Pink Lemonade Classroom Kit

Brighten up any classroom with our printable organizational kits

Sunny Days Classroom Kit

Brighten up any classroom with our printable kits

Lotsa Dots Classroom Kit

Colorful Printable kits help to cheer up any classroom

Sunny Days Classroom Kit

Organizational printables help keep your classroom functional and easy to manage

Back to School is a HOOT!

Colorful owls help bring an organized theme to your classroom

Lil Sprouts Educational Outreach: Lorax Party

Simply Sprout offers educational outreach to preschoolers using our classroom printable kits

Simply Sprout

Monday, October 3, 2016

Apple themed grammar centers for Fall

Crisp cool weather will soon be on its way. Welcome in Fall with some fun reading workshop centers. My students love interactive rotations so this fun common and proper nouns activity is just perfect to get them excited and engaged during workshop.

To create this fun game, just add some address labels to small apples. These apples came from oriental trading, they are actually stress toys. Next, create two containers, one for common and one for proper. Have students read and sort the apples into the proper bins.

Read more at the Oriental Trading Blog and grab your free printable to get started today!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Color your world with these fun map activities

Get your year started off with a review of map skills. I am amazed each year when I ask my students what state or country they live in and some have trouble recalling. I love reading Me on the Map by Joan Sweeney. It breaks down the map piece by piece starting in the bedroom all the way to a look at our planet we call Earth.

I found these adorable Where I'm at on the Map kits from Oriental Trading Company. They are such a time saver. They come pre-sorted, cut and ready to color.

My students loved putting together the 3D town as well. A great activity for teams, each one can take on their own part of the town and then work together to assemble their town.

A great writing extension activity, have students write down 5 complete sentences giving directional clues to a specific building. I encourage my students to incorporate their directional words like North, East, South and West. You can even hide something within the town and have teams try to find it based on the written directions.

I spend a lot of time teaching about the continents each year, my kids love singing this song...

Continents, Continents do you know your Continents?
Continents, Continents let's sing them today.
Europe, Asia
North and South America
Africa, Australia, Antarctica too!

We toss our inflatable globes around and if it lands on you when the song ends you have to point out a given continent on the map.

Check out product links and the full post at Oriental Trading's Blog

For more ideas join me on Pinterest

How do you teach map skills, what are your favorite items to use while teaching?

Monday, July 25, 2016

Let the adventure begin...

I could not be more excited to finally unveil my latest theme for my room...

To see more details on this comfy, colorful reading corner visit me at Oriental Trading.

Check out my ideas for my room on Pinterest.

Go buggy for Math this summer!

Go buggy for math this summer with some quick math review. I found these paint chip strips at Oriental Trading. They are so versatile and you get a ton in the box. They make the best flash cards, number practice, fact family practice the possibilities are endless.

I recently found these erasable colored pencils for my little ones and I am in love! I plan on using these this year in my classroom, they erase without ripping the paper and the kids can color their work without the mess of markers or the waxy buildup from crayons. They are perfect for everyday use!

To grab your free worksheet from simply sprout come see the full post on Oriental Trading's Blog.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Some big news from Simply Sprout!

Simply Sprout has some big news! We have teamed up with Oriental Trading Company to bring you creative ideas for your classroom. I just spent the last few days in Omaha meeting with the education, marketing, creative and e-commerce teams. I can't wait to share all of the amazing products they are creating just for teachers!

If you haven't received your new catalog in the mail be sure to check those teacher mailboxes. Not only does Oriental Trading Co. have a new look the catalog has had a total transformation. Easy to find subject tabs, themed collections that are easy to accessorize and educational resources that are perfect for a teachers budget. You can view the new catalog here!

I am busy working on some new classroom themes and resources for teachers so be sure to follow along on Facebook and Instagram so you don't miss out on some fun freebies and giveaways.

And if you are ever in the Omaha area you have got to check out the Henry Doorly Zoo. Such an amazing place for field trips. We went on a behind the scenes tour and had a chance to feed the giraffes and go behind the scenes a bit. Did you know that the Omaha Zoo is adding a public school that will have Pre-K, Kindergarten and Juniors and Seniors. How cool would it be to go to school at the zoo!

We got the royal treatment riding in style from exhibit to exhibit.

