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Best Teacher Lunch Boxes

The 5 Best Teacher Lunch Bags Reviewed

Are you looking for a new lunchbox for the upcoming school year? Then look no further! Below you will find our review of 5 of the very best teacher lunch bags / boxes on the market today.

In a Hurry?

Are you looking for just the top recommended lunch bag for teachers? We recommend you first take a look at the functional and stylish Fit & Fresh Fayetteville Lunch Kit on Amazon. If you’re looking for a no-frills, budget lunch bag that’s going to the last, consider the InsigniaX Insulated Lunch Bag.

[Please note that we might share a small portion of the sales from the links on this page. We only share products that we truly love and recommend. Thank you for your kind support of The Moneywise Teacher! Now onto the awesome teacher lunch boxes for you.]


What is the Best Lunch Bag for Teachers?

Here are our picks for the 5 Top Recommended Teacher Lunch Bags / Boxes:

    1. Fit & Fresh Fayetteville Lunch Kit
    2. Vapos Large Insulated Lunch Bag
    3. BALORAY Lunch Bag Tote
    4. Eco-Wheat Straw Recycled Plastic Lunch Bag Set
    5. InsigniaX Insulated Lunch Bag

1) Fit & Fresh Fayetteville Lunch Kit

Fit & Fresh Fayetteville Lunch Kit. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon.
Best Teacher Lunch Bags - Fit & Fresh Fayetteville Lunch Kit

We start our list of the best teacher lunch bags with the Fresh & FayetteVville Lunch Kit. his lunch bag kit is perfect for teachers because it comes with everything you need to quickly eat your lunch in style. The lunch bag itself is very spacious and can hold a variety of sizes. As an extra bonus this kit comes with 2 storage containers (one 1 cup container and one 2 cup container), a water bottle, and an ice pack. Everything but the food to have the perfect lunch break. With 3 different patterns to choose from you can feel stylish while eating.

On top of having a cute pattern, the outside of the bag has a side pocket that perfectly fits the matching water bottle. On the inside of the bag there is a mesh pocket where you can easily store your fork and knive or that ever necessary napkin. This bag boasts a PEVA lining that is easy to clean and is eco-friendly. The lining will also keep your food fresh and cold for a long period of time, a perfect quality for teachers in case lunch turns into an after school snack instead.

Finally, this lunch bag has large straps that make it a breeze to carry with the many other bags every teacher carries. Another plus is the large buckle closure to ensure all of your delicious food remains safe inside of your lunch bag.

If you are looking for an all-inclusive lunch bag, storage containers, water bottle, and ice pack that is also very cute then this is the lunch kit for you!

Specifications of the Fit & Fresh Fayetteville Lunch Kit:
  • Dimensions: 11 x 6.5 x 10 Inches
  • Item Weight: 1.35 Pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 1.35 Pounds
  • Warranty: Manufacturer Warranty can be Requested


2) Vapos Large Insulated Lunch Bag

Vapos Large Insulated Lunch Bag. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon.
Best Teacher Lunch Bags - Vapos Large Insulated Lunch Bag

Next on our list of the best teacher lunch bags is the Vapos Large Insulated Lunch Bag. If you are an over packer, or looking for a catch everything type of lunch bag, stop looking because this is the perfect lunch box for you!

This is a very basic looking bag with only black and grey to choose from, but what this bag lacks in style it over compensates with storage options! The main large compartment has a capacity of 2.5 gallons, which means you can store a bunch of food containers or use this bag as a cooler for a beach or picnic trip. Insulation is the name of the game for this bag, because it can keep your food hot or cold for up to 8 hours! Never worry about your lunch going bad at school, because it will still be warm or cool after school.

Besides the main compartment you will also find a variety of storage options on the outside of the bag. The front pocket is there to help you organize your keys, lanyard, phone, writing utensils, eating utensils, and more! There are two side pockets that can each hold 32 oz drink containers. If you thought that was enough pockets, you were wrong, there is one more external zipper pocket on the top of the bag where you can store valuables yet also have easy access. Last but not least, there is an internal mesh pocket where you can keep wet naps to help clean up any spills or sticky hands.

