Saturday, July 19, 2014

Bright Idea: Doorbells in the Classroom

Friends~Welcome to our July Bright Ideas Linky!  I am just getting myself up from my summer slumber and thinking about school. 
I am moving schools and grade levels this year so I have a ton to do!  This year,  I will be heading back to one of my favorite grades...FIRST!  I am super duper excited about it!


Today,  I am going to share one of my surprises for my sweet firsties!  DOORBELLS in the Classroom.  Yep!
I use a doorbell for all sorts of things.  Check out some of my fun ideas below.   
(I love the cute classroom door from ScrappinDoodles!)
The Schroeder Page

First, head to your local Home Depot or Lowes and grab a plug in doorbell. They are around $15 but are totally worth it. 
The Schroeder Page

Second, find a place to hide your button.  I like my kiddos to have no idea how the doorbell works.  
Here are some of the places I have hidden mine in the past: in my desk, the back of my office door, my apron pocket, behind my file cabinet.  The possibilities are endless. 

Once I have it up and running, here are some of the ways I use it.
~ A simple ATTENTION getter.  Just push the button and once the chime stops my kiddos look at me and respond with," Hello?" (It is hysterical!)
~Add some review questions to a pocket by the door. When you ring the doorbell, have them freeze and raise their hands.  Choose a student to ANSWER IT by heading to the door and choosing a question. 
The Schroeder Page
~Ring the doorbell and tell students that once the CHIME is over, they must be in their seats. 
 Use it as a CELEBRATION!  When a students does a great job, hit the chime!
~Use it as a TIMER to show that time is up on an assignment or center.  
 ~Place the doorbell button outside when you are expecting a special VISITOR

I sure hope you found some ways to use a doorbell in your classroom.  I love keeping my kiddos guessing at what I will do next.  Doorbells are a perfect way to mix things up in your room!
The Schroeder Page
Be sure to check out more Bright Ideas in the fun Linky Party below.  You are sure to find something special for your classroom!
   
   


Monday, July 7, 2014

5 Summer Tips to STOP the I'm BORED!

Friends~I am going to share my summer tips for keeping your kiddos busy-no more I'm BORED!

As a teacher and a Mommy,  I get to experience both sides of the summer game.  I get to spend some much needed down time away from my job and get to spend some relaxing time with my own kiddos.  

With that being said, it is not all sprinkles and rainbows at my house.  I totally hear the I'm BORED! Or we fight over how long is too long with the TV or iPad or Kindle or DS or anything with a screen.  

This pin has been floating around and it has really inspired me to provide activities for my family to keep us off the I'm BORED list! I think it links back to the blog I Lift Heavy Things but it is not a direct link. 
(I made my own visual for my kiddos if you want to grab a copy just click the printable below.)
   5 Summer Tips to STOP the I'm BORED! : The Schroeder Page
I thought I would share with you some of the tips and tricks I have come up with to keep my kiddos active and engaged in the summer.  

#1 Set one day a week to head to the library!  There are more than just books.   It sounds simple but your local library packs a big punch in summer learning.  
(There are even computers that you kiddos can use some of their educational websites on.)
All libraries are different but many of them offer classes and clubs for the summer.  
Better yet, head to a library that is not your local one.  Often times you can visit nearby libraries and check out what they have to offer and still grab books for your family.  
Below is our local library and their activity calendar for July. 
5 Summer Tips to STOP the I'm BORED! : The Schroeder Page  
#2 Stay active!  Take a walk or head to a local park. We love to head to the metro-park near our house for miniature golf, paddle boats, and fishing. We also like to get a group of friends together to go on a picnic.  Peanut butter and jelly always tastes better outdoors!  
5 Summer Tips to STOP the I'm BORED! : The Schroeder Page

We totally get a kick out of a good scavenger hunt!  Check out these great FREE printables from How to Nest for Less!
5 Summer Tips to STOP the I'm BORED! : The Schroeder Page
#3 This may seen a bit nutty but pass out the soup cans and do an exercise video with your kiddos! 
(You use some weights of course.)  Not only will you get some exercise in, your kiddos will love trying out some of the tricky moves.  
(Keep in mind they will look hilarious too!) 
Check out GoNoodle.  It is a free site that also incorporates learning and movement!  
5 Summer Tips to STOP the I'm BORED! : The Schroeder Page
This is the video I am using now.  
We love some Jillian in our house! 
   
