Saturday, December 31, 2011

Winter Fun Activities for Kindergarten

I've been searching around for lots of new things to do this winter and I thought I'd share some of the great freebies that are out there.

I know there are tons of great paid items, as well. However, I'm a huge Dave Ramsey fan and one of my goals for the New Year is to pay off our last 20 acres by the end of the year so I was only looking for freebies. (If you haven't heard of Dave Ramsey, you should definitely check him out. His book, Total Money Makeover, completely changed the way I look at money, finances and debt.)


If you have a New Year's goal to save money or pay off debt, you should definitely look into his books or classes. Sorry for the little plug for Dave, but I love him!!! A sweet friend of mine gave me free tickets to see him live a few months ago and according to my husband, you would have thought I was a teenage groupie the way I was like, "Oh, Dave! Did you know I get to go see Dave? Look, there's MY Dave!" Ha! It's seriously sad, but I do love the man for saving my finances. My biggest and best achievements were paying off my grad school student loans years early and saving an additional $300 per month for retirement. We now have everything but our land paid off and that is such a huge blessing. Yay! Now back to our regularly scheduled post on winter planning. Sorry! ;)




Snowman Brace Map from Can Do Kinders 


The Mitten Printables from 1+1+1=1



Draw a Snowman by A Kinder Garden in Bloom
My Snowman Emergent Reader from Can Do Kinders
Skip Counting Snowmen from The Littlest Scholars
The Snowman Emergent Reader from Mrs. Albanese's Class 
Lots of cute Snowman Ideas from Kindergarten Rocks (You have to leave a comment for her to send them to you.)
Winter Rhyming and Winter Letter Match from KinderKids Fun
CVC Word Write and Read from Can Do Kinders
Roll-a-Snowman from Live, Love, Laugh Everyday in Kindergarten 
Penguin Color Emergent Reader
Pine Tree Place Value
Winter Animals Memory
Winter Writing Prompts
Winter Math Journal Prompts
Snow Buddies Story Starter at Read, Write, Sing


TpT January Freebies
Winter
Penguins
Snow/Snowman
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Winter Links
This site has lots of winter links.

Happy New Year to everyone! May all your bloggy wishes come true!

Source: www.homerlee.com

We're at home tonight ringing in the New Year with Pinterest inspired recipes, watching movies and playing with lots of toys and games. I have been truly blessed in 2011. I have a healthy, happy family to love, lots of wonderful friends, a roof over my head and a job that I am passionate about. I can't help but be a little excited to see what 2012 has in store. :)

I hope each of you has a wonderful and safe New Year! Blogging and reading other blogs written by passionate teachers, mothers, and others is something that I'm thankful for everyday. I love to learn and grow and this is a wonderful outlet for me. I hope you have been inspired by others this past year, too!

On that note, I just had to share this super sweet post from Ann at Mrs. Greene's Kindergarten Korner. She really knows how to make a person's day! What a great thing to read at the end of 2011.

I look forward to seeing what 2012 has in store for all of you! Happy New Year! 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Disappointed about DJ Inkers? Visit Denyse at Scrappin' Doodles! {25% off}

I know a lot of people are really bummed about the Terms of Use changing through DJ Inkers right now and I feel your pain. I use to exclusively use DJ Inkers and Carson Dellosa Clip Art for everything I made. However, now I'm a Scrappin' Doodles addict! Plus, Denyse is amazing to work with! Her customer service is outstanding and her response time is unbeatable.

Right now, you can hurry on over to Scrappin' Doodles to take advantage of 25% off all orders over $5 through December 31, 2011. Just use code BOXINGWEEK2011. (Some exclusions apply)

***Update: At this time, you only have to have a license if you are offering  freebies on your blog or in your stores. If you purchase graphics to make items to sell, you can do so as long as they are offered in a secure PDF file.  This only applies to Scrappin' Doodles and Cheryl Seslar graphics, not Alice Smith. Check out the Terms of Use here.

Source: www.ScrappinDoodles.com




If you are considering the switch to Scrappin' Doodles graphics, be sure to check out the Affiliate Program while you're there. You can earn commission from sales generated from click throughs from your blog or site. I have been an affiliate for several months and it's so easy! If you click on the picture above and make a purchase, I will receive a percentage of the sale. I truly appreciate all of you that have purchased through my link on the right side of my blog. Every little bit helps--especially when I can use the commission to buy more graphics to make more printables! (Did I mention my addiction?) Ha!

