abcteach blog

National Soup Month

January 16th, 2014

This month is National Soup month, and I would like to share a hearty soup recipe to celebrate. Vegetable based soups are healthy and packed with vitamins.  The best part about most soup recipes is once you add the majority of the ingredients; the pot does the rest of the cooking.  You don’t have to be a master chef to make good food.  Cooking is always fun, educational, and I encourage you to try it.

Cooking is just like life, in that there is always something new to learn.  We all have trouble finding time to cook, but make time once a week to cook a meal with a friend or family member.  Cooking involves so many subject matters, including; Math, science, nutrition, organization, reading, culinary arts, all of which are good for our mind and body.  The best way to make cooking fun, is to choose recipes that you like, and that you can execute easily.  Try out this butternut squash soup recipe. Abcteach has more fun recipes in our functional text reading comprehension section.


Butternut Squash Soup – “Real, Easy, Healthy”


–       Two packages of already chopped butternut squash.

–       Two sweet potatoes peeled and cubed.

–       One medium white onion.

–       3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced

–       Celery (4 stalks, cubed)

–       Bag of carrots

–       16 oz. chicken stock

–       Dash of salt, pepper, and sugar.

–       2 tablespoons olive oil or butter.

–       Teaspoon rosemary (optional)

–       Garnishes (Fresh parmesan or toasted pine nuts)


In a deep pot, sauté onion and garlic in olive oil for a minute.  Add sweet potatoes, squash, celery, and carrots.  Stir all the ingredients and continue to sauté for a few minutes.  Add the chicken stock and bring the pot to a boil.  Once the pot has reached a boil, turn the temperature to a low or simmer.  Cook vegetables for 20 – 30 minutes or until tender.  After the vegetables are cooked, take an emersion blender or anything that will breakdown the vegetables to gain texture in the soup.  The soup will become creamy and delicious without any salt, pepper or sugar added.  I suggest that you add a dash of each just to give it a little seasoning, a little sugar works well to bring out the natural sugars in the squash and potatoes.  Serve with crusty bread for dipping.



















Enjoy !

Posted by David Kemsley


Happy Holidays from abcteach

December 13th, 2013

Happy Holidays from abcteach

Happy Holidays from abcteach. We hope you have a wonderful holiday season with family and friends. Enjoy your traditions and making new memories. We are looking forward to the new year with new ideas and materials to meet your teaching needs. If there’s something you’d like to see on abcteach, we welcome you to leave your comments and suggestions below.

Thank you for using abcteach!

Sandy Kemsley and the abcteach team

As you’ve been hearing about the last of couple weeks, abcteach’s Foreign Language Section has a diverse, comprehensive supply of materials for learning and reinforcing new languages. The first Eye on Curriculum article explored our Spanish resources in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. We then went to the French section and toured the many subcategories to help students learn about French language, history, and cultural traditions.

Today, we are delving into two beautiful European languages: German and Italian. Similar to our other sections, these categories are filled with an abundance of creative materials to make learning (and teaching) both fun and easy. Take a look below to find a sampling of free and member-site links for everything from grammar, to conjugation, numbers, vocabulary, and other linguistic expressions.


german Free

• German Crosswords – themes include animals, time, seasons, sports, the body, and others
• German Picture Sentences – topics include colors, food, seasons/holidays, and family
• Das Essen / Foods – basic foods, the food pyramid, and food pairs
• Der Sport/ Sports – sports word walls, flashcards, and picture sentences
• Klassenzimmer/ Classroom – word games, classroom items, bookmarks, and matching
• Zahlen/ Numbers – word games, addition, flashcards, and board games


