Gulp—It’s Nearly August! Get Back-to-School Help Plus Win Three Books

Posted by on 20 Jul 2015 | Posted in: American Egg Board, Candlewick Press, Carson-Dellosa, Contests, Freebies, NorthSouth Books, Nosy Crow, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Websites

In case you haven’t checked, August is right around the corner. (Sorry for reminder!) Don’t worry. I’ve been digging up some back-to-school help—teacher appreciation events, a shopping spree, and more—that you won’t want to miss!

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Submit a comment to the blog by 11:59 pm EDT Sunday, August 2, 2015, to tell me which of the opportunities below are your favorites. Two lucky teachers will win three books that are perfect for welcoming and calming younger students as they begin a new school year.

In Mouse’s First Night at Moonlight School, shy little Mouse is nervous about starting school. Will a quick game of hide-and-seek give her the confidence she needs? Then duck siblings are reassured by mama duck as they head to school in Five Little Ducklings Go to School. They discover that, even though they miss their mama, school is great! In I Will Never Get a Star on Mrs. Benson’s Blackboard, Rose hopes her teacher will look beyond her messy desk to recognize her passion and creativity.

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Mark your calendar: Office Depot OfficeMax is hosting Teacher Appreciation Days on August 1–4 and then again on August 29–September 1. Stop by your local store to see what special treats they have for you. You can save 25% on qualifying purchases! While you’re there, make sure you pick up a free school year calendar. It’s loaded with info and offers just for teachers. You’ll be covered all year! Then go to TheMailbox.com/gearupforschool to enter for a chance to win a $2,500 Office Depot OfficeMax gift card for your school or a $500 gift card for you!
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Have you imagined what your classroom would be like if only you had the funds? Enter the 2015 Classroom of Your Dreams shopping spree giveaway for a chance to win the grand prize of a $300 Carson-Dellosa shopping spree plus a $100 bonus Visa gift card. Three runners-up will win $300 shopping sprees plus gift cards of lesser amounts. Enter here before August 31, 2015.

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Here’s another chance to win cash and get free resources to help you this school year. In the American Egg Board’s Good Egg Sweepstakes, one luck teacher will win $500 in cash plus an egg-themed prize pack. Three runners-up will each win $100 and egg-themed swag. Make sure you scroll down on the sweepstakes page to download the free resources. We’ve got you covered with Common Core–aligned language arts and math activities, preschool units, science experiments, and more! (For some fun, try some of the science experiments now—before the back-to-school craziness hits you full force.)  Click here now.

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Don’t forget to tell me your favorites for a chance to win the books!

Karen


“App-ealing” Apps and More for the Classroom—They’re Free! Plus Win Two Books

Posted by on 07 Jul 2015 | Posted in: Candlewick Press, DK, Doubleday Books for Young Readers, Freebies, Jeopardy Rocks, Penguin, Post-it, Websites

Free apps? Now that’s what I call “app-ealing”! Free apps, games, and resources that can help you and your students? That’s even better yet!

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Submit a comment to the blog by 11:59 pm EDT Sunday, July 19, 2015, to tell me which of the freebies below are your favorites. One lucky teacher will win two animal-themed books.

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Melissa’s Octopus and Other Unsuitable Pets guides animal-loving students to see that some animals are just too large, too messy, and too free-spirited to make good pets. Then Home Tweet Home is a tribute to the thrill of adventure and the comfort of home as two little birds search for a place to live outside of their crowded nest.  (Update: congratulations to Lyn, who is the winner of our prize.)

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Here’s an offer you’ll want to take advantage of right away. To celebrate its success, the Who Was? Adventure app is free for the month of July only. This fun app is like a mash up of Tetris and a trivia game about historic figures and pop icons. Based on the best-selling Who Was? biography series, the app tests knowledge with more than 4,500 questions. Check it out here.
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Gather your Post-It notes from a collaborative work session and keep the momentum going (and organized!) with the free Post-It Plus app. Here’s how it works. First, capture the Post-It notes from your work session by taking a picture. You can capture up to 50 notes at one time. Organize the notes on your board by thought or simply set them up on a grid. Share your organized board with your team. Learn more here.
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Question: It adds the fun of a game to classroom learning. Answer: What is the free Jeopardy Rocks online game? You can customize your own Jeopardy game to help your students learn. The directions let you enter a custom URL and password and then your questions and answers. Up to four teams can play at once, and you can share your URL with other teachers. Get more details and play a demo game here.

