Sunday, July 20, 2014

Back-to-School with Lakeshore

Are you in love with Lakeshore as much as I am? Seriously - that place is TEACHER HEAVEN! It also can be dangerous to one's bank account too....but who cares about that... ;) Honey - don't check the bank account... it's fine... really! ;)

I love the Lakeshore Learning Store near me. It has everything from teacher materials to classroom decorations to arts & crafts... just everything to make an elementary teacher happy. I've learned over time that it also makes my momma side happy too.... lots of cool toys for birthdays and Christmas - things that make kids use their creativity ---not just poking around on an IPOD.

Recently, Lakeshore contacted me about doing a review for them...something that teachers might be interested in for back-to-school. I was super excited to try something out. I chose the Stretch & Connect Builders for Reagan. They looked like a neat twist on legos and blocks.


First thing: Lakeshore ships so fast! I think we had these things by the end of the week. I was shocked at how quick I got them. Reagan, like any boy, was super excited to see them. As we say in Texas, "He was in hog heaven!" ;) From the moment he saw the package, I knew he wasn't going to let these out of his sight!

And I was right - he didn't! In fact, his older brother couldn't even resist these builders.
In fact, I nearly had to fight to get them to put the builders away and go to sleep that night. :) hehehe

I have to admit... I even got into the action as well... they were so darned intriguing. 
Here is what you get....

You get these big straw like things.... called connecters. They bend and twist and locked into these plastic pieces of different sizes and shapes. It even comes with wheels to make vehicles. Your mind quickly gets to thinking of all these things you could make with the pieces.

Oh man... I not only saw Reagan make such wonderful things ....but he was using fantastic vocabulary while doing it. Anyone who says..."We can't PLAY with blocks in my kinder classroom." -- YES YOU CAN! And if your principal says no - take in research showing how academic BLOCKS can be. Reagan was counting, making shapes (2D and 3D), problem solving, using vocabulary and creativity by the bucketful!! 

He was also having fun and.... to him, THIS was meaningful!

Look at some of the many things he did with these blocks.....

Great fine motor work for little hands!! Plus, he loved that he didn't have to be gentle with these blocks. He could be a rough and tumble boy!

Look at that intense focus!




 Looks at that cube!!     

YEAH - Helicopter!!

YES!! This is my favorite picture! What creativity and problem solving!! These blocks are not only wonderful at home. They would be ideal for a kinder/1st classroom. If you don't use blocks during your center time....think about recess! How many kids would love to create during recess time!

Lakeshore is an amazing company that really makes our jobs as teachers and parents easier. And, they are having a Back-to-School Sale (now through Aug. 31) at Lakeshore Learning Stores nationwide featuring doorbusters up to 50% off and special in-store coupons! Or shop online at www.lakeshorelearning.com!  


THANKS LAKESHORE - YOU ROCK!!!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Freebielicious Partnering with Educents...AGAIN!!


Are you ready for Back to School? Yay!! NO? That's not possible! After all, you had all summer off to do nothing right?

BWHAHAHA!!! We know better than that! If you are like most teachers you have been reading and learning nearly all summer, preparing your new classroom (or at least planning in your head), and missing your kiddos from last year. Right?

I love this time of year! It's so exciting - for teachers and students alike. And kindergarten is of course the BEST grade EVER! As a mom and a teacher, I always love hearing what new kinders think of school. Check out this super cute video asking new kinder kids about their first day of school:



Yes - back to school is a wonderful time. However, it can also be a little STRESSFUL.... ooopsss - I said the "S" word! Don't worry. Me and my girls at Freebielicious have teamed up with Educents with some instant downloads for you to make your teacher life less "S" word!

Loaded with great products for back to school including book studies, craftivities, classroom prep, and content materials for back to school!  With 23 instant downloads... you have to check it out!  


You AND your kiddos will love my product that's included! It's one of my best-selling products.
And, yes! Your students CAN love a behavior clip chart. Why? Because it's more of a motivational tool! Kids love seeing how well they can meet expectations (thereby 'climbing the colors'). Everyday students start their day on green - Ready to Learn. According to their choices, they can stay on green, move down, or move up! I always have move students move up than move down. It's a great visual for young children to see how they are doing. And, even if they mess up and move down.....they can recover and move right back up -- which is really what we want...students correcting their mistakes and ending the day on a good note! Plus - it's also perfect for those that are required to keep parents aware of behavior and keep documentation.



For a limited time only,  all 23 amazing Freebielicious products are bundled at $34.99 from Educents --69% off!  Twenty-three products for your kinder and first grade classrooms and over 1200 pages of materials from some of your favorite teachers!  It's a bundle you are sure to LOVE!



