Fall & Winter Themed Resources for First and Second Grade – 70% OFF

Your first and second grade students are becoming more confident readers, writing more efficiently, and working those math problems like pros! But resources are not always the easiest to find and that’s where this bundle is ready to help! With 21 instant downloads at 70% off… your days will be filled with learning and fun!


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Here are a few of our favorite things about the bundle – Thanksgiving, penguins, and Election Day!

Thanks and Giving {Math and Literacy Centers} by School is a Happy Place.

Thanks and Giving {10 Literacy Centers for November} is a fun hands on way to practice a variety of literacy skills.  The centers are: November Puzzler, There Was an Old Lady Who, Swallowed Some Vowels, Scarecrow Contractions, Turkey Talk Sentences, Loads of Leaves Sight Word Scramble, Turkey Lurkey, Rhyming Words, Sharing Syllables, Thanks and Giving A Parts of Speech Sort, Leaves of Blends, and Autumn ABC Order.  Each center features full color clipart and a blackline master recording sheet.  Retail price of $5.00 and 65 pages are included.


Government Pack by Buzzing with Ms. B.

This social studies pack is full of graphic organizers, formats, and activities to work with the concepts of the United States government. They are perfect to use to gather and record information from sources, including trade books or textbooks. Working with these materials will help students to learn the roles and responsibilities of each branch of United States government!  Retail price of $3.25 and 16 pages are included.

Penguin Unit {Nonfiction and Fiction Literacy Activities) by First Grade Smiles
Teach your students about penguins with a balanced literacy approach.  This unit has it all including both fiction and nonfiction reading AND writing activities.  Your students will have an informational reader, comprehension activities, literature connections, writing options, an adorable craftivity, and even a bonus math connection.    Retail price of $8.00 and 58 pages are included.

But that’s not it! Use the calendar as a gift, set aside an afternoon for a fun turkey project (fun and different project type thing), stack student growth with the data folders (tracking student growth), and add cute spiders to October lessons!

The creators of this bundle are also hosting a GIVEAWAY! Click here to enter.






Super Simple Spider Craft

My husband recently met a tarantula on the side of the road and introduced it to my daughter! Our discovery in the wild inspired a craftivity at home! Spiders made out of egg crates!10707081_809997042384421_1017036525_n


Egg crates are amazing. You can make practically any animal or insect you’d want.  These spider crafts super easy. If a novice crafter like myself made them, they can’t be that difficult.

Materials needed:

•Egg crate cut/broken into 12 pieces

•Paint (color of your choice)

•2 pipe cleaners per spider (again, your choice of color)

•Googly eyes (I bought mine from the $1 store)

•Glue (I ended up using our glue gun so if you have one, I’d recommend)


Step 1: paint spider bodies in any color you’d like, then allow to dry


Step 2: glue on eyes (this is super fun for the kids, and let them decide how many eyes), then allow to dry


Step 3: cut pipe cleaners into quarters. This is fun way to teach kids about fractions, division, halving, etc. Make sure you’ve cut your spider legs before you attempt to glue!  IMG_1782

*Originally, I cut one pipe cleaner into eighths, but the legs looked too small, so I pulled the legs off of one of my completed spiders, and replaced those legs with longer legs (or, two pipe cleaners cut into fourths).

Step 4: glue on spider legs. Now, I had a difficult time keeping my legs on using school glue, so I swapped it for a glue gun. Unfortunately, my daughter couldn’t help with placing the legs onto the spider because the glue was too hot. And, I’m not posting a picture of myself gluing pipe cleaners onto a spider project. You’ll just have to trust me on this one. Allow glue to dry.

Step 5: Shape the spider legs to complete the craft! Spider cropped

You can decorate with these, play with them, whatever. They are furry, like my daughter’s new friend from the side of the road. Hope you find this fun (not creepy) like she did!



Discounted Educational Videos: Everyday Math Situations

Everyone knows the motto, “practice makes perfect.” But when practicing math means punching numbers over and over, some little learners get bored or discouraged (or both!) and give up studying math all together.  Introduce visual elements to your math lessons! Using these elements is a great technique at home or in the classroom.

