What’s the Buzz About Cicadas?



A cicada craze is taking hold at Simple Solutions! Why?  It happens somewhere almost every year, and this year it’s happening in our home state!

Any day now, the 17-year cicadas (Brood V) will most likely be arriving in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland. (If you don’t live in any of these states, perhaps the cicadas visited you last year, or they will arrive in your home state within the next year or so.)

Whether you’re likely to see any cicadas this year or not, download these free activities, and use them for reading comprehension, science, writing, or math. If you want to make more worksheets specific to the standard you are teaching, be sure to check out our new Worksheet Generator!  It is packed with problems sorted by standard to create a personalized lesson for your students.

Enjoy this free Cicada unit from Simple Solutions!  Click on the thumbnails to download the full worksheet.  You can use it to supplement reading, science, social studies, writing, and math lessons.

Cicada Reading

  • Magicicada, 2016: They’re Back! (passage suitable for students in grades 4-6)
  • Question Worksheet (with answers and CCSS codes)



cicada witing picture


Writing Prompts and Activities




picture cicada puzzle 

Crossword Puzzle (for reviewing Tier II and Tier III vocabulary)



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Cicada Math Worksheet




Links to some great resources we found while researching the unit:


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Learn more about Summer Solutions and Smart-EZE for your students, and encourage life long learning!

Mental Math

Mental Math

Mental Math

Your little leprechauns will love to work on this mental math activity based on Common Core Standard 3.OA.9.  To achieve mastery, students must be able to identify patterns in sums of basic facts.  Students must also be able to explain mathematical patterns, such as why the sum of two even or two odd numbers is always an even number.

This free activity has two parts, the first has students answer the addition problems using mental math.  If the answer is even, color the space green; if the answer is odd color the space orange.  After the shamrock appears, students will complete the second part of the activity.  Using what they discovered, students will answer the questions to help them see the mathematical patterns.

Learn more about Simple Solutions, our classroom series used in hundreds of classrooms throughout the United States.  Parents can order Summer Solutions  or download our app, Smart-EZE, for their children to work on over summer vacation to help prevent summer learning loss!

Need more practice on this standard?  Make custom worksheets using our Worksheet Generator.

Color Shamrock With Numbers
Color Shamrock With Numbers
387.0 KiB
Color Shamrock Key
Color Shamrock Key
1.6 MiB
Find The Pattern
Find The Pattern
571.0 KiB
Find The Pattern Answer
Find The Pattern Answer
579.9 KiB

Smart-EZE Summer App

Smart-EZE Summer App!

First lady Michelle Obama has a message for young people: Don’t waste your summer!

“If you’ve got big dreams and I know you all do, if you want to go to college, want to get a good job, want to make the most of your potential—then summer can’t just be a vacation. This is really a time to try and get ahead.”

(Michelle Obama as quoted in Education Week June 20, 2014)

With Smart-EZE Summer App and Summer Solutions, you can prevent summer learning loss in just minutes a day and without sacrificing summer fun.

By the way, your first Smart-EZE Summer App lesson is FREE! Go ahead and try each subject and grade level. You can order more lessons by subject. Or, save money by getting a bundle. Because it’s rewards-based, the App gives kids incentives for finishing their work. They get trophies and games, like WordSearch for English, Crossword Puzzles for reading and NumberNudge for math.

Summer AppSummer App Summer App

Benefits for Students:

  • Interactive, fun, and engaging — animated characters provide feedback
  • Comprehensive Math, English Grammar, and Reading lessons for grades 1-5
  • Over 400 interactive items per subject and grade level (over 4500 in all)
  • Grade-level Incentives (rewards & games) for each subject


Benefits for Parents:

  • Ability to track a child’s progress
  • Student progress reports can be viewed by both parents and students
  • Supports learning standards, including traditional and Common Core
  • Flexible and cost-effective — each lesson can be used by up to 5 family members
  • Over 1,200 interactive items per grade
  • First lesson in any subject, any grade is FREE!



Don’t let summer go to waste!  Download Smart-EZE here!


Take Simple Solutions for a Test Drive

Get free materials when you take Simple Solutions for a Test Drive!

Free Materials

free materials

Does this sound familiar? You teach your class a concept, and you’re sure they “got it,” but when the same concept comes up again later in the year, you see a room full of blank stares. We’ve got a solution. Simple Solutions.


Simple Solutions is a review strategy for math, English and reading you can make part of your daily routine. It helps kids remember what they’ve learned—not just for the test—forever!



