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Featured Smile Scholar Reviews




"Stars Award Charts track excellent work in your classroom!"
Reviewed by Melissa Hyatt - Guidance Counselor
I use these charts with all the classes that I teach. When teaching Kindergarten through 4th grade, I make a notation on the chart beside the names of the classes that exemplify good work and behavior while in my class. Each grade competes to fill up the chart first. The students enjoy the chart that proves that they have a wonderful class.
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"Teach calendar skills with Calendar Time Chart & CD!"
Reviewed by Lydia Waddell - Music/K-4 - Grade 4
This item is a great way to teach the seasons, months, and days of the week. The children have enjoyed singing along and learning the songs. I began the school year with the "Summer Song" and "Months" and will review previous songs each week. It is a great tool to teach the seasons, months, morning, afternoon, evening, telling time, and days of the week.
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"Writer's Block keeps creativity flowing!"
Reviewed by Stephanie Anders - 6th Grade
I really enjoyed using this product and so did my students. Students were able to go to the Writer's Block when not able to come up with a writing prompt on their own. I made my own prompt choices using index cards and placed Writer's Block on a counter at the front of the room. The students had easy access to Writer's Block and used it often during our writing time.
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"Learning multiplication is easy with this Football Multiplication Game!"
Reviewed by Lindsey Leonard - Teacher, Children's Department New Life Deliverance and Worship Center
The students really loved the football theme of the game. I was able to change the game around to several different ways of playing it with each small group. Some games I would call the multiplication problem out lout verbally, and others I would only hold it up for them to see. They loved shouting out "touchdown" when they realized they had that specific answered on their card! We reviewed and practiced for accuracy, and speed without them even realizing they were practicing math facts.
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"Watch a plant grow from seed to full-grown!"
Reviewed by Janice Tucker - 5th Grade Science
My kids loved it! They read the directions and worked so well together as a group. I plan to use it again. They love the kit!
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"Smile Bands are inexpensive incentives for good behavior."
Reviewed by Susan Dubnik - Media Specialist
I ordered two packages of Smile Bands to use as incentives for my students. Each morning I open one pack of the bands and put them on my arm. This provides a visual cue to my students that the bands are available. The students who display exemplary behavior and stay on task and get all of their work done are eligible for the bands. The bands are a great inexpensive reward.
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"Use these spinners for any subject!"
Reviewed by Brooke Poe - 1st grade All Subjects
These spinners are perfect for any classroom. They are so versatile and students absolutely love using them! I've used the magnetic whiteboard spinners to formulate math problems, choose writing topics, and to make spelling and word wall words. I'm excited about incorporating them into many other lessons. The possibilities are endless. I seriously love this product!
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"The pieces are colorful, realistic and durable!"
Reviewed by Jean Brewington - Director of Elementary Education
The suitcase provided helps keep all the pieces together in an organized manner. This is great for a small group and individual activity. I first used this in a small group instruction to teach sorting and patterning before placing in a literacy center.
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"This collection of great stories had my kids interested from the first one!"
Reviewed by Pamela Baxley - 4th Grade
All of my boys are interested in skateboards, so I started with that story first. The boys couldn't wait to read the story and study the picture. Then answering the questions was a breeze. They even wanted to do the extension activities for extra credit. I used the first story in class to kick off the series. Then I assigned the stories for homework. The students didn't mind reading the stories, since they knew it was going to be really interesting. They really did some great work and were excited to show what they had done the next day.
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"I found this product to be very sturdy & useful!"
Reviewed by Marcia Smith - Substitute Teacher for Grades K-5, Special Education, Music and P.E.
The clocks are kid friendly, durable and fun to use. Throughout the day I ask students to show times for certain activities on their Judy Clocks. For example, "It is 9:00 when we discuss our reading story. Show me this time." I continue this throughout the day. I also use these clocks with the "Clock Song". We put our clocks up in the air and sing the song.
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"This tool quickly became a valuable asset for teaching fractions."
Reviewed by Kitty Tripp - 4th Grade Math/Science
I love the ease of snapping together the pieces making them easy to hold up and use as a visual representation of a fraction for a large group. The "snapping together" capability was the selling point in choosing this tool in my classroom. No longer do I have to worry about dropping pieces when trying to hold up my model to display for the class. I use this product in small group activities or under my Elmo to shine up on my whiteboard. I love Fraction Cubes and definitely will order more!
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"Several of my students have enjoyed using Wrap-ups to practice their multiplication facts."
