Saturday, June 30, 2012

Learning Resources Easi-Speak USB Recorder & Giveaway!

Have you seen this yet?!

It is the Easi-Speak USB Microphone from Learning Resources! I couldn't wait to get my hands on this thing and try it out!! It's just what I was hoping for....FABULOUS!!!!

I can't wait to use this baby in my guided reading groups! What kid doesn't LOVE using a microphone!? What a great motivator!!

We have a little hearing impaired kiddo in our school. The teacher in his classroom wears a microphone around her neck and her voice is amplified through speakers in the room. It didn't take long for that teacher to figure out that the students LOVED holding that microphone when they read-it was a win-win! It helped the little hearning impaired child hear what the other kids were reading AND the kids loved being "in the spotlight" and hearing themselves read!

Well, the Easi-Speak is even better than that! Simply press the record button! Now you can play it back for the kids to hear how they sounded. You can do this instantly through the mic because it has a little built-in speaker on it!! You can also simply plug the mic into your computer to upload and save the files!!!!~
This makes it super easy to save for assessments, tracking progress and sharing with parents!!

All you have to do is simply remove the cap and the USB plug is right on the end of the microphone! I LOVE that the cap is attached to the mic with a little cord!!! That way, I can't lose it!! :) And, because the whole microphone just plugs right into the computer, there are NO cords to search for! Know what else that means?! Are you ready for this?! NO BATTERIES!!!!! Yes, you read that correctly! By plugging it in-you are also charging it up!

Learning Resources has done a great job thinking of every way to make this convenient, user friendly and easy to use! Seriously! Just hit the red button to record, the green button to play and the arrow to go to the next track! Plus, the size is perfect for little hands AND comes with a lanyard to wear around the neck to avoid accidental drops!

Want one yet??? Well, I just happen to have one to give away!!! ;)

You have 4 ways to enter:

~Leave a comment saying how you would use Easi-Speak in your classroom.=1 Entry

~Follow my blog and leave a comment that you did.=1 Entry

~Like Learning Resources on Facebook and leave a comment that you did.=1 Entry

~Like Little Warriors on Facebook and leave a comment that you did.=1 Entry

You have until next Saturday, July 7th at midnight to enter this giveaway. That's when I will be randomly selecting a winner!

While you're waiting to see if you're the winner, check out Learning Resources at the following links:

Good luck!!! Hope you win!!!!

Monday, June 25, 2012

A Winner and A Question

Congrats to Ashley!!!! She's the winner of my newly revised Kindergarten Portfolio/Memory Book:)

Congrats, Ashley!!! Hope you enjoy your new Portfolio!!!
Thank you SOOOO much to everyone that entered!;)

On a totally different note...I have a question for you all:) I feel like my sad, homemade little blog design needs an update. I've emailed a couple of people-but, I either haven't heard back from them-OR they will only use their own clipart/designs. I'm totally open to that-EXCEPT I'd like to keep my little warrior guy:) Would anyone be interested in or know of anyone that would be interested in doing a redesign for me???? I REALLY need something a little cleaner, cuter and more finished looking:) Thanks so much for your help!!!!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Bigger and Better Kindergarten Portfolio/Memory Book

I made my first attempt at a Kindergarten Portfolio and Memory book last Summer. While the pack is one of my most popular items, and has gotten great reviews....I just wasn't totally happy with it. For one, I made it with an old program. The program was easy to use...but didn't produce the highest quality products. I have also had several requests from people on things to change in the portfolio-but I couldn't make changes to it because the old program is not compatible with my new computer!! Ahhhhh!

So, I decided to remake the ENTIRE packet!;) I'm sooo excited with how it turned out!! It is so much clearer and cleaner and I have added several new ideas! I'm also planning to remake the Pre-K and 1st grade portfolios-so, if you have any suggestions you'd like to see added to those, PLEASE let me know!;)

If you already own the Kindergarten packet, PLEASE visit my store to download the new copy!!! If you don't own it yet, please visit my TPT store to check it out HERE!

The packet includes:
-A poem page for each month with a spot to add pics of the child from that month
-Self portrait pages for each month (boy/girl options)
-Alphabet and number writing pages for each month
-A writing prompt for each month

There is also an "All About Me" section that includes pages about:
-Home and family
-School and teacher
-Telephone #
-Lost tooth chart
-And lots more...

If you're reading means you read my ENTIRE post:) So, I'm giving you a chance to win this packet. Just leave me a comment about the pack and I will randomly pick one of you tomorrow evening:)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

One MEGA Giveaway!!