Try out Simple Solutions for yourself with a free six-week test drive. You’ll get the daily lessons plus a teacher’s edition and training!

click here

iPad Rules and Conditions

Summer Solutions iPad Mini 4 Giveaway Sweepstakes

Rules and Conditions


  1. Eligibility: Summer Solutions iPad Mini Giveaway (the “Giveaway”) is open to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia who are at least 18 years of age as of the date of entry. Employees of Simple Solutions (the “Sponsor”), their respective affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, suppliers, and their immediate family members and/or those living in the same household of each are not eligible to participate in the Giveaway.
  2. Agreement to Rules & Conditions: By participating in the Summer Solutions iPad Mini Giveaway, you agree to be fully unconditionally bound by these rules and conditions, and you represent and warrant that you meet the eligibility requirements set forth herein.  In addition, you agree to accept the decisions of Simple Solutions as final and binding as it relates to the content. The Giveaway is subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations and is void where prohibited.
  3. Sweepstakes Period: Entries will be accepted starting on February 1, 2016 at 12:00 a.m. EST and end on May 14, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. EST. All entries must be received by May 9, 2016; 11:59 p.m. EST.
  1. How to Enter: a.) Online method: Persons who purchase a Summer Solutions book online during the published sweepstakes period will automatically be entered to win one of the three iPad Minis to be given away during the sweepstakes period. b.) Mail-In method: If you do not wish to enter online, you may enter the Giveaway by printing your name, address, city, state and zip code, contact telephone number and e-mail address on a standard size postcard and mail to:

Summer Solutions iPad Mini Giveaway Sweepstakes

c/o Simple Solutions

23645 Mercantile Road, Suite I

Beachwood, OH 44122


Entries must fulfill all sweepstakes requirements, as specified, to be eligible to win a prize. Entries that do not adhere to the rules or specifications may be disqualified at the sole discretion of Simple Solutions. Only one entry per household will be accepted and duplicate entries will be eliminated.

  1. Prizes: One winning entry will be randomly drawn on March 10, 2016, one on April 10, 2016, and one on May 10, 2016. Winners will receive one (1) iPad Mini 4, 16GB valued at approximately three hundred forty dollars U.S. ($340.00). Actual/appraised value may differ at time of prize award.  The specifics of the prize shall be solely determined by the Sponsor.  No substitution of prize or transfer/assignment of prize to others or request for the cash equivalent by winners is permitted. Any and all prize related expenses, including without limitation any and all federal, state, and/or local taxes shall be the sole responsibility of the winners. Acceptance of prize constitutes permission for Simple Solutions to use a winner’s name, likeness, and entry for purposes of advertising and trade without further compensation, unless prohibited by law.
  2. Odds: The odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received ahead of the three random drawings. Non-winning entries from the drawings on March 10, 2016 and April 10, 2016 will be included in subsequent drawings.
  1. Winner Selection and Notification: The three winners of the Giveaway will be selected in a random drawing under the supervision of the Sponsor. Winners will be notified via email to the email address they entered the Sweepstakes with within five (5) days following the winner selection. Simple Solutions shall have no liability for a winner’s failure to receive notices due to winners’ spam, junk e-mail or other security settings or for winners’ provision of incorrect or otherwise non-functioning contact information. If the selected winner cannot be contacted, is ineligible, fails to claim the prize within 15 days from the time award notification was sent, or fails to timely return a completed and executed declaration and releases as required, prize may be forfeited and an alternate winner selected.

The receipt by winner of the prize offered in this Giveaway is conditioned upon compliance with any and all federal and state laws and regulations. ANY VIOLATION OF THESE OFFICIAL RULES BY ANY WINNER (AT SPONSOR’S SOLE DISCRETION) WILL RESULT IN SUCH WINNER’S DISQUALIFICATION AS A WINNER OF THE GIVEAWAY AND ALL PRIVILEGES AS A WINNER WILL BE IMMEDIATELY TERMINATED.

