abcteach blog

Lapbook Instructions

March 16th, 2018

Check out this fun way to learn and research a topic. Topics can be about anything. Students can organize their lapbooks in a variety of ways. You can add pages and pockets.

Creating a Lapbook

In the Teaching Extras section on abcteach, you will find a variety of lapbooks to introduce to your students.

Lapbook Activity Packs – These packs are ready to use, just download your choice. abcteach offers many different theme units. Here are few examples for FREE!

Life Cycles


On the Farm

The Solar System

Lapbooks: Activity Pack (members only)*

Lapbook Templates – These can be used to customize projects. Download and print any of our pre-made pockets, titles, labels, clipart, and more.

Lapbook Templates (members only)*

FREE Lapbook Downloads

Here is an example Lapbook:

In order to create a lapbook, you will need a folder. You can find instructions about how to fold a lapbook here. Choose which theme you would like to create. Download, print and color to make it your own. Then, cut and paste the templates, images, pockets, etc… to the folder board to make this awesome hands-on activity. Great for all ages!

Here is a photo of a completed Halloween-Themed lapbook. 

Become a member today to have access to thousands of activities for kids of all ages! As an abcteach you will be able to use our custom ClipArt images commercially…for more information or if you have any questions, feel free to contact


Written by Sandy Kemsley

~abcteach team


Happy New Year!

December 27th, 2017


The New Year is fast approaching. We at abcteach would like to wish you all a happy holiday season and look forward to 2018! This year abcteach will be celebrating its 18th anniversary online. We would like to thank you for your support and suggestions throughout the years.

We have some fun materials for the New Year! Here are a few documents to welcome the New Year with your students. Check these out:

  1. New Year’s Day
  2. 2018 Calendars
  3. Snow
  4. Penguins
  5. Ice Hockey


To help celebrate the New Year, we are having a SALE! 40% OFF all membership subscriptions. If you are a NEW abcteach user, click on the image below to purchase now! If you are a renewing abcteach member click here. Deal expires on 1/2/18, so act fast!


Happy Holidays!

~abcteach team

First Day Jitters

August 30th, 2017

5 Tips

Some of you may have started school already, and others will start this week! Either way, the first day of school can be tough for everyone. Here are some great tips to help you get through the first day, first week, or entire year of school. Don’t let it scare you, there are a lot of fun and exciting things about going back-to-school!

Tip #1

Go To Bed Early! Make sure to get plenty of beauty rest the night before the big day. That includes the parents too! Sometimes the first day can make going to sleep hard. You have all these thoughts running through your head about everything. What should I wear? Is my teacher nice? Will my friends be there? Where will I sit? All the questions can keep you wide awake…so go to bed early and make sure you are prepared the night before. Its always a good idea to eat a healthy breakfast before going to school. And parents should pack a lunch the night before just so you aren’t in a rush and late for school on the first day!

Tip #2

Be A Cheerleader! You’re kids are going to have a long school-year ahead. So give them an extra boost to keep their spirits strong. Write notes or funny jokes in their lunch to let them know you are thinking of them. Be involved with their homework, and encourage them to ask questions and try their BEST! Take them out for ice cream or their favorite place to eat when the first day of school is over to celebrate and hear about how it went! Share your own back-to-school experiences that will make them feel more comfortable. Make sure you stay calm and supportive throughout the day. They will appreciate your optimism.

Tip #3

Come Prepared! It’s very important to be prepared for the long day ahead! Make sure you have everything ready the night before. Pick out a nice outfit, because when you look good, you feel good! Leave your backpack by the front door, so you won’t forget it on the way to the bus! Usually, you have an ‘open house’ to come to the school before it starts. This is a great time to find your locker, meet the teacher, and see your classroom! It also helps you feel more prepared for when the first day starts. Don’t worry, everyone is going through it together; you are not alone. Be confident, and take a deep breath!

