Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Laying the Foundation for Geographic Vocabulary

It’s about time… we’ve only talked about it since we first bought our camper and here we are 15 states later and we FINALLY add a map to our RV that we can use to keep track of all of our traveling and spark some interest in geography for Caleb. 

During the last Chicken Whisperer tour, which took us through 12 states in 5 weeks, Caleb began showing an interest in know where we are and where we were going. Luckily I had brought a book along with us that helped encourage that interest. Me on the Map by Joan Sweeney shows children where they stand on the map beginning in their own bedroom, moving to their house, street, city, state, country and planet. My only fault with it (for later use) is that it doesn’t mention continent. Even though maps and such geographic knowledge are way too abstract for my little man whose not yet 3, reading this book over and over has laid the foundation for later understandings and vocabulary. As I mentioned earlier, we finally purchased a United States map sticker and added it to the RV. After we placed it on the RV, we talked about the outline being our country, the United States of America. We named each state as we added them and talked about things we remember doing in those states. 

In Florida, we enjoyed the hot sun over the winter, seeing oranges on trees, making orange juice and Caleb's first out-of-the-home-teacher at the Children's Museum during Tot Time each week over a 5 month period. 

In Indiana, we went to the largest Children’s Museum in the country where we played with blocks, at the water table and used the digger machine to move dirt around. 

We also got to ride in the Chicken Limo and meet new friends! 

In Tennessee, we visited the aquarium where we saw penguins, fish, sharks and butterflies. 

We rode the incline railway up Lookout mountain and saw story book characters at Rock City! 

We talked about Georgia, where are home, farm and family are located.

We talked about all the fun adventures we’ve had in each state, remembering fond times together, building vocabulary, and laying the foundation for deeper geographic understandings to come in the future.

Blessing on your learning journey!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Easter Egg Multi-media Decorating

Caleb and I had a great time decorating eggs yesterday! We enjoyed experimenting with crayons, markers, watercolor paints using Q-tips, and stickers! It was fun to watch him try the different mediums to express himself artistically. I think the markers and stickers were his favorite. When he was finished, he carried the egg he decorated using markers and stickers around about half the day. It was very loved! His least favorite medium was the crayons. I think it was because he has a very light touch on the paper when using crayons and it didn't stand out as bold as the markers did. I thought the paint made a pretty design on the egg. That was my favorite, so I used that to decorate my egg. 

I hope you enjoy your Easter with your family. Remember to have fun, but don't let the commercialized version of an Easter bunny cloud the true meaning of this holiday. It's not about children receiving gifts from a bunny. It's about sharing the true meaning of love, sacrifice, and resurrection with your children and your family. The most wonderful gift any of us could receive. 

Thank you Jesus for taking my place on the cross so one day, I can be with You!

Have a blessed learning journey!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Liebster Award Nominee

Wow! I’m still in shock! I recently learned that The RV Classroom was nominated for the Liebster Award! There are so many awesome teaching blogs out there to be honest, I have felt quite invisible not knowing whether to continue or leave it all behind. I do enjoy writing, but I don’t write this blog for me. I write to inspire others and to share a little of what I’ve learned about teaching in the past and what I am learning today. When you begin writing a blog, you don’t know if anyone will ever read it. You hope that what you say may inspire someone else in a positive way, but it’s difficult to stand out amongst the millions of other teachers sharing their perspective on teaching. I do hope that you have been reading my posts and that each post inspires you to creatively educate your child or the students in your classroom. I am honored to know that I stood out enough to one blogger that The RV Classroom was nominated for the Liebster award!

Thank you Erin from Preschool Ponderings for presenting me with this award! You have made my day!

The Liebster award is one that I have heard of before, but didn’t know much about it. It’s presented to beginning bloggers by other bloggers. I’ve learned that there is a format to accepting this award that includes answering some questions about me, sharking some additional random facts about me, and choosing other awesome bloggers to nominate for this award. You can learn more about the Liebster Award by clicking here.
Here are the questions Erin requested I answer…
1. When did you know that you wanted to be a teacher?

God gives each of us gifts and I truly believe my purpose here is to teach. I have memories as far back as 4 years old standing in front of the chalkboard as the teacher of my nephews. My mom says that I told her I wanted to be a teacher when I was 2 years old and I have never changed my mind!

2. What is your favorite thing about teaching?

My favorite thing about teaching is the challenge of figuring out how to engage and excite children about learning new things.

3. Why do you blog and when did you start?

I blog to share my teaching knowledge as a former public school teacher and now my experiences as a homeschooling / roadschooling Mom. I officially started The Learning Wagon blog September 13, 2013.