(If you are an Amazon Prime member be sure to check out Jillian's videos on instant play.  I know for sure the Yoga Meltdown is free if you are a Prime member.)
#4 Get Planting and cooking!  We planted strawberries this year and made our own strawberry jam.  It was so delicious and fun to put together.  My kiddos are lucky that their grandma lives with them and is an avid gardener.  They have learned so much from her!
 (Click the image to grab the recipe!)
Just for something nice, we shared some jam with friends and neighbors.  The kiddos were so cute knocking on doors with jam in hand!
5 Summer Tips to STOP the I'm BORED! : The Schroeder Page
#5 Summer Science is a total favorite at my house! I love getting messy.  My little guy told me I was the best mommy the other day because I let him dissect an owl pellet.  It actually was pretty disgusting and cool at the same time.  Click the video to see what we have been up to this week!
We also have been bubbling it up with Bubble Science
Please note: In the video, my daughter asks what he is doing and he tells her he is blowing bubbles.  Her words, "I'm pausing the game." A video game that is!
Music to my ears!
      

I sure hope you found something fun to try out with your family.  Leave a comment with any fun ideas you use so I can join in!  
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Monday, June 30, 2014

Working with Words: Ideas and Freebies!

Friend~My very favorite center in class is our Working with Words center.  It is so easy to make this center hands on and engaging.  My kiddos always flock to this center.  Check out a video tour of just a few of my favorite activities!

I use this center as part of my Daily Five rotation.  My students head into this center to practice their spelling and sight words.  I was lucky enough to find the tub storage at the Goodwill super cheap and it is perfect to store my activities in.  I also keep a cupboard full of other items so that I can rotate the choices.  I added the labels with Velcro so that I can switch the labels.
More favs!  
This is our Cell Phone Center.  I asked my parents to send in any old cell phones that they had laying around at home.  My students then use a copy of a phone to spell their words.   They record the # code that they need to spell the word.  It is a fun challenge for them!
Download a FREE copy of this center sheet by clicking the image below.


These Write and Wipe Pockets work perfectly with this center.  I just copy a set of 6 and add them to the pockets.  They use a dry erase marker and wipe with a tissue or eraser.  
Click the image to get a set for your room at a great price from Amazon!

Another favorite is SHAVING Cream!  My team thinks I am crazy for allowing my students to do this but I promise if you train them what a dollop looks like and that they need to work until it is gone- you will be in good shape. 
Here is the dollop:)  A good idea would be to take a picture of how big the dollop should be for your students to use as an example.  I tell them about the size of an egg.


Be sure to download my 10 page Making Words Freebie over on my Facebook Page.  All you have to do is like my page and then head to the Facebook Freebie on the left sidebar. 
You will find 6 Working With Words sheets to add to your center!
Working WIth Words Freebie: The Schroeder Page
I also allow my students to work on the computer with a variety of activities.
Here are some of my favorite links for my students. 
(I love that they can also work on these links at home!)

Microsoft Word-Type your words in Microsoft Word and change the font and color.
Consonants BLUE and Vowels RED!

Just to add some more technology to the mix, I grabbed a few used DS gamers from friends and added this Spelling Bee Game from Scribbs.  It is a total hit.  You can input your spelling words!
They are still pretty pricey but if you are interested in grabbing one for your classroom here is a link on Amazon:)
I sure hope you find some fun ways to add to your Working With Words center!

Add your student's favorites in the comment section of this file!
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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Summer Science with Bubbles

Friends~I can't wait to share my Bubble Science with you!  It is perfect for some summer fun or anytime really.  I have always loved the magic behind bubbles.  Every summer, I spent way too much $ on bubble blowers at our local $ Stores.  
Here are my all time favorites!
Summer Science with Bubbles: The Schroeder Page
I also love to make my own solutions.  They are so easy and cheap!  Plus they totally make the strongest bubbles ever!
Here are my favorite recipes!
Summer Science with Bubbles: The Schroeder Page
Besides bubbles being super fun they are also a great science activity for kiddos.  
This video unlocks the secrets behind how a bubble pops.  It is soooo cool!
This book works perfectly with the video and has tons of great facts about how bubbles work.         Click the picture below to purchase.
My kiddos at school were totally crazy about bubbles the last week of school.  They even went of tour!  We visited our K-1 classrooms and my kiddos gave bubble presentations. The other classes were amazed at how much we had learned!

