Saturday, February 21, 2015

Join us for an epic professional book study!!

I don't know about you.... but the reason I started following blogs was because I needed the support and inspiration of other like-minded educators.  After being a "follower" for a while... I decided to create my own blog, not because I felt like I had an over-abundance of knowledge to impart on the teacher-world myself, but instead because I wanted to share the awesome resources I found in various other places with other educators who were looking to better themselves... and maybe share a few of my own ideas.  THIS is why I love blogging and my blogging friends.   I love sharing ideas, support, & encouragement with other teachers who are truly striving to be the best teachers they can be... FOR THE KIDS!   I love how my blogging friends challenge me.  I love how we are there for each other to ask the hard questions... to hold each other accountable for teaching using "best practices" help each other stay focused on our 



BEST of our abilities.

So in that very spirit of collaboration, several of my blogging friends and I have decided to challenge ourselves to reflect upon our teaching methods, as we work through a new book study together in order to ensure that we are teaching according to "best practices." 

Won't you join us???

Under the great blogging leadership of Elizabeth Hall of, we will be starting February 28th!  We are going to be hosting a linky party each Tuesday and Saturday with chapters from this book: 
{I found a copy at my local library!  It is also available on Kindle for a few bucks less that the print version!}

Linky parties will take place on these different blogs each time. 
Here is the order so you can plan accordingly:)

Kickin it in Kindergarten- Chapters 1 & 2 (February 28th)
Mrs. Wills Kindergarten- Chapter 3 (March 7th)
Queen of the First Grade Jungle Chapter 4 (March 10th)
Fabulous in First  Chapter 5 (March 14th)
One Extra Degree Chapter 6 (March 17th)
Mrs. Jump’s Class Chapter 7 (March 28th)
The First Grade Parade  Chapter 8 (March 31st)

In April, you will be visiting these girls for the remainder of the study:
Mrs. Ehle’s Kindergarten Chapter 9 &10 (April 4th)
What The Teacher Wants Chapter 11 (April 7th)
First Grader At Last Chapter 12 (April 11th)
Erica’s Ed Ventures  Chapter 13 (April 14th)
KinderGals Chapter 14 &15 (April 18th)
A Rocky Top Teacher Chapter 16 (April 21st)
Mrs. Wills Kindergarten Chapter 17 (April 25th)
Little Warriors Chapter 18 (April 28th)
Falling Into First Chapter 19 (May 2nd)
Kickin’ it in Kindergarten Chapter 20 (May 5th)

You can join in for whatever part you like! If you are not a blogger, that is OK! We will want you to join in on the fun. You can participate in the conversation in the comments. We want this to be a positive collaboration between teachers! The whole point is to encourage each other with inspiring ideas while still using research based best practice.

We hope you will join! Here is a YouTube video where you can hear a little more about what the book is about.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Celebrating Presidents' Day!

Hello friends!  Hope you all had a GREAT Valentine’s Day!!!   I’m off with my family enjoying a little getaway
{Follow me on Instagram to see what we are up to!}… 
but I thought I’d post a “throwback” post about what I do on Presidents’ Day!  Enjoy!

Celebrating Presidents' Day!

If you haven't figured it out certainly will come to the realization after this post that sometimes things can get a bit crazy in our kinder-classroom!  Today's "Fun-Friday" theme was Presidents' what better way to "celebrate" (a.k.a. secretly TEACH) than to invite George Washington and Abe Lincoln themselves into the classroom!

(My educational "partner in crime," Mrs. Kidd, and I LOVE to dress up in character costumes to bring learning to life! Look at Abe's serious face!)  
 Presidents' Day
We began our "Fun Friday" afternoon activities by having our awesome Friday "Mom" volunteer read Celebrating Presidents' Day by Anne Rockwell.  After the reading, the students were suprised by a knock at the door....
And the entrance of George and Abe themselves!  After a bit of small talk, George and Abe broke into an awesome Presidents' Day rap song and dance! (Shout out to HarryKindergarten on YouTube for the great President's Day song and video!) 

Click below to see us in action!  It's good for a few laughs at the very least!!!
NOTE:  This was a video we recorded the FIRST year we did this!  UGH!  We have improved a bit in our rapping and choreography since then! 
It's a little RoUgH! LOL

HERE is a link to the music video WITHOUT me in it!  LOL
Next, George shared some facts about his life...his accomplishments, jobs, life stories (yes.. I included the "cherry tree incident")...and even threw in a "plug" for dental health month by sharing the secret fact that he didn't take care of his teeth as a child and how he ended up with hippopotamus false teeth!  (The kiddos will NEVER "forget" to brush their teeth again! Ha!)  George was sure to point out SEVERAL reasons why many people refer to him as the "greatest president ever!"

