* Lakeshore- More than a catalog

I admit to drooling over Lakeshore catalogs for years, but this teacher supply company has an impressive track record of giving back to the community, providing free online resources for teachers, and offering cool free online resources.  Starting in 1958, Lakeshore was THE go-to store for early childhood materials.  Gradually they have expanded their product line to elementary school and family-based materials.  Their partnership with Head Start focuses on STEM and STEAM activities.

Here are some of my favorite freebies from Lakeshore:

  • Their flashcard maker.  It’s simple to use and download.  I’ve made cards for multiple subjects and games.
  • Their free clipart, calendars, and templates.  Being artistically challenged, I appreciate the free thematic templates and teacher goodies.



  • Free worksheets.  Lakeshore offers free printables for math, language, social studies, science, and seasonal activities, and teacher resources.  I scanned 80+ reading worksheets and found well-created and catchy activities.  The Parent Scavenger Hunt (a way to explore the classroom) and Summer Reading List were terrific.
  • The Lakeshore Blog.  Their blog is full of family and classroom activities, crafts, science, and more.  Yes, they also explain clever ways to use their products, but these are hands-on activities that will appeal to a variety of learners.
  • Summer calendars.  Check out their calendars for kids pre-K through 3rd grade for summer fun ideas.  You might win $500 of products for completing one of three summer challenges!Lakeshore 4

No, I do not get a commission from Lakeshore, but hope you’ll take advantage of their freebies (and quality products) as I have for many years!

* Check out Mr. Elementary Math

Mr. Elementary Math 1In a link from multiplication.com, I have discovered a TERRIFIC website created by a math coach from Atlanta, Georgia.

Mr. Elementary Math, AKA Greg Coleman, has a wealth of freebies on his site, along with a vast array of materials and lessons on problem solving and much, much more.

His most recent post shares a problem-solving approach he used with a 3rd grade class.  He includes free templates but I was especially interested in his strategy of solving problems without any numbers.  I think that is a solid approach for struggling math students.  They won’t be able to grab those numbers and run in the wrong direction.  He also suggests acting out the problem, which would be easy to do with counters or other manipulatives.  Mr. Elementary Math 4

I’ve spent time enjoying his older posts (I’m nowhere finished!) but here’s what stands out:

  • Mr. Elementary loves to teach, loves math, and shares that love with students and other teachers (he’s in a great position as a math coach).
  • He makes excellent use of visual models for everything I’ve seen.  The graphics are well done and engaging.
  • He is after deep understanding of math concepts, not teaching to the test.    (I would bet that his students do well on any test.)
  • Mr. Elementary Math makes math fun!  His lessons and materials are very cool.
  • He is generous.  There are SO many free printables in his posts.  Wow.

This talented math teacher publishes Mr. Elementary Math, a newsletter, and also produces materials for sale on Teachers Pay Teachers (TpT).  Here’s a glance at the HUGE number of inexpensive resources he has created:Mr. Elementary Math 2

I’m now a happy follower of Mr. Elementary Math!  (And I have to take back all those stereotypical things I’ve said about how a male teacher’s class looks!  Yeah, it’s a female teacher foible.)