Overall if you are looking for a very functional lunch bag where you can store all of the food you worked hard to meal prep, your water bottle, coffee mug, and all the snacks, then get this bag as soon as possible!

Specifications of the Vapos Large Insulated Lunch Bag:
  • Dimensions: 9.1 x 9.5 x 10.2 Inches
  • Item Weight: 1.1 Pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 Pounds
  • Warranty: Manufacturer Warranty can be Requested


3) BALORAY Lunch Bag Tote

BALORAY Lunch Bag Tote. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon.
Best Teacher Lunch Boxes - BALORAY Lunch Bag Tote

This lunch bag screams quality! With almost 2,000 Amazon reviews and an average of 4.6 stars, you cannot go wrong with this adorable and functional lunch bag.

While this bag may look small, it has a large interior to fit all of your on-the-go containers. It is also tall enough to hold a small water bottle or that quick meal shake. The inside of the bag also has the perfect qualities to insulate your food for up to 4 hours, hot or cold. BPA-Free, nontoxic, aluminum foil lining makes it easy to clean in case anything spills as your rushing to eat your lunch.

You have 12 different pattern options to show your personal style. On top of being super cute the material is waterproof and easy to clean. You will also find a large slide pocket on the outside of this bag that can easily carry your phone or that secret stash of chocolate. You can zipper this bag closed to make sure none of your students get a quick snack out of your lunch. Another positive quality of this bag are the sturdy, reinforced, padded handles.

Overall this is an amazing lunch bag that comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If style and quality are right up your alley, then this is the perfect lunch bag for you!

Specifications of the BALORAY Lunch Bag Tote:
  • Dimensions: 10 x 6.6 x 8.5 Inches
  • Item Weight: 3.52 Ounces
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 Ounces
  • Warranty: Manufacturer Warranty can be Requested


4) Eco-Wheat Straw Recycled Plastic Lunch Bag Set

Eco-Wheat Straw Recycled Plastic Lunch Bag Set. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon.
Best Teacher Lunch Bag Review - Eco-Wheat Straw Recycled Plastic Lunch Bag Set

Here we have the perfect lunch bag for a teacher who is mindful of the environment, but still requires stylish functionality. On top of being eco-friendly you will get some extras in the form of storage containers!

The first storage piece is a box made with plastic alternatives and is divided into two sections. On the lid of the container you will also find a reusable spoon and fork for easy access and storage. This box is also dishwasher and microwave safe, so no need to worry if you have to reheat your lunch twice because you missed “first lunch”. As if that wasn’t enough, you will also get a 10 ounce tumbler that can store your water, or iced coffee. Both of these containers fit perfectly into the bag which takes the guesswork out of choosing which container to pack your lunch in.

The bag itself is made of strong and durable materials so that your lunch bag will last for many school-years to come. Another benefit of the makeup of this bag is that it is easy to clean while also being fashion-forward. The inside has insulation properties to allow your food to stay warm or cold, while also being waterproof. Sturdy straps are another beneficial quality of this bag, reducing the worry of having one of your many bags straps breaking.

Specifications of the Eco-Wheat Straw Recycled Plastic Lunch Bag Set:
  • Dimensions: 9 x 6.5 x 5.7 Inches
  • Item Weight: 1.25 Pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 1.25 Pounds
  • Warranty: Manufacturer Warranty can be Requested


5) InsigniaX Insulated Lunch Bag

InsigniaX Insulated Lunch Bag. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon.
Best Teacher Lunch Box Review - InsigniaX Insulated Lunch Bag

The final bag on our list of best teacher lunch bags is the InsigniaX Insulated Lunch Bag.  If you are looking for a mix of functionality and a pop of color, then this teacher lunch bag is perfect for you! This bag boasts over 2,000 reviews with an average or 4 stars, but the majority are 5 star reviews!

