Monday, April 28, 2014

CTP Product Leak!

I don't call my blog Mrs. Ehle's Kindergarten "Connections" for nothin' folks!   One of my main goals in creating this blog was to share top-notch resources with other kinder-teachers around the world... and this post hits the bulls-eye for that purpose!

Over the past several years, I have become a loyal fan and customer of CTP (Creative Teaching Press).  Their products are so in-line with current educational trends... and are also trend-y, in terms of style and visual appeal!  Sincerely, I just LOVE CTP products!   I feel very fortunate to have developed a personal relationship with this company.  They are a company truly devoted to supporting educators. They GENEROUSLY sponsored my Spring Teacher Blogger Meet-Up and so graciously have donated to other educational projects of mine! Plain and simply, CTP ROCKS... and I am proud to be a "CTP Exclusive Blogger" who has the opportunity to get "sneak peeks" at their new products before they are released to the public.  And guess what???   Their new product line is about to launch... and I've been given some "insider information" on some of CTP's new Back to School products!   Here is a sneak peek at a couple of my FAV new products that are being released...

Aren't these adorable??  



I know exactly where I'm posting this common core G.N.O.M.e board set in my classroom next year!
Isn't this the bomb?!  I plan on using it to help keep ME on track of "reaching and teaching" all of the math standards that my kinder-kiddos are required to master!  The kids will just love it too!  What a great visual representation of our math goals for the year!  

Seriously, this product is like the "come to life" creation of something I've been intending to create for myself all year.  And now.... WA-LA!  Here it is!  
{CTP just read my mind, ya'll.}

And let's get real... with as many responsibilities as we have as teachers, you know as well as I do that it's hard to get to all the things we want to create.  Yeah... I mean....
for me to find time to create my own Common Core visual math goal board...

Ain't "GNOME-body" got time for that!   
{LOL!  I know you love my pun!}

And that's not all, peeps!   Check out this coordinating teacher guide....

This is the "Math GNOMe and Common Core 4 Kindergarten Teacher Guide Book! 

{These teacher guides will be available for grades K-5 and are 80 pages each.  
They will sell for just $12.99!}  

The guides all include:
A Comprehensive Guide to Creating & Managing Your Common Core Classroom
The GNOMe component focuses on the expectations outlined in the Common Core Standards.
The Common Core 4 component refers to the four categories of independent practice
activities students participate in on a consistent basis during the math block.
• Sample lessons for Math GNOMe and Common Core 4 instruction
• A list of the Common Core Standards worded in
student-friendly language
• A complete list of the Common Core Standards
• I Can...statements reference charts for each of the four
math domains
• Information on conferencing and student assessment
• Tips for organizing materials, setting up your classroom,
and creating a Math GNOMe bulletin board
• Customizable parent letters
• And more!

So hang tight, people!  In just weeks, you too can snatch yourself up one of these G.N.O.M.e Math Resources!  They will be available for grades K-5.

Oh... and stay tuned.   There are more CTP product "leaks" to come!

Wanna see more??   
Click on the button below to visit another one of my CTP blogging buddies for more "secret leaks!"

Monday, April 21, 2014

From the mouth of babes...

Easter is such a special time of year at our school (and in my heart).   I just love being able to share the Gospel message with my students... and BE.STILL.MY.HEART.   Just look at how they respond....

(Don't you love this pic?  The little dude is having fun collecting eggs...but "thinking" about what Jesus did for him!)  

Jesus had his "last dinner"... LOVE that one!

LOVE to see these little ones fall in love with Jesus!  
{Their independent writing skills are pretty good too!}
(The "teacher assisted" edits are in black marker.)

*   *   *   *
And that's not all... Just take a look at this writing piece that one of my "kinders" did the day after we returned from Spring Break.  {Talk about about a "text to self" connection, in terms of taking Bible lessons to heart!!}  This is what my sweet kinder-baby wrote after visiting her grandmother who has cancer.

Thank you God for what you did for ALL of us on Good Friday and Easter, so that we can have eternal life... 
and look forward our own Heavenly reunions!

That's it.  Just a little Easter Joy to share with ya' today!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Check out this super cute (& MEANINGFUL) Easter Video!

I just found THE CUTEST little 4 1/2 minute video that tells the 
Easter Story in a very appropriate manner for kinder-kids. 
Take a few moments to watch it!

{If you work in a Christian school, perhaps you can use it!  If not, maybe you can share it with your family... or just enjoy it personally as you reflect on the true meaning of Easter.}

God is so good.   
How blessed are we to be loved sooo much?!