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Have you checked out DKfindout! yet? it’s a new, free online encyclopedia geared to students ages 7–11. It has more than 300 animations and sounds; 9,000 photos; 100 videos; and 3,000 articles. A teacher’s section includes resources and ideas for projects and homework. Take a look here.

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Don’t forget; submit a comment for your chance to win the books!

Karen


Summertime Is the Time for Free Learning Resources! Plus Win Friendship Discussion Starters

Posted by on 30 Jun 2015 | Posted in: Alfred A. Knopf, Freebies, National Geographic, Smithsonian, US Department of Energy, Watermelon Promotion Board, Websites, Weston Woods

Do you have students who are like peanut butter and jelly? No, I don’t mean that they’re sticky. (Well, maybe at lunchtime, just a little). These are kids who are terrific on their own but together make up a dynamic duo. Kids know that everything seems just a little bit better (or a little less worse) with friends by their sides.

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Submit a comment to the blog by 11:59 pm EDT Sunday, July 12, 2015, to tell me which of the free resources below are your favorites to keep learning going this summer. One lucky teacher will win a brand-new book and a book/DVD/CD set that are great discussion starters about friendship.

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With a Friend by Your Side features lyrical text paired with National Geographic photos to show that friendship is precious and important. Use it as a springboard for antibullying discussions with kids ages 5–9. Then introduce kids ages 3–7 to concepts of tolerance and respect with Peanut Butter and Jellyfish. (I’m giving away the book, DVD, and CD!) Best friends Peanut Butter and Jellyfish have to decide whether to help Crabby when he gets into trouble. Of course they help, demonstrating the value of old and new friendships and being brave enough to apologize.  (Update: congratulations to Darlene, who is the winner of our prize.)

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When I think of summertime, I think of picnics and watermelon. So what better way to teach about healthy eating than with free watermelon-related resources? The National Watermelon Promotion Board has a teacher toolkit with resources for all grade levels for language arts, math, social studies, and science; games and activities; recipes; and watermelon facts. Click here to get the juicy details.

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Did you know that you can have learning resources from the Smithsonian Institution at your fingertips? You can by registering your students for Smithsonian Quests. More than 100 free, self-directed, project-based activities are available online for all ages. Students earn digital badges while learning about subjects from art to outer space. The program aligns with many environmental education standards as well as national education standards in a variety of subjects. Sign up here.

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Let an ant—Energy Ant, that is—help you energize summer learning. The Energy Kids website, hosted by the US Department of Energy, Information Administration, features free activities and information about energy. Students at all grade levels can learn about energy while improving research and reading skills. On the teacher page, you’ll find free lesson plans, a teacher guide, science fair experiments, field trips, and more. Get energized here!

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Don’t forget; submit a comment for your chance to win With a Friend by Your Side and Peanut Butter and Jellyfish!

Karen


A Tripping Cow, Plotting Dinosaurs—It’s a Literature Emergency! Plus Don’t Miss Out on Chances to Win BIG This Summer!

Posted by on 19 Jun 2015 | Posted in: American Egg Board, Candlewick Press, Contests, Disney Publishing Worldwide, Elmer's, Freebies, HarperCollins, Scholastic, Websites, Weston Woods

Watch out! There’s a cow tripping over the moon and a baby falling from a bough. Beware, Goldilocks! You’re about to become a chocolate-filled bonbon for hungry dinosaurs. Summertime is the perfect time to take a look at lighthearted literature and to enter to win books, cash, and supplies to help you prepare for your next school year.

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Submit a comment to the blog by 11:59 pm EDT Sunday, July 5, 2015, to tell me which of the contests—and their free resources!—below are your favorites. One lucky teacher will win these fun takes on a fairy tale and nursery rhymes.

From Mo Willems, Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs features three hungry dinosaurs who, for no particular reason, decide to go out. They were definitely not setting a trap for a succulent, unsupervised little girl! I’m giving away the DVD, CD, and book set for this fractured fairy tale. (In case you’re wondering, it does support Common Core standards.) Plus click here for free activities to go with the book. Then keep the laughter going with this book—The Cow Tripped Over the Moon: A Nursery Rhyme Emergency. A cow needing bandages, a washer maid with a sore nose—nursery rhyme characters keep the Storyland Ambulance Crew hopping!  (Update: congratulations to Rhonda, who is the winner of our prize.)