This bag is made with very durable material composed of polyester, padding, and PEVA insulation. All of these materials will help to keep you food warm or cold until lunch time finally comes! The main compartment has a lot of space and is deeper than most bags so you can easliy stack any food containers or snacks. You will also have easy access to forks, knives, or wet naps with a front zipper pocket. Finally you have 2 mesh pouch pockets to hold both your now iced coffee and lukewarm water bottle.

You can choose from 4 different colors to customize your lunch bag to your style. There is also the option to attch a long adjustable strap if your hands are full. This product is meant for adults, and even specifically says it is not meant for children under 12 years of age, so finally a lunch bag that you can call your own!

This bag is perfect for someone on a budget, who likes a pop of color, and wants a durable lunch bag. If you don’t like this bag you can also have a 100% Money Back Guarranty! So, give it a try and find the lunch bag of your dreams!

Specifications of the InsigniaX Insulated Lunch Bag:
  • Dimensions: 10 x 5.1 x 9.2 Inches
  • Item Weight: 8 Ounces
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 Ounces
  • Warranty: Manufacturer Warranty can be Requested


What’s Your Favorite Lunch Bag for Teachers?

After reading our review of our 5 best teacher lunch bags, we hope you can officially ditch those brown paper bags and upgrade to a reusable, durable, and stylish lunch bag! What do you look for when choosing a lunch bag? Which bag is your favorite? Share your thoughts below!


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Best Document Cameras for Teachers

6 Awesome Document Cameras for Teachers

The best document cameras for teachers combine all the best features of by-gone teacher tech and skyrocket them into the twenty-first century! If you (or your district tech department) haven’t seen the newest models, you might first think of document cameras as the gigantic (and unused or unusable) machines in the corner of your college classrooms.

These days, however, document cameras come in a huge variety to fit any budget or purpose. Some are as simple to use as plugging in a USB cord! Here we have reviewed just a few of the myriad options available to help you decide what’s right for your classroom. On to our choices for the best classroom document cameras!

In a Hurry?

Are you looking for just the top recommended document camera for classroom use? We recommend you take a look at the Elmo 1353 Model LX-1 Visual Presenter. If you looking for an inexpensive document camera for teachers, we recommend the IPEVO V4K Ultra High Definition USB Document Camera.

[Please note that we might share a small portion of the sales from the links on this page. We only share products that we truly love and recommend. Thank you for your kind support of The Moneywise Teacher! Now onto the awesome teacher document cameras for you.]


What is the Best Document Camera for Teachers?

Here are our picks for the 5 Top Recommended Document Cameras for Teachers:

    1. Elmo 1353 Model LX-1 Visual Presenter
    2. Epson DC-13 High-Definition Document Camera
    3. Lumens DC125 Ladibug USB Document Camera
    4. Ipevo VZ-X Wireless Document Camera
    5. IPEVO V4K Ultra High Definition USB Document Camera
    6. iCODIS Document Camera X3

1) Elmo 1353 Model LX-1 Visual Presenter

Elmo 1353 Model LX-1 Visual Presenter. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon.
Best Document Camera for Teachers Review - Elmo 1353 Model LX-1 Visual Presenter

We begin our list of the best document cameras for teachers with the Elmo 1353 LX-1 Visual Presenter.  Elmo has become one of the most ubiquitous brands of classroom document cameras and for good reason! They offer a variety of solutions for teachers that are high quality and easy to use.

This particular model by Elmo offers 96 times zoom! This is perfect for highlighting that one specific passage in a document or showcasing some awesome student work. It connects to your computer via HDMI and captures at 30fps for a smooth demostration that won’t remind your students of a stop-motion animation (though we have seen some students make some cute stop-motions with document cameras!).

The best part is Elmo knows their teacher audience well. This model includes auto-focus and zoom buttons that are easy to access on the uncluttered and sturdy base. The base has little feet to balance the camera arm without taking up too much table-top space.