Reviewed by Pamela Baxley - 4th Grade
They are easy to use and take only moments of the teacher's time to show a child how to use them. Then the child is actively engaged for many minutes in practice and learning a skill that is vital to performance in many math tasks. I used this with an ESOL student who rapidly learned his facts using this set of wrap ups. Because of the language barrier, talking and giving answers untraditional ways is not always easy. But this proved to be just the ticket for him. He loved it! And he made great progress learning his facts using just this one set of wrap ups. I especially like that the wrap ups are linked together, so the set doesn't become lost and pieces misplaced. The string is high quality and will last through many uses. A great addition to any classroom!
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"I could not have tracked the weather data with a more excellent tool!"
Reviewed by Kitty Tripp - 4th Grade Math/Science
This write and wipe board allows students to see data collected over a week's period in chart, bar, and line graph form. The pre-made vinyl cling symbols bring the map alive with graphical representations of the different types of weather occurring at various map locations. For a busy teacher, this tool is a must! I recommend that student groups take turns collecting the weather data for the week. Then the groups change each week until all students have had the experience of being a meteorologist.
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"Great product! Everything you need to teach about the solar system."
Reviewed by Janet Pritchett - 4th grade Math/Science
Planets are made of sturdy vinyl, and the kit even includes a foot pump which makes inflating quick and easy. This inflatable solar system is a great product to help demonstrate the concepts of revolution, rotation, and orbit. This inflatables also are a great tool to use when demonstrating a scale model of the solar system. Students can be active participants using the inflatables.
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"I used this product to teach math, science, social studies, reading and writing."
Reviewed by Jean Brewington - Director of Elementary Education
On a theme on transportation, the cars were used throughout the day. Word Unit - Using a graphic organizer, we listed all the words to describe a car. Math - Mad a chart sorting the cars by color (how many of each color we had). Science - made predictions about which cars were the fastest based on color. Social Studies - compared these cars to cars of the 1940's. Writing - Wrote a descriptive paragraph based on the car each student was given. Reading - Read books, based on ability, about cars and conference with the teacher. The cars were given to students at the conclusion of the unit on transportations.
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"For teachers who teach/travel from room to room, this product is a convenient way to store and display your materials."
Reviewed by Becky Melton - Curriculum Specialist
The clear pockets allow you to see your materials at a glance. The storage center is light in weight and folds into an easy carrying bag. It also converts into a display/bulletin board which features 5 metal grommets for hanging. I used this storage center while I was teaching first grade reading. Our students are divided into reading groups based on their instructional levels. I plan for nine reading groups every day. This storage center is an excellent way to store papers, markers, pencils, puppets, and reading books. I used to carry my materials on a car, now I can store and array them in this flat secure storage center. I also used this storage center when I presented professional development to our faculty.
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Reviewed by Christine Morelli - 2nd grade All Subjects
I place this storage stool in my classroom library for students to sit on while reading. It is terrific for storing books.
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"This product is designed to assess learning with students in grades 3-8."
Reviewed by Jean Brewington - Director of Elementary Education
The easy to follow format saves teachers precious teaching time. Verbal, mathematical, spatial and interpersonal assessments are included. Many of the assessments are geared to exit cards, the easiest formative assessments. Suggestions are given for scaffolding instruction for struggling learners or challenging advance learners. All reproducibles in the book are on an enclosed CD. The evidence based formative assessments provided are excellent methods for teachers to measure progress of students in Tier 1 in Response to Intervention.
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"Although the packaging states this is a Bulletin Board Set, these posters can be used as so much more within the classroom"
Reviewed by Jodi Cowart - 3rd through 6th Grades, Gifted & Talented
The set includes eight different organizers that certainly move across all curriculums. The durability of these charts allow you to use them within whole class discussions, small group differentiation or even with one-on-one teaching of students behind or below level. Once laminated, you are able to use dry erase pens with the ease of writing on and wiping off quickly.
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"The Guinness World Records Math is a book that incorporates amazing record-making/breaking stories with incredible photos."
Reviewed by Marise Sizemore - 4th Grade Math/Science Gifted Students
These two components immediately get the students' attention. They are hooked before they even get to the section of math problems that involve a variety of math stands and critical thinking skills. The book is divided into five themes with 10 to 14 records in each. Also included is a Skills Matrix that identifies what skills and stands are covered in each world record reading/math passage.At the time I received this product, we were beginning standard linear measurement in math. We were also studying organisms in science. So, I immediately went to the Skills Matrix and found serveral stories that focused on what the students were learning. This product rates an "A" for outstanding student appeal, ease of finding the math skills and strands through use of the Skills Matrix, and graduated level of difficulty.
