Classroom Freebies

Finding MAIN IDEA... One Step at a Time

FREEBIE: how to find main idea

Howdy!  Jen Bradshaw here from Teacher Karma.  

I have the perfect reading comprehension FREEBIE for you if you will be teaching... finding the main idea of a text next school year.  LOL!

These steps for finding main idea are very simple, and have definitely worked my students.

Main idea freebie.
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M&Ms and Skittles Icebreaker Games For Back To School

My favorite classes in school, even up through college, were those that we had a real community going.

These were usually conducted by my favorite teachers, who felt that a classroom was sort of like a family.

They made time to make us all feel welcome, safe, and important. I truly felt cared about.

One of the ways they promoted these feelings was that they spent some time getting to know us.

This also helped build camaraderie, and developed our classroom “family” and that positive-caring atmosphere.
Icebreakers are a perfect way to do this, and are especially important on the first day of school when students are a bit nervous and looking at a bunch of strangers, listening to rules-rules & more rules.

I not only did icebreakers on the first day, but included a simple one each day in the morning, or at the end of the day for our entire first week of school.

My students really looked forward to this time, an absolutely LOVED sharing.

The M & M or Skittle Game has been around awhile, going by as many names as there are colors, and can be played in a variety of ways as well.

These are my versions. I hope you find them useful.

Click on the link to pop on over to my blog, where the M&Ms and Skittles Icebreaker Games are today's featured FREEBIE.

From Diane over at

Compare and Contrast Two Animal Advocates

Today's free lesson idea is a simple compare and contrast.  I found two picture books about people who are passionate about animals: A Boy and a Jaguar by Alan Rabinowitz and Me...Jane by Patrick McDonnell. Each is based on a true story.
 I posted the graphic organizer shown below at this post at Artistry of Education.

Artistry of Education

Getting Acquainted

Getting acquainted with your students and their lives outside school can be very valuable. It is also a great way to get parents involved. This form is one that I used at the beginning of each year.  To get your own copy and find out more insights for a successful year, click on the image.

Susan Berkowitz’s Free Myths of AAC Handout

For students who are nonverbal or minimally verbal, use of alternative-augmentative communication modes are crucial for developing communication and language skills.  But did you know that AAC can also be useful for those who have more verbal skills; such as those who can not always be understood?  Did you know that there are no pre-requisites for using a complex AAC system?  Or that it can be harmful to “wit and see” if the child develops more speech?  

There are some common myths and misconceptions that can get in the way of our providing a comprehensive and appropriate communication system for these students.  Here is a handout explaining the truths and realities.  

Students who are not afforded both a variety of options within a complete AAC system and effective teaching strategies to develop communication skills have been failed by those of us endeavoring to teach them.

Back To School "Name Maps" Icebreaker

A name map is a nice icebreaker for the first week of school and a great way to get to know your new students.

The completed activity makes a wonderful back to school bulletin board too!

I've included an explanatory note home to families.

Do a personal one of yourself, so that you have a sample to show your students to explain what you want them to do, as well as a means for them to get to know their new teacher.

Click on the link to zip on over to my blog, where the "Getting To Know You" Name Maps are today's featured FREEBIE. 

From Diane, at

Chalkboard Comprehension Centers

Oh yeah - check out these super cute "laptop" chalkboards from the Target Dollar Spot!   Adorable!  Decorate them up and add a short, descriptive comprehension reading passage to the top.  Have the students draw a corresponding picture at the bottom.

Easy peasy and super fun!

Need a fun and easy comprehension center your students will love? Grab a few "laptop" chalkboards, create some reading passages, and you are all set!

Grab the reading passage template to create your own at Organized Classroom now!


Find and Trace Numbers 1-20

If your kids enjoy tracing numbers, grab these free activity sheets from Liz's Early Learning Spot. Laminate to use them over and over.

Includes both black and white and colour versions.

Till next time!

Summer Math Practice

Are you teaching summer school or looking for something for your own child to work on this summer? You might like this freebie. It is a sample of the "No Summer Slip and Slide" morning work. You can get more details and info and a link to the product itself by clicking here to head to my blog. Thank you and enjoy!

Free Idioms and Figurative Language Task

Free download - idiom and figurative language task for the novel Mister and Me - from Raki's Rad Resources.

The novel Mister and Me by Kimberly Willis Holt is one of my favorite novels to use with 3rd and 4th graders. The storyline of a young girl not wanting to accept a new stepfather is set with in front of a backdrop of Louisiana during segregation. There is so much to teach from this novel. It also has amazing amounts of idioms and figurative language that provide terrific teaching points. This Idiom and Figurative Language Task gives students a chance to disect and understand the idioms and figurative language that makes this novel so enjoyable to read. Download these sheets for free from my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

Free Skip Counting Worksheets

Skip counting is such an important skill to teach your little ones. It is a foundational skill that helps with number sense, patterns, telling time, estimation, and multiplication! Read my blog post HERE with some awesome FREE ideas for helping your kids master this skill! 

Poetry Printable: A Student's Sestina

One day my stepdaughter came home from college with a creative writing assignment--write a sestina.  A sestina is a poem with six stanzas and a short three line envoy.  Each line is in iambic pentameter and ends with one of six words.

I took the challenge.  I found six random words out of a newspaper article and wrote my poem about a struggling student who would rather be at the skateboard park.

If you would like to download a free printable copy of this poem, please visit this post at Artistry of Education.

Artistry of Education

Back To School Apple Puzzle Treat Baggies

This is an inexpensive little gift you can make for your kiddos for that first day of school that will occupy their time for a bit, as they work independently on their apple puzzle.

I've also included a large apple puzzle, to be used as an independent center activity, as well as a blank grid, to help younger students easily put their puzzles together.

Here's another idea:

I printed some up for my grandchildren; personalized the apples, wrote "Have a great school year! We are so proud of you." on a few of the puzzle pieces; cut out the puzzles; tucked the pieces in envelopes and then mailed them.

They were thrilled with this little surprise, and enjoyed putting them together to see what they turned out to be.

Moms could put them in a lunch box with an "I love you!" note.

If you have a large class, and this is too much cutting for you, run off the black and white apple puzzles and have students color their own.

When they are done, have them cut them out and then challenge students to be the first one done putting their apple puzzle together.

Click on the link to zip on over to my blog, where the Back To School Apple Puzzles, are today's featured FREEBIE.

From Diane, over at

Back-to-School Brain-Boosting Activities

Encourage students think creatively about themselves and the new school year with these brain-boosting activities.

This packet includes three activities:

  • If I Was, a game in which students take turns completing prompts in ways that reflect their personalities;
  • If My Life Was a Novel, an activity in which students reflect on their lives and assign them to a literary genre; and
  • Back-to-School categories game based on Scattergories.

Hope that you find this freebie useful!

"Not" Contractions Matching Cards

Hi, Teaching Friends!

Looking for an easy-prep literacy center activity? Here's a set of matching cards for "not" contractions, perfect for memory and concentration games!

Happy Teaching!