Unlike many of the document cameras on this list, this Elmo model does require a separate power cord. It also lacks the SD card slot that some of the other Elmo models include.

If you want a tried-and-true brand used by thousands of teachers, look no further!

Specifications of the Elmo 1353 Model LX-1 Visual Presenter:
  • Frame Rate: 30fps
  • Optical Zoom: Powered, 12x optical & Digital Zoom: 8x (MAX)
  • Functions: Brightness Control, Image Rotation, Image Mode, Microscope Mode
  • HDMI Output: 1080i 30fps, 720p 30fps
  • Analogue VGA Output: XGA (1024 x 768) 30fps
  • Power Source: DC jack 5V
  • Weight: 2.4kg
  • Accessories: AC adapter, USB cable (B), DC power cable, setup guide, Product Warranty


2) Epson DC-13 High-Definition Document Camera

Epson DC-13 High-Definition Document Camera. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon.
Epson DC-13 High-Definition Document Camera Review

Epson is known for their high-quality printers and scanners for a variety of budgets. Their document camera lines are no different offering a wide range of functions and price points.

What sets this document camera apart from the rest of this list and makes it a stand-out for science teachers is the included microscope adapter! This option allows you to attach many different standard microscopes to the document camera to project for your students or record video for later.

The built in microphone makes capturing exciting developments in class easy and the SD card slot allows you to save a video version of your lesson for students to view after absence or online.

The Epson document cameras do tend to be toward the higher end of the cost-spectrum, but most would agree they are well worth the price!

This document camera comes with a remote that includes many interactive functions such as freeze and capture. This way, you can step aside and let students take the lead in the lesson without losing the ability to record milestones and pause for teachable moments!

Specifications of the Epson DC-13 High-Definition Document Camera:
  • 16x digital zoom
  • 2 MegaPixel Camera
  • 30 fps
  • Connectivity (output): USB, VGA, HDMI
  • Capture Area: 11.7″ x 20.7″


3) Lumens DC125 Ladibug USB Document Camera

Lumens DC125 Ladibug USB Document Camera. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon.
Lumens DC125 Ladibug USB Document Camera Review

Next we have the Lumens Ladibug which combines form and function with a middle of the road price point! Teachers love the flexible camera arm and this streamlined version of the Ladibug is easy to use for teachers and students.

The Lumens Ladibug features 8 times zoom, 30 fps and HD output via USB (the USB is also the power source for the Ladibug!). This camera can take your flipped classroom videos to the next level with its built in microphone and the ability to make annotations on your computer screen without marking on your document or book! The Ladibug is compatible with all major interactive whiteboard brands.

This is a great option if you are a teacher who will be spending out of pocket for your document camera. Other teachers have written that they’ve actually decided to replace their school-furnished document camera with a Ladibug! The durability of this product seems to make the out of pocket cost worth it, too.

The downside seems to be that while Lumens bills this as “Plug and Play” other reviewers found that for the device to be fully functional with some older computers, you have to download some of the software. For Windows 10 and newer, the software can be installed via the camera’s USB cord.

Specifications of the Lumens DC125 Ladibug USB Document Camera:
  • 8x Mechanical Zoom Capacity
  • Shooting Area: 16.5″x12.4″
  • Frame Rate: 30 fps
  • Lamp: Built-in LED on camera head
  • USB Image Transmission: USB 2.0 (480 Mbps)
  • Video/Audio Recording: Yes
  • Built-in Microphone: Yes
  • Image Capture: Single or Continuous Capture
  • Auto Tune: Yes
  • Image Rotation: 0 degrees, 180 degrees, Flip, Mirror
  • Anti-Theft: Kensington lock port
  • Free Lumens Software: Support PC Windows 7, XP, Vista and Mac OSX; WIA and TWAIN interface
  • Dimension (LxWxH): Folded 9.3″x4.2″x11″/Open 13.8″x4.2″x15″
  • Weight: 2.65 lbs


4) Ipevo VZ-X Wireless Document Camera

Ipevo VZ-X Wireless Document Camera. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon.
Ipevo VZ-X Wireless Document Camera Review

Here’s another great option from Ipevo’s wide range of document cameras. This document camera is one of the higher end from Ipevo and it has all the bells and whistles you could ever need in your classroom!

