Remember learning 2 + 2 in Kindergarten? Well the 5-year-olds at Pecatonica Elementary are far beyond that this year, and it's all thanks to their teacher, Angel Ballard.
"What would I want a teacher to do for my child, and that's what I try to do for each child in here," Mrs. Ballard says.
She says Kindergarten is the foundation of kids' schooling, and she tries to make it solid for her students.
"You really have to be intentional about what you're teaching each day, and you can still be intentional and make the activities really fun where the kids enjoy to come to school each day," she says.
She does that through a computer program Pecatonica schools have called success maker, and it's not all 2 + 2.
"What does the two mean?" she says. "What does the plus mean? What does the other two mean? What's that four mean? So that they can apply it to all different kinds of situations."
And she gives the kids some incentive to work hard at it too.
"If they get 80 percent or better on their success maker scores, one of them, they have four opportunities, then on Fridays they eat lunch with me," she says. "Just a couple weeks ago, I had the whole class! It was a great opportunity for the lunch ladies to take a break!"
You might be thinking it, and even she says things have changed a lot over the years.
"It's not, even, it's not the same Kindergarten that I started teaching almost ten years ago," she says. "We've seen many changes in the expectations for Kindergarten."
Not only challenging the students more but her as well.