refreshing for our busy classrooms! 

The students felt immediate success after working with the cards and books!  It a wonderful way to take the memorizing of sight words and make it fun!  

You can read more about this fantastic learning game by clicking below.  Check out all the video tutorials!

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Technology in the Classroom

Friends~I am so thrilled to share some new technology that I am using in my classroom!                              Touchtronics!!!! 
As soon as I saw this product in action, 
 I knew it had to be mine!  I love that it combines two of my favorite things.  Technology and hands on learning!
Touchtronics is available for the iPad.  It includes 26 letters, consonants in blue and vowels in red.  The supporting apps are available in the iTunes Store for FREE!  Yep, all you need to purchase is the letter pieces.  

It is so simple to use.  I love that it starts by having the student unlock the game using the letters so that they are familiar right away how to work through the game! It is filled with eye catching visuals and pictures.  

I just got 6 new iPads for my classroom and I am hoping that we can purchase a larger set like the class set below! Each classroom kit comes with 10 sets of 26 letters and storage trays for each set.  
Click the picture to check it out! 

Check out one of my firsties building words with Touchtronics!  It has been such a hit in my classroom.  They all want to get their hands on the letters!

The funny thing about this video is he was sitting on the vowel O:)

They even have a math app with numbers to work on basic addition, subtraction, and place value!  


The place value app is in my rotation for next week's centers!  I just know it is going to be a HUGE hit! 

The best technology I have purchased for my iPads!  I love that Touchtronics brings the physical and digital world together in a must have learning tool!  

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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Zaner Bloser I Read to Write

Friends~Do your kiddos love to read but struggle with writing?  Do you kiddos love writing but never want to read?  Well, I found a great resource to pump up both areas and make amazing connections! 

This week in guided reading groups, I have been using I Read to Write Responding to Sources by Zaner Bloser. Check out this introduction video below!

I love that this program teaches students to read like a writer and think like a writer.  It introduces students to the world of how reading and writing are connected.  
I can Read to Write covers not only reading and writing but also math, science, and social studies! 

This week, I used the first text included in I Can Read to Write for grade 2. 
It is titled: Earth Water Planet!
I love that it is set up in a predictable sequence for the students to follow.  
The students first READ the text and answer the questions by citing from the text.   
They then THINK and answer the comprehension questions. 
Finally, students WRITE
They are able to choose from 
I love that the text offered a variety of writing graphic organizers as well as close reading prompts for citing text evidence. 
I am so impressed that there is a Narrative Traits of Writing poster in the back of the book for students to use as a resource.  
I can't wait to see how my kiddo's writings turns out.  They are loving being able to go back to the text to add details! 
Good NEWS!  You can request a FREE sample of the booklet by clicking HERE!

Click the image below to check out the booklet that I used in my classroom! 

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