Category Archives: Free Stuff!

Earth Day History, Info & Activities for Your Child

Helping Save The EarthEarth Day is an annual world-wide celebration day to show support for environmental protection. Started back in 1970, April 22nd brings to the forefront the changes that our planet has endured and heightens awareness of ways in which we can help and make it better. Earth Day led to the creation of the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts.

The theme for the 2013 Earth Day Celebration is The Face of Climate Change. We all feel the effects of climate change. Small variations in the weather,   droughts, poor crops affect not only humans but animals and their habitats as well.

  • In 2012 alone the National Weather Service recorded it to be the hottest year on record ever for the United States. Devastating droughts were reported across 2/3rds of the United States, as well as Brazil, Russia and parts of China.
  • Deforestation of Rainforests are driving not only animals out into other locations and reducing the clean oxygen levels in those areas but contributing to the global warming green house effect.
  • The Ice Caps are shrinking due to the global warming issues causing sea levels to rise in many places. As sea levels rise the threats of floods, landslides and less living space for animals such as Polar Bears in the Arctic.
  • Oceanic Dead Zones are increasing changing the migratory patterns of larger species like Whales  to areas where they can find plankton or small fish to feed on, thus changing the numbers of fish that come close to shore that fishermen can collect to feed their communities.

Each change or slight alteration causes a ripple effect throughout the world.

The Earth Day Network will be collecting and display images of people, places, and animals that are affected by climate change and the ways in which we can prevent and help to solve these changes.  A continued effort by the Billion Acts of Green movement rewards and inspires changes that are small such as  switching to LED light bulbs and washing laundry in cold water at your house to community planting efforts, installing solar panels, and recycling used electronics instead of trashing them. Any change no matter how small leads to changes worldwide that are huge!

Click here for instructions and a FREE activity to help your students understand the importance of the changes that they can make to keep the Earth as beautiful and as green as ever.

For more information on how you or your classroom can help the Climate Change movement:



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two comment winners!

We have TWO comment winners for this month–woohoo! Just for commenting on a post, Jennifer and Erin scored themselves a $20 gift card to The School Box. Now aren’t they smart?

Erin commented on  “Best Teacher Organization Ideas, Part II”:

This is so cute. I used to end up finding all of my Halloween stickers around Christmas and leftover Christmas stickers in February. This would definitely help! Another good way to use the shoe holders (for younger classrooms) is to hold that change of clothing on the bathroom door so that it is always nearby in case of an accident. Just label each pocket with the child’s name and roll up their clothes for a quick way to get those dry clothes. I have also mounted one of these shoe holders sideways, low on a wall, to make mailboxes for each child!

Jennifer commented on “Best Teacher Organization Ideas, Part II”:

I just ordered some organizers online and am hoping to get my professional books organized. I have been keeping one pack of stickers with the things I grade in my data notebook. Those stickers correspond to the holiday coming up so it helps me stay streamlined.

You can see all comments on this post here:

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Best Teacher Organization Ideas, Part III

by Elizabeth Cossick, M. Ed. 

Comment on this post and be entered to win a $20 School Box gift card. Just for sharing a lil’ ol’ comment. 

In this series, we’ve compiled our favorite classroom organization ideas to share with you. We shared a great idea for teacher toolboxes in the first post here. And a great idea for over-the-door shoe organizers here.

And now here’s another winner: a teacher organizational binder that will be your new BFF.

This idea is from Jenn Rivera, a third grade bilingual teacher and blogger at Beyond the Grades. Thanks, Jenn! LOVE this!

Inside pocket: a small monthly calendar book. 


Important Information: schedules, class list, transportation. All very handy stuff for a sub.

Student Data: This section is extra handy. I keep contact information, conference times, assessment scores (important ones not all).

I use this student information sheet in my student data section. It’s from Busy Teachers Cafe. Click the link or the picture; it’ll take you directly to a downloadable pdf.

 Calendars: Curriculum calendar and testing calendar.

Grades: I keep the district’s grading requirements as well as a spreadsheet with my grades for the 9 weeks. No more grading book!

Lesson Plan Ideas: A place to keep those great lesson ideas that you hear/print/pin but haven’t incorporated, yet!

The next three sections are where I keep documentation and notes from various meetings: 

Back Pocket: I keep an EZ Grader for grading at home. {Find one here.} 

Click here for the font used on cover sheets. 

Substitute Teacher Binder

Jenn’s teacher binder is so great, we thought it would be a good idea to create a substitute teacher section or binder to accompany it. The sub binder could be kept in a separate binder or it could simply be a section all to itself within your teacher binder. And, of course, since cute is always better, we particularly favored this adorable FREE printables pack from Think-Share-Teach.

Click the picture to access a downloadable file of these cutie pages:

She also offers a pink version and a purple version. (Yes, she’s that cute.)

Have you picked up some good organizational ideas from our series? Sure hope so. If you have great ideas of your own, consider writing a post for A Learning Experience. You can learn how to submit your idea here. If we publish your idea, you score fame, publicity and a $35 School Box gift card. Woot!


Filed under Classroom Organization, Free Stuff!, Organization

gift card winner!