• German Color and Write Prompts – topics include pets, birds, buildings, chores, and the body
• German Glyphs – themes include holidays, months, animals, the family, and shapes
• German Picture Sentences – topics include animals, food, holidays, clothing, and music
• German PowerPoint – interactive reading games
• German Reading Comprehension – themes include houses, the weather, food, seasons, and professions
• Das Haus/ The House – bookmarks, glyphs, crosswords, games, and picture sentences
• Das Wetter/ Weather – matching, flashcards, word games, and word walls
• Der Mensch/ The Person – bookmarks, card games, word searches, and reading comps
• Die Emotionen/ Emotions – picture sentences, word games, flashcards, and coloring pages
• Die Familie/ The Family – glyphs, word walls, flashcards, board games, and crosswords
• Die Kleidung/ Clothing – cloze sentences, matching, color and writes, flashcards, and word games
• Die Musik/ Music – bookmards, crosswords, flashcards, matching, and more
• Die Zeit und die Jahreszeit/ Time and Seasons – seasonal word scrambles, flashcards, crosswords, bookmarks, and charts

Did you know that October is Italian Heritage Month? Here are themed materials to help you celebrate!



• Italian Coloring Pages – topics include pets, wild animals, birds, and insects
• Italian Flashcards – themes include colors, professions, animals, and parts of the body
• Italian PowerPoint – interactive vocabulary games
• Corpo humano/ Human Body – includes hands, the head, legs, the mouth, and other body features
• Numeri/Numbers – vocabulary exercises for learning numbers 1-20


• Italian Color by Number – fun coloring games for beginning speakers
• Italian Grammar – includes verbs, tenses, and conjugation
• Italian PowerPoints – topics include colors, the house, conversational speaking, and more
• Cibo/Food – word games, matching, writings prompts, and more
• Colori/ Colors – posters, color forms, word searches, and interactives
• Ora/Time – telling time puzzle
• Professioni/Professions – types of professions and careers
• Scuola/School – flashcards, posters, school items, and games

We hope you enjoy these materials and find them to be a helpful (and fun!) addition to your foreign language curriculum. If you don’t find something that you need, please let us know. We’re here to help!

Posted by Lindsey Elton, abcteach Team

Eye on Curriculum: French

September 19th, 2013

franceWelcome to another edition of the Eye on Curriculum blog series. Last week we toured our Spanish section, highlighting key topics and categories for learning the language and various aspects of Hispanic culture.

This week’s Eye is focusing on another foreign language section: French. As with its Spanish counterpart, our French Language Section is an abundance of worksheets, games, activities, and interactives that help students of all ages to learn French, French history, and cultural traditions of francophone countries.

The following is a handful of sections from our free and member sites. You will find materials in both French and English, in varying degrees of difficulty. As with all of our language materials, they’re adaptable for any learning environment and fitting for students of all ages!


• Elementary (K-5) – games and learning activities for students in grades K-5
• French Culture – biographies, bookmarks, holidays, landmarks, and traditions
• French Grammar – verbs (-ar, -ir, -er), tenses, posters, pronouns, possessives
• French Idiomatic Expressions – bookmarks, illustrations, posters, and common phrases
• French Reading Comprehension – holidays, facts, fictional stories
• French Vocabulary – colors, fruits and vegetables, parts of the body, prepositions, verbs, etc.

(Did you know that our member site provides over 12 additional French categories? Expand your teaching materials today!)

• Elementary (K-5) – an extensive listing of games and learning activities for students grades K-5
• French Audio – interactive games with audio
• French Flashcards – single and double-sided; topics include animals, food, school supplies, vacations, parts of the body, and more
• French Interactives – interactives for social studies, grammar, reading, science, and vocabulary
• French Holiday/Seasonal – includes months, seasons, holidays, back to school, and end of year
• French Phonetics/Pronunciation – posters, homophones, vowel writing, phonetic cards
• French Picture Sentences – topics include at home, holidays, seasons, sports, clothes
• French Rebus – topics include seasons, weather, animals, school, special places, and more
• French Teaching Extras – categories include bookmarks, bulletin boards, calendars, newsletters, rewards, and more
• French Word puzzles – categories include charades, crosswords, themes, word searches, puzzles, and more.

abcteach’s French materials support all levels of your language curriculum – and add a little fun to the learning, as well! Whether they’re new to the subject or continuing their studies, our activities help engage and provide students with a variety of resources to understand and enjoy the French language. Bonne chance!

