Kindergarten Teacher


Toontastic App Is Now FREE


Google has acquired one of my favorite storytelling apps and it is now FREE (was $9.99)  If you don’t already own this app grab it and get those kids creating. Listed below are a few posts I have made previously about the app and you can read about the announcement here

Toontastic and MLK

Toontastic App 101

Toontastic Storytelling App


Online Reader QR Code Center!

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 6.21.46 PM

I recently shared two sets of 50 Online Readers for young kids (here and here) and Jeannine Freeman shared with me this amazing resource with QR codes that link to many of the books. She was gracious enough to allow me to share it here. You can connect with her on Twitter @TechTimeWithJ9 or on her website

Find the QR code document here!



Another 50 Online Readers (with audio)

Here is another 50 readers from Unite For Literacy (find the first 50 here)

They work on the iPad, read to the kids, and are available in various languages.

Set 2 click here or click on the picture below

Screen Shot 2015-01-11 at 10.16.27 PM


Top 14 Nature Pictures of 2014

If you didn’t already know one of my main hobbies is photography. I am especially interested in nature and wildlife photography and thought I would share some of my favorites from this past year. If you enjoy photography I would love for you to follow my photography Facebook Page and Instagram account. I you are interested in photography please share your site, page or Instagram so I can follow!

I am including the settings or “EXIF” for each image in the caption. Comments and critique are welcome!

zoo 7_18-104

420mm    f/4    1/640    ISO 3200



300mm   f/2.8    1/640    IS0 250


FR 7_26-139

300mm f/2.8 1/640 ISO 400



400mm f/2.8 1/6400 ISO 400



195mm f/2.8 1/5000 ISO 800


FR 7_26-175

300mm f/2.8 1/5000 ISO 400


Zoo 8_4-141

420mm f/4 1/1000 ISO 1000


FR 7_26-127

300mm f/2.8 1/2000 ISO 400



115mm f/2.8 1/5000 ISO 800


zoo 7_18-131

420mm f/4 1/800 ISO 1000


DZ 11_22-110

400mm f/2.8 1/640 ISO 3200


FR 7_26-189

300mm f/2.8 1/2000 ISO 400


FR 7_26-200

300mm f/2.8 1/3200 ISO 400



300mm f/2.8 1/1600 ISO 250


50 Online Early Readers (with audio)

I found an awesome website that has over 100 early readers with audio! The site is Unite For Literacy and I took the first 50 of the books and created a Symbaloo webmix for my class. The best part is these books work on the iPad as well! I will make another webmix of 50 more books soon.

Find the Webmix here or click the picture below-> Unite For Literacy Books #1

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Classroom Terrarium: Insects, Gastropods and Crustaceans ! Oh My!


I have discussed on several occasions about having living centers in the classroom (read more here.) This year I found the best terrarium ever so I felt I needed to share it as well! It is made by National Geographic and already has been a major hit in the classroom (you can find it here.) I know it seems expensive but after four years of using about every type of enclosure out there I can say this one is worth the money (I purchased the 30″x12″x12″ size.) The light is separate but any LED aquarium light will work. I love the dimensions of this terrarium because it allows me to place it on a table and still leave room for the kids to work. Most enclosures this long are also very wide and tall and take up too much space. I found this one to be perfect. To set up any terrarium I suggest putting a thin layer of pebbles as a base and then at least 2-3 inches of potting soil. I also add a heating mat on each terrarium, typically I stick it on the back side like in the picture above. Add a few rocks and twigs or old wood and you are set. We keep just about everything we catch in the terrarium. This year it has mealworms, crickets, beetles, snails, roly polies, grub worms, a small gecko, a small frog, and a caterpillar. The easiest thing to start with are mealworms, snails, and crickets. Crickets and snails are the best in my opinion because they are always moving and give you plenty to watch. This year the first day of school we went outside and caught a bunch of bugs for the terrariums (we have three in the room.) The kids learn so much from watching these living centers. Feeding the creatures is easy, they all love fish food. I of course add various fruits and vegetables so that we can watch them decompose. These are easy to find in the lunchroom, the kids waste so much food! There is also a fake turtle in the terrarium. The kids are still trying to figure out if it is living or not. Most of them think it is fake but I move it each day so they aren’t quite sure. I do this on purpose so they can learn the correct science words of living vs non-living. Right now they all ask if it is real and I simply respond “it is really there.” Won’t be long until they figure it out!

Listening center at one of the terrarium tables.


Look at what we all caught the first day of school!


This is a mealworm and the beetle it changes into after a few months.








We even had a praying mantis for a few days. I was worried it wouldn’t survive so we let it go after two days.


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