Next came Abe, serious and stoic... sharing facts of his life and the things he did as our president.   (I think the kids actually understood the Emancipation Proclamation by the time "he" was done!?) Abe argued why HE is often seen as the "greatest president ever!"
Finally... after a classroom debate, it was decided that BOTH George AND Abe were great presidents!
Next came George and Abe art! 

(I just created some basic shape templates for this project. Most pieces were pre-cut.  The project was a nice, basic follow-the-directions step-by-stepper!  If you would like the shape templates, post a comment and I will send them to you!)
Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire
Followed by a reading of Liar! Liar! Pants on Fire! by Diana DeGroat . 
We concluded the day with a "gift" from Abe ... a Presidents' Day book to add to students' familiar reading book boxes.  (Abe had shared his deep LOVE of reading with the kiddos earlier and that one of the "greatest gifts" one could receive is a book!)
Presidents' Day: An Emergent Reader About Washington and Lincoln    Presidents' Day: An Emergent Reader About Washington and Lincoln
(Click on the pics above to go to Lil' Country Kindergarten's TPT store and find the book!)
How do you celebrate Presidents' Day? 
Share with us!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Love is in the "AIR!"

It's that time of year...almost Valentine's Day!

Time to think about Valentine cards, heart-shaped chocolates... 
and iPads!
WHAT??!!    You may ask. is in the "AIR," right??  You know, as in the iPad AIR!

I mean, really people.   Chocolates are nice...but an iPad Air...
that would really make my heart go pitter-patter!

Well, a few of my blogging friends and I have come together to make you swoon!

That's right, my friend!  We are giving away an iPad Air...
and YOU could be the big winner!

Simply enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below, and this Valentine's Day might be a little SWEETER than you anticipated!!!

And SURPRISE!!! That's not where the blogging LOVE  ends!

Each blogger is also giving away another techie prize of her own!  Follow the link-up at the bottom of this post and hop around to my blogging buddies' posts to see what they are giving away!

I'm giddy with excitement at my techie giveaway!  AAAAAHH!

I'm giving away a…

The kit includes a HUE HD document camera, a complete stop motion animation kit, software and a 60 page resource book!
I have one of these in my own classroom, folks, and my kinder-kiddos LOVE it!  
{My own children can't get enough of it at home, either! LOL}   

Just could use this awesome techie-tool this spring when you hatch chicks in your classroom!  Or perhaps you could record daily snippets of the butterfly cycle, as your caterpillars transform into butterflies, like I do! Simply pop it into "timelapse mode," and film the daily changes that occur and WA-LA!  Instant, AWESOME science mini-movie! #impressyourprincipal
Or how about using this little kit to make a digital story-telling unit spring to life?! 

Let me tell you just a little bit about this techie tool...

HUE Animation Studio contains everything that you need to create your own stop motion animation videos. For use at home or for school projects, this is a creative and educational pastime that can be enjoyed by the whole family. This perfect gift for kids encourages creativity and imagination. Whether you are making a LEGO® brick film; animating in claymation or capturing a flower bloom using time-lapse photography, you can bring anything to life in minutes with the easy-to-use software.

The kit includes:
– The HUE HD camera, a flexible plug and play USB camera with built-in microphone. HUE’s innovative design is perfect for animation. {This doc cam is so slick!  You HAVE to get have one for yourself!  It's super easy to use, ultra portable...and just plain CUTE!}
– The fully-featured HUE Animation software (formally SAM Animation) designed for children by teachers.
– The HUE Book of Animation (formally Klutz Book) has step-by-step instructions for creating 20 hilarious stop motion videos and ideas for even more.

Here's one kiddo-created example:

You can view more kid-created videos here.

 Buy now
HUE Animation Software Features:
– Play your movie back
– Record or import music and sounds
– Add text and special effects
– Copy, edit, move and delete animation frames
– Share movies on YouTube
– Onion skinning
– Timelapse
– Green screening (Chroma Key)

HUE HD Camera Features:
– Easy to install and use
– Integrated microphone
– Flexible gooseneck for easy positioning
– Manual focus
– Available in a choice of colors (blue, red, or blue)

System Requirements:
– PC: Windows 8, 7 or XP and a 1.4GHz processor
– Mac: OS X 10.5 (Leopard) or higher and an Intel processor
– 512MB RAM (1GB recommended)
– 350MB hard disk space

Package Contents:
– HUE Animation software (single license)
HUE HD camera with base and USB cable
– The HUE Book of Animation (formerly The Klutz Book of Animation)

CLICK HERE to visit one of my previous posts about how I've used the HUE doc cam in my class!

So, my blogging SWEETIES...
                                DON'T DELAY!

Register below to make your Valentine's Day a little 

Be sure to enter both Rafflecopter give-aways below...and don't forget to join in the link-up fun and hop to my fellow blogging friends' posts to sign up to share in more "blogging love" giveaways!