Thursday, June 22, 2017

Make Learning Fun for Less with Learn 365!

Many people have heard of Oriental Trading before... You may know the company as the place to get party supplies and lots of little items for low prices (think arcade ticket redemption prizes) - but what you may not know is that Oriental Trading has TONS of educational items (still at their low prices!) 

Recently, Oriental Trading put together a great new website just for teachers (and parents) called Learn 365. This wonderful site shows us all that Oriental Trading has to offer when it comes to education! I was given the opportunity to check out the site and receive a few items for my [new 1st grade] classroom! Come check out some of the items I chose and how I'll use them in my classroom. Then head on over to Learn 365 to look for yourself!

Since I'm looping up to 1st grade this year with my Kinder kiddos, I'm going to have these "Spotted in 1st Grade" pencils ready for them on the first day of school! There are pencils for all different grade levels and occasions on the site. It was hard to stop with just this one set!

Ok, I am beyond excited about these photo props for back to school pictures!! I cannot wait to see my kids' faces when we take pictures the first day of school with these! Who doesn't love some great photo props?!
These "I'm Done" sticks will be great for my 1st graders! I got the set for primary, but they also have them for intermediate as well. Language Arts and Math are both included in the set with lots of independent activities for your early finishers. Blank sticks are also included so you can add a few of your own.

These Word Shape Puzzles are going to be a part of my word work station all year! This game is something my students are already familiar with and can practice during literacy stations or even as an early finisher task. These cards will really help with their spelling and phonics!

These spinners are going to come in handy for everything!! I can use these instead of dice sometimes. All 6 come in one pack. Although they are made of cardboard and may not too last, we'll work on my expectations for taking care of them!!

These super cute magnets come with 8 sets in the pack and will be perfect for our greater than/less than comparing unit! I love that there's enough for me to use with a small group or grab a set to use whole group. I'll also keep a couple sets with our math station materials. And did I mention that they are magnetic?! I love anything that's magnetic!!

So, I may have saved the BEST for last!!! Check out this shapes geometry set! This is going to be perfect for STEM activities!!!! I had so much fun playing with this and building shapes! I know my students are going to LOVE it!!

This set comes with 15 activity cards for building shapes. The cards are double-sided, so there are 30 activities total. There are 2D and 3D shape cards as well as combining shape and equal parts. The cards tell how many of each piece are needed to build. You could also cover that up with a piece of paper and have the students figure it out from the picture for an extra challenge!

So, head on over to Learn 365 and start finding some great resources at low prices for your own classroom! You won't be disappointed!! Don't forget that you can create your very own wishlist on Oriental Trading/Learn 365 to share with your classroom parents. You can read how to do this on my blog post HERE!
*I was provided these products from Oriental Trading for review purposes, but all opinions expressed are mine.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Using Play-Doh Playsets in the Classroom!

Using Play-Doh Playsets in the Classroom

I was obsessed with Play-Doh as a child, so I love using it in my classroom too!! Recently I was given the opportunity to try out two new Play-Doh Playsets in my classroom. I received Play-Doh Letters and Language and Play-Doh Colors and Shapes. One thing I did when I received my sets was to laminate the mats that were included. Since I plan on using these year after year, laminating was the best option to prevent wear and tear!

Using Play-Doh Playsets in the Classroom

Each set came with small containers of Play-Doh. I was fortunate enough to also receive extra regular-sized containers as well. I'd recommend getting a few of the regular-sized containers so that there's more Play-Doh to go around when students use these!

Letters & Language: This set is perfect for word work and alphabet activities!! My students made quick work of figuring out how to make small circles with the hollowed out rolling pin and then stamping to make letters.
Using Play-Doh Playsets in the Classroom
The letter stampers are also great because we can spell sight words, CVC words, and CVCe words which we're always working on during our word work station.

Shapes & Colors: This set is a great addition to our math stations and games. My students also use this one during our center playtime at the end of the day. I'm a bit obsessive about colors getting mixed, so we don't always have all the colors out to match each object on these mats. My students never seem to mind though! (Sorry about the glare, but like I said, I laminated the mats which has really kept them in great shape!)
My favorite part of this set is the pattern mat. This is a skill that is no longer part of our Kindergarten standards, but I still feel is so important to learn! I always work in pattern activities whenever possible, so I love that this pattern mat allows one more way for my students to play with patterns. Just check out that ABC pattern one of my students made!!

