Teacher Ideas

Teacher Ideas

Printables & Freebies

Printables & Freebies
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Classroom Ideas

Counting Candy

I find it a little humorous that I was offering up healthy Halloween snack ideas on Monday, just to follow it up with what to do with all that candy!  The fact of the matter is you're going to have gobs of candy entering your home or classroom in the next 24 to 48 hours.  I ran across The Candy Corn Contest recently in my oldie, but goodie stash at school.  I loved this book when I was in elementary school, and definitely loved every teacher that had a candy jar!  The story is about a class who is trying to guess the number of candy corn in their teacher's jar to win the loot as their prize.  The story takes some twists and turns, but is a quick and easy read a loud.  It brings some fun discussions up about honesty, fall traditions, and estimation.

The estimation side of the story got me thinking of all the math activities you can do with your children's candy bags.  Here are some fun and educational ideas:

*  Count the pieces of candy by arranging them in groups of two, five, ten, etc.
*  Order the pieces of candy from biggest to smallest.
*  Make a bar graph comparing the types and quantity of candy received.  If there are two children participating have them make a double bar graph.
*  Make a pictograph to represent five of your favorite types of candy and how many you received.  Remember to create a key for your pictograph that shows symbols and how many each symbol represents.
*  Make a pie graph to represent the percentages of candy that you received.
*  Group the packages of candy by color.

Leave us a comment and let us know if you have other ways to turn candy overload into learning.  We'd love to hear about it!


Mommy and Me Monday: A Healthy Halloween

A healthy Halloween just doesn't sound right.  I can remember filling a pillow case full of candy and working through my loot until the New Year!  We have no doubt that your children will be full of sweets in the coming days, if they aren't all ready.  As an adult I even look forward to this sweet time of year!  But just in case you wanted to mix in some healthier options with those heaping piles of sugar, here are some easy ideas from Pinterest.  A fun way to get your children or students involved in the holidays is having them prepare food for others.  My students always beam with pride when they are able to share with others something they made by hand at home, or even at school.  I know that I am always looking for ways to bring festive and fun snacks into my classroom, son's classroom, and home. 

Just a few that I thought were cute and easy enough to pull off in the next couple of days.  We'll be mixing up some Scarecrow Mix for my son's two year old preschool class this week.  For these and other Halloween ideas, visit our Pinterest Halloween board!


Pumpkin Science: Free Printable

Pumpkins aren't just fun to carve, they can be a fun science activity too!  Yesterday we headed outdoors to do a little pumpkin investigation with our science buddies.  What a great way to make pumpkin picking an educational activity.  

Use this free printable as a guide for a fun math and science activity!  Happy weekend to you!


Lil Sprouts Book Club: So Many Monsters

Everyone knows I am a Target addict, it's really not a secret any more, I just can't help myself. Ever since they started with the dollar bins right as you enter the store... game over! You can find the best little deals and seasonal items. In fact I scored a few Halloween goodies I thought I would share. For my little man these $1 board books are ideal, they can be dropped, smashed, drooled on and it doesn't bust our budget, at just $1 they are the perfect addition to any toddlers library. The text is simple and the pages are few but they are great for indentifying objects and introducing higher order thinking skills.
Can you show me where the mosters eyes are? 
How many teeth does he have? 
Where is the green monster?
These discovery questions help to satisfy your little ones ever expanding vocabulary.

And teachers don't discount these basic little books, they even have a place in the classroom. They are great for teaching sentence structure, parts of speech, grammar skills, the list goes on and on.

I also scored these super cute BINGO cards in the $1 section. My little ones had a lot of fun playing this one, using candy corn as their markers....My son's candy corn didn't last long. This would be a great adjective activity. Have your little one describe using adjectives the item they land on and you try to guess what they are describing before they can mark it off on their board.

For a fun little afternoon project we made a super cute Monster frame, I picked up a green glitter frame at Target and a few different sized google eyes from Hobby Lobby. They were stickers so my daughter did this entirely on her own. Just peel and stick, she randomly placed them along the frame.

