Time to Celebrate: Cranberries, Stuffing, and Freebies! Plus Win Two Books

Posted by on 25 Nov 2014 | Posted in: ABCMouse.com, Code.org, Contests, Freebies, IFAW, Minedition, Skype, SMART: Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Associ, SmileTrain, Viking, Websites

I’m ready to celebrate! I’m not talking about celebrating Thanksgiving Day, although I for one am a huge fan of the food (mmmm, cranberries and stuffing!) and festivities (parades and football, anyone?) plus get-togethers with friends and family. I’m ready to celebrate the fantastic freebies I have for you!


To get you started, submit a comment to the blog by 11:59 pm EST Sunday, December 7, 2014, to tell me which of the items below are your favorites. One lucky teacher will win both The Little Moon Raven and The Snow Queen! In The Little Moon Raven, written by the Marcus Pfister of The Rainbow Fish fame, the little raven is the last to hatch and the last to learn how to fly, but he finds the strength to overcome bullies as he tries to fly to the moon. In the classic The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson, Gerda sets out to save her friend Kay from the wicked Snow Queen, leading to a fantastical journey through talking birds, magical flowers, and fierce snowflakes.

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Did you know that December 4 is a day worthy of celebration? It’s National Wildlife Day! Be ready to incorporate timely animal-related holidays and special events in your lesson plans with free grades K–5 Common Core–aligned activities from the International Fund for Animal Welfare. For example, kids will ooh and aah over the baby squirrel image while learning more about backyard wildlife and getting practice representing and interpreting data. You’ll get this and more when you become an Animal Ambassador. (Yes, it’s free to become an animal ambassador.) Plus sign up now to be entered to win a $500 Amazon gift card! It’s all at TheMailbox.com/ifaw.

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Here’s another December celebration you may not be aware of: December 8–15 is Computer Science Education Week. By 2020, it’s estimated that one million computer science jobs will go unfilled. Why? There won’t be enough students graduating with the right technical skills! To take the mystery out of computer science, Skype and Code.org have teamed up to provide free tech guest speakers for classrooms. Click here to watch a brief video that introduces you to the program. To sign up, click here! Then join the Hour of Code during Computer Science Education Week with free hour-long tutorials—both online and unplugged—for grades K–12 to introduce kids to coding. The goal is for 100 million students worldwide to participate. Click here to learn more!

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Celebrate giving back while you Introduce important themes, such as social justice, with free lesson plans for students of all ages from Smile Train. Each plan teaches about a specific country where Smile Train has programs. Smile Train is a nonprofit organization that provides free cleft surgery for children in 87 countries. Click here to get your free lesson plans and to find out how your class can be be part of Students for Smile Train!

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“Age-appropriate technology at its best”—that’s how one preschool teacher describes her experience with ABCmouse.com for Schools. Why should you celebrate? This step-by-step learning path for preschool and kindergarten is absolutely free for teachers! The curriculum is presented in a program of more than 450 lessons—that’s 5,000 individual activities—in six levels. Plus first-grade teachers, get ready to join the celebration—a curriculum will be added for you soon! Click here to learn more.
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Textiles should never go in the trash—even items that are worn, torn, and stained. Let your students become Recycling Rangers and teach them about recycling textiles! SMART: Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles has free grades K–2 and 3–5 lesson plans and worksheets that are designed to meet the Common Core. Click here now to check them out.  The reason to celebrate? You can win with SMART! Watch for an exciting new contest coming soon!

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Finally, celebrate a better understanding of middle schoolers. Yes, really! Whether you teach middle schoolers or are the parent of one, kids at this age can be a mystery. Take some tips from Rachel Vail, author of Unfriended, a book about the internal struggles of middle schoolers played out very publicly on social media. She’s sharing the top 15 things middle school-age kids wish you knew. Click here to see her list!
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Don’t forget; tell me which of these celebrations are your favorites for a chance to win The Little Moon Raven and The Snow Queen!

Karen


No “Egg-scuses”! Get Free Teacher Resources and Enter to Win an iPad Mini

Posted by on 18 Nov 2014 | Posted in: American Egg Board, Candlewick Press, Contests, Freebies, Ticktock, Websites

It’s “egg-citing”!
It’s “egg-ceptional”!
It’s “egg-cellent”!