I've always been a big fan of using Play-Doh in my classroom, and I'm glad I was introduced to these playsets as another way to use our Play-Doh! Now you have the chance to WIN TWO Play-Doh Playsets for your own classroom! Enter using the options below for your chance to WIN! {For shipping reasons, winner must live in the United States, sorry!}

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't forget to pin it!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Table Trash Bins FREEBIE!

Table Trash Bins - A is for Apples

Recently I posted this image on Instagram because I loved how pretty my table trash bins looked with all of the bright paper scraps! Several people commented about my labels, so I wanted to tell you a little more about my bins, and you can grab my labels for free at the end of this post!
A post shared by Elyse Rhodes | A is for Apples (@peaceloveapples) on

Table Trash Bins Table Trash Bins

The bins were purchased from Dollar Tree in 2015. You can use any small bin that works for your tables! I have 1 table trash bin per table that 2-3 students share.

We have the rule that our table trash bins are for paper garbage. NO food trash allowed in the bins! We do snack in the afternoons and sometimes they have to eat breakfast in the classroom. I don't allow them to throw food wrappers or other food trash in the bins because I don't want them getting gross, sticky, and foul smelling!!

We keep it simple in my room so I don't do classroom jobs, but emptying the table trash bins would be a great one to have if you do jobs! My first couple students to arrive each morning empty the bins. If it fills up during the day, they know to empty only their table's bin, or I will tell someone to grab their bin and empty it. The whole idea is to minimize them going back and forth to the trash cans, so we don't go back and forth to empty these either!!

Table Trash Bins

I've included the labels in 2 different sizes. My bins have the larger label on them. 
Click HERE or on the image below to grab this FREEBIE!!!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Hats off to Reading with Party City!

Dr. Seuss party ideas for the classroom | A is for Apples

Party City wants us to celebrate the 113th birthday of America's favorite author, Dr. Seuss, and the "Hats Off to Reading" campaign! Don't just throw a party, throw a Party City Dr. Seuss Party! And that's exactly what we did!! Check it out!

Check out all of these goodies that Party City has available for Dr. Seuss celebrations!! We made up goodie bags for each student with a bookmark, notepad and pencil, stamper, and award medal. The adorable thing was seeing my kiddos come to school the next day with the image of their new stamp all over their hands!
Dr. Seuss party ideas for the classroom | A is for Apples

Those bookmarks are no joke either! I thought 2 were stuck together, but they are just that thick and sturdy!! Party City's Party Kits are an easy and stress-free way for busy teachers and parents to put together a Dr. Seuss celebration! From decorations and serveware featuring all your favorite characters, to costumes and accessories (including the iconic red and white hat!), Party City has it all!

Dr. Seuss party ideas for the classroom | A is for ApplesDr. Seuss party ideas for the classroom | A is for Apples

These photo props have forever changed my life for Read Across America!! My students had too much fun with these (and so did I!!!) I even got some parents to pose with their child at drop off in the morning!
Dr. Seuss party ideas for the classroom | A is for Apples

Dr. Seuss party ideas for the classroom | A is for Apples
At only 5ft tall, this was the perfect quote for me to pose with!

Dr. Seuss party ideas for the classroom | A is for Apples

Snack time for the day was a Cat in the Hat string cheese and "green eggs and ham" (a pretzel, melted white chocolate and a green M&M). I had some students ask if they could save their plate and napkin because it was so bright and cute!!
Dr. Seuss party ideas for the classroom | A is for Apples

At the end of the day, each of my students went home with one of these adorable certificates! Does anyone else hope that this went straight on the fridge? Because I hope so!!
I'm hoping that I gave my students a Dr. Seuss party and Read Across America Day to remember! Don't forget to use Party City to throw a fun, Seuss-filled party that they'll never forget!

Dr. Seuss party ideas for the classroom | A is for Apples

Check out how my friends partied with Party City and Dr. Seuss for Read Across America!