Posted by Lindsey Elton, abcteach Team


Eye on Curriculum: Languages

September 11th, 2013

worldSeptember is fully underway, which means our Eye on Curriculum blog series has switched focus to another featured section: Foreign Language. With our classrooms becoming more diverse, there has never been a more opportune time to incorporate new languages and cultural traditions into your lesson plans.

abcteach is proud to provide you teaching materials for five unique languages: American Sign Language (ASL), French, German, Italian, and Spanish. We also have a comprehensive section for English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers and students. Within each section, you’ll find a diverse array of resources, including posters, worksheets, activities, interactive games, and more, for learning the language as well as cultural traditions. Our materials range from beginner level to more advanced, are adaptable to all school settings, and can be used with any student age group (including adult learners!).

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month starting shortly, our first featured language is Spanish. Take a peek below to find a sampling of the categories found on our free and member sites. The topics covered include everything from conjugation to cultural traditions, and can be used in conjunction with your classroom curriculum or for practice at home.


• Basic Grammar – pronunciation, verbs, tenses, and spelling
• Culture – holidays and daily life
• Flashcards – seasons, days of the week, animals, and sports
• Math/Numbers – Spanish number words, addition, simple problems, and flash cards
• Reading Comprehension – topics include American history, science, geography, and more for multiple age groups
• Vocabulary – weather, sports, Montessori, interactives, senses, colors, and more.

(Did you know that our member site provides over 20 additional Spanish categories? Check them all out today!)

• Booklets
• Children’s Stories
• Diaries/Journals
• Elementary Level (K – 5)
• Geography
• Glyphs
• Algebra
• Rebus
• Spanish 2
• Writing

Learning new languages opens the door for new experiences, relationships, and seeing the world from a different perspective. In the next couple weeks, we will journey through our other language sections, bringing you special highlights to share with your students and colleagues… and maybe even your family at home!

Posted by Lindsey Elton, abcteach Team


writeAs we celebrate National Homeschool Month throughout September, I’d like to tell you about another special month that is right around the corner. November is National Novel Writing Month. You may wonder what that has to do with homeschool, but let me assure you that the corresponding Young Writers Program is a great way to encourage writing and creativity in any school setting.

The Young Writers Program began in 2005, as an extension of NaNoWriMo (short for National Novel Writing Month). Both are operated by The Office of Letters and Light, a non-profit organization. NaNoWriMo challenges writers of all ages to write 50,000 words of a novel in just 30 days, and takes place each November. The Young Writers Program was formed as a response to educators who wanted to bring the program into the classroom.  It allows writers 17 and younger to set their own word count goals, set up online user profiles, and access helpful forums, writing resources, and pep talks from staff and published authors. For educators, the program provides downloadable Common Core-aligned lesson plans, workbooks, and other resources.

Personally, I was unaware of these programs until last November, when my youngest son, then a high school senior, told me that one of his friends was participating in NaNoWriMo. “Na-no-what-o?” I asked. “National Novel Writing Month,” he explained, giving me a quick summary of the event. Intrigued, I checked out their website and was delighted with my findings. Busy with other projects at the time, my son declined my suggestion that he participate. However, I signed up for NaNoWriMo that very day and began writing. The experience was amazing. I enjoyed the opportunity to pursue creative writing on a daily basis. The word count goal provided the drive and “permission” for me to write. The forums and pep talks proved to be great resources. This year, I have participated in two more NaNoWriMo events (Camp NaNoWriMo was held in April and July). Through the online forums, I have met several teens and young adults who have participated in the Young Writers Program. They all share a love of writing and a desire to continue their writing endeavors into adulthood.