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"Guinness has done it again!"
Reviewed by Suzanne Hughes - 4th Grade English Language Arts/Math/Science/Social Studies
This is a fantastic way to get students interested in writing! When you open your shipping container, you are excited to see your product has arrived. When you take it out of the box, youwill notice the cards are contained in a bright, sturdy box. Open the box and you are WOWED! 30 writing cards that are on ultra thick card stock and each one has an incredible color photograph that imedicately catches your eye. turn the ocar over and tah dah... you see Story Starters, Writing Prompts, and Fun Facts. I especially like the Story Starters. This helps my kids think of creative ways to begin a paper.
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"The questions on the cards addressed skills that were already taught in class - a good review of prior lessons."
Reviewed by Christine Morelli - 2nd grade All Subjects
My students enjoyed playing the game. The questions on the cards addressed skills that were already taught in class - a good review of prior lessons. The questions also addressed the state standards. I used this game as a center My students played it in small groups independently.
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"My students really enjoyed using the 5 piece measurement set in our study of capacity."
Reviewed by Pamela Baxley - 4th grade
My students really enjoyed using the 5 piece measurement set in our study of capacity. We used a large bucket of sand and used the different sizes to prove how many cups in a gallon, how many pints in a quart, etc. Having the markings below the top of the containers made it easy to see where to stop when filling the containers and made the measurements more accurate. The shapes of the containers mimic the shapes often seen on worksheets or tests, so the students made an immediate connection. I will enjoy using this set for many years to come! I used this product with sand instead of water since the directions cautioned against leakage. I didn't have any leakage with the sand.
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"I love using these storage pockets, because they are so versatile."
Reviewed by Melissa Tollison - 4th grade Math/Social Studies
I love using these storage pockets, because they are so versatile. I have recommended them to all the teachers in my building to make their classroom more organized and efficient. They are very durable and easy to hang anywhere in your classroom. I use this product in a variety of ways in my classroom, but my favorite use is for my classroom mailbox system. I hang these near my door and place a file folder with student labels inside each pocket. Notes for home, letters from the office, and student make up work are placed in the boxes. The student know to check their mailboxes every afternoon. It makes passing our miscellaneous items less time consuming and more organized. Because it is slim and has ten pockets, I am able to place them in corners and other tight spaces. This product pairs best with the peel and stick Command Hooks (TCH1336) in order to hand them anywhere in your classroom.
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"This resource book has many 6th grade standards related activities."
Reviewed by Susan Dubnik - 5th/6th Grades Media Specialist-Intermediate
This resource book has many 6th grade standards related activities. It's a great resource for anyone who teaches ancient civilizations. I also used in conjunction with the wipe-off maps.
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"I used this product in the training session with our day care providers. They were delighted to have something that was ready to use without lots of preparation."
Reviewed by Jean Brewington - Director of Elementary Education
This product included engaging lessons for 21 popular picture books. Each book had activities for Reading and Building Conversation and Speaking, Writing and Sharing which are a focus of the Common Core State Standards. Also activities for Art projects were included with great templates. The activities were easy to follow, not much preparation was needed. The students in our four year old kindergarten program loved the activities. I used this product in the training sessions with our day care providers. They were delighted to have something that was ready to use without lots of preparation. Activities support the NAEYC, IRA and National Standards for Arts Education.
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"This book is thorough in explaining its use for whole classroom and small group instruction. It lists and explains teaching writing strategies as well as developing good quality writing from your students."
Reviewed by Judy Arnold - 6th grade Reading/Language Arts
This step by step interactive tool makes teaching persuasive writing techniques a breeze. The companion guide is user friendly and appropriate for use in the 3-6 classroom. The guide walks you through step by step for each of the 40 lessons. The lessons are motivating and keep the students interested.
I had already taught my persuasive writing unit when I received this product. I was able to use this as a reteaching/ review tool for those students who needed more instruction in this area. I found this product to be more geared for younger students but still appropriate for 6th graders.
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"The Lab Mice Game is a huge hit in my 5th grade Math class."
Reviewed by Janice Tucker - 5th grade Science
The Lab Mice Game is a huge hit in my 5th grade Math class last year. The object of the game is to solve the maze by not crossing any lines. You connect each mice to his cheese. They start out simple and get increasingly harder. It builds self esteem through a sense of accomplishment and helps students think logically. They love it! You may need to get multiple sets for your room. The game comes in a sturdy tin box for storage. This is a major plus as it keeps all the components together.