Easter Blessings to you, 
my blogging friends!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Celebrating Easter

As most of you already know, I teach in a small, private Christian school.   So, as you might imagine, the weeks leading up to Easter are a very special time!   We spend a good portion of our instructional time teaching and learning about Jesus and the incredible sacrifice He made for us on Good Friday... and also celebrating the true meaning of Easter morning!  I just LOVE this time of year!  I mean, what could be better than celebrating the fact that God loves us so much, that He sent His one and only Son to die for us (and our sins) on the that we can live eternally in Heaven forever!  #blessed

Now, I understand that many of you will not be able to use the ideas I'm blogging about in this post in your classroom, as you may teach in a public school. (I spent my first 10 years teaching in public school myself.)  However,  I'm going to share them anyways...for my private teacher followers... and perhaps for you to use at home as "mom/dad/aunt/grandma" with your own kiddos!

Here are a few of the Christian Easter activities/resources from our classroom last week...

Easter "Write the Room" Activity
I just LOVE Alessia Albanese's "Write the Room" activities!  She is my go-to girl for these activity resources.  Check them out HERE!  (If you don't have this type of center in your classroom, I would highly suggest giving it a try!  The kids LOVE it!) Let me explain, in case you don't know how a"Write the Room" center works.   You place different "cards" around your classroom (can be theme words, like this one... or it can be math equations, or anything!)... and then the kiddos who are assigned to that center grab a clipboard and recording sheet and search around the room for the hidden cards.  When they find them, they write the words (or answer to the math equation or whatever) onto the recording sheet.  Here is a example of the recording sheet I use.  (I always use a two-sided recording sheet.  I always designate which side of the page the kids MUST start with... and then they flip to the second side if they finish the first.) 



OH!  Please note that Alessia's Easter Write-the-Room Set includes a FULL Easter, 
non-religious, set of cards/recording sheets too! 

Book Nook/Reading Center Activity
At my "Book Nook" center, my students typically work on making different types of interactive emergent readers, which they complete and then place in their familiar reading boxes.  This week, we used this little gem!  The students read the sentence on each page... then cut out and glue on the corresponding picture.   The set even comes with a pre-made "answer key" booklet which you can leave at the center too, if you choose.  You can find this awesome resource in "Let's Learn S'More's" TPT store!  Click HERE for more details!

Easter: Emergent Reader, The Easter Story (For the Christi

Easter Art Activity
We also complete this little Easter art activity. The kiddos simply painted the background paper with liquid watercolors, then cut out the black silhouette hill and crosses.  The liquid watercolors dry quickly.. and you can glue on the ground and crosses about ten minutes after you paint!

I'll be the first to admit, that the pics I took today of this year's projects are NOT the best!  I took them with my phone, and the lighting was just not right!  They looked all washed out!  So... right under these 3 pics from this year, you will find a few pics from last year.  They are MUCH better!   



Easter Story Video

We watched this very age-appropriate Easter video on YouTube.  It is VERY child friendly/developmentally appropriate in regard to Jesus' death on the cross.

Walking with Jesus... Palm Sunday Skit

Last year I had a "grand" last-minute idea to create a Palm Sunday "walk-through" skit of the events of that special day.  You know,  "bring it to life" for my kiddos!  Ok. Ok.  If you know me, you know that any excuse to use costumes is just my "thing!"  Here are a few pictures of this year's Palm Sunday walk-through.   

NOTE:  Be sure to check out my Easter post from last year too... as the photos from last year were pretty epic too!  CLICK HERE to view last year's post! We used different costumes last year.  {We are undergoing a new building project and... well let's just say some of our play props are in inaccessible storage.}

Do you celebrate Palm Sunday or Easter in your classroom?
If so, I'd love to hear what YOU do in your classroom to make Easter come alive!

Easter Blessings!

Monday, April 7, 2014

We have a winner!

We have a winner!

That's right folks!  

We had 8,349 total entries into our grand 
Spring Teacher Blogger Meet-Up Giveaway!

I'm proud to announce that the winner is...
{Insert drum-roll here!}

Angie Henry

A BIG thank you to all of those who took the time to "hop" through all of our blogs!

We have already gotten so many positive comments from followers who have been encouraged by the friendships and fun that we shared about the meet-up!  

Blogging is truly a blessing!  If you are a blog "stalker"...
Cross over to the "blog" side!

Join us!   

Blogging is a great way to connect with other "like-minded" educators whose passion and dedication is contagious!  The ideas you gain from blogging are amazing, the people you meet are inspiring, and it's a great way to surround yourself with a "positive posse!"

Feel free to contact ANY of the bloggers on this hop!  
We are all here to help and encourage each other!

Blogging Blessings to you!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

It's a Blog Hoppin' Give-Away! (Spring Blogger Meet-Up Style)

You probably already know about our recent Spring Teacher Blogger Meet-Up at the French Lick Resort in Indiana. {Can you say EPIC?!!}  54 passionate teachers gathering on their own time and own dime to share ideas, tips, tricks and favorite teacher "tools."   Talk about re-energizing!  Folks, it was A.MAZ.ING!   So amazing, that many of us who attended wanted to share some of the awesome things we took away from the event with YOU... PRIZES INCLUDED!  Yes-siree!  YOU are invited to "hop along" through our blogs to pick up little nuggets of inspiration and tips... and register to win a TON of incredible prizes from many, many of our devoted sponsors!  So, come on!  Join us for this...