  1. Terms: Simple Solutions reserves the right, in its sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Sweepstakes should (in its sole discretion) a virus, bugs, non-authorized human intervention, fraud or other causes beyond its control corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness or proper conduct of the Sweepstakes. In such case, Simple Solutions may select the recipients from all eligible entries received prior to and/or after (if appropriate) the action taken by Simple Solutions. Simple Solutions reserves the right at its sole discretion to disqualify any individual who tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operation of the Sweepstakes or website or violates these Terms & Conditions.
  1. Limitation of Liability: By entering you agree to release and hold harmless Simple Solutions and its subsidiaries, affiliates, advertising and promotion agencies, partners, representatives, agents, successors, assigns, employees, officers and directors from any liability, illness, injury, death, loss, litigation, claim or damage that may occur, directly or indirectly, whether caused by negligence or not, from (i) such entrant’s participation in the sweepstakes and/or his/her acceptance, possession, use, or misuse of any prize or any portion thereof, (ii) technical failures of any kind, including but not limited to the malfunctioning of any computer, cable, network, hardware or software; (iii) the unavailability or inaccessibility of any transmissions or telephone or Internet service; (iv) unauthorized human intervention in any part of the entry process or the Promotion; (v) electronic or human error which may occur in the administration of the Promotion or the processing of entries.
  1. Disputes: THIS SWEEPSTAKES IS GOVERNED BY THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES AND THE STATE OF OHIO, WITHOUT RESPECT TO CONFLICT OF LAW DOCTRINES. As a condition of participating in this Sweepstakes, participant agrees that any and all disputes which cannot be resolved between the parties, and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Sweepstakes, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, exclusively before a court located in the State of Ohio having jurisdiction. Further, in any such dispute, under no circumstances will participant be permitted to obtain awards for, and hereby waives all rights to claim punitive, incidental, or consequential damages, including reasonable attorneys’ fees, other than participant’s actual out-of-pocket expenses (i.e. costs associated with entering this Sweepstakes), and participant further waives all rights to have damages multiplied or increased.
  1. Winners List: To obtain a copy of the winners’ names or a copy of these Official Rules, mail your request along with a stamped, self-addressed envelope to: Simple Solutions, 23645 Mercantile Road, Suite I, Beachwood, OH 44122. Requests must be received no later than December 31, 2016.
  1. Sponsor:  The Sponsor of the Sweepstakes is Simple Solutions, 23645 Mercantile Road, Suite I, Beachwood, OH 44122.

We are always improving!

A its here

You spoke, we listened!

You told us the end of the school year can get a bit crazy. We heard you! We
wanted to help. So this year, you can have the Summer Solutions books
shipped directly to students’ homes.

Check out our new option!


You Choose – Everyone’s a Winner!

Contact:Judy at 1-877-382-7537 or email her at  judy@simplesolutions.org to set up your school with Summer Solutions!

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Simple Solutions Reading Sampler

Simple Solutions Reading Sampler

Simple Solutions header

Reading 1-6 Sampler
Reading 1-6 Sampler
3.1 MiB

Above is a digital reading sampler of Simple Solutions Common Core Reading Comprehension that is free to download.

This series aligns with the Common Core State Standards for Reading Literature, Reading Informational Text, Writing, and English Language. As recommended by the CCSS, the student book contains a 50/50 ratio of literary and informational text. Each unit is accompanied by a certified Lexile measure. Grades 2, 3, & 4 are available now. Grades 1, 5, & 6 are due to be released in spring 2016.

Click here to see all the books in this series!

reading sampler

Fifth Grade Activity- The Three Brothers

three brothers blog page

The story of “The Three Brothers” is a folktale about three men who leave home to make their way in the world and prove their worthiness to their father. Each not only learns a trade, but also develops a superpower to show off back home.

This free fifth grade activity includes questions and writing activities based on the Common Core State Standards for ELA. It also includes a SMART board activity that links to a version of Aesop’s Fable, “The Bundle of Sticks,” as well as a different version on You Tube. The text and video can be used with the writing activities suggested in the teacher’s guide.

This reading activity is similar to the lessons in our Simple Solutions reading series. The series aligns with Common Core State Standards for Reading Literature, Reading Informational Text, Writing, and English Language.

  • As recommended by the CCSS, the student book contains a 50/50 ratio of literary and informational text. 
  • All items are coded to show alignment with the Common Core State Standards. This includes lessons, quizzes, and the Pre/Post-Test, as well as Writing Tasks. The Student Edition contains 108 lessons and 18 quizzes.
  • Common Core aligned Writing Tasks provide practice with evidence-based writing.
  • Complete lesson plans and student handouts are included in the Teacher’s Edition. Writing Tasks include pre-writing activities and address argument/opinion, informative/explanatory, and narrative writing.

Click on the image to download the files:

PDF of the lesson:

picture three brothers

SMART board story:

picture of three brothers smart

SMART board questions:

question pic

SMART board extension questions: 

extension picture

Summer Solutions Order Today!

Summer Solutions

Summer Solutions

We launched our FIRST EVER web only special!  Use coupon code:  WEB20 to get 20% off all of your Summer Solutions books.  There are a few weeks of summer left, use that time to get your child ready for the upcoming school year.  The code is only good until July 26, 2015 so don’t wait to order!

Educators and parents agree that, without some form of academic engagement over the summer break, children will forget much of what they learned in school during the previous year. Research shows that students tend to score lower on reading and math achievement tests at the end of summer than they did just before summer break. This phenomenon is what is sometimes called “summer learning loss”.

Summer Solutions helps to prevent summer learning loss by providing the necessary review and practice that allows students to retain important math and language arts skills, not only over the summer break, but also for a lifetime. Each Summer Solutions practice book contains 30 lessons, along with Help Pages and an answer key for self-checking.

Summer Solutions