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"These Playground Balls are top quality, and a perfect size for small children to use on a basketball court."
Reviewed by Louise Huff - 1st grade
These Playground Balls are top quality, and a perfect size for small children to use on a basketball court. They came flat for easy shipping but were easy to inflate. My class loved the playground balls. Not only did we share them at recess to play games and shoot hoops on the basketball court but we also used them to practice spelling words. I put the children in pairs. As they bounced the ball to each other they spelled their list of words to each other. One letter equaled one bounce. This was a way to take the children outside for fresh spring air and to get them up and moving. Use them to play relay games, teaching young children organized games such as kickball and just helping children stay active.
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"This game is such a fun, easy and interactive game for my students to play."
Reviewed by Donna Ingalls - 4th grade
This game is such a fun and interactive game for my students to play. The best part about it is that it is easy to play. After one round all of my students were able to understand the directions and really enjoyed playing the game. The game can easily be played for a 10-20 minutes to review the concept of synonyms and antonyms.
The game can be played in groups of 2-4 or 3-5 students or even individually for extra practice. Each card had 1 word on it that must be matched with either a synonym or antonym. There are 5 different sets included and I like how each set is a different color. Each card also has a different graphic on them. The graphics on the cards are very colorful and caught my students' interest. The words in this game are age and grade level appropriate for students in my 4th grade class as well. The font of the words is dark enough and also an appropriate size for the cards.
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"My students absolutely love this game! It is great as a time filler, center activity or word work during Reader's Workshop."
Reviewed by Nicole Johnson - Kindergarten
My students absolutely love this game! It is great as a time filler, center activity or word work during Reader's Workshop. I initially started using this product during center times. Students would play the game with another adult to help reinforce their beginning and ending consonant sounds. Once the students are familiar with the game, you can have them use it independently when they finish work or as an activity for workstations or Reader's Workshop. You can also differentiate with this product. At the Kindergarten level, some students can read the words while others only know letters. You can put students in partnerships so they can help each other read the words. That way you are having each student play the same game at their own level of understanding.
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"These Stickers are an excellent product to use with younger students."
Reviewed by Melissa Hyatt - Counselor
We study character education words each month. One of the character words is "creativity". Using left over laminated construction paper, I cut out small rectangles for each student. Each student will create their own Potato Head on the laminated papers. If they need to make changes, the laminated paper allows them to easily pull off the stickers and make the changes. These Stickers are an excellent product to use with younger students. My students created their own Potato Head and then shared their creation with each other discussing how they used their imagination to do something unique.
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"This book is geared for grades 1-2. I found it to be age appropriate and in line with the National Science Education Standards."
Reviewed by Sharon Fisher - Curriculum Specialist and Social Media Consultant
This book is geared for grades 1-2. I found it to be age appropriate and in line with the National Science Education Standards. The book includes inquiry activities for each subject matter (plants, weather, etc.) as well as science journals, assessment pages, parent letters, step by step instructions for demonstrations and experiments, recipe cards, attractive reproducible pages, graphic organizers, charts, and more.
Most of the lessons in the book went along with our curriculum easily. I would use them as enrichment, reteaching, or center activities.
This book was published in 2007, so the standards content is up-to-date. The cover was very colorful- so I was a bit disappointed that the pages were just black and white, but since they are meant to be reproducible, I can see the value in designing the book that way.
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"The File Games to Go are a wonderful asset to use with students in the primary grades."
Reviewed by Marcia Smith - Substitute Teacher for Grades K-5, Special Education, Music and P.E.
The File Games to Go are a wonderful asset to use with students in the primary grads. The folder games are colorful, durable and really a fun way for children to practice reading skills. I used this product in learning centers and with small group instruction (also with special education classes). They are also an excellent activity to use with tutoring students after regular school hours.
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"This little creation is a life saver! Or "voice saver" I should say!"
Reviewed by Lindsey Leonard - Teacher, Children's Department New Life Deliverance and Worship Center
This little creation is a life saver! Or "voice saver" I should say! I absolutely love the fact that you can choose various different sounds (not just an alarm sound) to get the children's attention, make a transition, stop an activity, etc. We sat down together and came up with a list of description words to describe the sounds our class bell made. Then, we assigned each sound to specific cues such as the applause means to wrap up what you are working on and begin cleaning up. We have the chart up so everyone can see it as a reminder or what each sound means, as well as a reminder of how important it is to work together as a team!
