Friday, April 24, 2015


It's Freebie Friday!
Grades K through 3rd: Freebies
Game Boards - Great for Any Skill

This is great for using flash cards with any skill that you want your students to review or work on.  I hope you enjoy them!

May NO PREP Is Here!

I've completed the May NO PREP.  It's great for keeping your students motivated right up till the end of school.  If you are looking for summer review, I'm working on the Summer Thinkers, Review and NO PREP right now.  It will have both NO PREP for the last days of school as well as a send home packet of activities and games for the students to keep up their practice during the summer.


Thursday, April 2, 2015

FREEBIE - Homophones, Contractions, and Rhyming

It's FREEBIE Time!!!

 Grades K through 3rd:

Homophones, Contractions, and Rhyming
If you like it (or love it!) please leave a review on TpT.

Thank you!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Math Flip Books #1

I love this set of 5 flip books for student practice of basic skills! They are easy and simple to use, and a great way to make kids enjoy practicing math.
****First Grade
****Second Grade
****Third Grade

Is there a skill you would like to see in a future flip book? Let me know!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Creative Ideas - More Ideas for Bulletin Board Border Activities

Another idea if you have bulletin board borders with pictures such as stars or hands that are free of print in the middle.  You could cut them apart and write a skill in the center for matching cards.  Here are some ideas for using them: 


  • Numeral to number words
  •  Capital to lowercase
  • Rounding such as 75 rounds to 80
  • Singular to plural
  • Present to past tense
  • Making compound words
  • Homophones
  • Antonyms


  • Odd or even numbers
  •  Long or short vowel words
  • Words with food, transportation, or clothes
  • Types of simple machines
  • Living and non-living
  • Farm animals and jungle animals


  • Numbers
  • Letters
  • Alphabetical order
  • Skip counting

These picture cards made out of bulletin board borders also works for writing letters on each card and making words, or writing words on each card and making sentences.  You could also write numbers on each card and symbols for addition, subtraction and equals for students to create number sentences.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Creative Ideas - Bulletin Board Border Games

Have you ever used a bulletin board border to make a game board?  This is one idea I have shared with teachers in my workshops for a long time.  

One of my favorite things to do is to brainstorm ideas for activities for teachers to use in the classroom.  I will be posting new ideas as often as I can.  Please let me know if you are looking for a creative idea to teach something.

Materials Needed:   a strip of bulletin board border with pictures on it, such as fish, stars, bugs, etc., glue, and a piece of 12 x 18 construction paper.

Directions:  Cut the bulletin board border so that each section has a fish, a star, or a bug.  Glue them down on the construction paper to look like a maze.  Draw lines between each picture going from left to right on the game board.  Write the word START at the beginning and the word FINISH at the end.  Students will answer questions from flash cards to move their marker one picture at a time.

You could also glue the pictures on the construction paper to be a Cover All where students answer a flash card question and put their color of game marker on the board on any of the pictures when they get the answer correct.  The student who has the most pictures covered at the end of the game wins.  In this case there would be no lines between the pictures.

I like generic games because I can use them with any grade or skill.

Have fun creating game boards with your old bulletin board borders.

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Idea Garden - Welcome!

The Idea Garden

I am so excited to share some of my best ideas for games and center activities with teachers across the country.  Recently, I created four packets of activities for the month of March, one for each grade K through third grade.  These are not just worksheets, but hands-on activities to keep your children motivated to learn in a fun way.

That has always been my goal. –To make learning fun.

The Kindergarten packet is ready: March Math and Literacy Centers (TpT)

I will have grades 1-3 finished later this week.

In addition to the packets above I created another four packets with a frog theme called “Froggy Math”, again for grades K through third grade.  I have a BLAST making these activities and thinking about the children who will be using them.

Froggy Math - Kindergarten
Froggy Math - First 
Froggy Math - Second 
Froggy Math - Third 

 Right now I’m selling my activities on TpT and I would love to have you follow me, so you will know when I do something new, or post more free packets.  For every few packets of new activities, I will be posting a Freebie.  After a short time, I hope to have a lot of Freebies available for you so you can both evaluate my work and use these great ideas right away in your class.

One of the activities I am working on now is to make a set of five colorful flip books to put in a center.  These booklets will have a cute cover, 12 pages of activities (addition, subtraction, phonics, etc.) an answer page and a back cover.  These practice flip books could be put together with a finger binder or two rings on the top.  I feel we need worthwhile skill based center activities that are easy to make, easy to use, and fun for children.

You can also find me on Facebook at: Elaine's Idea Garden
TpT Store: The Idea Garden

Thanks for reading and I hope you come back soon!
Elaine Haven, The Idea Garden