PrepToon’s Math Videos & Worksheets are a great resource for budding mathematicians, ages 8 to 13. Kids can follow Sammy and Keona as they work with saving, counting, and spending money in everyday math situations. Follow the friends as they take trips to the toy store and calculate the money they spend and save. Check out this sample video:

Each video presents a plot moment that provokes Sammy or Keona to calculate time and money. After the narrator explains the situation at hand, she poses a question that your little learner must solve. There are moments in the video where the viewer is asked to pause and solve the problem on his or her worksheet (printable units are included with purchase of the video). The worksheet provides the problem at hand and discussion questions to help your little learner understand the mathematical elements to the real-life situation.

Save 30% – Math Videos & Worksheets – Operations on Whole Numbers

Math Videos Worksheets

This set of PrepToon videos will help students learn operations in base ten using everyday math situations. The videos help show the math concepts visually and engage your students in learning from minute one. It has worked for all levels of students including struggling students and ESL students. Use it as math morning work, bell ringers, review activities, group activities – any way you like.

Want to learn more about PrepToon’s Math Videos? Want to grab these videos at a discount? Check it out!


3 Tips Boost Your Little Love’s Self Esteem on Anti-Bully Day

October is Bully Awareness month, so we’ve asked Meredith Looney, owner of the i like book series, to share her Anti-Bully Book Pack with Educents members. Why did she create the “My Friends Like Me” title? Read Meredith’s blog post about self esteem below.

Kids have very tender hearts. One negative comment from a peer could affect a child for a very long time. Even something that may seem trivial to us can be very magnified by a little person.  I have two boys and one of them is either positively or negatively affected by his friend’s comments daily. I will be laying out his clothes to wear to school and he will say “Mommy, I don’t like that shirt anymore because they laugh at me”. This can be frustrating at times because the shirt was new and he picked it out.  When I get to the root of why they laughed at him it was because it had a collar.  At the end of the day what is important to him is important to me as I want to see him fit in and feel secure in his world.  A child’s emotional development occurs early in their life and it does shape how they view and feel about themselves. You can make a huge impact in their life with these 3 easy tips:

1. Start each day out with happiness and love

When your little one wakes up in the morning don’t allow the grouchies. Instead, snuggle for a few minutes in bed or on the couch and rub their back or head. Speak softly and tell them something you enjoy about them.  Don’t bark orders, rush them to table for breakfast or make them wear what you want them to wear. Let them choose from 2 or 3 things that you have approved.  Empower your child.

2. Tell them daily what you LIKE about them

Look for one or two things throughout the day to compliment them on. Write it down in your child’s i like book. Don’t have an i like book? I really recommend you get one. It is a total game changer for your child.  Once you write down in your handwriting what you like about your child they believe it.  The positive affirmation then becomes concrete to them. These little jots of love will carry your child through the day, the week and their life. Yes, it’s that important.

3. Get to know your child’s friends and classmates

Your child spends the majority of the day with their classmates. They come home and talk about their interactions from school.  What they did on the playground, who told on who, which child got in trouble, and so on. Volunteer in your child’s class each week if possible. If you work all day, find a way to go to lunch, recess or read to your child’s class as often as you can.  Talk to their friends and learn their names. Look them in the eye and ask them what they are interested in.  You can absolutely do this and it will help improve your child’s self-esteem by you taking an interest in their friends.

Additionally, October is National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month.  There is now a book for your child’s class called My Friends Like Me. This book is designed for each child to have their own book and the teacher facilitates a weekly activity.  The kids take turns writing a positive compliment in each other’s book. It’s truly invaluable. Find a way to get them into your child’s class. Some people are asking local companies to sponsor their child’s class or the whole school. It’s a wonderful and inexpensive way for a local company to show their support for anti-bullying and they can get great advertising through this fun promotion.  Also, your PTO may be interested in using funds for this important cause.

I hope these quick tips are helpful to you. Just remember how tender-hearted kids are and that you can positively impact their self-esteem by implementing these little suggestions.  You are the most important person in their life so be IN their life, don’t run their life.

PS: Bake cookies for all the kids getting off the bus once a week or as often as you can. Be. That. Mom. You can absolutely do it!

Want to learn more about the “My Friends Like Me” book? Watch Meredith’s video:



Pumpkin Math and More!


I am meeting up with another wonderful blogger this week to bring you all things pumpkins!  Carla from Comprehension Connections hosts a weekly linky called Thematic Thursdays.  

