Monday, June 24, 2019


Oh my goodness y'all need to sit down for all this cuteness! My friends at Chickapig have outdone themselves with this new game... CHICKAPIGLETS!!! Just released today & on sale exclusively at Target!

Take it from this mom/kindergarten teacher/dog mom/chicken mom...this game is a real HOOT! Brian Calhoun's original CHICKAPIG game is geared towards 8+ year-olds. This new game CHICKAPIGLETS was created for a little bit younger crowd...4+ year-olds (although older kiddos, including myself, enjoy this silly fun also!) It was the perfect game for my little "summertime fun day" with this tribe of cuties! Just check out this pic... they are all so focused. And the older kiddos loved teaching & helping the little guys play! 

Okay so here's the scoop on this game. Yes! it is fun...loads of silly fun BUT... as a mom & a teacher I'm also looking for those hidden perks like "Is it developmentally appropriate? Does it build social skills? Is there just one way to play? Does this game reinforce early learning skills?" and on and on and on.... And the answer is hands down YES! YES! YES! to all of those questions. Here are just a few of the things I love about Brian Calhoun's new CHICKAPIGLETS game:
  1. It's FUN! Yes I know I already mentioned that but as a teacher I know that you can have a wonderful lesson planned but if its not fun & engaging for the students they really don't pay attention. Well this game holds their attention... especially when a COW POOP card gets turned over... oh my do they giggle!!!  
  2. It's a COOPERATIVE game! Yep no winners, no losers! I know kids need to learn healthy competition skills however, for this age group, many are just not ready for that skill. The objective is to work together to help Little Joe Chickapig race the cow around the game board. Yep! they are building those social skills! They take turns but everyone is moving the same game token. However each player does get their own Animal Hybrid card  & they work to match the 2 animals to make new silly animals.  
  3. It reinforces EARLY LEARNING SKILLS! This game is similar to the Memory game that we all remember playing. On your turn, you turn over 2 tokens to try to match them to the animals to the ones your Animal Hybrid card. (Warning: here comes a little "teacher talk"!) Research has proven that memory-type games and activities have many benefits: improves concentration, increases attention span, improves cognitive skills, reinforces visual tracking skills, improves ability to distinguish similarities and differences and the list goes on. All of these early skills are crucial to building a foundation for academic success. So YES!...this game is good for the brain!!!
  4. There's MORE THAN ONE WAY to play! If racing that cow around the gameboard is too slow for you, there are "Advanced Play" rules/directions included. After finishing our first game, the cuties that I played with yesterday actually started playing a basic memory game with the Animal Tokens. They were also trying to come up with some new Animal Hybrids for Little Joe Chickapig's farm...loved seeing those creative imaginations at work! 
Y'all I could go on and on but I think you get the idea... this game is AWESOME! A big thank you Brian Calhoun & the Chickapig gang for creating another fabulous game! Head on over to their Facebook page to read more about it. {Click HERE for Chickapig Facebook page}

Now it's time for a Target run.... go grab one for yourself! I promise your kiddos will love it! And if you haven't already grabbed a copy of Brian Calhoun's book Little Joe Chickapig, be sure to throw that in your cart also! {Click HERE to read my post about the book!}

Here's a few more pics of our "Summertime Fun Day" with Little Joe Chickapig & CHICKAPIGLETS,.. just look at those faces!!! <3

Friday, April 19, 2019

Little Joe Chickapig Cookie Treats

Hey y'all it almost time for a little Easter break {woo hoo!!!} The past few weeks we have been learning all about egg-hatching animals. Last month I just so happened to come across a fabulous book Little Joe Chickapig by Brian Calhoun. This sweet story about following your dreams has captured the hearts of my students. They have fallen in love with this adorable little half chicken-half pig critter. Little Joe Chickapig has helped inspire us to write about our dreams, motivated us to learn more about characters and settings of books, helped us to make text-to-self connections and also helped us to engage in oodles of hands-on learning fun. To sum it up... Little Joe Chickapig has become part of our classroom! We just love him!!  So as a little Easter treat, I decided to make a special snack for my awesome hard-working kiddos...