If you’re wondering “eggs-actly” what I’m going on about, I’ll be a good egg and explain. I want to make certain you know about the opportunity you have to win one of three iPad minis! And I don’t want you to miss the free ready-to-use resources to teach about modern egg farming, nutrition and science, the importance of breakfast, and more! It’s all at TheMailbox.com/eggs but only for a few more weeks. The deadline to enter to win and get the free resources is December 15, 2014.

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Take a look at some the goodies you can get. There’s a special “Fun on an Egg Farm” unit just for preschoolers. For kindergarten through ninth grade, you’ll find language arts and math activities tied to information about eggs or with an egg theme. Then add some hands-on fun to learning with science experiments that will amaze your students. Finally, recognize students’ accomplishments with the free take-home certificates!
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Submit a comment to the blog by 11:59 pm EST Sunday, December 7, 2014, to tell me which of the free resources at TheMailbox.com/eggs are you favorites. One lucky teacher will win What’s So Yummy? All About Eating Well and Feeling Good and Sensational Senses. Part of the You and Me series, What’s So Yummy? helps young children understand how healthy foods and drinks fuel our bodies and how being active is normal and healthy. Sensational Senses has tabs, flaps, and a pop-up surprise that lets kids explore the five senses and how they work.

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No “egg-scuses”! Click here now for your chance to win and to get your free resources!

Karen


Ah-choo! Pass the Hand Sanitizer Please and Enter to WIN!

Posted by on 13 Nov 2014 | Posted in: Contests, Purell, Websites

Do you feel like shouting “Duck!” every time you hear an ah-choo from one of your students?

Are you tempted to add “surgical masks” and “latex gloves” to your classroom supply list—right next to the note where you plead with each parent to please, pretty please send in another box of tissues and another bottle of hand sanitizer?

We’ve got something to ease your concerns. Take the PURELL Advanced Hand Sanitizer 30-Day Classroom Challenge at TheMailbox.com/30daychallenge. Download a free kit to help you teach kids the value of hand hygiene and—this is my favorite part—enter to win a $200 Amazon gift card plus $200 in PURELL products for you and $200 in PURELL products for a charity of your choice! There’s more: five runners-up will each win a PURELL prize pack valued at over $100.

Want to see what you can get? Click on the images to find a few items from the kit to help get you started. Don’t forget to click on the money-saving coupon too!

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Here’s another bonus: submit a comment to the blog by 11:59 pm EST Sunday, November 30, 2014, to tell me when you’ll be launching your 30-Day Classroom Challenge. Two lucky teachers will win Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes! The book helps students understand that all around them are tiny living creatures that do all sorts of things, from giving people colds to making yogurt to making the air we breathe.

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Click here to take the challenge, enter for a chance to win, and to get your free resources! Do it now; no doubt another ah-choo is headed your way soon!

Karen


Got the Time? Ticktock Your Way to Efficient Time Management—Plus Get Free Educator Guides and a Chance to Win a $1,000 Gift Card!

Posted by on 10 Nov 2014 | Posted in: Contests, Freebies, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Penguin, Random House, Time Timer, True Value Foundation

When do we go to recess? How much time do we have left to finish? How long is it until lunch?

Do elapsed-time questions sometimes make your day seem, well, endless? I know just how you feel! Even as an adult, I consider myself time-challenged. (I’m ashamed to admit how many times I’ve been late for meetings!) This sturdy little classroom tool can help us all! Time Timer Plus has a disappearing bright red disk that creates a clear and simple picture of time remaining, so students can stay focused, productive, and relaxed. The visual helps manage the stress of transitions and crosses language barriers too. Simple and effective! Submit a comment to the blog by 11:59 pm EST Sunday, November 16, 2014, to tell me which of the items below are your favorites. One lucky teacher will win a Time Timer Plus! (Update: Congratulations to Jerry, who is the winner of the Time Timer Plus!)

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Here’s another timesaver: whether you’re a ruthless Clutter Cutter, a Happy Hoarder, or even a Cardboard Queen, you can get organized now with free tips and tricks at TheMailbox.com/getorganized. Take a quick quiz to find out your organizational style; then enter for a chance to be the lucky teacher to win a $1,000 Office Depot or OfficeMax gift card! Five runners-up will each win a $500 Office Depot or OfficeMax gift card. Click here now!