This document camera is ideal for the tech obsessed teacher or the teacher with an eye for quality images. It can create images and project demonstrations in HD and 4k quality depending on how it’s connected to your main computing device. Those connections can be made via USB, HDMI or WiFi.  Furthermore, Ipevo’s software is compatible with virtually every device ranging from your Mac or Windows computer, AppleTV or projector to your smartphone or tablet!

The Ipevo VZ-X can function completely wirelessly. It comes with 9-12 hours of battery life and up to 33 feet of wireless range. This means you could use the document camera on virtually any flat surface in your classroom and easily move from one desk to another to capture student work or artwork. The document camera’s arm swivels and bends to allow for plenty of flexibiltiy and capture just the right angle.

As with all the document cameras in the Ipevo line, the program to run the camera is easy to install and use. Multiple reviews from other teachers site the ease of use and versatility in the classroom for demonstrations and presentations. Some of the older online reviews cite issues with the screws in the arm or with focusing the camera, but these issues seem to have been fixed as more recent reviews have nothing but positives from teachers!

Specifications of the Ipevo VZ-X Wireless Document Camera:
  • Sony CMOS 8 megapixel camera
  • Physical zoom controls
  • USB cable to computer and Direct HDMI connection to TV or projector
  • Glass fiber reinforced stand
  • LED light
  • Built-in battery
  • Dimensions: 4.6 x 4.3 x 12.7 inches
  • Weight: 3.3 pounds
  • Computer Platform: PC, Mac, Chrome


5) IPEVO V4K Ultra High Definition USB Document Camera

IPEVO V4K Ultra High Definition USB Document Camera. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon.
IPEVO V4K Ultra High Definition USB Document Camera Review

Next on our review of classroom document cameras is a budget-friendly document camera for teachers also made by Ipevo. This ultra-portable, foldable document camera has all the teacher-basics covered with a teacher-friendly price point.

This inexpensive document camera option still includes the 8 megapixel camera as its pricier sibling so you won’t sacrifice quality of your images and video. This model also only connects via USB, but the USB is also the power source for easy setup. The Ipevo software is installed via the USB as a plug and play device that even the least tech-savvy teacher can install!

Teachers love the auto-adjust features of the software. These make it easy to turn pages, switch documents or write under this document camera. Of course, these features make up for the small downside to this camera: the buttons to complete these functions are on top of the camera and pushing them can sometimes cause the camera to move.

Specifications of the IPEVO V4K Ultra High Definition USB Document Camera:
  • Sony CMOS 8 megapixel camera
  • USB cable to computer
  • Computer Platform: PC, Mac, Chromebook
  • Weight: 1.85 pounds
  • Dimensions: 10.9 x 3.1 x 1.9 inches


6) iCODIS Document Camera X3

iCODIS Document Camera X3. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon.
iCODIS Document Camera X3 Review

Last but not least in our review of classroom document cameras is the iCODIS Document Camera X3.  This document camera is one of the higher end from Ipevo and it has all the bells and whistles you could ever need in your classroom!

This document camera is ideal for the tech obsessed teacher or the teacher with an eye for quality images. It can create images and project demonstrations in HD and 4k quality depending on how it’s connected to your main computing device. Those connections can be made via USB, HDMI or WiFi and Ipevo’s software is compatible with virtually every device ranging from your Mac or Windows computer, AppleTV or projector to your smartphone or tablet!

The Ipevo VZ-X can function completely wirelessly with 9-12 hours of battery life and up to 33 feet of wireless range. This means you could use the document camera on virtually any flat surface in your classroom and easily move from one desk to another to capture student work or artwork. The document camera’s arm swivels and bends to allow for plenty of flexibiltiy and capture just the right angle.