Oh yes! you guessed it... Little Joe Chickapig cookies! Omigoodness I wish you could have heard the squeals when they saw these sitting on the table. Happy, motivated kiddos sure do make this teacher's heart smile! I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, April 18, 2019

From Egg-sitting to Chick-sitting!

Check out what Little Joe Chickapig was up to in our classroom...

Yep! Thats's right LJC was doing a little egg-sitting for some of the hens back at the Chickapig farm & asked us for a little help. Of course we said yes & quickly discovered that egg-sitting is a lot of work. We had to check the eggs often to be sure that they were safe and warm. We also had to carefully turn them...just like the mama hen does. (Shhh, don’t tell them but they are also getting a little extra practice telling time!) We used our "EGG-SITTING LOG BOOK"  to keep track of all of this.
{This Log Book is part of my "What's Hatchin' Chick?" unit.}

First, all of the students made a warm and safe nest to keep their egg in. Many also chose to cover it with a little blanket (since they were a little too big to sit on the egg to keep it warm! lol) Awww, they're so stinkin' cute!

Check out some of these cute names... Little Bob, Rozee, Little Jo, Chi Chi...

We stopped about every hour to do an "egg check" (I tried to stop on the hour since my students were just learning to tell time to the hour.) The wrote down the time, turned the egg and check to be sure it was warm and safe.

At the end of the school day, my students decided that they wanted to put the eggs back under Chickapig. When I asked them if they wanted to take their eggs home with them they said, “No we want Chickapig to keep them warm so they hatch!”  Hmmm... ??? 

Fast forward to the next morning... WOW! Little Joe Chickapig is one awesome egg-sitter chick-sitter! We found 6 adorable little fluffy chicks & a note. Omiword! these kiddos were beyond excited! A few things that I heard that morn... "Chickapig you did it!" "Thank you for keeping the eggs warm all night!" "He followed his heart!" "I guess he took the rest of the eggs back to the farm."
One of my favorite questions that morning came from a sweet little girl who raises chickens at home... "So Miss B, do you think these are baby chickapigs or just plain old chickens?" lol

Baby chickapig or baby chicken...we really didn't care but after noticing that they had beaks instead of snouts, we figured out they were chicks and... We LOVE them! <3

Be sure to check out my "What's Hatchin' Chick" unit for the Egg-Sitting Log Book that we used in this post plus oodles of other activities to go along with your hatching unit.

Thank you so much Little Joe Chickapig for hanging out in our classroom and inspiring all kinds of learning fun!
{Pssst! ...if you haven't picked up this awesome book yet, head to Target now!}

Also, be sure to check out the Chickapig Facebook page!
Image may contain: 1 person, text

Thanks so much for following our hatching & Chickapig adventures. Now it's time for me to head to the kitchen to come up with a fun little treat for my students...

{Be sure to check back to see pics of the cutest little treats ever!}

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Following Our Dreams! {inspired by Little Joe Chickapig}

All I can say is “Awwwww!” ...and that’s exactly the reaction I hear when someone sees our Chickapig writing display. It is so stinkin’ cute to hear about what a six year old dreams of doing someday! 🖤🖤🖤 Check these out...

Hey Brian Calhoun...this little guy ⬆️ might be in the market for one of your cool guitars before long!! 

 ...such big dreams these kiddos have!! Can’t wait to see them follow those dreams! 

Just in case you miss my previous post on Little Joe Chickapig... check it out HERE. It includes the link for this FREEBIE writing craftivity. This adorable book written by Brian Calhoun @chickapig  is all about following your dreams. 

I hope your kiddos love Little Joe Chickapig as much as we do! 

Friday, March 29, 2019

LITTLE JOE CHICKAPIG Writing Craftivity {freebie!}

Hey y'all I'm back with more LITTLE JOE CHICKAPIG talk! If you read my blog post last week then you know about this "treasure" that I stumbled upon at Target. If you missed that post, then just sit back, watch this quick little video introduction and then let me tell you a little bit about it... 