As a homeschool mom, I have always enjoyed finding a favorite new educational resource. Sadly, I didn’t discover the Young Writers Program in time to use it with my own sons, who have both graduated, but I would highly recommend it to any educator. I have found it to be an inspirational, informative program. I encourage you to check out the Young Writers Program – Resources for Educators. Then, as you plan your writing curriculum for the new school year, be sure to browse through our own Writing section for support materials.

Posted by Carol Welch, abcteach staff writer

Looking for additional writing resources? Below are links to our FREE MATERIALS:

Language Arts

Writing Forms

Writing Prompts

Writing Skills


This month’s Eye on Curriculum series has taken a walk through special highlights from our comprehensive Interactive library. We kicked things off with a Back to School theme, journeyed into popular SMART Notebook and Promethean Flipchart files, then lastly, explored our exciting new Math Magician series. But what about games for everyday lesson plans? Don’t worry, we’ve got hundreds (and hundreds) of core subject and extra curricula files waiting for you!

The abcteach Interactive section is full of math, science, reading comprehension, foreign language, social studies, and other themed files for students of all ages. As you tour each section, you’ll find a broad range of skill sets, ranging from pre-K basics all the way through middle school. You’ll also find attendance charts, calendars, graphic organizers, and a variety of fun themes for the holidays and other special events (i.e. the Olympics). In addition, many of our files have been categorized for Common Core Standards, so students will have a balanced mix of fun while learning their essential grade-specific skills.

The links below are a handful of materials categorized according to subject, with multiple grade levels included. Take a look and see what works best for you! If you don’t find what you’re looking for or there’s something else that you need, please let us know. We’re always here to help.

And don’t forget: although our games are created to use with either SMART Notebook or Promethean Flipchart software, all can be accessed with your home or classroom computer!

Math (over 250 in all!)
Flipchart: Math – Tally Marks
Flipchart: Math – Pumpkin Ten Frames

SMART Notebook: Math – Apple Tree Place Value (kdg)
SMART Notebook: Math – Money (elem)
SMART Notebook: Math – Metric Conversion Word Problems (grade 5)
SMART Notebook: Math – Multiplying and Dividing Integers (7th grade)

SMART Notebook: Salamander Label
SMART Notebook: Science – Part of a Plant (easy)

SMART Notebook: Science – The Food Chain
SMART Notebook: Crossword – International Space Station
Flipchart: Reading Comprehension – The Human Body (bones, muscles and cells)
Flipchart: Science: Animals – Invertebrates (label/octopus)

Social Studies
SMART Notebook: Map – Central America
SMART Notebook: Crossword – Winter Olympics

Interactive: Notebook: Social Studies – American Civil War
Interactive: Notebook: Social Studies – Presidential Matching
Interactive: Notebook: Map – South America
Interactive: Notebook: Secret Letters-Social Studies Map Skills (elem)

Reading Comprehension
Interactive: Flipchart: Why is Grass Green? (elem-middle)
Interactive: Flipchart: Reading Questions: Template

Interactive: Notebook: Holidays: Labor Day – Early Reader (with audio)
Interactive: Flipchart: Early Reader Comprehension – Colorful Crayons (with audio)
Interactive: Notebook: Reading Comprehension – Types of Clouds (with audio)
Interactive: Notebook: Reading Comprehension – Claude Monet (upper elementary)

Interactive: Flipchart: Phonics: Dolch Set 3: – Spelling (with audio)
Interactive: Notebook: ABC Order – Colors

SMART Notebook: Spelling – The Basketball Game
SMART Notebook: Spelling – OU and OW words
SMART Notebook: Syllable School Sort
SMART Notebook: Spelling – Reading With Mr. Pugsley (level one)

Posted by Lindsey Elton, abcteach Team


mathappimageDoes your child need extra help with math? It’s time for the abcteach Math Magician! The Math Magician app was created to showcase basic math problems in a fun and interactive way. Math Magician helps students of all ages learn the basics of counting, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and greater than/less than values. This app is great because it has multiple levels of computation, allowing individuals to learn at their own pace. Your student will enjoy the app for its creative graphics, intro movie, rewarding treasures, and positive reinforcement; in the process, they will learn how to read and solve multiple choice questions, while working on their mental math skills.