So, how can we incorporate pumpkins into our classroom?  There are so many ideas out there!  You can check out the Pinterest board {HERE}.  

One of my favorite ways is to use books!  I love reading aloud to my classroom and I like to add a good mix of fiction and nonfiction.  There are so many great books about pumpkins out there!  A new (to me) one that I grabbed at the bookstore this week is “How Big Could Your Pumpkin Grow” by Wendell Minor.  This story took me back to my own growing up!  I grew up in Ohio and my grandparents always took us to the Circleville Pumpkin Show, a yearly fair with ginormous pumpkins, pumpkin food, hayrides, and all kinds of Fall fun!  In this book, the author discusses just how big pumpkins can get!  I love how he compares it to things like the Grand Canyon, a roller coaster, and even Mount Rushmore!  One of the first things I notice was the vocabulary words (jumbo, giant, tons, enormous, immense, colossal).  Adjectives are written in LARGE font so they stand out, so you could also use it for an adjective lesson.  It also could be a great jumping point for some creative writing.  How big could YOUR pumpkin get?   You can watch a great read aloud {HERE}.  The reader gives some other fun information as well!  

Another favorite book is Spookley.  He is a different pumpkin because he is square instead of round!  This great rhyming book is a wonderful way to discuss shapes as well as how to treat people who are different.   You see a great video that a class produced as part of their Language Arts and Music class {HERE}.  You can also see just the book read aloud {HERE}.  



Want to let your kids carve pumpkins without all the mess?  Try ABCya’s Virtual pumpkin carving {HERE}.  You can have them draw on shapes, they can add “extras” like hair, hats, arms/legs, etc., and they can even light it up!

How about some ways to add pumpkins into your math lessons?  Here are a few ways to do “Pumpkin Math.”

Pumpkin Puzzles
So many puzzles!  I love puzzles because they are fun and easy to use.  This pack includes puzzles for numbers and for shapes and all puzzles include choices for easy differentiation.  




In order to make them self-correcting, add stickers or simple shapes or colors on the back of each puzzle piece!  



Pumpkin BINGO games

These game boards are SOOOOO versatile!  I included game boards for addition and multiplication as well as boards for using 2 dice and using 3 dice for easy differentiation.  The rules are easy:  roll the dice, add/multiply the numbers, find that number on your board.  But, the variations are endless!  Some variations we used:

*Play with only 1 player (no competition means less stress for my son)
*Play with 2 players on the same game board
*Play with 2 players, each with their own board
*Allow students to write directly on the game board
*Use the seed counters provided
*Use counters you already have in your classroom


To save ink, just color in the circles or seeds!  



A Fall Lapbook

This product includes activities for math, ELA, and science.  Your kids will learn about the pumpkin life cycle, show how apple trees look throughout the year, count acorns, and even make their own fall emergent readers.  A list of possible books to read with the lessons are included, but the books aren’t necessary in order to complete the activities.  


You can snag all of these products from Educents for only $5 this week.  That is half off!  

What do YOU do to teach pumpkins?  I would love to hear!

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Build Math Skills with DigitWhiz!

5db3060474748b64dcfc6b7cfc1a0b94We are always on the search for topnotch educational products and programs that make educators’ lives easier, so when we stumbled upon DigitWhiz, we had to share it with you!

Teachers, you are going to LOVE this games-based online math program. It’s teacher-built and kid approved! What could be better?

DigitWhiz focuses on helping kids master foundational math skills in a fun AND effective way! It works by evaluating a child’s math understanding, prescribing individualized games, and guiding budding mathematicians to master the skills they need. As a student progresses and learns, DigitWhiz adapts!

Sign-up now for FREE and try this fantastic program! Desktop and iPad versions are available.Slide_DigitWhiz1_0


Math Madness Wednesday: Literature for Math Class


This week, my Math Madness Wednesday is joining forces with The Reading Tutor/OG’s Mentor Monday!  We are bringing you the best ideas for adding literature into your math class! I have collected some of my FAVORITE books to use in my math classes.  They cover a variety of topics and I hope they help get…
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DIY Science Activity: Hopping Corn Science Experiment

Forget about popcorn, try making your own “hop corn!”

Thanks to One Time Through, you and your little ones can make your very own Hopping Corn Science Experiment! This easy-to-make science activity only requires a few ingredients, most of which are probably sitting in your pantry.