Tip #4

Stay Organized! Try to keep your home organized and clean. Back to school can be chaotic at times. It is always nice to come home to a friendly, stress-free environment. Your kids need their own space, and having a daily routine helps! Keep a checklist of chores or a to-do list for before and after school hours. Here is a colorful, printable checklist that goes through a daily morning routine. Keep a calendar close by to remember important dates, work schedules, and after-school events. Have a list of rules for at home and at school.

Tip #5

Health & Safety! Make sure to drink your Orange Juice/Milk! Getting the appropriate daily vitamins, and staying healthy is important for going back to school. There are so many allergies and germs floating around at school, it’s important to stay hydrated and healthy. You don’t want to bring any food to school that other students might be allergic to, so stay informed about your classroom health regulations! Also, make sure your child arrives safely to school. Know what time the bus arrives, or carpool with a friend! Have emergency lunch money, in case your child forgets to pack one. Make sure your child knows your contact information in case they need to get a hold of you at school. Leaving your cell or work number in their locker is always a good idea…just in case! Everyone needs to be healthy in order to have an active mind and strong bones. Take care of yourself!


We hope these five tips have helped prepare you for back-to-school. Everyone will be nervous, but try to have a good day, and remember to SMILE and DO YOUR BEST!!


Written by, Laura Kemsley

-abcteach team

abcteach welcomes you back to school!


The first week of school is a good time for students to get to know each other. Learning games played in groups can help facilitate this naturally. We created a fun game that students can play together, in groups, or in a learning center.

Fun Word Game with Letter Tiles


You will need a game board, set of letter tiles, and a tally chart. Let’s get started!


  1. Have students divide into groups. (2-3 in a group)
  2. Each group will need two matching game boards.
  3. Students take turns making words using the tiles.
  4. Each tile is worth 1 point.
  5. On the tally chart each group adds a tally for each letter.
  6. Play until no more new letters can be made.
  7. Continue playing until you can’t make any new words.




*NOTE: Each card has five tiles. For puzzles with more than 5 letters, just tape two boards together.


We hope you can find something to make this first week back at school easy. Let us know what you have planned for the first day of school in the comments below. Good luck this school year and stay tuned for more hands-on activities.






Written by Sandy Kemsley

abcteach team


It is time to go back to school! Everyone feels differently about starting their first day in a new grade, school, or classroom. The first day can be exciting and nerve-wracking! So to break the ice, we have included a few awesome activities to start the year off right.


All About ME

Getting to know your students is very important. Every student is different, and the first day of school can be tough. We are all trying to get to know one another, and ourselves too!

Getting to Know You

Desk Tag: All About Me

Contact Forms – This 5 page packet contains parent forms to be completed at the beginning of the school year. Includes contact information, transportation information, volunteer and conference sign up sheets and a child information sheet. Remember to send these home with your students on the first day!

“Who Am I?” Cards  – Members Only* Have each student fill out a card. Collect the cards; and when there is a free moment in class, pull out a card and call out the clues. See if your students can guess who the mystery classmate is!

Getting to Know You Grid – Members Only* Interview your classmates to complete the grid. Great getting-to-know you activity for the first day of school.

Getting to Know You, Selfie Picture – Members Only* This cell phone-themed art and writing activity allows students to introduce themselves by drawing a “selfie” picture and writing a brief text message.

All About Me Puzzle Piece – Members Only* A fun “all about me” activity for students to introduce themselves, then come together as a class to create a puzzle.

Back-to-School Puzzles

These are some fun, easy printable worksheets that you can do anytime.

Word Search: Back to School – Fun, pencil-shaped word search with 17 school-themed vocabulary words to find! Great for the first day of school.

Word Search: Back to School – Computer-shaped word search. Find all 20 hidden back-to-school vocabulary words in this challenging word puzzle.

Word Search: September – Members Only* Find all 10 vocabulary words in this September word search. With words such as; learn, teacher, fall, friends, books, etc…


Back-to-School Reading

Comprehension: When Does School Start? – Simple reading comprehension about when school starts in several different countries, with questions following.