Here is my little guy at home experimenting with table bubbles!

We even touched on surface tension with this super easy experiment.  You just need water, a penny, and a medicine dropper!  
Summer Science with Bubbles: The Schroeder Page
Click the image above to download a FREE copy of this experiment!
There is so much fun in my newest file:  Bubble Science. If you are interested in learning more about it, you can click below. 
It has everything you need to take bubbles to the next level! 

Check out more Science Fun on my Teach It Science Pinterest Board by clicking below!
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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear Activities

Friends~Do you love The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear?  I sure do! It was a total favorite of my daughter Lily's when she was small.  I bet I have read it over 100 times! 
The Schroeder Page
Don and Audrey Wood are some of my favorite authors!  This book in particular is super cool because of the point of view!  The narrator talks to the mouse throughout the story.  I also get a kick out of how the BIG HUNGRY BEAR never arrives in the story!  

The illustrations are adorable especially the one with the Groucho Marx glasses! I always grab several sets of these glasses to pass out as story souvenirs or put in a retelling station!  
Click to below to purchase your own pair!
The Schroeder Page
How can you not LOVE this????

The Schroeder Page

I found this video reading of the book that is great! 
By Mary Ellen Krasue 

Another fun thing to do with this book is to study the life cycle of the strawberry!  I am pretty lucky because my daughter Lily and my mom planted a strawberry garden in my backyard.  
The Schroeder Page
Grab some FREE Life Cycle Cards
 by clicking below!
The Schroeder Page
I am saving the best for last!  Right now my house smells heavenly!  I am making crock pot strawberry jam! I always cook in my classroom with my crockpot and this book lends itself to delicious strawberry jam and biscuits!
The Schroeder Page
It is so simple to make.  Just grab 2 pounds of strawberries. 1/4 a cup of lemon juice and 2 cups of sugar.  Cut up your strawberries and cover them with the lemon juice and sugar.  Cook on high for 2-4 hours! 
The Schroeder Page
If you are loving these ideas and are looking for more to go along with this book just click below.  I just put a very fun file together with lots of great extension activities!
The Schroeder Page
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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Three Little Pigs and the Big, Bad, Challenge!

Friends~We totally took The Three Little Pigs and the Big, Bad, CHALLENGE today and it was AWESOME!

Testing is done finally and my kiddos were super awesome all the way through!  Real troopers!  To reward them, I decided that I wanted to break away from what I normally do during our Fairy Tale unit and boy did I.  


One of my favorite fairy tales is The Three Little Pigs so I wanted to find something great to go along with that theme. 
Here is my favorite version of the story! 
Click the image to grab a copy!
 I checked Pinterest to find a little inspiration and look what I found!  
The Big Bad Blow Dryer!

I totally took this idea and made it my own in class!
Check out my kiddos taking on
 The Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Challenge!
We started by reading the book The Three Little Pigs and discussing why the wolf was able to blow down the straw and stick houses and not the brick.  
I asked them if they thought that they could build a stronger house. 
The Challenge was born! 

The Three Little Pigs and The Big Bad Pig, The Schroeder Page
Grab a FREE copy to go along with this fun Challenge below!  Just click the image to download.
Now I threw this together quick but man was it some learning fun.  
Here are the basics:
I took index cards and drew either some straw, some sticks, or some bricks on each card.  I partnered my students up and one student choose a card from the bag.  
The Three Little Pigs and The Big Bad Pig, The Schroeder Page
The students then began to plan out their houses.
They had to create a diagram of their house and write a short paragraph about why their house would with stand a powerful blow from the Big Bad Hair Dryer!
The Three Little Pigs and The Big Bad Pig, The Schroeder Page

I gathered some unifix cubes, popsicle sticks, and I cut up yellow and brown paper into thin strips for straw.  

The Three Little Pigs and The Big Bad Pig, The Schroeder Page

They built their houses!

The Three Little Pigs and The Big Bad Pig, The Schroeder Page
Then tested their construction!
Yes, I added hair and wiggly eyes to the hair dryer!

The kiddos loved it and I loved it!  They were focused.  The teamwork and cooperation was absolutely outstanding!
They even took the challenge to lunch and when we walked back to the room they were bubbling with ideas on how to better their constructions. 
I saw students who struggle to participate in daily paper and pencil activities shine like never before.  
If you have time!  Be sure to take the CHALLENGE!

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