The Alaskan Adventure splash pad area was just added to the Omaha zoo. All of the animals on the splash pad area are found on the Alaskan coastline. They are life sized statues with interactive water features that the kids and adults alike were enjoying the day we visited. You can hear sounds of bears and sea lions as you meander around the splash pad. Such a fun way to cool off on a hot day.

Simply Sprout Loves Oriental Trading we go together like PB&J....I mean seriously how cute are those reading buddy hats

So if you would like to see more ideas from Simply Sprout and some amazing products be sure to subscribe to the Oriental Trading Blog.


Can't wait to see what Oriental Trading educational products are your favorites!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Stay cool with some summer science!

Summer is the perfect time to start a science journal. Make the most of your child's summer by encouraging them to keep a journal of simple experiments or investigation questions. My little ones enjoyed their first science investigation of the summer with popsicles in hand. They were eager to find out why some popsicles melted faster than others. So we conducted our own little test.

My little investigators took 3 popsicles and headed outside. They watched them and every 5 minutes recorded what they saw in their journals. They determined that the red one melted the fastest and the yellow was the slowest to melt. They decided that the darker the color the faster the popsicle melted. When they were all done I helped them organize their findings in their journals.

I used washi tape to segment off areas of the journal so they could easily record what they had done. I love using washi tape, it's colorful and has so many practical uses....I might be a washi tape addict....shh! don't tell anyone!

This was my daughter's final journal. She was so very proud of her work. I find the secret to science is to give your students time to freely explore and come to their own conclusions through those explorations.

To grab your free science investigation activity cards and see the whole post visit me at Oriental Trading.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Create your own Interactive Spelling notebook

School is back in full swing and sight word list and spelling homework assignments are being sent home each week. Some kids pick up spelling words quite easily and others struggle to remember the words without reinforcing them throughout the week. My daughter's school is using the McGraw-Hill Wonders Reading Series. So I have developed an interactive spelling notebook to help reinforce those spelling skills at home as well as in the classroom. Encouraging your children to interact with their words instead of simply just copying them 3 times each on a piece of handwriting paper will develop those memorization skills and help them to recognize spelling patterns and sounds, boosting their reading abilities. Having your little ones practice their fine motor skills through cutting, coloring and using their pencils to trace and write will also develop those fine motor skills that are sometimes overlooked in today's "workbook centered" classrooms. Both critical skills to developing reading skills.

To create an interactive notebook, reduce print size to 75% or 80%
depending on the size notebooks you use. I like using a composition notebook. Have students cut out the different items and glue them into their notebooks.
Great for reinforcing spelling, ABC order, sight words and more!

Here is a sample of how we use these resources:

Monday: Color the words on the strips, trace them (we practice rainbow writing where she traces it with 3 different colors saying the letter each time she traces it) then write the word.
Cut the strips out and then glue them into the notebook. Only glue the corner so you can create a flap that opens.

1 sight word page

Tuesday: Under the strips write a sentence for each spelling word, underline the word used.

1 sight word page

Wednesday: ABC Page, color the crayons, cut them out and put them in ABC order, Glue them into the notebook in ABC order.

1 sight word page

Thursday: Read it, Write it, Highlight it! Have students read the word, write it and then read the sentence and highlight their spelling word.

Get ready for that spelling test by taking a pre-test and writing a sentence.

1 sight word page

Friday: Celebrate spelling test day with a special treat like a new book!

To Purchase this kit please visit my TPT store

Even if you don't follow this reading series you can still utilize these word lists and sight word sheets, you do not need to use the Wonders series to find this kit beneficial.

Units 2 - 6 will be released over the next few months so check back and be sure to sign up to be a follower.

Friday, May 23, 2014

School's out for what??????

 Here are a few of our Favorite ideas that will keep your little ones having fun all summer long!
Be sure to visit Simply Sprout on Pinterest for more ideas

1. Use permanent paint markers or stickers to decorate smooth river stones. Have children use them to create a story or to remember an event from their summer.

2. Transform that old t-shirt to a fun summer art smock or pool cover up. Use sharpie markers and rubber bands to create a one of a kind tye dyed look.

3. Use those science and math skills to whip up a batch of sidewalk chalk, freeze it into a popsicle mold. Take them outside onto the blacktop for some frozen fun.

