Thursday, July 6, 2017


Hi! It's Carolyn from Kindergarten: Holding  Hands and Sticking Together.  I've been having a wonderful summer so far, but it can slow down a bit, if that's OK.

I haven't done anything "schooly," yet at the same time, everything I've done has been "schooly."

First of all, my new favorite thing is painting rocks with my sister.  This will be known as the summer of rock painting for me.  I posted about it HERE.

These are some rocks my sister and I have painted so far.

We have the best time painting and hiding rocks for people to find.  I want to bring this idea to school as a Kindness Rocks project.  This isn't my original idea, because I've seen other places do fabulous things with it.

The wonderful part about ideas is that you can make them fit exactly what you need or want.  I love the idea of this rock path from Sharon Elementary School in Newburgh, IN.  They painted rocks inspired by the book Only One You, by Linda Kranz, and made a beautiful stone pathway outside the school entrance.  I just love this.

I also love the idea of having my students paint a special rock and sending it home with them with a note explaining to parents that they have a mission to make someone's day, by hiding the special rock for someone else to find.  I know the joy I have had when I find a rock.  It's just plain FUN.

The other part of my summer, so far, has been getting ready to go to Las Vegas!  Dr. Jean and I  have been working this past year on a FABULOUS project that we are going to share next Monday in Las Vegas at the ESGI booth!

These packets will be available July 10th- and I cannot wait to share them with you!  We're doing a Facebook Live from Las Vegas.  I'm scared.  I am NOT a presenter...  I like blogging, because if people read what I write and get ideas, that's perfect.  If they don't want to, I'll never know!

I think I have way too thin skin to present.  This would have to be my name tag...

Anyway- I'm so excited and I'll share our adventures when I get back!  I'd love you to watch the Facebook Live!  It's on ESGI's Facebook Page-  LIVE from I Teach K with Chris Pombonyo.  If you watch, send some smiles and hearts!   Do you ever watch those LIVE Facebook events and see those mean faces go by and just cringe?  Oh my, oh my.  Can you tell I'm a bit nervous?

Last year, Dr. Jean and I were talking about how much we enjoy sharing ideas with teachers, and how much we want the JOY of teaching and learning to never be lost.  With all the trends and changes and standards out there, sometimes teachers get so caught up in having to keep up, they forget  to enjoy the journey.

Dr. Jean wanted to put all of her best teaching songs together with practical, helpful ideas and activities, so they were all in one place for teachers.  We decided it would be most helpful to divide these ideas into monthly packets- full of one useful idea after another!  So - that's what we did.

Each month we have ELA, math, science, social studies, character education, and seasonal ideas to go with 15+ of Dr. Jean's songs!  We've also included different cheers, handshakes, and attention grabbers for each month.  Jean made a little video for each month showing how to do all the new cheers, handshakes, and attention grabbers, with her granddaughter.  I know it's so much easier for me to learn new things when I see them, so I love these little videos.

Each month you will also receive 2 Prezis with LOTS of videos, songs, activities, online games, and anchor charts, that go along with that month.  I love Prezis.  They are a perfect way to organize your favorite online activities so they are all right there for you, in one place, ready to use whenever you have a free moment.  Never again will you waste those extra minutes before specials or before lunch.
I use the Prezis to introduce new subjects, to reinforce what I've taught, to leave up an anchor chart on my Smart TV during a lesson because I don't have a lot of extra wall space, and to play review games on the Smartboard or Smart TV.

So- all of these "favorites" are all set up for you to use and the links to these Prezis are included in these packets!  Here are a couple pictures of Prezis so you can see how they are set up.  Each part is a link you can click on.

We had so much fun putting these packets together.  One of the best things about these activities, is that they can be made to fit any and all curriculum.   This overall packet has math, reading, writing, science, health, social studies, character education, and seasonal activities - all you could need.  But- it fits beautifully with any curriculum.  For example, we have many sight word games and activities. If you need to teach 100 sight words or 25 sight words, they will work perfectly for you- just fit your words into the activities.

Then, to make this even BETTER- we have partnered with ESGI to include assessments in each packet for each subject area!  Every month, you will receive assessments for ELA, Math, Science, and Social Studies available through ESGI.

These assessments give you all the data your district could want!  Having the assessments to show your administration also helps to show them how hands-on learning, songs, and movement really WORK to help children learn and remember information.  We know that they will remember it so much better because they had FUN learning it.

These packets can also be purchased through school districts with curriculum money.  The assessments provide the data piece so many districts look for when purchasing curriculum.  But in the "teacher world,"  the data really helps us to see what the children learn and help us to guide our instruction as we move forward with our teaching! That's why I love ESGI... Educational Software for Guiding Instruction.  That's exactly what it does for teachers.

I posted ALL about the benefits, bells and whistles,  and some examples of what ESGI offers HERE.  When you use the special PROMO CODE HAPPIES , you can try ESGI FREE for 60 days and when you see how valuable it is, you will receive $40 off your purchase for the first year using the HAPPIES code.  The price is usually $199 a year, but with the promo code, it will be $159 for the first year.  Check with your administration because they may be able to purchase it for you. They can use the code and get it for $159 for the first year, too- for your whole grade level!  It's a great time of the year to try it out in the beginning of the year- when you are assessing so many different things.  ESGI saves you HOURS of time assessing.  The children love it.  It's fun!  There is no paperwork to get lost- and your data is available anytime for you because it's all online! All answers are Y (yes) and N (no).  You click the button right on the iPad as the student answers, whether he was able to answer it or not. The data is all saved for you and can be displayed so many different ways to help you create groups and see progress.  You can read more about ESGI's features HERE.     

Here are some samples assessment questions and how they will look on your iPad as you assess the students:

You can click on this link to see a little preview of the Back to School Packet. Each month has an extensive preview packet at my TpT store, so you can see just what is included.

We have also bundled the whole year of packets together at a discounted price- so it's like you get 2 months free! This complete packet includes all 9 monthly packets with 1275 pages of activities, learning games, and worksheets for all subject areas; over 135 of Dr. Jean's songs to download (many with books to go with them!); 20 Prezis; new handshakes, cheers, attention grabbers, and finger plays each month; QR codes for many of the songs; plus assessments available on ESGI for each subject area each month!

Please come to Las Vegas via Facebook if you can- or if you are there in real life, I hope I get to see you!  We will be on ESGI's Facebook Live on Monday at 5:50 Eastern Time/ 2:50 Pacific Time! Thank you so much for stopping by.

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