Social Skills: Classroom and School Rules – Read, respond, and recall worksheet about the different kind of rules in school, at home, and around the community. Includes picture and statement worksheets, teaching how to recognize appropriate behaviors and rules.

First Day Jitters – Members Only* This 7 page unit, enhances Julie Danneberg’s witty story about first day nerves. Pages are filled with elementary comprehension questions, word search, word unscramble, story sequence, acrostic and much more!

First Day of School, A Rebus Story – Members Only* A Rebus story about the first day of school. Includes matching picture to word activity, and fill in the blank vocabulary exercise. Great for primary or early readers.

Story Sequence: First Day of School Surprise! – Members Only* A first day of school story. Read the story, then number the events as they occur in the story. Write the story again in your own handwriting and draw a picture to go with the text.


Back-to-School Writing

Writing Paper: School Days – Fill in the space with daily notes, homework assignments, or reminders. Ask your students to write a story about their first day of school, or draw a picture! Blank piece of paper with an apple illustration in the corner.

Classroom Olympics: Subject Goals – All the “Classroom Olympics” goal pages and the gold, silver, and bronze medals to go with the unit; all one easy download. Perfect year to correlate the 2016 Summer Olympics into your class!

Writing Prompt: My First Day of First Grade – Members Only* This is a writing activity for the first day of first grade.

Writing Prompt: Back to School Feelings – Members Only* Writing activity asking students to write about how they feel at the start of a new school year.

Portfolio: My Subject Goals (elem) – Members Only* This 14 page packet contains a portfolio cover, goal setting sheets, dividers, and reflection sheets. Perfect as an introduction to portfolio management and goal setting.


All of these activities are great for kindergarten to upper elementary grade levels. We hope you can find something to make this first week back at school a piece of cake. Let us know what you have planned for the first day of school in the comments below. Good luck this school year!


Thank you,


Laura Kemsley

Content Developer, abcteach team

Halloween Classroom Activities

October 4th, 2016


Halloween is right around the corner, and it is time to get the season started early. With the cool crisp air, falling leaves, and trips to the pumpkin patch happening this month, we wanted to share some awesome Halloween-themed activities for the classroom or at home.


Halloween Games

These worksheets are easy to download and print whenever you need something now. In this category you will find Halloween activity mats, candy corn counting, pumpkin matching, a ghost-shaped word search and much more. There will be a mixture of both FREE and member files.

Halloween Activity Mat – *Members Only. This activity mat includes a word scramble, maze, crossword puzzle, tic-tac-toe and dot-to-dot ghost games. Perfect for kids on the go! Try using abcWorkshop on a computer or tablet if you don’t want to print.

Ghost-Shaped Word Search (hard) – Find all of the 24 hidden Halloween vocabulary words in this tricky word search. Includes word bank and answer sheet.

Halloween Tic-Tac-Toe Board Games – *Members Only. Two fun, tic-tac-toe boards and game cards. Color and laminate for longer use.

Ten Frames: Candy Corn Counting – *Members Only. 11 page booklet using ten frames to count. Students can use real candy corns to complete the ten frames! Includes tracing numbers and addition problems.

Dominoes: Halloween Theme – *Members Only. Play any ‘double six’ domino game with these Halloween word dominoes, from CAULDRON to TREAT BAG.


sp_pumpkinPumpkin Decorations and Activities

Who doesn’t love pumpkins? In this section you will find everything you need to decorate your classroom and get your students in the Halloween spirit! Pumpkin bulletin board trims, Jack o’ Lantern ClipArt, border papers, signs and October calendars.

Bulletin Board Trim: Pumpkin Theme Set – *Members Only. 24 pages. A pumpkin themed bulletin board set that includes a straight border, pumpkin design letter sets that spell pumpkin, an A-Z letter set, plus a set of six graphics with jack-o-lantern faces.

Shapebook: Pumpkin Patch – Created with abctools, this FREE pumpkin-shaped writing prompt is perfect to write about the trip to the pumpkin patch! (“At the pumpkin patch, I saw….”). Print, color, and cut out to make a booklet.