This fall, we will be updating the Math Magician app with a new level of difficulty. This level will be pre-K, focusing on beginner level problems. Math Magician will have four different levels of computation, covering six different subject matters, once the update is complete. The pre-K section will be great for youngsters that are just learning about math, as their first impression of math will be fun!

Math Magician is available for iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd, 4th, and 5th generations), and iPad. Requires iOS 4.3 or later.

Purchase Math Magician today!

Math Magician Interactives Series
Did you know that abcteach now has Math Magician interactives for SMART Board? We currently have six different SMART Board notebooks with a Math Magician theme, reinforcing the same core curriculum math problems that are featured in the app. Let’s check out some of the existing Math Magician interactives that we have to offer…

mm1SMART Notebook: Math Magician – Addition & Subtraction (2,4,6,8)

This custom made SMART Board notebook was created to strengthen your students’ understanding of addition and subtraction, using the numbers 2,4,6, and 8. In this interactive lesson, you must drag one of the given numbers into the correct spot in order to complete each math equation. Dragging and dropping numbers to solve problems is a great way to get your student involved in math. This feature helps students recognize numbers, solve problems faster, and creates enhanced memory of the numbers and problems presented. Every problem will use 2,4,6, and 8 as a possible answer for each page of this lesson. This demands that the student make a decision on which number is best suited for each particular problem.

mm2SMART Notebook: Math Magician – Ten Frames

This is another interactive that is a part of the Math Magician SMART Board notebook series. In this activity, your student will learn counting and addition skills. Each student must either drag the given amount of magic treasures into the Ten Frame, or count the treasures in each Ten Frame to get the correct answers. Counting and adding in Ten Frames is an organized way for your child to learn basic numbers in math.

We hope you enjoy these lessons and more, as abcteach plans on expanding our Interactive Math Magician series. Simple, to the point, and reinforcing basic math skills is what you will get. Become your own math magician, and conquer these great interactive lessons today!

Questions about the Math Magician app or interactives? Please email us at

Posted by David Kemsley, abcteach Team

As Common Core Standards become more prevalent in your class, the greater the need there is to ensure that students are grasping the necessary skill elements. But how do you assess their competency and comprehension of each required standard? With our new rubric charts.

Rubric Evaluation Charts
checkmarkIn addition to new math and ELA worksheets, abcteach is proud to launch a series of rubric evaluation charts to help you assess how well your students are mastering their Common Core skills. The first series of charts evaluates ‘Writing.’ Fashioned in the typical rubric structure, they display the specific skill/standard (taken directly from the Common Core website), then provide four adjacent columns for you ascertain where your students’ skills lie. The four columns include the following:

• 4 – Exceeds Grade Level
• 3 – At Grade Level
• 2 – Approaching Grade Level
• 1 – Below Grade Level

Common Core identifies three writing styles that students need to grasp: persuasive, informative/explanatory, and narrative. We have found that a majority of teachers typically start with persuasive, so we are creating those materials first, for grades K-5. Stay tuned in the following months for your informative/explanatory and narrative rubric charts – there’s more to come!

 How to Use
The new rubric charts support materials found on abcteach, as well as your current Common Core worksheets. Let’s start on the site and take 5th grade – Writing as an example. Here, you’ll find a variety of items, including your rubric, an explanatory poster, and a packet of practice sheets with a student mastery checklist. The student checklist is a great tool as it is aligned with the rubric, and can be used in conjunction. Students simply check off that they’ve completed the work, and then the rubric provides your final overview assessment. *Note: Persuasive Writing rubrics are also designed to be used with Narrative checklists; this is displayed in the example below.

CC: Student Master ChecklistGrade 5: ELA Writing Rubric

We hope that you enjoy our new rubrics and find them useful. Common Core Standards can be ambiguous and tedious at times (not to mention frustrating). Our rubrics are designed to provide a clear definition of what you’re looking for and what you’re grading, with the hopes of making the process faster and easier.