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"These colored ducks are perfect for a water table, in or outside!"
Reviewed by Lindsey Leonard - Teacher, Children's Department New Life Deliverance and Worship Center
These colored ducks are perfect for a water table, in or outside! They can be used for color recognition, letter identification, matching, same vs. different, etc. The possibilities are many with these fun rubber ducks!
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"The Deluxe Yacker Tracker is classroom management made easy!"
Reviewed by Jessica Thomas - 5th Grade Reading/ELA/Writing
The Deluxe Yacker Tracker is classroom management made easy! It monitors the volume of the kids and gives them a visual and audio reminder. It teaches kids to self-monitor their voices. It also allows me to multi-task while collaborative group work is taking place. This is a must-have for any classroom.
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"The Piggy Bank Pocket Chart is fantastic! Students love it! The Chart is colorful and attractive. What a fun way to practice counting money!"
Reviewed by Sonia Aguila-Gonzalez - 2nd grade All Subjects
The Piggy Bank Pocket Chart is fantastic! Students love it! The Chart is colorful and attractive. What a fun way to practice counting money! We even named the piggy! It was fascinating to see the enthusiasm students had while interacting with the Piggy Bank Pocket Chart! I posted the chart on the calendar wall. Each morning, the helper of the day came up to the chart and used coins to represent a given amount. Then she/he chose another student to represent that same amount using different coins. A few weeks later.. I turned it into a math center. I game my student ads from grocery stores and the "pretended" to buy items. They cut out the picture of the item and placed it on the pocket chart. Next to it, they put the amount of coins needed to purchase each item. It was so much fun!
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"This motivating game gets the attention of all the students, even the reluctant learners!"
Reviewed by Stephanie Trevitz, Ed.D., NBCT - K-2 ID Mild Self Contained
This motivating game gets the attention of all the students, even the reluctant learners! It's a wonderful way to practice many skills that help students gain phonemic awareness and concepts. I began by placing the box in view to pique interest. I used it with a small group of students using one of the suggested games that is described in the directions. I later used it with a larger group of students allowing students to pair and share mitts. This is a great cooperative game that allowed me to pair students for differential instruction. The "team" would have once student who worked to identify the later on the ball and/or the letter sound. The other team member would be rquested to give a word that started/ended/contained that letter, depending on the student's skill. This has been a huge hit in my classroom. It comes at a good time when state testing keeps us bound in our classroom for long periods of time and when the kids have gotten spring fever and need something new and something involving movement.
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"This is a fabulous product for differentiated learning."
Reviewed by Stephanie Trevitz, Ed.D., NBCT - K-2 ID Mild Self Contained
This is a fabulous product for differentiated learning. Some students can guess what letter the picture begins with. Others can name the picture and demonstrate sign language knowledge of the picture. I used this as a discovery learning activity. I placed them on a large magnetic easel and the colorful pictures attracted the children's attention immediately. They loved finding out that the letters were on the reverse side. For teachers who focus on an individual letter, the picture can be introduced as an iconic means of naming other words with the same initial consonant. Many games can be played by placing magnets picture side-up and allowing students to take turns naming the initial consonant. Students can be put in teams for cooperative learning. This is a very popular self-choice activity that I leave available to my students at all times.
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"This product was helpful when working with ESOL and very shy students."
Reviewed by Kate Johnson - Elementary Assistant Principal
This product was helpful when working with ESOL and very shy students. As the Assistant Principal I sometimes have students I work with who will not express themselves or verbally share with me how they are feeling. The cards allow students to show me how they feel by pointing to the card. I would also use the cards to show students the difference between appropriate and inappropriate ways to respond to situations.
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"This game was so much fun! Every student in my classroom was highly motivated to participate."
Reviewed by Jami Smith - 5th Grade GATE/MEC
This game was so much fun! Every student in my classroom was highly motivated to participate. With a class of mostly Englist learners, there were many homophones that my students didn't know at first, but their eagerness to win had thenm really working to remember the new words. Tghis was a fast paced, high interest game that is more than worth the class time we took to play it. We played this game in two ways: first I pulled cards for a few specific words I had already gone over with students. I called four students who are normally reluctant to participate and the four of them were quick to start battling it out to win. The rest of the class was pretty upset that they didn't get to play, so later I broke the entire class up into four teams, each with a spokesperson to push the button. It was wonderful hearing them confer with each other before they weighed in with their answer choices written correctly on a whiteboard. This game worked well with a small group. the large group was much more energetic but needed guidelines.