Last week I found the most amazing resource for teaching young children the importance of following your dreams... LITTLE JOE CHICKAPIG: A Story About Following Your Dreams! It was released earlier this month & is sold exclusively at Target right now.  It is so stinkin' cute!! ...and that plush CHICKAPIG toy...irrisistable!!! Omigoodness!

Soooo...just what is a CHICKAPIG??? Hmmm...CHICK---A---PIG?? That's exactly what I was thinking when I spotted this thing perched up on that shelf in Target the other night. Then I opened up the book and... Ta Da!!! question was answered.
(image via Target website)
I LOVE LOVE  LOVE it! What a cute and unique little dude! ...the perfect character for this story. This adorable rhyming book is written by Brian Calhoun and illustrated by Pat Bradley and Brian Calhoun. In addition to being the author of this book, Brian Calhoun is also a well-respected custom guitar maker. He has apparently made guitar for famous stars, including Keith Urban, Jason Mraz & Dave Matthews just to name a few! WOW!!! He sure knows how to follow his dreams-from guitar maker to children's book author! Rock on Brian!!!

LITTLE JOE CHICKAPIG  has a very clear message that ALL children need to hear: Follow your dreams, whatever they may be. (And, as adults, I think its important for us to be reminded of this from time to time also.) As C.S. Lewis said, You are never too old to set a new goal, or to dream a new dream. Some days I'm still trying to decided what I want to be when I grow up! lol ;) As a teacher, I believe that instilling courage & confidence in my students gives them the power to accomplish anything that they set their mind to in this big 'ole world.

What message can kiddos get from this book?
1. Follow your dreams.
2. Have courage to try new things.
3. Listen to advice from your parents, teachers & other grown ups in your life.
4. Work hard.
5. Never give up.

I am so in love with this book & the message that it sends! I really wanted to find a way to extend my students' learning so I decided to create a few extension resources to compliment the story of  LITTLE JOE CHICKAPIG. I made several versions of  "Follow Your Dreams" writing prompt to match your students' writing levels. This writing craftivity can be easily differentiated for kinders, firsties or 2nd graders.
Click on the book to check out this resource!
I used the beginning writer version with my kinders.  Here is the finished work from one of my littles...

Just in case you're wondering, this kinder wrote: I want to drive a big monster truck and go to the Monster Jam. This sweet little guy has come so far with his writing this year and all he ever talks about OR writes about OR draws about is monster trucks! I was definitely not surprised to see this was his dream! So darn cute!!
This book is truly one of my favs! I highly recommend that y'all get out and make that Target run & grab yourself a copy!  And don't forget to always FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS!

P.S. Be sure to look for the little cow on each page of the book!

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Big Red Barn {Pocket Chart Poem Kit}

Happy Wednesday! I just finished up this little Pocket Chart Poem Kit just in time for our farm theme next week! This poem does a great job of promoting those super important phonemic awareness skills with your kiddos! Not only does this include the pocket chart version of the poem but also poems for your poetry notebooks.

Click on the pictures to check it out!

 Poetry Notebook: glue in poem & illustrate

Check out this reproducible mini-book! My kiddos love this!

There are also a couple of sorting reproducibles included! 

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Introducing... Little Joe Chickapig!

Oh my goodness y'all! Look what I found at Target tonight!!! Ahhhhh! I just can't take all the cuteness!

My kiddos wanted to go browse in the book section when we made a quick run to Target. And by quick I mean that I squeezed in time to grab a quick drink at Starbucks AND wander aimlessly through the Dollar Spot shelves AND all those cute spring purses.... well... you get the picture-it was a typical Target trip...just shopping for all the things we don't need. LOL Anyway back to this stinkin' adorable book... That CHICKAPIG stuffed animal caught my eye instantly! Ohhhhh it's just so cute but "What the heck is a Chickapig?" is what I was wondering. So I grabbed the book and mystery solved!

This is a story about following your dreams. The pictures are absolutely adorable & I know my kinders are going to love the rhyming text. I highly recommend this little treasure that I stumbled upon tonight! {*This is not a paid endorsement-I just really love this book!}
Be sure to check back soon-I've started creating a few reproducibles and writing prompts to go along with Little Joe Chickapig!

Hope you enjoy survive the rest of this full moon week! :)