We just love the monster theme. There are so many cute projects out there. In fact we have found a few of our favorites just for you, stop by our Pinterest board for a little monster inspiration.


Mommy and Me Mondays: Pumpkin Cookies

Life gets busy.  Crazy Fall days seem to follow the lazy days of summer and leave you scratching your head wondering how we got to the middle of October already.  I know our household isn't alone wondering how Halloween is just a little over a week away, how school has been back in session for months, and before you know it we'll be ringing in a new year. 

With that said, I almost forgot to make one of my favorite fall treats.  So I decided to slow things down a bit and head to the kitchen with my son.  He is a pretty good helper, and only slightly slows the process down due to asking dozens of questions (which melts your heart and tests your patience).  However, these pumpkin treats are for his preschool teachers, so I wanted to make sure he helped out.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies

4 cups all purpose flour
2 cups quick-cooking oats
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, softened
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin 
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups (12 oz) semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix the flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together.  Cream the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in a large mixing bowl.  Add the pumpkin, egg and vanilla and mix well.  Add the flour mixture gradually, mixing well after each addition.  Stir in the chocolate chips.  Drop by tablespoons 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until light brown.  Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Recipe from A Thyme to Celebrate.  A cookbook by the Junior League of Tallahassee.  Proud of what the Junior League does locally and nationally for the betterment of children and families.

This is also a nice time of year to thank your new crop of classroom volunteers.  Simple and gracious thank yous keep them coming back!  Pop of few of these treats in a Halloween themed Chinese takeout container and you will have a pumpkin perfect thank you!

All this talk of pumpkin reminds me that I haven't switched my bulletin boards over to pumpkins yet!  Told you life gets busy!  To do this week!  If you haven't either, no worries, check out our pumpkin themed Fall Bulletin Board Kit in our Simply Sprout store.


MAD About Science

We have gone MAD here at Simply Sprout. We are simply MAD about science! We have had a lot of fun designing this colorful MAD About Science kit for teachers. Our focus was making science fun and engaging for students. We chose a couple of our favorite classroom experiments and created materials that would help to introduce the scientific process.
This colorful kit is the perfect way to introduce general science skills to your students. It contains four fun Halloween themed science labs that will be sure to bring out the mad scientist in your students. The kit also includes writing reflections and activity extenders as well as resources for your bulletin boards and a colorful science word wall.
This kit contains:
2 science journal covers
Teacher notes for experiments
Magic Potions lab activity
Spooky Slime Reflection sheet
Spooky Slime Writing Activity
Secret Potions Lab activity
Magic Mixtures Lab Activity
Scientific Process General Lab sheet
Making Observations Lab Activity
I'm a Mad Scientist Writing Activity
My Reflections Writing Activity
Mad scientist Labels (perfect for lab coats or name badges)
Science Word Wall (15 Pages) Colorful bulletin Board set includes 3x5 index card style vocabulary cards, including blank ones you can use to ass your own terms. (font used smiley monster)
Colorful Monsters (13 pages) perfect to use as labels for individual student work or class decor
Colorful Alphabet A-Z and numbers 0-9 includes ! and ? and a blank to add whatever you would like. (Perfect for bulletin boards and class signs)
Scientific method strips (Hypothesis, Observations, Procedure, Data, Research, Experiment and Conclusions)
Class signs with definition (2 sizes) (Hypothesis, Observations, Experiment, Research and Conclusions)

Discover the more colorful side of science with this Word Wall from our Mad About Science Kit. Just print, cut and laminate for a quick and easy bulletin board display that will help build scientific vocabulary and inspire your Mad Scientists! Our kit contains everything you would need to make your own science word wall. There are even blank cards included so you can add your own vocabulary throughout the year.

The scientific method can easily be displayed on your white board or a bulletin board with these headers. Walk your students through an experiment using these headers, and simply add your own written text below. This will help show your students exactly how the scientific process flows from one step to another and will help you review and relate back to the steps as you work through an experiment.

 Large signs defining the steps in the scientific process are also included, these are ideal for introducing the scientific process.