As with all the document cameras in the Ipevo line, the program to run the camera is easy to install and use. Multiple reviews from other teachers cite the ease of use and versatility in the classroom for demonstrations and presentations. Some of the older online reviews cite issues with the screws in the arm or with focusing the camera but these issues seem to have been fixed as more recent reviews have nothing but positives from teachers!

Specifications of the iCODIS Document Camera X3:
  • High Definition Portable Scanner
  • 8 MegaPixel Camera
  • OCR Technology
  • Dimensions: 9.4 x 3.1 x 13.8 in
  • Weight: 1.65 lbs
  • LED Light
  • Connection type: USB
  • Computer Platform: Windows


What’s Your Favorite Document Camera for Teachers?

In conclusion, a document camera can revolutionize classroom engagement. We hope this list helped you find just the right one for your classroom needs and that you’ll share what you found with your colleagues and friends! If you have your own personal best document camera for teachers, share the knowledge in the comments below!


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Best Classroom Greenhouses

Best Classroom Greenhouses Review

Looking for an awesome greenhouse for your school or classroom?  If so, you’re in the right place! Here we review some of the best classroom greenhouses currently available.

Check out our reviews below to discover how easy these greenhouses can be to use. By the end, you’ll have a clearer picture surrounding these greenhouses on how to pick the one that’s best for your needs!

[Please note that we might share a small portion of the sales from the links on this page. We only share products that we truly love and recommend. Thank you for your kind support of The Moneywise Teacher! Now onto our review of the best greenhouses for classrooms. Header Image © davit85 /Adobe Stock]

What are the Best Classroom Greenhouses?

Here are our picks for the 5 Best Greenhouses for Classrooms:

    1. Educational Insights GreenThumb Classroom Greenhouse
    2. Kendal Garden Mini Greenhouse
    3. Forrestore Mini Greenhouse
    4. Porayhut Clear Greenhouse
    5. Gardman R687 4-Tier Mini Greenhouse

1) Educational Insights GreenThumb Classroom Greenhouse

Educational Insights GreenThumb Classroom Greenhouse. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon.
Educational Insights GreenThumb Classroom Greenhouse Review

First on our list of the best classroom greenhouses is the Educational Insights Greenhouse.  Teachers have been pleased to find that this mini greenhouse can be assembled within minutes. Therefore, you’re able to have it set up and ready for your students to use in no time.

We liked how it has a 2-tiered design. This means that you’re able to fit more greenery on the 2 shelves. So, it’s a great feature if you have a larger classroom of students who can all observe how different plants grow.

The durable shelves are made out of a sturdy wire that will keep your classroom’s plants off the ground! A vinyl cover is included which fits over the heavy duty metal frame to keep your plants safe. Students can easily access the plants by opening the zipped ties.

Specifications of the Educational Insights GreenThumb Classroom Greenhouse:

  • Dimensions: 38 x 36 x 19”
  • Weight: 8.3 lbs
  • Warranty: Can be requested from customer service


2) Kendal Garden Mini Greenhouse

Kendal Garden Mini Greenhouse. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon.
Kendal Garden Mini Greenhouse for School Classrooms Review

The Kendal Garden Mini Greenhouse is an excellent option for classroom use. This is because of its more compact size.

Therefore, if you’re worried about a greenhouse taking up too much space, this one may be a great option to consider. It will look great not only in your classroom, but also on balconies, decks, patios, and inside your home too.

There is a cover that has been made using polyethylene materials that’s clear so that you can easily see through to your plants. You and your students can access this greenhouse easily via the zippered door.

We liked how they’ve used high grade steel materials to construct the frame with. This ensures that the greenhouse can remain durable for a long time.

While assembling the greenhouse, some find that the plastic connectors are a little fragile and can be damaged easily. However, there are no tools required.  As long as you and your students take care with the plastic pieces, there should be no issues!

