New Challenges, New Resources - Think Outside the Box!

Hi everyone!  Just popping by on this lovely spring day to bring you some updates!
March has been a month of challenges!  Like many teacher-authors, I have a ton of 'work in progress' folders, but something always distracts me and I get behind on my plans!
This month I got distracted by PowerPoint games!  I think this has probably been my biggest challenge - technically - in a long time, mainly because I have never made one before, had no clue what I was doing and was too impatient to watch tutorials - I just wanted to get started!  This was a huge mistake!  Lol!  I managed to make a simple game - 'thousands' of hours later with a lot of trial and error, hand wringing, tearing hair out etc - you get the picture!  It definitely was not my finest hour!  However, I am pleased to say I was happy with the finished result, plus amendments via a buyer suggestion.  I have now set aside some time to actually watch video tutorials before I try this again - I have some ideas that I would like to expand on.
Anyhow - this was a simple idea but it appealed to my child-like mind and I hope you will love it too! This is by no means a unique idea - it has probably been done tons of times, but it was unique to me!
Basically it is a fun, engaging, interactive letter recognition game - what a mouthful!  I have made three games - one for lower, one for mixed, one for upper cases!  
Below is a little video to show the game in action.

So what do you think?  Could you use this in your classroom? 

Letter recognition is important because it enables beginning readers to comprehend how printed text is associated with the spoken language. Having a mastery of letter names can make letter sounds easier for emerging readers.
Experienced teachers agree that effective letter recognition is a fine balance of both explicit instruction of letters and frequent exposure to those letters in multiple forms, both isolated and within text. 
This letter recognition game should not only be fun for the student, but provide repeated practice in recognizing the letters of the alphabet. Students are rewarded with a spinning star and a smile when they identify the correct letters. To avoid students being moved on to the next slide automatically when clicking on a wrong answer, I have had to include sad faces. All clicks are accompanied by some fun audio!  
Once the slide show is set up by the teacher, the student should be able to progress through the game independently. They may require help until they develop confidence in the technical aspects of using the game.

  • This game is also useful for intervention and assessment. 
  • I have intentionally created the game in black and white to allow the teacher to print as a worksheet. Students can cover the correct letters with manipulatives, such as counters. 
As I mentioned before - I have made a game for lower case, upper case and mixed case. 
These can be purchased separately or you can save 20% by buying the bundle. If you click on the image below, you will be taken to my teacherspayteachers store>interactive category where you can have a look at all 4 resources, should you wish to consider purchasing.

The games are for sale on several platforms. I know I have a mix of US, UK, Australian and Canadian followers, so I will always try to provide links to a couple of platforms so you can purchase where you feel most comfortable. I am trying hard to make my resources available to all!

For British English peeps you may want to check out the same resources on TES GLOBAL. Just click the image below and you will find them in my tes store. On this platform, there is a spring sale, so the bundle is further reduced by 25% - limited time offer, so, don't delay!

My second big challenge for March was creating resources for thinking skills - this is not my area of expertise, but I am aware that teachers need these resources for the classroom. I decided to create a small mini-series - 'Think Outside of the Box' - which would include three completely different delivery methods and cover a wide range of the thinking skills we wish to develop in our students.

Today’s students are the problem-solvers of the future. If they are taught factual knowledge only, they tend to respond with conventionally correct answers rather than exploring creative solutions. All students can learn to think critically and creatively.

Students need to be able to judge, analyze and think critically in order to participate fully in a democratic and technological society. This can be achieved if the teacher recognizes the value of thinking skills and provides opportunities for the thinking processes to be modeled and developed.

This ‘Think Outside of the Box’ series provides teachers with straightforward ideas and activities to help students develop these skills.

Just click on the image to find this resource

In this pack you will find 70 pages of shapes.

Students can: (turn the page in any direction)
  • have free choice to make any picture from the given shape or 
  • be given directions to change the shape into something specific, for example – a car, a house, an imaginary friend, a dog etc. 
When to use:
  • independently during morning work 
  • small group collaboration during circle time 
  • in centers – laminate and provide a dry erase marker

Click on the pic above to see this resource in my store

In this pack you will find 80 quick start task cards – 4 cards per page.
I have provided 3 options for printing.
These ‘quick starts’ are ideal warm-up activities for the beginning of a lesson. They should be used flexibly and can be used in any order at any time. As these task cards are intended for repeated use, I would suggest laminating them for durability.

When to use: (10-15 minutes group/class)

• at the beginning of a lesson
• during circle time


• Brainstorm Task Cards x 8
• How Could You? Task Cards x 8
• It Won't Happen Task Cards x 8
• How Do You Do It? Task Cards x 8
• What If? Task Cards x 8
• What's The Same? Task Cards x 8
• How Many Ways? Task Cards x 8
• Recycle Task Cards x 8
• What's The Connection? Task Cards x 8
• Crazy Combinations Task Cards x 4
• Predict The Future Task Cards x 4

The third resource is almost finished - it will be a series of worksheets. I am so pleased that I decided to create these, as it was another challenge met, but also because this type of resource is badly needed in classrooms - developing these skills in our students is critical.

Again if you would like these resources in British English, you can find them on the links below at TES Global.

Also, as an extra little surprise, if you go to, you will be given £3 credit towards any purchases - isn't that nice?!

Just enter the code: SPRINGSALE17

This last resource is perfect for early finishers and, highly engaging so much fun!
  • Tes British English version can be found HERE
  • TpT American English version can be found HERE


  1. Thank you for talking us through everything you are doing at the moment - all really interesting ;)

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. I found your posts very useful...always looking forward to them! I bought this resource, pupils love it!


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