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"I loved Ladybug Letters so much that I have even taken it home to use with my 5 year old son. It it's good enough for my kids, you bet it's good enough for my students."
Reviewed by Norma Cinco - 1st Grade-Bilingual
My students really enjoyed using this product! It was very easy to use & easy to accommodate at all levels of understanding. I used it with my struggling, Spanish-speaking students. With them, I only used the front. They are supposed to match capital with lower case letters. My Kinder students not only enjoyed putting the puzzle pieces together, but they are learning as they "play" without even knowing it! With my High English-speaking students, I had half of the puzzle pieces showing the side of the letter and the other half of the pieces showing half-side of the picture. It was challenging for some only to see a letter & half a picture, especially since they are just beginning to learn the language. But this makes them think before they try to make a match! It was fun to see how they tried to figure out the puzzle.
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"My students were eager to read their Reading Comprehension Card in the morning because the pieces were very interesting."
Reviewed by Jami Smith - 5th Grade GATE/MEC
Teaching text structures has always been tricky because longer pieces of text often use more than one structure. These short pieces of text, three to five sentences, let students focus on the structure without getting lost in a lot of information or a story. We serve Breakfast in the Classroom and I don't like students to have books or papers out while they are eating. I put a card on my document camera and they discussed it with their neighbors while eating breakfast. We would discuss why each answer was correct or incorrect as a class.
I will definitely use this in small groups to review text structures. They could be added to literacy assessments and students could provide evidence for their choice.
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"Author's Purpose Writing Prompts is a great tool to enhance any teacher's writing instruction."
Reviewed by Donna Ingalls - 4th grade
Loved this product. These cards have wonderful ppictures on the front that lend themselves to writing prompts even if they did not have the thoughtful ideas on the back. The back of the cards contain prompts for students to write about Persuade, Inform and Entertain. The pictures all show healthy activities on them; for example kids palying soccer, biking, baseball, etc. Even the pictures of people eating are showing them eating healthy food. The pictures of animals are adorable! The inform prompts were well written as they asked students to use different types of writing-for example-letters, instructins, news story, pretend you are a tour guide, directions etc..
I laminated these cards although you do not have to. They are sturdy as is. Even the box is of good quality. The grade level suggestion for 4th and up is very appropriate. I used this product in small groups during writing time. I feel that this product enhanced my writing instruction. I especially liked the prompts for persuasion. The varied methods used to persuade were excellent;brochure, letter, oral persuasion, advertisement, commerical, etc. I honestly can't say enough about this product. It is just a great tool toenhance any teacher's writing instruction.
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"I love the fact that Time's Up is adaptable for different skill levels!"
Reviewed by Sonia Aguila-Gonzalez - 2nd grade All Subjects
What a fun way to practice for the CST test! Students loved playing this game! Never got tired of it! I am confident that this game will hellp my students do better on the CST test. I used this product with my high group only. Time elapsed is a skill we teach after Winter break not at the beginning of the school year. We have fun Fridays in my classroom. Students loved playing this game during math. I put them in small groups (3-4 students). I gave them cards according to their level. The high group used cards worth more. I also gave them small clocks to use with this game to help them find the answer. The first person to earn the set amount of hours told by teacher won!

1. You can enlarge cards and use the overhead projector. Show students one card each day at the beginning of your math time. Do this especially when state testing approaches. 2. Students read the card and use their math journals to illustrate and explain the time elapsed. 3. Copy elapsed time card and have students illustrate the page Make a class book "Our Book of Elapsed Time" or display student work on a bulletin board. 4. Copy time elapsed card and assign it as homework. Have students expain how they got their answer.
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"Squishy Foam is the new "hit" in my classroom! The kids ask for it everyday."
Reviewed by Stephanie Trevitz, Ed.D., NBCT - K-2 ID Mild Self Contained
Squishy Foam is the new "hit" in my classroom. The kids ask for it every day. They love the consistency and the possibilities. I love the the fact that the kids can clean it up themselves! Happy students. Happy teacher. Happy parents. And the custodian is still talking to me! Thanks, SmileMakers!