Your little scientist will be having so much fun with the experiment that he/she won’t even realize that he/she’s learning about measurement concepts, listening skills, practicing patience, and of course, SCIENCE!

Get all of the details HERE!





You Are My Sunshine Footprint Art Project

This footprint art project by Jackie of Blessings Overflowing is super cute, and might tickle a little bit. Jackie’s project was inspired by an art print from her Etsy wishlist. But instead of purchasing the print, she recruited her little helpers to make an equally amazing piece of art.

Ready to get started? Jackie has a short list of supplies, step-by-step instructions, and a photo of her completed project hanging among family photos in her living room. Read more on her blog!




Math Madness Wednesday: Fractions

As you probably already know, my son is autistic.  What you may not know is our family story (I promise, I will keep it short and get to the math!).  Both of my kids are adopted.  They moved in to our house as foster children and we became a Forever Family in November of 2006.  They are natural siblings, under a year apart in age (at this moment, I have two 11 year olds in my house!).  When they moved in with us, my daughter was 2 1/2 and my son was 3 1/2.  I will not go into all of the details about what led them to our home, but I will say that my son, Xander, was very delayed.  He was still wearing a diaper, didn’t know how to use a spoon or fork, and the words he did mumble were not understandable (except to his 2 year old sister, who was the best momma he had ever had!).
This picture was taken the first week that they moved in with us.
The only thing we knew for sure was that boy LOVED cars!  I think he knew the difference between cars before he knew much of anything else!  So, what do you get when you add him to a teaching mom’s home?  Flash cards, hands on learning, and ALL things cars!  They happened to move in with us the week before Cars came out in theaters so it was very easy to find pretty much anything with a cars theme.  He loved that movie!  However, he also loved REAL cars.  In fact, he helped us make flash cards with symbols of cars (Ford, Honda, Toyota, Ferrari, etc.) and took them everywhere he went!  We bought tons of match box cars and Hot Wheels and we used those to practice colors, counting, sequence words, etc.  He was such a fast learner (and still is!).  He just needed some love, understanding, and for us to meet him at his interest level.  But, what child doesn’t need that, right!?
Driving the first of many go karts!
Okay, so on with the math!  The reason I brought up that story is because my son inspired my newest product!  He is still into cars, but now it is the fasted ones around (he can tell you who won the Indianapolis 500 for the last 20 years, plus how fast the winning lap was).  And, we were able to meet Bobby Unser, a racing legend (his whole family is in racing) this past summer.  Xander was more excited to see the car he won a race in than he was Bobby himself.  :)


Xander with racing legend, Bobby Unser


Xander with Bobby Unser’s race car
So, I thought, why not use that to practice the vocabulary words associated with fractions!  Numerator comes before Denominator…..ND….Indy!  That was my thought process!  (In case you aren’t from Indiana or are not familiar with race cars, Indy cars are the long, skinnier cars, not the stock cars like NASCAR).
I made this poster set as a reminder for your kiddos that Numerator comes before Denominator.  You can use them as anchor charts, posters, or inside interactive notebooks (the smaller versions are already included).


Once they have the vocabulary down, now it is time to practice.  These task cards, like all of my others, are differentiated to meet your kids where their needs are.  It starts as easy as showing a picture and kids identifying what fraction is shaded.  The middle level includes two fraction picture and asks the kids to compare the two fractions (same denominators).  The highest level has kids adding fractions (same denominators).  A recording sheet is also included.

Are your kids ready for more of a fraction challenge?  Try one of my fraction card games!  In my fraction WILD card game, students match a fraction, a shaded picture, word form (3 out of 4), and/or a picture with a circled amount.  The game is played similar to UNO and I have many different varieties of my WILD games!

Another way to practice is by playing Fraction WAR!  Students each turn over a card and the student with the largest (or smallest, your choice!) fraction wins both cards.  This is a FREEBIE on Educents right now.


You can grab 3 of the items in this bundle  on Educents this week (the 4th item, the Fraction War Game, is FREE on Educents!).

Make sure to check out all of the other fraction ideas below.
I am so excited to announce that next week, Math Madness Wednesday will be joining with Mentor Monday, hosted by Emily from The Reading Tutor/OG!  Stay tuned for more information soon!