Pumpkin Life Cycle – Make a FREE pumpkin life cycle booklet. Print, color and cut out each page to complete the book. Great for learning about life cycles!

Pumpkin Theme Unit: Math and Literacy – *Members Only. 10 page pumpkin theme unit that includes writing a story and poem, tally chart, addition, labeling, definitions, etc..

Desk Tags: Pumpkin Themed – *Members Only. Have student’s write their name in the lines and add to their desk to celebrate Fall/Halloween.

October Calendar – *Members Only. Fill in the dates with this cute, scarecrow calendar.

Pumpkin Border Paper – *Members Only. Primary lined border paper with Jack 0′ Lanterns in the surrounding border. Use for handwriting practice, stories, poems, etc…


blog_halloween2Halloween Crafts and Hands-On Activities

Coloring Page: Halloween Ghost – FREE, Halloween coloring page. An illustration of a child in a sheet, carrying a trick-or-treat bag, with “BOO!” overhead.

Coloring Page: Halloween Bat – Color, cut out, and hang from a string, or tape to the walls/windows. Great for Halloween!

Sewing Card: Jack o’ Lantern – *Members Only. Print on cardstock or tagboard. Punch out the holes and using yarn and plastic yarn needle, sew around the pumpkin. Great for little hands and early elementary ages.

Paper Bag Puppets: Halloween Theme Set – *Members Only. Ghost, pumpkin and witch all in one easy download. Print, color and cut out! Attach to paper bags and have a Halloween-themed puppet show.

Frankenstein Treat Container – *Members Only. This fun little container can be created by children and then filled with treats. This gives kids something to carry their treats in and use as decoration! Made with a yogurt container! (3rd grade and up)

Halloween Lapbook – *Members Only. A five page set of color illustrated templates for a lapbook on Halloween, with templates for pockets, flaps, booklet, matchbooks, flash cards, and more. Here are a few colored photos of the finished product!


If you would like to have access to all of these documents, and thousands more become a member today! Right now we are currently offering a fall promotion to celebrate the season! Use code: fall25 for $10 OFF a one-year membership. The membership starts the day you purchase and ends a year from that day. No subscriptions! One payment of $29.99 for thousands of worksheets, games, interactives, and customized worksheet generators.





Written by, Laura Kemsley

abcteach team



On August 5th, the games will begin! The 2016 Summer Olympics will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Athletes from all over the world will come together to compete in over 300 events such as; swimming, rugby, and golf!

This is the first time Rio will host the Olympic Games. It has taken years to prepare for an event like this…and to help make this years event a learning experience, here are some fun, Olympic-inspired worksheets to help get you started!





Tally the number of medals won by each country as you follow the Olympic Games, and then create a set of bar graphs to display your collected data. Real-world application of an important math skill.

Math: Olympic Medals – Tally & Bar Graphs *Members Only

“There are 46 Athletic Events. If 24 of those events are for men, how many of the events are for women?” These math word problems all have “Summer Olympics” as the theme.

Math: Word Problems: Summer Olympics

Social Studies

Two maps of Rio are included in this file with ten questions and a writing prompt that will help students explore Rio and the Olympic venues on an imaginary trip to the Summer Olympic Games.

Map Skills: Rio de Janeiro Hosts the 2016 Summer Olympics (upper elem/middle) *Members Only

Two maps of Rio are included in this file with seven questions that will help students explore Rio and the Olympic venues on an imaginary trip to the Summer Olympic Games.

Map Skills: Take a Trip to Rio (elem) *Members Only

A reading comprehension that describes some of the opening ceremony for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio; has follow-up multiple choice questions regarding the reading.

Reading Comprehension: Summer Olympics – Opening Ceremony

Reading & Writing

A reading comprehension on the history and symbolism of the Olympic rings. Complete with comprehension questions, and design your own Olympic emblem.

