Top 3 Literacy Support Materials for the Classroom


classroom literacyBuilding strong literacy and language skills is so important. They are what forms the basis for learning in all subjects. With effective instruction and literacy development in early childhood education classrooms, teachers and educators can have a substantial impact on these skills.

With many schools and districts focused on increasing literacy skills right now, we turned to our friends at Steps To Literacy to help us gather the best support tools to help you. Steps to Literacy specializes in curating customized classroom libraries based on reading levels, genres, topics and specific students’ needs. The expertise they have developed from providing thousands of teachers with literacy solutions has led them to develop some exclusive support materials for the classroom. Back in July, S&S brought on a handful of our favorites. We are excited to take a closer look at them below and share with you how you can use them in your classroom. Continue reading


Ideas to Celebrate 100 Days of School


The 100th day of school is a milestone that has become popular to celebrate with students. In addition to some of the fun pencils and bracelets we sell, we have gathered some of these great (and easy) ideas for you to plan to celebrate the 100th day of school in your classroom.

Makerspace Ideas to Celebrate the 100th Day of School

We are loving these makerspace activity station ideas from and thought, what a fun way to really get students engaged. You can use almost any manipulative to create this type of 100th day activity – legos or bricks, stacking cups, wooden blocks, or even these really cool Rabbits and Rabbits.

makerspace cup idea 100 days of school Continue reading


5 School Program New Year Resolution Ideas


The New Year is a great time to think about your hopes and goals for the upcoming year. While making personal goals is also important, don’t count out making New Year Resolutions for your program or classroom as well. Making your goal attainable is the secret to making it a success. Here are 5 cool (and attainable) resolutions for you to consider for the New Year.

1. Start a Student Group

Empowering students and teaching them leadership and management skills is priceless. Although we are not the experts in doing this, we know someone who has had great success, and we were lucky enough to have her share her experience, tips and struggles in her Guide to Leading Enthusiastic Student Groups.

school program ideas

2. Adopt a Community Cause

Whether it is visiting with a local nursing home, sprucing up an area of your local park, or raising money for a shelter. Find something that students are excited to help with and work together as a team to support that cause. Work with other classrooms and programs to get them on board as well.

3. Bring Brain Breaks & Activity into Your Program/Classroom

There are many studies and even national programs like Let’s Move! Active Schools that stand behind the notion that Active Kids Do Better! So adding small doses of planned exercise into the day will not only benefit the children in your class, but also you in the long run. If you are a teacher, include a brain break every hour. Run an after school program? Start the afternoon off with a 15 minute active exercise, then include brain breaks every 25-30 minutes.

Here are some great ways to get started bringing activity into your classroom:

·  Let’s Move! Active Schools rewards schools for enrolling (it’s free) and actively participating in their program as champions at your school. Find out if your school or a partnering school to your program is involved.

·  Get going with these awesome PE Central Cooperative Skills 

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My Guide to Leading Enthusiastic Student Groups


student groupsDuring the majority of my career I have been on the fringe of creating a student leadership group at the elementary level. The idea in my mind was that this group would consist of 12-15 students and we would meet to come up with projects that would benefit the school population as well as the members of the group. While the idea was appealing and intriguing to me, I kept coming back to the potential obstacles.

  • How would I meet with students during the day when I rarely have time to eat lunch?
  • If I could find the time, how would I convince classroom teachers that time spent on this project would be worth it?
  • How would I choose when so many students might potentially want to become involved? How could I get parent support?
  • What if the group was challenging to manage?
  • What projects would we do?
  • Where would we come up with resources to carry out the projects?

The questions kept coming but the answers did not, so for many years I was in a state of indecision. Then, I had the opportunity to attend an event run by Fuel Up to Play 60 and saw groups of students enjoying the experience with their teachers and with each other. I attended this event with a colleague who is a classroom teacher and has always supported our efforts to teach students to make healthy choices. Together we decided then and there that we would take the plunge and start a group the following fall. Continue reading


Parachute Games with a Ball


parachute games

By now you’ve realized the kids love parachutesIf this is your first time using the parachute, head over to our Parachute Basics post and start there. For those of you looking for a few new ideas, let’s add some balls and other accessories to the parachute fun.

First, which kind of balls should you use? It really depends on the game, but something safe, not too hard, and not too heavy. Here are a few of our favorites:

Now for the Games:


  1. Start with players stretching the chute out. Throw as many of the items, like listed above, onto the chute.
  2. Holding the chute tightly have everyone bounce the balls like popcorn as quickly as they can off the chute.
  3. You can evenly play with two teams, One side trying to keep the balls on the chute, which the other works to try and get them off the chute.


  1. Gather a ball or two that fits through the center hole.
  2. Participants will take turns trying to roll the ball into the center, through the hole.

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