There are also printables that you will find useful to use on your science experiments to help walk your students through the scientific process as you go. Use individually or combine all together with some ribbon to make a Mad About Science journal.

Your little scientists will go MAD when they get their hands on our Magic Potions and Spooky Slime labs. They are two of our all time classroom favorites for scientific exploration and discovery.

The Magic Potions Lab is designed to use with multiple experiments. The lab is designed to have students use their senses and their observation skills to form a hypothesis, document the steps to their experiment and then formulate their conclusion as to what type of reaction occurred based on their observations.

Here are a few experiments you can try using the Magic Potions Lab sheet

 Your little scientists are given small containers with two substances, they can use their senses (except taste) to explore them. You can introduce and discuss the states of matter (liquid, solid and gas) 

To make a large batch of Spooky Slime this is what you need:
- 1 cup water
- 1.5-2 cups corn starch
- a few drops of food coloring of your choice
Have them mix their two potions (colored water and corn starch) in a Ziploc bag. 
Once mixed thoroughly have them take it out and give it a try. What do they think they have made?

Explain to students that spooky slime has properties, or characteristics, of a solid and a liquid.  That makes it a non-newtonian fluid.  Allow time for children to explore and play with the substance.  They should eventually see that Spooky Slime acts like a liquid when poured, and a solid when a force is applied to it.  

Extend the learning and fun by placing a tray with different objects out for children to explore their Spooky Slime even further.  Some suggested items would be straws, scissors, plastic play knives, spoons, and measuring spoons.

For your younger students have them use finger paint to make an artistic representation of their spooky slime. Add a pair of googly eyes and ask them what their slime looks like. This is great for a Halloween display in your classroom or around school. Your older students can use the reflection pages provided to document their findings.

For some other fun edible potions have students mix instant pudding powder and milk, to create a fun science snack. Kool-Aid powder and water. You can also have them mix solids together (candy corn, cereal, M&M's, and raisins) to create a mixture rather than a solution, and discuss the difference between the two.

Another Magic Potion experiment you can try is using a container filled with baking soda, add a little vinegar (we added a few drops of food coloring to ours for a very visual effect)

No matter how many times you do this the reactions are priceless! Definitely a class pleaser that will get your students MAD about science!

We are so thankful to have two of the cutest scientists around to help out in our laboratory!
We hope you will be inspired to share some science fun with your students, and what better way to start that with a few Halloween science activities that are sure to have your little scientists begging for more!

To purchase this kit please visit our Simply Sprout Store
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Lil Sprouts Book Club: It's Pumpkin Patch Time

It's that time of year the pumpkin patches are popping up all over town. They are filled with all sorts of types of pumpkins big ones, small ones, bumpy ones,smooth ones each one very unique. I love taking my kids to the pumpkin patch each year. They get so excited to see all of the pumpkins.
Today's book club selection is a great little story that could lead in to a great math lesson on pumpkins. How many seeds in a  pumpkin, by Margaret McNamara is a fun pumpkin-themed story that explores basic math and science concepts. The kids in Mr. Tiffin's class are asked "How many seeds are in a pumpkin?"  What kid wouldn't want to cut open a big round pumpkin and find out? While they all have their own ideas about which ones might have the most, they are surprised by what they find out in the end. The story explores skip counting and estimation in a fun pumpkin-themed classroom experiment. This book makes a wonderful addition to any math or science lesson, and it's a fun way to reinforce counting skills at home. 

So as you head to the pumpkin patch with your little ones this fall take the opportunity to add a little math and fun into your pumpkin hunting. Bring a measuring tape with you and send your kids on a little pumpkin scavenger hunt. Just use the freebie printable below and let your kids have some math fun!

And when you are done picking out the perfect pumpkin don't forget to help your little ones count all those seeds. Lay down some wax paper and draw circles on it with a sharpie marker, have kids make a pile of 10 seeds within each circle. This will make counting time a whole lot easier! To further your pumpkin math experience don't forget to compare pumpkin sizes and seed counts.

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

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