April Showers Math



The month of April brings a lot of rain to Northeast Ohio, and that inspired our “April Showers” first grade math activity.  While you demonstrate Common Core Standard 1.NBT.3 on the SMART board, students can follow along on the attached worksheet. This lesson is perfect for either an introduction or a review of comparing two two-digit numbers.

April Showers SMART board download

April Showers Worksheet Download

The Common Core Standard can be found here: http://www.corestandards.org/Math/Content/1/NBT/#CCSS.Math.Content.1.NBT.B.3



Summer Solutions Kindergarten: Special Edition

Summer Solutions Kindergarten:  Special Edition


Last week, I had the wonderful opportunity to visit East Woods School where my daughters, Megan and Emma, attend 4th grade.  I was there as a “visiting professor” to teach the 4th grade students in Mrs. Antes and Mrs. DeLeo’s classes about my career as a workbook author at Bright Ideas Press, LLC.

During my visit, we talked about how a Simple Solutions workbook is written. We talked about following standards, creating problems, and most importantly, distributing the different types of problems evenly throughout the workbook, so that the user’s brain gets a consistent workout.

photo 4

Then the fun began!  In order to give the students a first-hand look at being a workbook author, I had the classes work together to create a mini-Simple Solutions Kindergarten Common Core Math book. Each student was responsible for creating and writing one problem for the Kindergarten book.  The 4th graders did an amazing job as you can see below!

I want to thank Mrs. Antes and Mrs. DeLeo again for giving me the opportunity to get back into the classroom where my career as a teacher first began. It was so much fun!  And thank you to the 4th grade students at East Woods Elementary for working so hard and for being such a great audience.

If any of you are kindergarten teachers or have kindergarten students at home, feel free to download our mini- Simple Solutions Common Core Math book to use with your children. Then email us, and let us know what you think of the workbook and our incredible 4th grade authors!!

Kindergarten: Special Edition

Summer Really is Coming!

Summer may seem far away, but it will be here before you know it. If you haven’t ordered your Summer Solutions books yet, now is the time! Summer Solutions is an easy-to-use, budget friendly way to fight summer learning loss.

If you are a teacher or other school representative, call or email us to activate your school code to begin ordering.  Orders earn money for your school and entitle parents to free shipping & handling.

If you are a parent, visit us at www.SummerSolutions.net to order your books today. This year, we have added a Common Core Math series for grades K-8, but our traditional math series is also still available. Contact your school if you’re not sure which series is most appropriate for your child.


Judy Backs, Team Leader




Second Grade Common Core ELA

Second Grade Common Core ELA

RF.2.3d  Decode words with suffixes.

Second Grade Common Core ELA

To get you started, we have created a second grade Common Core ELA activity for you to use in your classroom right now! Click on the links below to find ways of introducing standard RF.2.3d

RF.2.3d er suffixes

RF.2.3d ful suffixes

RF.2.3d ing suffixes

RF.2.3d less suffixes

Simple Solutions Common Core English Grammar & Mechanics

 3rd Grade Common Core English

Simple Solutions Common Core English Grammar & Mechanics


A few months ago, over 3,000 schools across the country received examination copies of Simple Solutions Common Core English Grammar & Mechanics for one semester of grade 3.  These books are fully aligned with the Common Core State Standards, are available for Grades K through 8, and can be previewed and ordered now.

Each book contains 140 lessons that utilize a proven method of systematic review and practice.  The new online Teacher’s Edition allows for greater ease of use, free access to the student answers for daily self-checking, and immediate access to product updates.  And, ELA Teacher Resources are still part of the package at no additional charge.  These online “extras” include games, graphic organizers, supplemental units, and lists of well-vetted interactive and informational websites.

If you did not receive an examination copy of Simple Solutions Common Core English Grammar & Mechanics, or if you would like to preview the entire book for any grade level, please contact us to request a digital examination copy.

Use these Common Core English lessons to introduce L.3.1e or to review the simple verb tenses at any grade level!

L.3.1e Present Tense

L.3.1e Past Tense

L.3.1e Future Tense

Never Forget Kit

Never Forget Kit

never forget kit

Parents want their children to remember what they’ve learned—especially over the long summer break—and teachers know the only way to do that is by giving kids the opportunity to practice!  Teachers in schools all over the country recommend Summer Solutions because it revisits important math and language arts concepts and provides minutes-a-day of independent practice to ensure that when kids return to school in the fall, it will be as if they never left!

To assist with ordering, we have provided schools with Summer Solutions Never Forget Kits.  Each kit includes

  • An examination copy of Summer Solutions Common Core Math;
  • A letter from Nancy McGraw, president and founder of Bright Ideas Press, explaining why she created the Summer Solutions program for her own classroom;
  • A sample Parent Letter showing how EASY it is to order Summer Solutions with no shipping & handling fees;
  • Information about how schools can use the sale of Summer Solutions as a fundraiser;
  • A teacher recommendation flyer to help parents select the most appropriate books and levels for their children;
  • A completion certificate for Summer Solutions Scholars.

If your school needs a Never Forget Kit, please email Judy (judy@simplesolutions.org), and she will send one immediately.  If you are a parent who would like to order with a coupon code for free shipping & handling, please pass this information along to your child’s teacher or principal.

If you have any questions, visit our website (http://www.summersolutions.net/), or email Judy (judy@simplesolutions.org).  Remember, Summer Solutions easy-ordering is simple and hassle-free for the school.  It’s convenient for parents and saves them the high costs of shipping and handling.  Best of all, Summer Solutions prevents the “summer slide.”

Celebrate Chinese New Year!

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year begins on January 31. Celebrating Chinese New Year provides many opportunities across the curriculum for students to learn about Chinese culture.  Below you will find links to crafts, lesson plans, and books to help you celebrate the Year of the Horse. We have also included downloadable color-by-number Chinese lanterns.  Once the students have completed the math, use the lanterns to decorate for your celebration!

Color-by-Number Subtraction

Color-by-Number Division


Book List:

Simple Solutions Shines the light on Eighth Grade Common Core Math!

Eighth Grade Common Core Math

Eighth Grade Common Core Math


To get you started, we have created an eighth grade Common Core Math activity for you to use in your classroom right now! Click on the links below to find ways of introducing standard 8.F.A.2.

8th Grade Lesson Plan

8th Grade Common Core Math SMART board

8th Grade SMART board slides

y-intercept worksheet

Slope Worksheet


New Year, New Me!

New Year, New Me!

New Year

As 2014 begins, students should start thinking about what the New Year will bring. Resolutions give us a chance to be daring and try new things, and this week’s free download can help with that.  Students can use the graphic organizer to brainstorm ideas for new games, new books, new activities and new foods to try.  They can help each other by making recommendations.  Teachers can facilitate the conversations by encouraging students to step out of their comfort zone.

This activity can be used across many grade levels.  In the younger grades, students can simply fill in the information using pictures; older students can use the graphic organizer as a pre-writing activity that will lead to thoughtful reflection about the possibilities of the coming year.

We hope that 2014 brings you peace, comfort and joy throughout the year!

New Year, New Me!


A Flurry of Math

A Flurry of Math


Snow is starting to fall in Northeast Ohio, and to celebrate we’ve created a “Flurry of Math” to keep your students’ math skills sharp.  The worksheet for each grade is coded with the Common Core State Standard that it reinforces.

First Grade

Second Grade

Third Grade

Fourth Grade

Fifth Grade

Sixth Grade

Seventh Grade

Eighth Grade

If you’re looking for more ideas to address the CCSS in Math, be sure to look at some of our past blogs!