Specifications of the Kendal Garden Mini Greenhouse:

  • Dimensions: 27 x 18 x 33”
  • Weight: 7.25 lbs
  • Warranty: Can be requested directly from the seller


3) Forrestore Mini Greenhouse

Forrestore Mini Greenhouse. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon.
4 Tier Mini Greenhouse for Schools Review

Next on our list of the best greenhouses for school classrooms is the Forrestore Mini Greenhouse. With a total of 4 tiers available, you can be sure to grow a wider range of plants. While there are 4 tiers, it’s still a compact size, which makes it great for larger classrooms and home use indoors.

The shelves have been constructed using high-quality steel materials that have been coated in powder. These materials and powder work together well to keep the shelves durable and strong to support your plants.

A door is available that has a zipper to make it easy to access. Furthermore, we were impressed with how they’ve incorporated a ventilation system. This enables your plants to be provided with plenty of airflow to stay healthy for longer.

If you’re looking to use the greenhouse outdoors, you’ll be glad to hear that it has a PE cloth which works well to keep your plants protected in different weather conditions. So, you can put it out in the backyard, deck, or patio.

Some people have mentioned how the stitching on the cover isn’t as great as they were expecting. Although, most people have been praising how it takes under 15 minutes to have the greenhouse setup.

Specifications of the Forrestore Mini Greenhouse:

  • Dimensions: 27.5 x 19 x 63”
  • Weight: 10.6 lbs
  • Warranty: Can be requested directly from the seller


4) Porayhut Clear Greenhouse

Porayhut Clear Greenhouse. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon.
Best Classroom Greenhouses - Porayhut Clear Greenhouse

If you’re looking for a greenhouse that’s easy to transport around to different classrooms or places in your home, the Porayhut Greenhouse could be an excellent option.

It has an awesome pop-up design that makes it remarkably easy to setup. This pop-up feature also makes it easier to put the greenhouse into a more compact size to move around. The lightweight feature makes this even easier!

We love how the cover that’s included is clear and easy to see through. It’s also effective at keeping the plants protected.

Specifications of the Porayhut Clear Greenhouse:

  • Dimensions: 27.6x 27 x 31.5”
  • Weight: 2.2 lbs
  • Warranty: Can be requested directly from the seller


5) Gardman R687 4-Tier Mini Greenhouse

 

Gardman R687 4-Tier Mini Greenhouse. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon.
Best Classroom Greenhouses - Gardman R687 Mini Greenhouse

Last but not least on our list of the best classroom greenhouses is the Gardman R687 mini greenhouse.  With 4 tiers available, this is a fantastic option that allows you to grow a wide variety of plants. Therefore, it’s awesome for classrooms if you have more students who want to grow different plants.

While there are 4 tiers, the overall size of this greenhouse is still compact. So, you’re able to place it in your classroom or around your home without it taking up too much space.

There’s a polyethylene cover that’s see-through. This is great for being able to quickly check on how the plants are doing. In addition to this, a door is available with a zip on the front.

Some people have found that the zip isn’t as durable as they were expecting. However, if you use it carefully, this feature makes it very easy to access your plants.

There is a tubular steel frame that provides the greenhouse with plenty of stability. Not to mention, the assembly takes just minutes and you don’t need any tools.

Specifications of the Gardman R687 4-Tier Mini Greenhouse:

  • Dimensions: 27 x 18 x 63”
  • Weight: 11.2 lbs
  • Warranty: Can be requested from customer service



What’s Your Favorite Mini Greenhouse for Classrooms?

So, that wraps up our review on what some of the best classroom greenhouses have to offer. We hope that this has helped you decide on a great mini greenhouse for your students.

Leave a comment below if any of these greenhouses stick out to you. Feel free to mention any other greenhouse that you love too – it could help others make a decision!


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Kids Learning Globes Reviews

5 Top Rated Kids Learning Globes Reviewed

Interactive kids learning globes can be a fun and engaging way to teach geography to kids. Here we share 5 of the highest rated learning globes for children that are both awesome and affordable!

