Greg’s Favorite Things 2017

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!   IT’S TIME FOR MY FAVORITE THINGS!

favorite things

Every year we team up with some of our favorite companies to bring you a few of my favorite things!   This year we have compiled an amazing list of MUST HAVES for teachers and classrooms!   I can’t wait to share this years favorite things with you!

ESGI-Assessment Made Easy!

ESGI assessments

ESGI is an online, one on one assessment tool that makes assessments and data collection and organization EASY and enjoyable!  YEP.  I said it.  Assessments can be enjoyable!   Using your own tests or the hundreds of pre-loaded tests (including all of my tests!), you can assess your students in minutes simply by clicking!   ESGI generates instant data so you know how your students are doing!  And most importantly:  it’s stress free for our students and the students actually WANT to be tested!

Check out ESGI to save yourself 400 hours a year on assessment!  Use the code SMORGIE to sign up for your 60 day free trial and save $40 on your subscription!

Thank you ESGI for donating a 1 year license to our Favorite Things!

For more on ESGI, check out my post on LOVING ASSESSMENTS!

Alive Studios-Bringing learning ALIVE!

Augmented Reality in the classroom

Alive Studios’ LETTERS ALIVE PLUS supplemental reading program brings letters and phonics and words TO LIFE in your classroom using augmented reality technology!  Students are introduced to each letter using the Zoo Crew animals!  The animals come to life in amazing augmented reality (3D) giving students a learning experience like never before!   We have used Letters Alive in our classroom for 3 years and it’s definitely a favorite thing for me and my students.

Letters Alive And ABC BOOTCAMP

The laughter, squeals and giggles when we meet each animal during our ABC BOOTCAMP is what learning is about!   We use this amazing technology to introduce letters and sounds as a complement to ABC BOOTCAMP.  We use it to build sentences and build our fluency and the students use Letters Alive PLUS as a word work center where they work on building, reading and writing words!

Thank you Alive Studios for donating 1 Letters Alive PLUS kit to our Favorite Things!

For more on how we use Letters Alive and to experience the student engagement with this technology, check out Letters Alive in the classroom!

Sit Spots-helping learning and classroom management STICK!

classroom management

Created in 2012 by a kindergarten teacher, SitSpots are a classroom management MUST HAVE!  But what makes Sit Spots one of my favorite things is that they are so versatile and can be used for so much more than management!  SitSpots stick to most carpet.  And when I say stick, I mean STICK.  Little fingers won’t be able to peel these up!  And we all know how much little fingers like to pull stuff off the floor.   We use our SitSpots of all kinds of learning games and activities.  We use SitSpots tape to make giant ten frames to practice counting!  Write sight words on SitSpots and play musical sight words.  Make a giant number line with SitSpots to practice counting on, addition and subtraction!   You can make a boat using SitSpots tape and play GET OFF MY BOAT to learn subtraction!   The possibilities are ENDLESS!

sit spots

Thank you SitSpots for donating a $50 gift certificate to our Favorite Things!

Math Stackers-stacking and learning

math stackers

Math Stackers are our newest FAVORITE THING and the newest addition to our classroom!  These foam blocks allow students to explore numbers and math in a hands on, concrete way!  Students can see how numbers can be put together and taken apart to make numbers, students can see and build part-part whole relationships.  Students can build equations for addition and subtraction and making 10 and they can even be used for measurement!   My mustaches LOVE these foam math blocks and they have become our most popular math center activity!

math games

Thank you Math Stackers for donating 1 set of Math Stackers to our Favorite Things!

Kindergarten Crate-monthly teaching goodies delivered to your door!


Kindergarten Crate is another one of our newest FAVORITE THINGS!   This monthly subscription service that delivers a box of teaching goodies to your door!  Each month you’ll receive a book, a lesson or activity with all materials you need for that lesson, a teacher goodie and other surprises!  Each month’s crate is themed so we’ve received a gingerbread crate, a Spookly The Square Pumpkin crate and more!   I am always so impressed with my Kindergarten Crate and sometimes I’m even introduced to new materials and resources for my classroom!

Thank you Kindergarten Crate for donating a 6 month subscription to our Favorite Things!