When I initially introduced the product to the students, I started with each student having a paper copy of their name created with Word Art from Microsoft Word. We talked about the similarities and differences, and then I encouraged them to use the Squishy Foam to build the letters of their name. They were encouraged to manipulate the Squishy Foam to make straight lines and curves until they had written their name in Squishy Foam. Once complete, I took their picture holding up their name. What beautiful creations! After they were done with their name, the Squishy Foam was removed without leaving a mark on the paper, so their names could be used the following day with another activity. Also, once they were done, I allowed them to experiment with the Squishy Foam creating shapes and figures, turtles, volcanoes -- you name it. The possibilities were endless and the cleanup wasn't.
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"The Cat and Mouse game was very enjoyable for a small group of students to play independently."
Reviewed by Pamela Baxley - 4th Grade
This game was very enjoyable for a small group of students to play independently. When using it with third graders, I found the 40 card deck to be too extensive for the students to use at one sitting, and had to narrow the deck down to 20 cards (actually 10 Matches + the one outlier) in order for them to not get overwhelmed with the game. Older students might be able to handle more cards with ease.
I used the cards as a center for students who had completed an assignment early. They worked together independently. There are enough cards in a deck that they could be given out to and entire class and then have students move about the room to find their match with in a certain period of time. I thnk students would really love using the game this way. I would probably go back and introduce the game to the rest of my class using this strategy.
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"What could be easier than passing out a puzzle and telling students to connect the correct mouse with its piece of cheese, but don't get in anybody else's way, right?"
Reviewed by Suzanne Hughes - 4th Grade ELA/SS
It's not as easy as you think. This game has 3 different levels of difficulty, and it is addictive! I get just as excited when I get to play it as my students do. Some of my students were able to complete the puzzle in a matter of minutes, but for some, it took a while longer. This was one of the first things that they actually wanted to stick with and complete, instead of giving up right away. Students were pretty confident that this was going to be easy until they were told that you could only move horizontally or diagonally. I had a couple that were boasting about how easy it was to play the game until they got to the last piece of cheese and found out that they were trapped. It was great! This game really requires you to use strategy skills and be able to visualize possible paths without crossing someone else's.
I have several students that are pulled out of my classroom for extra help. Lab Mice was a great activity to use for a few extra minutes while we were waiting for those students to return. We have also used this for indoor recess when the weather outside did not cooperate. Recently, I have used it as a reward for exceptional behavior or a super grade on a quiz or test. My students and I LOVE this game! Ever since I opened that tin container, my students have begged to play it every day. Bonus: Dry erase markers are already included and everything comes neatly packed in a sturdy tin container!
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"Color Stix are perfect for any classroom and for children of all ages!"
Reviewed by Brooke Poe - 1st Grade All Subjects
The Color Stix are perfect for any classroom and for children of all ages. They are lots of fun and students absolutely love playing with them! I used the Color Stix for inside recess on a rainy day. We played in teams of 4 and the children absolutely loved it. They enjoyed working together to match the colors and they showed great teamwork skills. Also, the after school children always ask to play this game while waiting for the afterschool program to begin. They love playing because they get quick results and they can play by themselves or with other children.
You could use the Color Stix in math as manipulatives for teaching tally marks or for adding and subtracting.
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"Pix Mix is fun and it only takes five to ten minutes per game."
Reviewed by Ginny Campbell - 4th Grade ELA/SS
As an educator, I am always looking for the "value" of a product in how I can use it to best teach my students. After reading the directions, I thought it would be a fun game for recess. But, then I began thinking about it and Pix Mix can have a great educational value as well! The teacher could use choose the items that go into the card holder by their attributes, students would then have to look at the cards to see what is in the group and decide how the items go together. For example, the teacher could stack the deck with the kangaroo, deer, rooster, the pig, the dolphin and the camel. The students would then have to decide how these items are related. They are animals, they are vertebrates, they are all prey and not predators, etc.
If the teacher stacked the deck with the saxophone, the violin, the spatula, the paint brush and the whisk, the students may decide that they are all inanimate, you may need a skill to use them, they all create something. You could use this item to teach sorting, similarities, opposites, and so much more.
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"I use the Bulletin Board Storage Bag to hold my big books in my classroom on a hook secured to the wall."
Reviewed by Christine Morelli - 2nd grade All Subjects
My students are able to get to them easily to read during center time.
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"Blank Foam Cubes is a very useful and user friendly product!"
Reviewed by Melissa Tollison - 4th grade Math/Social Studies
I love the fact that it was made of foam. Normally my students are distracted when others use dice in the classroom. The dice make no sound when used, because they are made of foam. I also like the fact that I had options of how to use them. The only negative is that you cannot reuse the dice once you write on them. I used this product in our addition and subtraction unit. The students created subtraction problems by rolling the dice. It was great because I was able to add zeros with the other digits 1-9. I was also able to differentiate the problems. Some students were creating six digit problems. Others may be creating four or five digit problems. Students seemed to enjoy making their own subtraction problem. It also taught them to think about which number should be on top when subtracting.