As the coordinator of this event, I have the pleasure of starting this blog hop off!  {Be sure to hop ALL the way through... as you will DEFINITELY want to find out who/what is at the END of our little hop!}

As part of our event, attendees each brought a favorite "teacher tool" with them for a fun "gift exchange" activity!  (Shout out to Amanda Pauley from Mrs. Pauley's Kindergarten for writing the awesome "left/right" teacher-themed passing game!) After swapping gifts, each teacher had the opportunity to share his/her gift and hear from the "giver" why the given item qualified as his/her FAV.  {What was hilarious about this tool swap was how many of us gave the SAME things!}  There are definitely some "trends" in favorite teacher tools!   Keep "hopping" to see what they are!  You will want to "getchasome" of these awesome goodies!

Look-y at what I got!  

Thanks to my dear friend Amy (, who flew all the way from Texas to attend this event, I went home with this awesome set of reusable dry erase pockets and markers! Woo Hoo! Amy uses these regularly as a way to save on making copies. (She has a monthly limit on classroom copies!)

LOVE. THESE!  I already have them filled with printables, sitting ready for my kinder-kiddos' literacy centers for next week!  If you don't have these... GETCHASOME!  They can be found HERE.  (They come in different sizes too!  #Lots-O-Options)

Now, the next topic I am supposed to blog about is the "give-away" prizes I won. However, since I was the coordinator, I didn't technically "win" any prizes....
because I got to be the "giver!" 

  YES... It was my Oprah moment, my friends.   
Picture me... standing at the front of a captive audience shouting,
"Gifts for you.. and you... and you... and you!   TRUE. STORY.   

I gave away over $10,000 of awesome prizes which were donated from our incredible, incredible sponsors!  I could go on for days and days about how wonderful all of these companies are... and how much they TRULY want to support educators, but I am going to let some of our attendees brag on them in the posts you see in our hop!  Let me just say... as you hop through our posts, you will be able to enter to win many, many of these give-away prizes yourself!   Yep! Just pretend you are at our meet-up.  Grab your awesome Vera Bradley bag and fill it with Scentos, Jamberry, School Girl Style, Creative Teaching Press, Crayola, Boogie Boards, TPT and SDE gift certificates...and much, much more!  You may be "going home" with all of this and MORE! #lovemesomerafflecopter

Take a peek at just a FEW of the items we will be giving away....


Next up, THREE special discoveries that I took away from the weekend.
So here they are.... 

#1  Friends!  All I have to say is... 



Socializing..... Dinner with Besties.... Private Trolley Rides... Chatting...  Late Night Pom-Pom Making....
Midnight "Jam-i-cures"... and on and on!

---Only 91 days 'til Vegas.... 'Nuff said!---

#2  There are still wonderful, committed teachers out there... and companies too!
We all know the reality of being surrounded by less than supportive colleagues, parents and/or administrators.   Life as a teacher and the "daily grind" that comes with it can bring ya' down.  It just can.   Hours and hours (and hours!) of work at home at night and on weekends because we just don't have enough prep time.  We all know the negatives. The reality is that they are numerous and overwhelming A LOT of the time! 

There are LOTS and LOTS of positives too.   
LOTS of encouragement, LOTS of commitment, LOTS of creativity, LOTS of sacrifice, and LOTS of love!  And if you are ever feeling down... and needing a little of that "positive" in your "teaching life"... well it can be found right here.... through blogging.


And again.. I have to give a HUGE shout out to the companies who truly are dedicated to supporting teachers who care!  A GIANT thank you to....



 ...and of course the AMAZING French Lick Resort & Casino!  
A "must see" vacation destination!
{Picture 54 teachers stretched out in a huge circle on that floor beneath that dome, sharing ideas and inspiration.  Yep.  It happened!}

#3 Getcha' some fabulous apps!
Content is key... but visual appeal is the next essential when it comes to blogging and posting on social media.   During our "Teacher Tips & Tricks Session" many quality apps were shared which can be used to spice up your post-able presentations!   One of my FAVs is called "A Beautiful Mess."  It can occasionally be downloaded for free on the app store...but may require a whopping 99 cent investment.  {Best.Dollar.Ever.Spent.} Folks, this easy-peasy app will add color and personality to any of your photos!   Here are just a couple of examples...

(This pic is of the beautiful flowers that a few of the meet-up attendees sent me after the event!  Sweet, sweet Allison and Abbie!)

Do YOU want to be the grand prize 
winner of the 
Spring Teacher Blogger Meet-Up Blog Hop 
(Hundreds of $$$ of Goodies!!!)

Then keep HOPPIN'!
When you get to the end of this hop...
you will find this epic RAFFLECOPTER give-away!

Next on the hop...
Mrs. Pauley's Kindergarten

{Click on Amanda's button, above, to hop to her site!}