Congrats to my friend, Erin, at Eberhart's Explorers!!!! She is having a MEGA Giveaway to celebrate reaching 1,000 followers!!!! 

There are 11 bloggers giving things away (including myself:). Most of the prizes are your choice from their TPT store!!! Can't beat that!!!

Erin has made it SUPER simple for you to enter this giveaway!!! All you have to do is follow each of the 11 blogs and leave a comment for each entry...that's 11 chances to win!
Hurry!!!! Hop on over to Eberhart's Explorers to enter this awesome giveaway!! You have until Saturday at 12:01 A.M.
Good Luck!!!!! I hope you win!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Facebook, Pinterest and Awards!;)

Hello Friends!
Just wanted to let you all know a few things that are going on with my blog!;)
 I received an email yesterday that stated that my blog earned a nomination for "2012 Most Fascinating Kindergarten Teacher Blog". It's such an honor when someone recognizes what I do as being "good"!!!  Whether it's through a comment,  an email or an award like this one!!! I appreciate it sooooo much!!! Thank you to ALL of my amazing follower friends!!!

Voting for this contest doesn't being until June 25th at 1:01 AM (EST) and ends July 2nd at 11:59 PM (EST).

I have also been nominated for this award from California Casualty:
This contest is very important to me because the winner of this competition would receive a $200 donation to the charity of their choice!! Mine would go to Debra stands for the Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB) Research Association of America.
It would be going to help kids like this one:

This little girl just happens to be a student at my school:) her name is Mareyna. You can read more about EB (a rare skin disease that leaves her skin as fragile as butterfly wings) in my previous post.
The voting for this contest has already begun. We are in 2nd place...NOT TOO FAR behind!!;) I would appreciate it sooooooo much if you took a minute to click on the badge above to vote for my blog!!!!

In other news, I have also FINALLY started a Facebook page and have become totally obsessed with Pinterest:) I would love for you to become a follower of one or both!! You can find my facebook and pinterst links on my sidebar!!;) Just click on them to "like" and/or follow!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Pirate Theme Classroom Decor

After posting my Jungle theme Alphabet Line on TPT, I decided to make a Pirate themed one as well!;) I have a couple of friends who are doing Pirates, so, I knew they would appreciate this:) I just finished it up today and posted it in my TPT store. So, if you're doing a pirate theme in your classroom and would like an alphabet line to match your decor, this might be just the thing:) You can click on the image below to check it out! (FYI-All of the graphics are classroom friendly!!! I have cropped out any and all knives and swords from these adorable little pirates!!!;)
Click on any of the pics below to check them out on TPT~

While you're there, don't forget to check out my other pirate decor:

Photo Nametags:

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Sight Word Chants Freebie

Last Summer, I came across this brilliant post at Growing Kinders! She had the ingenious idea of putting sight word chants on popsicle sticks! she made up little labels to print out and stick on Popsicle sticks to make it easy and convenient to do with the kiddos! Here are her sticks:
Isn't she just the smartest person!? She never ceases to amaze me!;)

So, last summer I immediately printed off my labels, painted my sticks and stuck on my labels. Well, My labels didn't really want to stick-so,  I decided to put a coat of Modpodge over them....BAD IDEA!! They all stuck together and were RUINED!!! So, I never got to use them:(

Well, this Summer they were at the top of my "to-do" list. I decided that it would be nice to have a little clip art to go with the titles so that when my kiddos pulled one out-they would be able to see immediately what the chant was.
Here's what I came up with: (Click on the picture below to grab them for yourself) They should print out nicely on 5160 Avery Address labels:)

So, then I made a trip to Hobby Lobby. I found these cute little sticks-like mini paint stirrers!;) So cute!

I painted them up with a little spray paint:

Printed off my labels and trimmed them down so that they would fit nicely on the sticks:

You will need to visit Kathleen at Growing Kinders to grab the descriptions to stick on the back:

I still wanted to seal them...but needed something less sticky-so,I put a thin coat of this water base clear varnish on it and them stuck them in a piece of Styrofoam so that they wouldn't touch anything until they were completely dry. I think it worked!!;)

Now, they are in this cute little Jungle container that I found at Hobby Lobby:) 

It's actually a drinking straw holder. But, it's perfect!!! When you lift the lid, the sticks come up for you to choose one:)
P.S. I FINALLY now have a Facebook Page!!!;) Click on my facebook badge on the sidebar to like my page!!;) Thanks!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Me, a Top Blog?!?;) Vote for me and "EB part of the cure!"