What are you waiting for? Hurry on over to Scrappin' Doodles!!! Be sure to check out Scrappin' Doodles on Facebook and sign up for the weekly email newsletter. You will be so glad you did!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Martin Luther King, Jr. in Kindergarten {Linky Party}

Martin Luther King, Jr. Linky Party at Lil' Country Kindergarten





I don't know about ya'll, but sometimes, I get a little bit anxious when I've taught something too many times the same way. Especially when I see so many great ideas on all the fabulous Kindergarten blogs I read. I added a linky to the bottom because it's so much easier for people than trying to create a clickable link in their comments.

My Martin Luther King, Jr. mini unit has been the same for about 3 years. :( It's sad, I know! There isn't anything wrong with what we do necessarily, but it's definitely time for me to change things up a bit.




We generally spend two days on a mini unit to learn about Martin Luther King, Jr. Since I was already looking, I thought I'd share some of the links I've found to a few new ideas for this year. I'm excited to use some of the songs/poems for pocket charts and little readers.We currently use the books in the widget above to help with our mini unit, but I'd love to know of more that you find meaningful for your students.





http://www.teachervision.fen.com/martin-luther-king-jr/printable/54972.html
http://www.kinderteacher.com/MartinLutherKing.htm
http://www.kinderkorner.com/mlk.html
http://www.jmeacham.com/balanced%20literacy/balanced.literacy.shared.reading.htm#MLK

April at Chalk Talk has lots of great ideas in her MLK mini unit here and here

Click on the picture below to check out the MLK things I've been pinning. 



Freedom, Freedom, Let it Ring
(Tune: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star)
(Author Unknown)
Freedom, freedom, let it ring,
"Let it ring," said Dr King.
Let us live in harmony,
Peace and love for you and me.
Freedom, freedom, let it ring,
"Let it ring," said Dr King.
 
The following link has several songs that could be used in a pocket chart for shared reading or maybe made into mini books. http://martin-luther-king-day.123holiday.net/king_songs.html 


Poetry Journals

Crafts
http://www.frugalfamilyfunblog.com/2011/01/crafts-for-martin-luther-king-jr-day.html

What are your favorite Martin Luther King, Jr. activities or books?  Feel free to grab the banner above and link up below if you have any old or new posts about things you do or have done to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Top Three Posts of 2011!




I am linking up to Fern Smith's Top Three Posts of 2011 Linky Party. It was fun going back to see what my top three posts of the year were. I also enjoyed seeing where my traffic was coming from. I look forward to an even better New Year!

My top three posts were:
  1. I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie {Printables} - 16,906 pageviews
  2. What Kindergarten Teachers Wish Parents Knew - 13,414 Pageviews
  3. The Daily 5 in Pictures - 7,313 Pageviews
My top three referring URL's were:
  1. Mrs. Jump's Class - 5,976
  2. Hubbard's Cupboard - 2,315
  3. Can Do Kinders - 1,477
My top three referring sites were:
  1. www.google.com - 36,757
  2. pinterest.com - 26,241
  3. widget.linkwithin.com - 11,896

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Who Wants New Followers? {Linky Party}

If you have a blog that has less than 150 followers, link up below. :) I'd love to find out about you and I'm sure others would like to find you, too!

Also, just in case you don't have enough blogs to read over Christmas break, here are a few more that I found that I thought they could use some more fabulous followers. I tried to find blogs with less than 150 followers. :)

Carried Away In Kindergarten

teachers bag of tricks
Sharing Kindergarten

Monday, December 19, 2011

Check out the Common Core Assessments at Mrs. Ricca's Kindergarten

I just stopped by Mrs. Ricca's Kindergarten blog and she is offering Common Core assessments that would be very beneficial to any Kindergarten classroom. She is offering them as freebies right now, too! She has has lots of management ideas on her blog and she's a new teacher.  Go show her some love and support!

***Update, Nicole (Mrs. Ricca) has updated the files from DocStoc to Scribd. You should be able to download them now. :)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Teaching Blog Traffic School

As a Christmas present to myself (with the use of affiliate commision I had earned) I purchased the Teaching Blog Traffic School course from Charity Preston from the Organized Classroom Blog. I have only completed the first four lessons, but I wanted to post my beginnings so I can chronicle the growth of my blog and to try to keep myself accountable for my short-term goals.