4. What is your favorite thing to do for fun?

Our family loves to travel. In 2012, we purchased a 24’ travel trailer that we haul all around the country. It gives us a great way to spend time together, experience new things, and make lasting memories!

5. If you were not a teacher, what would you be? 

My second love is our farm, so if teaching and homeschooling were not an option, I’d be getting my hands dirty growing vegetables and collecting eggs from the chickens.

6. What is your favorite indulgence or guilty pleasure?

Children’s books of all kinds!! I love going to used book stores, Goodwill stores, and yard sales to get great deals so I can get more for my money. The funny thing is, when we moved to our small town hobby farm, I actually own more children’s books than the local library has total books!

7. What is your favorite thing to watch on television?

We haven’t had a television for 3 years and don’t miss it!

8. Share one funny story from your teaching experience. One of the best parts about teaching is all the “kid-isms” you get to hear.

My favorite was from a student that came to me seriously tired from all the cutting we were doing on a craft. He had those plastic scissors that just don’t cut worth a flip. I had offered him a metal pair, but he was excited about using his from home. After a few minutes he said, “Mrs. Schneider, my scissors ran out of cut.”

9. How do you keep learning fun?

When I was in the classroom and now at home there is only one way to keep learning fun, PLAY! The more a child can touch, feels, explore what they are learning, the more engaged in the learning process the child will be.

10. What is your favorite holiday or special event to celebrate with your students (or family) and why?

Every day is a great day to celebrate! As far as holidays go, Christmas and Easter top the list. Not because of the commercialized gifts and activities, but for the reason of the season, the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. What better gift could there ever be?

11. What is one of your pet peeves? (It doesn't have to be teaching related)

There are 2 types of teachers in my book, awesome teachers and poor teachers. Awesome teachers are those excited about learning themselves, who keep trying new ways to do a better job, and help their students/children succeed. Poor teachers, well… do not. I get irritated with teachers that sit behind their desk and waste a year or longer of a child’s life by not teaching them anything or worse yet squelching that spark of curiosity and eagerness to learn.

The second part of the award is for me to share some random facts about myself. You may have come to know me and my style as a teacher, but it is fun to connect with people on a more personal level.

* I’m the baby of two older sisters that are 21 and 23 years older than me.
* Connected to that, I have one nephew that is older than me by two years. He even drove me to high school his senior year! I have a total of 4 nephews and 1 niece.
* In fact, my nephew that is 2 years younger than me had his first child before I did, so my Mom was a Great Grandma before I added to her Grandmotherness.
* I started cheerleading when I was 6 years old (for my nephew’s football team). In high school, I was the first freshman to make the Varsity cheerleading team. I also traveled the country on an All-star team competing at a national level.
* Our family loves trains… the sounds they make, the sites you can see on them, how cool they look, EVERYTHING about them!
* In 2013, we were on the TV show, Shipping Wars, when we had our storm shelter delivered to our farm.
* My husband is the famous Chicken Whisperer. With his job, we travel around the country on his book tour, meeting people and teaching people how to raise a hobby backyard flock in urban areas. When we’re not traveling around in our RV, we enjoy getting our hands dirty at our hobby farm.
* I am eternally grateful to my Mother-in-law for teaching me how to crochet before she passed away.
* My Mom and my sisters are my best friends.
* I only like to visit big cities if someone else is driving. I hate to drive in traffic, especially if I’m not familiar with the area and have to worry about one way roads!
* I have always wanted to learn sign language. This year, I have started teaching myself and my children.

Now, it is my turn to nominate a few wonderful blogs for the Liebster Award! 

Congratulations to…

Camping Teacher


Second Grade Sugar and Spice

Kinder Gardening


Teacher Blogging Basics
The Teacher Wife

 Creating Teaching Inspiring

I recommend you check out each of these excellent blogs as well as Erin’s blog Preschool Ponderings! They are all top notch! Should they choose to receive the Liebster Award, they will answer the following questions. Take the time to get to know them too!

1. What inspires you?
2. If you could travel anywhere, where would you choose and why?
3. What is one thing you wish you knew about teaching that you didn't know before you got started?
4. What is something new you would like to learn?
5. Name one item on your bucket list.
6. What makes your blog stand out from all the others?
7. Have you ever gone camping before? Share where and when.
8. Do you have a bad habit you would like to break?
9. Do you have a mentor teacher? What makes that person so special?
10. What is the title of the last book you read?
11. What is one way you would change the US education system to make it better?

Thank you again to Erin and to all of you out there that read my blog. I would love to hear how The RV Classroom has inspired you on your education journey!

Have a blessed learning journey!

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