As always, please let us know if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions on our materials. We’re here to help!

Posted by Kathy Butler and Lindsey Elton, abcteach Team

If you are a teacher or parent, don’t be shy, and be sure to check out all of abcteach’s interactive materials. There are many different kinds of interactive whiteboards and software. On abcteach, we offer both SMART Board® and Promethean ActivInspire® materials. You don’t have to have fancy equipment or an expensive tablet in order to ensure a hands-on learning experience. All of these lessons can be downloaded onto your computer and used to teach, or just have fun, in an interactive way!

In the categories below, we will discuss a variety of our most popular lessons, share why each one is important, and explain how they can add dimension to the classroom. Our interactive whiteboard resources are intended to energize, engage, and teach in more dynamic ways than ever. Here is how:

SMART Board® Lessons and Activities
In order to use our SMART Board materials you must have the correct notebook software version of 9.5 or later. Here is a free 30-day trial on Smart Exchange with the newest software (version 11.2). Once you have downloaded the software, let’s explore some of our resources.

SMART Notebook: Math, Animal Trackers – Addition (1-20)
animal trackersThis activity is a part of a series called “Animal Trackers,” and is an excellent way to get students to practice and get involved with their basic math skills (addition, subtraction and multiplication). The object of the game is to touch the correct answer, in order to track each animal. This activity contains five levels of addition problems, with sums 2 through 20. Each level has the same difficulty. If you wanted to use this in a classroom setting, you could add a timer or stopwatch and see how fast it would take to complete one level. On the computer, simply touch the correct answer using the cursor and play along! (ages 7-9)

SMART Notebook: Punctuation Station  Apostrophes
punct stationFor all of the Language Arts lovers, here is another series called “The Punctuation Station,” which includes apostrophes, abbreviations, capital letters, comma basics, and ending marks. Each station has: review with examples, writing and editing practice, rules of use, and sentence structure. Certain tools are added to enhance each individual experience. For example, matching objects or images by using the drag and drop feature will make practice easier and more memorable. The touch and reveal animation includes sound and graphics that encourage the students to get every answer correct. Get aboard the Punctuation Station! (Elementary levels)

Here are all of the SMART Board categories on abcteach.

Promethean ActivInspire® Lessons
In order to use our Promethean lessons you must first start with the appropriate software. You can find the download on Promethean Planet along with other useful information and tips about using whiteboards in the classroom. On abcteach, you will find a wide variety of educational lessons in our Promethean Flipchart section. Promethean Flipcharts can only be used with the ActivInspire download. You cannot open SMART Board files on ActivInspire and vice versa.

Promethean Flipchart: Reading Comprehension  Rock Climbing
rock climbReading Comprehensions are an important part of our interactive content. Topics range from holidays and events to seasons and animal habitats. Most of our comprehensions include correlating vocabulary building worksheets, audio, and multiple-choice quizzes. The quiz template allows students to vote or use their remotes in order to track answers. Plus, learning new vocabulary couldn’t be easier with Keyword Match. This template allows students to drag each word into place next to the appropriate description. Explore more interactive reading comprehensions here.

Promethean Flipchart: Getting to Know My Classmates (Member)
get to knowTake the first day of school to the next level with these creative classroom activities. This is a fun back to school experience to help students become better acquainted with their classmates. Students are asked to raise their hands in response to a question, and then use that data to graph and record results. This complete lesson reinforces reading, handwriting, counting, sorting, and graphing skills. This lesson is for members only, but check out some of our other themes now. (K-3rd grade)

Most of our interactive whiteboard lessons are made with the common core standards and supplementary materials. We pride ourselves on creativity and enhancement of the classroom in order to save our members valuable time. You can find many different interactive categories on abcteach such as: math, language arts, science, reading comprehension, themes, games, and much more!

Posted by Laura Bida, abcteach Team

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