I purchased the TBTS course on December 11. My stats were:


I created the following short-term goals for my blog, stores, etc. I think I may have been on some kind of I just bought myself a present on a Dr. Pepper high when I came up with some of the numbers, but I guess I thought they were reasonable goals at the time. Ha! :) We'll see! I gave myself until December 31, 2011 to complete the following goals.

Blog
  • Reach 500 followers
  • Post at least 5 times per week
  • Create and share two freebies
  • Create one item for sale
  • Have 3 items pinned on Pinterest

Facebook
  • Post 1-2 times a day
  • Gain 10 new fans
  • Add at least 10 pictures

     Teacher's Notebook
    • Sell $10 worth of resources
    • Gain 10 shopper favorites for my store

    Teachers Pay Teachers
    • Sell $20 worth of resources
    • Gain 2 followers through my store

    Forums
    I have to admit, I think I'm becoming obsessed/worried because my regular computer's hard drive has to be replaced and I'm having to use a computer that I can't create with right now. I'm worried that I'm not going to achieve some of my goals. However, I'm not going to let it stop me from trying!

    Have you ever created goals for your blog? How did you measure up with the expectations you set for yourself?

    Wednesday, December 14, 2011

    My laptop must be a teenager because it's rebelling against me!


    I'm not proud to admit this, but my normally patient self has turned into a horrible-thought-sending-meanie-with-a-touch-of-evil-glare kind of person every time I've turned the computer on this past week and it would immediately shut itself off. Even worse, sometimes it would decide to come up with a screen that was eerily similar to the "blue screen of death".

    So, my sweet husband took a hint and lugged the sickly thing to the computer ER today. I hope they get it fixed STAT! Apparently, I'm super attached to my computer and all it's cutesy fonts and clip art and fabulous family pictures that not all other computers have on them. :)

    While my computer is away, I'm praying that all of my pictures & files will be okay because I am the world's worst at backing everything up. :( Silly me! I totally regret not doing it in times like this!

    I promise you a freebie as soon as I get back up and running! Thanks for sticking with me!

    I've Been Featured!

    Thanks so much to Katie at Playing With Words 365 for featuring my Pinterest inspired Rudolph project.

    Be sure to head over to Playing With Words 365 to see some of the other features, too.



    Saturday, December 10, 2011

    Christmas Cuties & Winter Wonderland Templates

    I created the following freebie, Christmas Cuties Templates, for you to use to create items for your classroom. Here are a few ways I thought I might use them:
    • calendar pieces
    • flash cards (sight words, numbers, alphabet, ordinals)
    • gift tags
    • patterning
    • name/artwork labels
    • work station labels
    • etc.
    Click here or on the picture below to download the freebie.


    I also created a winter version called Winter Wonderland Templates. You can purchase the set for $1 through my Teacher's Notebook store. Click here or on the picture below.

     

    Snowman ornament giveaway winner!

    Congratulations to Jackie from Diving into Kindergarten for winning the snowman ornament giveaway!
     
     


    Jackie, please email me your address as soon as you can so I can forward it to Angela at ~A~ Creation. Also, let me know what you'd like on the bottom circle. For example, last name and year, Merry Christmas 2011 or  leave it blank. :)

    Sunshine Award and a Sight Word Sort Freebie from Kindergarten is a Hoot!

    Thanks so much to Sara over at Kindergarten is a Hoot for awarding me the Sunshine Award. :) (See who I awarded here.)

     
    Sara is a sweet new blogger who is offering lots of great freebies on her blog. Right now she is generously offering a great sight word sort freebie. I know how much ya'll love freebies! So head on over to her blog and while you are there, become a new follower. She would love the support!


    Kindergarten Is a Hoot



    Friday, December 9, 2011

    Scotch Thermal Laminators are on sale on Amazon for $16.99 {Today only}

    Scotch Thermal Laminators are on sale on Amazon for $16.99!!!!

    I just bought a second laminator for home and another for a para in my room. I'm so excited!



    Wednesday, December 7, 2011

    What gifts are you giving your kiddos families this year?

    I keep going back and forth about what to make or have my kiddos make for their families this year for Christmas. Last year, I posted about the silhouettes I made here.  What will you be doing for your kiddos families?

    silhouette

    Tuesday, December 6, 2011

    Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but a giveaway would be delightful!!!

    Angela from ~A~ Creations on Facebook is generously offering the most adorable bottle cap snowman ornament for one lucky Lil’ Country Kindergarten reader! Angela is the mom of one of my former Kdg. students and she is just precious! She  recently started making  bottle cap jewelry and accessories and she’s doing a great job! She even makes school related logo items, so keep that in mind for secret pal gifts, school spirit activities, student gifts, student teachers, stocking stuffers, etc.