4. Who needs a flat Stanley when you could have your very own pet rock. Have your little ones use craft paint and permanent markers to create their very own pet rock. Have them keep a journal to tell about the pet rock's summer adventures, take photos of the pet rock on trips, outings etc. Your child will have a great time reminiscing about their summer adventures all while strengthening their writing skills.

5. Have some fun with sight words, use chalk to write the alphabet onto the driveway. Give kids some sponge bombs soaked in water and let the fun begin. Call out sight words and have them spell them by tossing the sponge to the correct letter, this also works great with math facts.

6. Bring your backyard to life with a color wheel scavenger hunt. Use a color wheel or paint swatch to have kids find items that match the colors. Great activity to introduce or review colors with little ones.

With just a few days left of school my little ones are counting down the moments til summer. They are ready for a little more freedom and fun. Late nights, pool days and fun with friends are on the horizon. But with all that fun they still need a little bit of structure....let's face it the teacher in me needs it too. Last summer for a lot of reasons we were in survival mode, a vacation here or there, lots of lazy days spent in jammies and more rainy days than I could count. This summer I decided to take a different approach. While I love to go with the flow ( Just ask drives her crazy) I wanted to make sure that my kids knew what to expect each day and made sure that we built in some time to our day when we could keep the academics going along with the fun. Above you will see our summer schedule. Each day has a theme. My goal was to not be running all over town from activity to activity, I also didn't want to spend a fortune on fancy activities, projects and toys, I want to make memorable moments that my children enjoy and hopefully help them to appreciate the simple moments that make summer fun! So here's a look at our week...

Monday: Make it Monday
We will create an art project or craft, these are the days where we will break out the glitter, special markers, paints etc. and get around to some of those things that we have pinned on Pinterest.

Tuesday: Learn & Earn Tuesday
Tuesday is our day for some learning fun, trips to the library, educational playdates with friends, making books (Kids love this!) , trying out a new science activity with stuff in our pantry or whatever inspires learning for the day. On this day we will also be going to the Library and checking out books (It is FREE and has AC... two huge bonuses in my summer book). It is so important to keep kids reading and practicing those sight words over the summer, so the library is a great activity. In the afternoons this will be our "Earning time" the kids (age 6 and 3) both have a few chores (cleaning their rooms, laundry, helping with vacuuming etc) if they get their chores done they will earn a $1...which they will need in order to go to the movies each Wednesday. 

Wednesday: Movie Day
Our local movie theater is doing summer movies for kids for just a $1! If my kids earn their money each week then we will go to the movie theater, if they haven't we might do a movie at home (if all of their chores are done :) ) Since we will be inside all morning the afternoon is the perfect time to take a dip in the pool, play in the sandbox and water table, or just spend some time outside.

$1 Movie schedule 2014

Thursday: Neighborhood Thursday
While its fun to spend summer days out and about our goal is to stay closer to home so Thursdays will be spent on our street, and in our neighborhood. Get out make some new friends, go to your local park, take a walk, have a picnic, ride bikes, roller skate, draw on the sidewalk whatever it is that keeps you in your neighborhood ( and out of your car!) Enjoy time outside before the hot afternoon settles in. In the afternoon use that time for some indoor play, my kids love to dress up and put on shows (rainy summer afternoons are perfect for this)

Friday: Fun Friday
Fridays are our days when anything goes, it's kid's choice. We might take a day trip, or visit a local park or museum, have lunch with friends etc. Having one day a week for some around town fun will be a happy balance for our week.

Each day we will still have a nap time / quiet time. My youngest still takes naps (Thank GOD!) During this time I will be working with my Daughter ( a rising first grader) on some enrichment activities or her reading skills, so much academic sliding happens during the summer keep those skills fresh by practicing reading, keeping a writing journal and practicing those math facts.

If you would like to give this schedule a try click on the image below and print (works best if you save image and insert it into a word document.) Just add your own text for activities and times that work best for your family.

Here is one that is blank so you can create your own days

While I know that my schedule won't work for everyone it is something to think about, how will you create meaningful memories for your kids, foster learning and not break the bank? We would love to hear how other moms survive and thrive during the summer. Leave us a comment below.