A couple of weeks ago, I was thrilled, excited and humbled when I opened up an email and discovered that my blog had been selected by California Casualty as a TOP BLOG for educators!
Me???? Yipeeee!!!!  As I read on, I saw that the winner of this competition would receive a $200 donation to the charity of their choice!! As I filled out the paperwork, I knew immediately what charity I would choose!!..... Debra stands for the Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB) Research Association of America.

Meet Mareyna~Isn't she just the most beautiful little thing?!?

Mareyna is a soon-to-be 3rd grader at my school. She is definitely a "Little Warrior"!! Have you ever heard of EB? Well, Mareyna has it. Children with EB (Epidermolysis Bullosa) have skin as fragile as butterfly wings and are known as "butterfly Children". EB is a rare genetic skin disease that causes the skin to be so fragile that the slightest friction can cause severe blistering—inside and outside the body. Today there is no cure. Severe forms of EB cause patients to live with constant pain and scarring. The worst forms of EB lead to eventual disfigurement, disability and often early death.There are many patients who are diagnosed with milder forms, which, while they can be extremely difficult to live with, are non-disfiguring and non-lethal.

Luckily, Mareyna actually has the least severe type of EB. But, her wounds  can prevent her from normal daily activities enjoyed by other children. On the inside, her dreams are the same as any child who loves, plays, learns and grows despite the pain and impediment caused by her disease. Mareyna's Mom has to pop the blisters every night. If they break open she has raw skin that is similar to a burn patient’s skin.

(Mareyna's poor little arm)

Mareyna gets these blisters even from simple, everyday tasks like: her clothes rubbing against her, walking, sitting in her chair and through the movement and pressure of writing with a pencil. She has visible sores on her body EVERY day of her life. But, Mareyna is a little girl who you will NEVER hear complain. She works through the pain each and every day and is a very tough and brave little girl.

The only treatment for EB right now, is daily wound care and bandaging.Many insurance companies don't cover the "bandages" because they say they are “just bandages”.  But, there are actually special bandages that are needed and a month bill for them is $5,000. Usually one parent has to stop working to care for the child, so the income is cut. Debra has a wound care clearing house where people can get some of the bandages for free through donations. Debra also puts on a conference every other year to bring the families together and better educate them about this condition. They are working on a cure through bone marrow transplants.
(Mareyna & her mom spreading awareness:)

Learn how you can "EB part of the cure" by clicking on and "liking" their facebook page here:
If you like and appreciate the things that are shared on my blog and would like to see the prize money go to a GREAT charity like Debra, then, please click on the button below to vote for us!!
Thank you so much, California Casualty, for this amazing opportunity!!!!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Desk or No Desk???? Linky Party

O.K....So, I know school JUST got out...but, I'm already thinking about how to arrange my room for next year!!;) I know, I know....a little OCD.....O.K. maybe a lot:) But, when you have a small room and not a single closet in the ENTIRE school (Yes, you read that correctly:) you have to think about how to use your space effectively.
So, my question is this....Keep my teacher desk or get rid of it???  I've been reading a lot about teachers who say they've gotten rid of theirs and they're so glad they did. At first, I was dumbfounded!!! No desk?!, I'd never heard of such a thing!?!? But, then I got to thinking....I NEVER sit at my desk. It's just there for me to "dump" things on throughout the day and also serves as a place to keep my computer.
I'm just soooo scared! What if I get rid of it and then hate myself for it later??
So, here are some things I'm wondering about...
Where do you put all of your papers, manuals, plans and just stuff from throughout the day??? If you use a table instead, wouldn't it just get cluttered from all of this "stuff"?? And if so, then isn't it just like having a desk anyway?
Do you have a teacher computer?? Where do you keep it?
Organization is just NOT my strong point. Will this help keep (force:) me to be more organized, or will I just be a complete mess.....I'm scared of not having a "dumping ground"!!;)
Well, what do you all think? Do you have any tips or pointers? Any advice on how to keep me organized??
I DID see this fabulous idea from Create, Teach, Share:

She made this teacher toolbox out of a cabinet that she got at Lowes!!! BRILLIANT! So, at least I know how to keep the items that are kept inside of my desk organized:)
Do you have any other ideas or words of wisdom?
I would LOVE for you to leave a comment....but, I would also LOVE some visuals!!! Do you have any pictures of your own deskless classroom? I'd love to see how you organized it!! And I figured, if I'm struggling with this decision, then there's probably others out there that would love this info too.
So, if you have some advice, PLEASE leave a comment, or better yet-link up!!
Can't wait to read about your ideas!!!!