Take a moment to take a peek at some of the other teachers featured in this bundle - what that have going on for back to school and what they are featuring in this deal too!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Making Lemonade

One of my favorite summertime activities is making lemonade with my kiddos.


One of the reasons I love this is because it's super simple. Plus, it's super refreshing - especially when it's HOT, HOT, HOT in Texas.

Here's what you need:


1.  Cut a lemon in quarters and remove seeds.

2. Place 1 or 2 quarters of lemon in a Zip-loc baggie.

3. Pour 1/2 cup of water in the baggie.

4. Pour 1 tsp. of sugar in the baggie.

5. Squeeze the contents of the baggie. Be sure to squeeze the lemon pulp really well!

6. Insert a straw and enjoy!

See?? I told you it was super easy! So, run out and buy a couple lemons and make your own fresh lemonade... :)








Monday, May 5, 2014

Teacher Appreciation - Teachers Rock!!


Ah....the one time a year we finally get some appreciation.... We work so hard for all those little kiddies all year long. We know how important our work is and how we impact the future is one of the most special ways. 

So, to make your life a little easier, enjoy a special discount from TPT. As teachers ourselves we know how hard you work and how much of your own money you spend.

We'll have a big teacher appreciation sale on May 6-7th (Tuesday and Wednesday). Be sure to make time in your busy schedule to take a look. You may even want to start preparing for next year if you like to prep over the summer. Also, be sure to add the code "TPTXO" at checkout to get an additional discount from TPT. ;)

Here are a few items that I have in my store that you may be interested in:







Sunday, April 6, 2014

Farfaria Giveaway



If you are like me, you try to stay up-to-date on all the new educational apps for kids. It's a difficult job because there are so many amazing ones out there. There's so many to chose from, some great, some no-so great.

Farfaria contacted me about doing a review of the Farfaria app and I agreed. All opinions in this post are mine. So here goes:

Farfaria is an Ipad storybook app. There are over 600 stories - all fully interactive and 5 new stories are added each week. Can I say that is pretty incredible? I mean....I'm a good mom and we have a good size library for my little ones, but I certainly do not have 600 books in our library. So, right there....the fact that we have access to 600 storybooks at any given moment is wonderful. We don't even have to store them. They are already on my Ipad! Plus there's such a wide variety that my kinder kid through my 6th grader can find stories they love!




 Another great thing about Farfaria is each book is given a "level" which really helps kids choose books based on skill level. Children can choose books they can read independently. They can also read stories that are more difficult and use the "read to me" feature. The reader reads so naturally - no mono-tone, choppy reading. I also love how quickly you "turn the page" - perfect for teaching a young child how to turn pages like a real book.




I LOVE this app! I am totally sold on it! My little dinosaur lover was pleased that there were books he could read easily using his sight word knowledge and there are nonfiction books about dinosaurs, amphibians, insects, and more.

Look - he had so much fun! (ignore the painted fingernails... :) 
He had to try since mom and sister were :)

 Love the intense focus!



This app is a STEAL at $3.99 per month. I love to snuggle up next to Reagan for his goodnight story. He loves this time and he can be in charge of the story we read. In fact, another great thing I love about Farfaria is you can actually download the app and get a FREE story everyday without paying a dime!!! That's terrific!! But trust me you will love the app so much, you'll shell out the $3.99 to have unlimited access - totally worth it!

Check out some wonderful screenshots from this amazing app:





Check out the Farfaria app HERE!
Check out the Farfaria website for more info HERE!

Now here's the really fun part!! The Farfaria people are wonderful and are allowing me to have a giveaway so one of YOU can win a 6 month subscription to Farfaria for FREE!!! What teacher or mom wouldn't LOVE that?

Kelsey K won!!! Congrats!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Jamberry: Feeling Pretty! (Giveaway)

Hi friends!

Have you heard of Jamberry nails?


Well, if you are like me - I heard about Jamberry for months before I tried them. I heard people talk about them, but I figured they were expensive or something that took alot of time at the salon to get....I mean I'm a busy mom of 6  - #aintnobodygottimeforthat!


Fast forward to Christmastime....my daughter Bailey (my 13 year old) was begging me to take her to the nail salon and get her acrylics. All her friends were getting them so of course she wanted them.... I refused! Not only were they ridiculously expensive, I remember almost tearing a few of my nails off once when I had acrylics taken off years ago.....geez the damage was crazy! So I was the #uncoolmom. Really??? Moms really let 13 year olds get acrylics? Whatever....

Anyways, a friend of mine was hosting a facebook party and so I learned a little about Jamberry and bought some for my daughter for Christmas. I figured we'd give them a try. They were a fairly cheap experiment - especially in comparison to salon prices.
SHE FELL IN LOVE!!
What I didn't expect is that I would fall in love with Jamberry nails too! But I did!