Look who just won a $20 gift card from The School Box, just for commenting on posts on A Learning Experience! How easy was that???

Winner: Lyssa Sahadevan

Commented on: “50 Top Twitter Feeds for Readers”


I love twitter and have connected with other educators, authors, and ed leaders. Thank you for sharing this list! Can’t wait to follow!

Thanks, Lyssa! Enjoy that gift card! 

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comment winner!

We have a comment winner! If you’re new here, we randomly draw one of our commenters from the past month, and the lucky duck wins a $20 gift card to The School Box (which can be used online or in stores). This month’s winner was…

Jennifer Nuss

She commented on New comment on your post “Fostering Text-to-Life Connections through Common Summertime Activities – Part I.”


Just going to the library is a way to make a huge impact on a students literacy life. Anytime you expose kids to books and talks about them, it makes connections that are so important in their little brains! :)

You can see all comments on this post here.

Enjoy, Jennifer!! Go get some goodies for your classroom!

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$20 gift card winner!

Our $20 gift card winner (randomly selected from among recent comments on our posts) is Christy Willis from

She commented on “DIY Scratch-Off Card {love this!}”


I absolutely LOVE this! I have been on a mad hunt to find out how to create scratch-offs without using the ” heavy on the crayon” method. Thank you for posting this…you’re a doll!

You can see all comments on this post here:

Well Christy, we think you’re a doll! Someone from The School Box will be in touch shortly to ascertain your mailing address. And, if you don’t have a School Box near you (tragic!), you can order online here:

Happy commenting!

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Lookey Who Just Won $20

We have a lucky {random} winner for our $20 School Box gift card drawing, from among A Learning Experience’s recent commenters.


Roni, who commented on “Creative Dr. Seuss Birthday Ideas {It’s March 2!}”


These are great ideas! I just love the Thing 1 Thing 2 paper bag craft!!

You can see all comments on this post here.

Congrats, Roni! Enjoy that gift card. Want to take a perusal through The School Box’s virtual shelves? Check out their newly spiffed website. Super spiff!

{And is it just us, or is there something really funny about the lady above? I have a feeling she didn’t just win a School Box gift card. Just a feeling.}

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And we have a win-ah!

Time to announce a winner for our monthly School Box $20 gift card giveaway! We randomly draw a winner from among the month’s commenters (so if you want to toss your name in the hat next time, share some little tidbits in the comments under a post).

Our newest winner is:

S. Jordan-Georgia

Comment: on Spelling Guess & Check

What a great idea Elizabeth! I probably hear that question a million times during writing alone and my answer is simply a point towards the dictionaries. However, not only does my EIP class struggle with spelling, they also lack the dictionary skills they need as fifth graders. I believe the Spelling Guess & Check sheet is an awesome ‘visual’ tool to allow my students see how they are spelling a word, while thinking back to the sounds and decoding skills they learned in the primary grades to help them spell. With the CRCT fast approaching, I definitely plan to download this sheet to help my students become better spellers and to sharpen their dictionary skills not only for the test but for their future in middle school as well. Thank you Elizabeth for such a helpful post!

You can see all comments on this post here:

Congrats! You’ll be receiving an e-mail from The School Box confirming the mailing of your gift certificate. Enjoy!

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Filed under Free Stuff!, Motivation, Teaching

Happy Educator’s Day {because we’re all teachers in some way}

by Elizabeth Cossick, M. Ed.

Comment on this post and be entered to win a $20 gift card to The School Box! Winners are drawn monthly. 

January 28 is National Educator’s Day. Know what this means? It means time to celebrate YOU! Whether you’re a classroom teacher, homeschooler, Sunday school teacher, mom, dad, aunt, uncle or grandparent…you’re a teacher. Little eyes are watching you. Little hands are holding yours. Little minds are being shaped by your instruction, your example.

So, really, this day is for all of us.

As a thank you for all we ALL do to guide and inspire, we got wind that The School Box is offering special discounts on Saturday, January 28, for EVERYONE. Storewide discounts, giveaways, School Box bucks ($10 for every $50 spent, no limit)– AND free lamination on everything bought that day!

And did you know they offer free giftwrap year-round, now? Yup.

So go stock up on gifts, games and supplies for the little ones in your world. I think my birthday closet is about to get restocked. :)

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Filed under Classroom Decor, Free Stuff!, Organization, Teaching

Gift Card Winner…just in time for the holidays!

Who doesn’t want a $20 School Box gift right before the holidays?! Well, we have a lucky duck who just won one. How, you ask? Simply by commenting on one of the posts on A Learning Experience. We randomly (and regularly) draw winners from among the commenters.

Thanks to all who comment and share their great ideas and thoughts every week, and thanks to The School Box for sponsoring this online newsletter and giveaway!

This time, the lucky winner is:

 Susan Cooper

Comment on “Creating A Where Are You Board”:

Great idea. I am creating one today. With the younger kids, it is so much easier than signing out on a piece of paper, or in a notebook. I agree, we have so much going on, especially with larger class sizes, that we may lose track of some, and how long they have been gone, or even forget where they told us they are going.

You can see all comments on this post here:

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