This product could be used in many ways. I thought of using it to create equations in our algebra unit. It would also be helpful with practicing place value or multiplication facts. We are currently studying Native Americans. I thought of putting our Native American cultural groups we study on one dice. The other dice would have a topic (example: food, clothing, shelter, etc.) Students would roll the dice and give the correct answer. It would be a great review tool. It could also be used to help with writing. Students could use it to create an audience, purpose, and prompt.
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"My class started a compost 'pile' for our afternoon garden club using our 'see-through compost container'."
Reviewed by Marise Sizemore - 4th grade Math/Science
The See-Through Compost Container is a compact compost container divided into three sections. It is designed to allow students to see the process of decomposition. Included are three thermometers that fit through openings in the lid to measure the temperature as each item is decomposing.
Study of the food chain and decomposition is a science standard for third grade. So, I was not able to use this in connection with what fourth graders study in science. However, my partner has an afternoon garden club with my homeroom this semester and her homeroom next semester, and she is always in need of compost for the school garden. So, my class started a compost 'pile' using our 'see-through compost container'. Because we want quick decomposition we put a banana peel, cucumber peel, and zucchini peel in the three sections. We are taking weekly temperature readings in Celsius and recording the measurements. Students are also taking photos, making sketches, and recording information about the decomposition process. Many of the science process skills, such as prediction, observation, measurement, and communication can easily be incorporated in this activity. My students are excited about making their own compost for our school garden. This product could be used in connection with South Carolina third grade science curriculum standards on plants /animals and changes in their habitats and the food chain. Any elementary grade could use this product to teach science process skills and the scientific method.
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"What's Inside Animals Color Picture Cards assists Students to see how the skeletal system supports the animals..."
Reviewed by Janet Pritchett - 4th grade Math/Science
This set of cards is great. There are 16 sturdy color picture cards of vertebrates, and information on each animal is also included. The neat thing is when you hold the picture cards up to the light, the skeleton shows through on the animal. The students can really see how the skeletal system supports the animals, and they can identify the spinal column and backbone.
I will be able to use these cards to teach about vertebrates in my 4th grade science class. We spend a great deal of time learning about all animals with backbones, and these cards will help us identify the backbones, as well as help us with classification of vertebrates. The cards can be used in whole group instruction, as well as small group instruction and review.
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"Ruff's House allowed my students with autism to be able to acquire sensory feedback by feeling the different textures on the bones"
Reviewed by Shauna Ward - Special Education
This product was very beneficial in my classroom. I teach 3 students with hearing loss and a limited vocabulary and I teach 3 students with Autism. This product allowed my students with autism to be able to acquire sensory feedback by feeling the different textures on the bones. This product allowed my hearing impaired students to be able to feel and describe different textures and expand their vocabulary at the same time.
I allowed my students to reach into Roof's house and pick at one of the 12 bones. They then had to describe the texture they felt and what the name of that texture was. I also gave them one of the bones and they had to reach in and find the identical bone, just by feel. This product can be used in identifying ways to sort different objects such as color, texture, etc.
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"The Make Your Own Stickers should become your new favorite go-to product as you teach sequence or use of transitional words/phrases."
Reviewed by Jodi Cowart - Special Education
These stickers are such a creative product that's not offered anywhere else. They are an excellent tool to have during your writing block regardless of whether you teach kindergarten or fifth grade. They are also an excellent addition to a writing station. The Make Your Own Stickers should become your new favorite go-to product as you teach sequence or use of transitional words/phrases. Students love stickers, especially when they can incorporate them into their own creative writings. Lower elementary students will enjoy making their own turkey, Christmas tree or Easter basket while they practice listing items in sequence. Upper elementary students use these stickers in conjunction with learning and practicing the use of transitional words and phrases. As the students grow in their writing and in their grade level, have them come up with a different transitional word or phrase as they add something new to their object.
You can give the students one of the stickers and allow them to put it together as they choose, then are required to use that object or character within a creative story. These stickers will be a favorite with your students so you could also use them simply as incentives. I have used these stickers with my students for several years and every year, they get so excited when I show them the first set. I am always amazed at what creative stories they come up with once given the stimulation a sticker can provide. This is one of my favorite products that SmileMakers offers.
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