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Did you know Abraham Lincoln lost five separate elections before being elected president? Or that Rosa Parks’ grandfather was a slave who was set free under the 13th amendment to the US Constitution? Facts like these in the Ordinary People Change the World series show students how their passions and interests can shape their dreams and aspirations. Now you can download a free Common Core–aligned curriculum guide to help bring American history to life across the curriculum! For grades K–3, it has lessons focusing on language arts, math, science, and social studies and contains teachable content that you can customize for your grade, your class, small groups, or individual students. Click here to check it out!

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Malala Yousafzai is a survivor. The year, she became the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize after being shot by the Taliban for speaking out in favor of the right to an education for girls. Help your students understand the cause with the activities in the free educators’ guide to Dear Malala, We Stand With You—a book that combines parts of letters from girls around the world in a show of support and a call to action. The guide includes Common Core tie-ins and encourages students to consider heroes and how to make the world a better place. Click here now to learn more about this book and to download the guide!

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Prove to your students that math is truly the universal language! Mathematics Lessons Learned From Across the World shows that mathematics doesn’t change based on culture: no matter where you live, two plus two always equal four. This book features classroom-tested, hands-on activities for preschool through grade 8. Each activity sets the scene by country and classroom and includes math content, materials lists, teacher notes, and more! Click here to check it out!

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Nothing brightens up a room like a fresh coat of paint, so why not brighten up your school? Through Painting a Brighter Future, the True Value Foundation is giving up to 40 gallons of free paint—interior or exterior in a variety of colors—to schools in communities served by a True Value store and that demonstrate need. More than 100 schools receive the paint each year! Don’t wait; click here now to learn more and to apply. Or ask your principal or superintendent to enter! The deadline is November 30, 2015.
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Don’t forget—tell me which of these are your favorites for a chance to win the Time Timer Plus!

Karen


Wishes Can Come True: Organize Your Students, Meet Authors, and More! Plus Win a DonorsChoose Gift Card!

Posted by on 03 Nov 2014 | Posted in: Abrams Books for Young Readers, Contests, DonorsChoose, Freebies, Random House, Studentreasures.com, Websites

What would you get if you had funds donated for your classroom? New books for your class library? Musical instruments? Would you take your students on an educational field trip? You may be able to make your classroom wishes come true with DonorsChoose.org. Supporters of this online charity have brought teachers’ ideas to life in more than half of all US public schools! It’s easy to do: post a classroom project request at DonorsChoose.org. Donors then give to the projects that most inspire them. Click here to see how one Harlem teacher has changed lives with DonorsChoose; then find tips on getting a project funded. We can get you started! Submit a comment to the blog by 11:59 pm EST Sunday, November 9, 2014, to tell me which of the items below are your favorites. Four lucky teachers will each win a $25 gift card from DonorsChoose! (Update: Congratulations to Kristin, Lacey, Melissa, and Kristin K., who are the winners of the gift cards!)

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I don’t need to tell you that helping students learn how to manage their time and stay organized can be challenge. Let Greg Heffley from The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series help! The Diary of a Wimpy Kid School Planner lets kids keep track of tests, appointments, and activities—both during and after school—365 days a year! It’s filled with drawings on every page; students’ favorite Wimpy Kid characters; and columns, graphs, and charts specially designed to help kids track notes, lists, and information needed to survive the school year. Click here to check it out!

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Climb into a tree house for a great teacher prize—the Magic Tree House, that is! Tell how you use the Magic Tree House to help you meet objectives across the curriculum and address the Common Core. If you’re named the Magic Tree House Educator of the Year, you’ll receive a trip to New York City to have lunch with authors Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Boyce, two autographed sets of the entire Magic Tree House series (one for your classroom and one for your school library), $500 worth of your choice of books from Random House, a $500 gift card for classroom supplies, and a Skype school visit with the authors. Three runners-up will each receive an autographed set of the series and a $250 gift card. Click here!

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Looking for a great keepsake for the December holidays? Publish your students’ work in a hardbound book! It’s easy—and free—with Studentreasures! Order a free publishing kit (you can get a paper or an online version), choose a publishing date, and let students get creative. You’ll even have access to new Common Core tools to get the writing started and will get a hardbound classbook for free! Plus, if you publish from December 2014 through February 2015, you’ll automatically be entered in a $100-a-day grant giveaway! The turnaround time from the publishing date to delivery is about 15 days, so don’t wait! Click here to get started!

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Remember, submit a comment for your chance to win a $25 DonorsChoose gift card!

Karen