Comprehension: The Olympic Rings (elem) * Members Only

Make your own ‘Did You Know?’ Olympic note cards with colorful rings, and room to write fun facts.

Did You Know? – Olympics

Easy reading comprehension about the 2016 Summer Olympics with 3 short response questions.

Color and Read: 2016 Summer Olympic Games (prim)

A set of “Classroom Olympics” goal pages in each subject.  Printable gold, silver, and bronze medals to go with the unit; all one easy download. Students must complete each page of their individual goals.

Classroom Olympics: Set of Goals

One page biography on Olympic Gold Medal swimmer, Michael Phelps, with multiple choice and short response questions.

Biography: Michael Phelps Olympic Swimmer (Grades 3 & 4) *Members Only

Instructions for individual or group work. Fun, summer Olympics report packet includes a sports survey, map of events, design your own uniform, and other creative ideas. Great for all ages!

Research Report: 2016 Summer Olympics (primary) *Members Only

Fun Stuff

Find all of the Olympic-themed vocabulary words in these brand new word searches!

Word Search: 2016 Summer Olympics

Word Search: 2016 Summer Olympics – Sports

Simple and fun, Olympic Medal tic-tac-toe game board.

Learning Center: Summer Olympics – Tic-Tac-Toe

Print out these colorful Olympic Rings desk tags to use in the classroom.

Desk Tags: Olympic Rings (3-primary lines)

Desk Tags: Olympic Rings (single line)

Print and color these worksheets to display throughout the classroom or home.

Coloring Page: Olympic Flame

Coloring Page: Summer Olympics – Athletics

Coloring Page: Summer Olympics Medals *Members Only

Coloring Book: Summer Olympics Theme *Members Only

We hope you are enjoying your summer so far! Be sure to check out abcteach for updates, new materials added daily, as well as current promotions! And don’t forget to sign up for our FREE newsletter to stay up to date on teaching resources.


Written by, Laura Kemsley

abcteach team


Earth Day, Every Day!

April 19th, 2016


Earth Day is celebrated every year on April 22nd. We should celebrate Earth Day everyday! How are you going to incorporate Earth Day into the classroom? Well, look no further…we have some great activities to get started. We want to focus on the importance of protecting the environment, as well as ways to prevent more damage from occurring.

Going Green

Let’s start off on the right foot by reducing the waste we make each and every day. Instead of printing paper, Go Green! Recycling paper can save money, as well as our planet! You can immediately start reducing your carbon footprint with these helpful tips and tricks to try today, and why not start on Earth Day.


Teach your students/children how to recycle early. It can be confusing, what is recyclable and what is not. Recycling is a great way to reduce pollution, conserve energy, and save important natural resources. Here are a few ideas to help recycle paper use in the classroom.


  • Use both sides of sheet paper when writing in the classroom, and printing large workbooks.
  • Work in groups to save on printed handouts.
  • Create a scrap paper bin for students to use whenever!
  • Use chalkboards/whiteboards to save paper.
  • Create a blog or website for students to access and submit assignments online.
  • Ask for local donations. (Reuse library books)
  • Start a recycling bin in the classroom
  • Recycle old magazines, newspaper clippings, and mail to create cool art projects.


Do you have any other ‘green’ classroom tips that you can share? Feel free to leave a comment on how you are helping reduce waste in your classroom.

To refresh your comprehension skills, we have many different articles about Earth Day and how it all began. Did you know that Earth Day was originally started in San Francisco in 1970?

Comprehension: Earth Day (upper elem/middle)  – Members Only

Comprehension: Earth Day, Every Day (elem) – Members Only

We have a few awesome interactive activities to use in the classroom on Earth Day! Don’t have a SMART Board? No problem, just open the file using Smart Express Viewer.

Earth Day Interactives Using SMART Board – Members Only

PowerPoint Presentation: Natural Resources

Other activities that help explain the three R’s of conservation (Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle) are linked below.



Think Green, Teach Green

There are so many fun, hands-on ways to teach green in the classroom. This is a great time of year to show your students what they can do to help save our planet.