I quickly became a Jamberry addict. With 350 designs there's more designs than I could possibly try (although now I try REALLY hard)... ;)

Here are some things I absolutely LOVE about Jamberry...and why I let my 13 year old daughter wear them too:


Seriously friends! 
Here's why I ♥ Jamberry:

**These nail wraps are super easy to put on AT HOME.....15 minutes tops!
**They cause ZERO damage.
**No Drying time - which means no messed up polish....because they aren't polish..... literally vinyl stickers that are heat-activated and seal to your nails.
**They last as long as acrylics (2 weeks) on fingers....even longer on toes.
**CHEAP - $5 or less per manicure/pedicure.....(when's the last time you got one at the salon that cheap?)
**And they are made in good ol' USA!

In fact, I fell in love with this product so much, I became a consultant in January (love the extra income as well :).... I mean...I do have 6 kids ya know... ;) I feel good about representing this company even though I've never sold a thing in my life prior to joining Jamberry. These things really just sell themselves because they just are THAT great!

I'd love to share a sample with you if you've never tried Jamberry before. Click HERE and fill out my form. I'll send you a sample to try! No obligations! I promise not to hunt you down or show up at your door -- #creepy.....I'll just send a sample for you to check out!


If you have tried Jamberry and already love it.....how about earning some FREE Jamberry? YES, I said FREE!! It's simple. You can "host" an facebook Jamberry party and earn Free Jamberry goodies! It's all online.....on facebook. I do the work - you just invite your friends. When they purchase from your party - you earn free stuff!
Click Here to sign up to host a party with me!


Finally - If you'd like to join my team with Jamberry, click HERE and I'll be in touch! One thing that I adore about Jamberry is that consultants work together -- not against each other.... So important!



So.... I promised a giveaway, didn't I? That's right! I'm giving away a "Half-Sheet" of Jamberry nails. A "half-sheet" is enough to do a full manicure AND pedicure! Who wouldn't LOVE that?

I'm making it SUPER SUPER easy to enter the giveaway - just 2 things..... 
1. Like my Jams By Jeannie facebook page HERE 
AND 
2. Leave a comment of the name of your favorite Jamberry design. You can check them all out HERE!

I'd also love for you to share this post with friends.....maybe they'd like a Jamberry stuff too... be a good friend :)

Giveaway ends Sunday. I will announce a winner Monday morning!! :) 
And....as always... if you have any questions -- don't hesitate to leave a comment....I'll respond or you can always email me at kindergartenlifestyle@gmail.com :) 



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, March 13, 2014

A Rainbow-licious Experiment and More!

Hi friends! I gotta show some remaining cool rainbow stuff we've done this last week or so.

We went outside in our beautiful Texas weather to make some real rainbows using a clear container and mirror. I know many of you are still buried under snow. Please don't hate us for our nice weather. Remember come a couple months from now we will be scorching in our brutal Texas summer (which surely can be equated to the depths of hell in July and August :)

Even my teens were outside excited to capture a mysterious rainbow. I will say it was easier to find the rainbow than to photograph them.... so the pictures don't do them any justice. For anyone doing a nonfiction rainbow unit, this activity is a MUST-DO!

It was fun to find the rainbows... a bit of trial and error but everyone was so intent on finding one, they were definitely engaged.
To do this just fill a clear glass/container 3/4 full with water. Slip a small mirror into the container and place in direct sunlight. Again, the rainbows we saw were really neat, but it's kind of hard to see in the pictures above. :)

I also found this great "indoor rainbow" experiment at TurtleDiary. It's give a great animated demonstration of creating a rainbow in a darkened room. Check it out HERE. They actually have a number of neat kindergarten-level experiments there. :)


We also did a "Milky Rainbow" experiment as well. This one is SO SO SO cool!

We use 3 simple ingredients.
*cream (but whole milk works fine)
*food coloring (yellow, blue, and red)
*dish soap

Pour 1 cup of milk or cream in a paper plate. Drop 10 drops of yellow, 5 drops of blue, and 5 drops of red. Place the drops near the center, but not touching. 

Place 1 drop of dish soap in the middle of the colors. You will see a color explosion. It's really cool! Not only with the color shoot out in all directions, you will see the primary colors mix and create the secondary colors without any help from you. Remember, we only used red, yellow, and blue. But, we got pink, purple, green, and more..... 





Of course, after the activity is finished - it's also a great opportunity to mix and see what colors you get!
Reagan was amazed that all the beautiful colors mixed to create a yucky brown color... YUCK!


Here's a video of our experiment:

)

Here is the video we used to do this experiment. This video does a great job showing and explaining what happens and why. 

)

Here's a peek into some more fun we had this week learning about rainbows and their colors. We use my Roy G. Biv and the Rainbow pack. You can get it on TpT HERE






and yummy Skittle graphing!!