ETA Hand2Mind-Hands on learning

ETA Hand2Mind mad science

ETA Hand2Mind brings hands on math, science and STEM learning into the classroom!   Our FAVORITE THING from ETA/Hand2Mind, and one of things we get asked about weekly, are our Mad Scientist Lab Coats!  Each week we do a hands on science experiment from our Mad Science Creation and the students get to wear their official Mad Scientist Lab coats!  Hand2Mind has also provided us with construction helmets for our Community Helpers unit and safety goggles for all of our mad science experiments!

ETA Hand2Mind STEM

Thank you ETA/Hand2Mind for donating a $50 gift certificate and a bag of science goodies to our Favorite Things!

Eric Litwin-Original author of Pete The Cat and the author of The Nuts and Groovy Joe

Eric Litwin

Eric Litwin is known as the original author of the Pete The Cat series and the author of The Nuts and Groovy Joe.  But did you know that Eric is also a fierce advocate for children and reading?  His books are engaging and allow for students to get involved with the reading and really engage with the stories and characters!  My class loves Groovy Joe because they can read and sing along but also because there’s a disco ball in the story, just like a disco ball in our classroom!    You can check out our interview with Eric on YouTube!

Thank you Eric for donating SIGNED COPIES of The Nuts Keep Rolling and Groovy Joe Dance Party Countdown!

Teaching Is A Royal Adventure-show your state pride with state teacher tees!

Our friend. and fellow Tennessee teacher,  Lawren has created these adorable state teacher t-shirts and accessories so teachers can show their pride of teaching and their state pride!   Ya’ll, these t-shirts are so soft!  I have three of them and love wearing them to show the world that I’m proud to be a Tennessee teacher!  Check out Teaching Is A Royal Adventure for your state t-shirts and tote bags and lots of other goodies!

Thank you Teaching Is A Royal Adventure for donating 1 state -tshirt and tote bag to FAVORITE THINGS!

And our final few FAVORITE THINGS are donated by US!   These resources and goodies are a constant in our home and our classroom and are Kindergarten Smorgasboard must haves!


If you follow us on social media or read this blog then you know I am probably Amazon’s #1 customer.  When people ask me where I get stuff for my classroom, it’s Amazon.  Books, costumes, games, decorations, manipulatives and paper…if Amazon doesn’t have it, then you don’t need it!    The TKS is donating a $50 Amazon gift card to FAVORITE THINGS!

Mr. Sketch, Sharpies and Flair Pens

Smelly markers are a classroom must have.  But they’re also a teacher must have.  Anchor charts, schema maps and Thinking Maps are just better when they smell good.  And who doesn’t love opening a new pack of Mr. Sketch and sniffing them all?  (Just a little, tiny sniff….)  And Sharpies?  Can you ever have too many Sharpies?  Or Flair Pens?  If you think you can have too many, we can’t be friends.   So, The TKS is donating a Mr. Sketch Combo Pack, A Sharpie Limited Edition Set and a Sharpie And Flair Pen set for all of your chart making, marker sniffing, note taking, lesson planning needs!

The TKS Store

The TKS Store is definitely a Favorite Thing because, well, it’s ours!  And it’s where you can get high quality, rigorous, APPROPRIATE, hands on, engaging centers, curriculum and resources for your classroom.  Our simple to use resources will make your job easier while helping your students soar to new heights of fun and learning.  Mr. Greg pours his heart and soul into each of his creations and loves knowing that his resources are helping students and teachers around the world!   So thank you for making the TKS Store and The Kindergarten Smorgasboard one of your FAVORITE THINGS!   We’re throwing in a $50 gift card to the TKS Store online so you can get your favorite things from our store!

Finally, we have to share one more FAVORITE THING:  JEN HART DESIGN!

Jenny is my TBFF (teacher best friend forever) and an amazingly talented and creative clip art designer!   A HUGE SHOUTOUT TO Jen Hart Design for creating the Greg’s Favorite Things Logo and the adorable presents you see in our Favorite Things images!   Jenny also creates a majority of the clipart you see in our TKS creations!   If you’re looking for clip art, Jen Hart Design is one of our FAVORITE THINGS!

Jenny also does a weekly blog post highlighting her clipart and ideas for using the clipart as well as a freebie, so check out her TPT store and blog!


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