    372807_304804779545713_1580222542_nsnowman ornament

    (Text on the bottom circle of the snowman is optional. The ornament can also be personalized with your last name in place of Merry Christmas, if you like.)

    There are 4 chances to win! Be sure to leave one comment with your email address for each of the following types of entry.
    1. Like ~A~ Creation on Facebook.
    2. Leave a comment with your favorite item that you see in the ~A~ Creation Photos on Facebook.
    3. Become a Lil’ Country Kindergarten blog follower.
    4. Like Lil’ Country Kindergarten on Facebook.
    This giveaway ends on Friday, December 9 at 9:00 P.M. CST. The winner will be chosen using a random number generator.

    Angela also makes necklaces, pendants, key chains, pins, ornaments, etc. Here are a few of the things she has made for me.  She can do personal creations with your photos, sports teams, princesses, brands, seasonal designs and other styles. She also takes requests!
    princess
    384171_326234480736076_304804779545713_1303862_118652397_n
    305865_308527799173411_304804779545713_1250014_1468135760_n

    Head on over to ~A~ Creation and tell her that Lil’ Country Kindergarten sent you!

    Sunday, December 4, 2011

    There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell Mini Unit

    I couldn't resist buying another Granny Swallowed... set from Scrappin' Doodles! Now, you'll have a mini unit for the story There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell. It is similar to the I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie printables I created last month.


    Click here or on the picture below to grab these printables from my Teacher's Notebook store for only $3! I'm super excited about having an item for sale, but very nervous, too! You can also purchase this item from my TpT store.
      
    Don't worry, I will still offer lots of free printables! :)

    Saturday, December 3, 2011

    Help! What am I doing wrong?

    For some reason, when I convert my Microsoft Word documents to a PDF file, the two sheets I have on one page end up turning into two full pages. I have read a zillion and one articles and help sections online and cannot find my particular problem and a solution.

    My emergent readers aren't very valuable when they only print one whole page instead of two small ones that can be cut in half. :) 

    Any suggestions? I'm using Microsoft 2010 and the PDF conversion that comes with it.
     

    KPM Doodles

    Check out the great Christmas freebies at these blogs!

    I am loving all the great freebies that everyone is offering this year! Check out all the fabulously fun freebies these ladies have created!

    Be sure to head over to Live, Laugh, Love K first! Sheyna is a new blogger and already sharing lots of fun goodies! I'm sure she would love some support.

    Christmas patterning from Jeannie at Class Full of "Special" Kinders.



    Class Full of Special Kinders




    A mix of fun freebies by Barb at Grade ONEderful!






    I love this Gingerbread Man song by Louanne at My Kindergarten Kids! I'm going to add quotation marks to it and use it in a lesson next week. My kids will love this!



    My Kindergarten Kids




    Pam at Can Do Kinders has lots of great Christmas freebies, including this fun Write the Room set.



    Can Do Kinders





    Krissy's Gingerbread Puzzle at Mrs. Miner's Monkey Business looks like lots of fun!



    Mrs. Miner's Kindergarten Monkey Business




    Jennifer at First Grade Blue Skies has an adorable Torn Paper Santas tutorial.



    First Grade Blue Skies




    Here are a few more things I found:
    I think my list could go on forever, but I think I better head to bed. :) 

    Friday, December 2, 2011

    Rudolph Craft & Writing Prompt {Printables}

    I found the cutest Rudolph craft on Pinterest and I knew I had to have my students make it this week. The inspiration photo can be found on Fiskars.com

    We read the story Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by Robert L. May and then worked on our bags and writing prompt. We are still in the process of working on our stories, but I'll post a picture when we finish. We added crumpled newspaper to our bags to make them fluffy.

     Photo Source: PaperBack Swap


    Click here or on the picture below for your free printables.

    http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/FREE-RudolphReindeer-Paper-Bag-Template-and-Writing-Project-1016621

    Click here or on the picture below for the writing prompt.
    http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/FREE-RudolphReindeer-Paper-Bag-Template-and-Writing-Project-1016621

    The best thing about this project is that right before Christmas, I'm going to take the bags down off the bulletin board, take out the newspaper and put each child's Christmas present in the bag. That means, no wrapping presents this year!!! That is thrilling to me because it always takes me forever!