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Looking for more fun resources and chances to win? Check out these contests.

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In the Good Egg Sweepstakes, you could be the grand-prize winner of $500 cash and an egg-themed prize pack. Three runners-up will each win $100 and egg-themed swag. Plus download free resources that are “eggsactly” what you need to keep learning informative and fun: preschool units, grades K–9 Common Core–aligned ideas and worksheets, and “eggceptionally” fun science experiments. Click here.

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You have four more chances to win a prize pack worth more than $250 in the Elmer’s Makes Learning Stick sweepstakes. The prize pack is stuffed with glue sticks, glitter glue pens, Board Mate paper letters, and more. Drawings will be held July 1, August 1, September 1, and October 1, so enter now for more chances to win. Plus everyone can download the free curriculum-based activities that are sure to wow your students. Get it all here.

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Looking for a way to stock your classroom library? Enter for your chance to win a class set of 30 books for your grade level in the Heroes, Princesses, and Pigeons sweepstakes. The current featured books are My Bibi Always Remembers for ages 3–5, Clementine’s Letter for ages 6–8, and Clover’s Luck for ages 9–12. Get free activities, download reading tips and teachers’ guides, and more. Already making plans for back-to-school? Check out the Reader’s Calendar to find books perfect for upcoming events. Click here.

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Don’t forget; post a comment for your chance to win the books, DVD, and CD!

Karen


Keep ‘em Reading This Summer With These Programs—Plus You Could Win Three Books

Posted by on 05 Jun 2015 | Posted in: Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Freebies, Hooda Math, Pizza Hut Book It!, Scholastic, Sylvan Learning

How will you keep your students reading as they head off for summer break? Introduce them to some fun prize-packed programs! There are plenty to choose from, plus some of them come with some sweet perks for you.

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Submit a comment to the blog by 11:59 pm EDT Sunday, June 21, 2015, to tell me which of the programs below you may recommend to your students. One lucky teacher will win three books to kick off summer. The pup in Fun in the Sun is ready for a day at the beach, but he may have forgotten something very important. Wind is the star at the beach, on the water, and in the cities in When the Wind Blows. Then share how a visit to the library saved the characters–and inspired them to read!— in The Fox in the Library. (Update: congratulations to Elizabeth, who is the winner of our prize.)

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Now let’s get your students reading. Here’s an at-a glance list of a few reading programs that you may find in your hometown. Want to know more? Click on the red links!

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With Imagination’s Destination, kids read any eight books, record the titles on a reading journal, and turn in the journal at a Barnes & Noble store to choose a free book. What’s in it for you? Download a free teacher’s kit filled with activities and tips!

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Kids can join the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge to be part of setting a new reading world record. Through September 4, 2015, have your school’s students log the minutes they read. The elementary and middle schools logging the most minutes will win visits from authors. Here’s something you’ll like: you can track your students’ progress, get free resources, and enter for a chance to win 50 books!

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The folks at Pizza Hut want to ignite kids’ passion for reading, so they’ve teamed up with the Wimpy Kid gang for the BOOK IT! Summer Reading Challenge for grades K-6. The program runs from June 22 to August 15 and lets kids chat with the Wimpy Kid gang, share daily reading minutes, and download activities. Kids who read five books have a chance to win prizes.

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Check out your local library for its summer reading programs. Click here for a message from the 2015 National Summer Reading Champion author Kate DiCamillo. From keeping a librarian company to meeting a superhero, she has a list of top ten reasons to participate in your local library’s program. For you: the list is available to download as a flyer to share with your students.

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Book Adventure is a fun, free way to motivate grades K–8 kids to search for books, read them, take a quiz on what they’ve read, and earn prizes. It includes a list of recommended summer reading books and, for you, a teacher’s lounge with free tools and tips to help students love reading.

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With Summer Quest, kids are encouraged to take a reading adventure. By reading four books on the Books-A-Million list, your students can get a Camp Half-Blood tote bag to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Percy Jackson & The Olympians book series.
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That should get you started. Don’t forget to tell which of these are your favorites for a chance to win the books!

Karen

PS: Looking for math practice? HoodaMath.com is a free online math site with more than 700 games. There’s an app for it too, and the app is free all summer!

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