There are so many ways we can protect the environment and help save the planet. Teaching the importance of going green in the classroom, and encouraging our students to be environmentally conscious every day and not just Earth Day is a wonderful start. You can make a difference by Going Green!


~ Laura Kemsley, abcteach team



abcWorkshop Tutorial

April 7th, 2016


Have you ever wanted to be able to use abcteach resources directly on your computer or tablet without having to print? Well, now you can! With abcWorkshop you can bring up any PDF on the site to draw, color, and write using the custom tools. This is only being offered to our members. If you are a free user you can test it out using the free templates on the site.

Here is a simple tutorial showing how you can use abcWorkshop and what benefits it has to offer for you and your students. Let’s get started with something simple. AbcWorkshop is easy and fun to use! If you are following along, we will be using the first Dot-to-Dot example on the FREE site. Click here to get started!



Bring up any PDF document by selecting the blue drop down box, and choose, “Open in abcWorkshop.” This will open a new screen with your selected file. You will see a list along the left-hand side of the screen. This shows all of the customized tools you can use.

  • Write
  • Pencil
  • Marker
  • Shape
  • Save


Step One:

Select the pencil to connect the alphabet dots! Starting with the letter A, and ending with Z. You have 18 different color options to choose from. We used a black outline for the crow, once you have connected all the dots, now color it in and add your own personal touch! After every tool, select done.



Step Two:

Select the marker to color as well as the size of thickness. You can easily change colors and size as you go. Get creative, and have fun!



Step Three:

If you want to add solid lines you can use the pencil and if you want to highlight or fill in the lines, use the marker tool. Make a mistake? No worries…just select the red ‘undo’ button and it will clear the previous edit.



Step Four:

Want to write out a story or poem on this page? Select write in the upper left-hand corner, and choose a font. You can update the text at anytime. When it is selected, a green dotted-line will appear around the text box. Press ‘done’ to finish.



Step Five:

Once you are completely happy with what you’ve made, (and you should be, you did a great job!) you have a few options when saving. Select save and a pop-up window will appear! You have the choice of saving the document to ‘my abcteach,’ download, print, share, and send link. And that’s it! Enjoy :)



For all of our FANTASTIC abcteach members, you have unlimited access to every PDF on the website. Here are a ton of great activities to try right now using the abcWorkshop!


There are so many different possibilities using abcWorkshop! I hope you found this tutorial helpful. We would love to see what you are working on. Use the hashtag #abcWorkshop on social media and facebook so everyone can view your work.


Laura Kemsley – abcteach team


Every year in January we celebrate MLK Jr.’s dream. It is just as important today, as it was then; which is why we want to celebrate by creating a hands-on mobile for the classroom. This will get your students thinking about future goals and dreams that they can share with their peers.

This is what you need to get started:

abcteach MLK mobile template

* Scissors

* Glue

* Craft Paper, Card Stock, Construction Paper, etc.

* Marker, pencil, crayons

* String

* Tape

1. Begin by printing out the cloud mobile template for each student. Have them complete each sentence about their dreams for the community, school, world and each other.

2. Cut out each cloud. Starting with the title page, you can add a colorful border, picture, or drawing to represent each students’ individual artistry.

3. Using a hole punch and string, punch a hole in each dream cloud and tie a string connecting each dream cloud to the title page. It’s fun to use different string lengths! If you don’t have a hole punch, you could tape the string as well.

4. Find a spot in the classroom for the students to hang their MLK mobile.

Here are some related categories on abcteach, where you can find teachings for Martin Luther King Jr. , and more historical and cultural figures.

Martin Luther King Jr. Theme Unit

* Black History Month

* Biographies (member only)

* Athlete Biographies (member only)

* Holidays/Culture

* Social Studies: People

Enjoy this fun activity, and useful links for all your cultural teaching needs.  Share with other teachers, parents, and friends.  This is a fun activity for the classroom or for at home.

Enjoy !

Laura Kemsley – abcteach team 

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