[Please note that we might share a small portion of the sales from the links on this page. We only share products that we truly love and recommend. Thank you for your kind support of The Moneywise Teacher! Now onto the awesome kids globes for you.]

What are the Best Globes for Children?

Here are Our 5 Top Recommended Kids Learning Globes:

  1. Oregon Scientific Smart Globe
  2. USA Toyz 3-in-1 Illuminated World Globe
  3. Learning Resources Puzzle Globe
  4. Shifu Orboot: The Educational, Augmented Reality Based Globe
  5. Educational Insights GeoSafari Talking Globe

1) Oregon Scientific Smart Globe

Oregon Scientific Smart Globe. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon.
Kids Learning Globes - Oregon Scientific Smart Globe

We start our review of the best kids learning globes with the Oregon Scientific Smart Globe. This learning toy allows kids to learn over 2000 fun facts, listen to national anthems of different countries, history and more. One of the cool features of this one is that kids can touch around the globe using the “SmartGlobe” pen. There are digital touch points all over both the globe and stand base.

Included with this smart globe are 19 engaging games that help teach kids about world facts. There’s a ton of functions and ways for kids to quiz themselves. And recently, Oregon Scientific has built in an augmented reality component to this globe that allows children to use the Oregon Scientific app to bring the globe to life with animals and dinosaurs!

Most feedback on this product is very positive, with a common complaint of this particular learning globe being that the default setting can be too loud. However that was a minor complaint among otherwise fantastic reviews.

Specifications of the Oregon Scientific Smart Globe:

  • Suggested for Ages: 5+
  • Item Dimensions: 16.2 x 13.2 x 13 inches
  • Item weight: 4.34 pounds
  • Shipping weight: 5.34 pounds
  • Powered by Batteries (3xAA Included)


2) USA Toyz 3-in-1 Illuminated World Globe:

USA Toyz 3-in-1 Illuminated World Globe. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon.
Best Learning Globes for Kids - 3-in-1 Illuminated World Globe

The 3-in-1 Illuminated World Globe from USA Toyz is not only a kids learning globe, but also a constellation map and nightlight! Also included with this globe is a downloadable constellation app.

Children who love to gaze at the stars will absolutely love this one. They will be able to spot no less than 88 awesome constellations. A handy illustrated guidebook is included that will help kids learn the names, location and mythology of each constellation.

This globe is light at only one pound but also very durable. If features a sturdy chrome steel base that is built for stability.

One of the only complaints about the globe is that is small, so if you are looking for a bigger globe then you should probably pass on this one. However, the smaller size (16.2 x 13.2 x 13 inches) of this one is made perfect for fitting on a desktop or dresser.

Specifications of the USA Toyz 3-in-1 Illuminated World Globe:

  • Suggested for Ages: 3+
  • Item Dimensions: 14.1 x 9.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Item weight: 1 pound
  • Shipping weight: 3.77 pounds
  • Powered by AC


3) Learning Resources Puzzle Globe:

Learning Resources Puzzle Globe. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon.
Learning Resources Puzzle Globe Review

Next up on our review of learning globes for children is the The Learning Resources Puzzle Globe.

This globe for kids is perfect for teaching the basics of geography via interactive tactile play. While not as high tech as the other globes, this fun, engaging 14-piece puzzle globe can help teach even pre-K kids the names of the continents, oceans, famous landmarks and more.

This learning toy comes as a set of 14 pieces, including a spinning globe, 6 continent puzzle pieces 6 labels for the continents, and a sheet of blank label stickers. Those of you know your geography may be wondering why only 6 continent pieces? Antarctica is actually represented by a stationary bottom piece.

The Learning Resources Puzzle Globe comes with high praise, including being recommended by the Mom’s Choice awards and the Parents’ Choice Foundation. It has our highest recommendation as well!

Specifications of the Learning Resources Puzzle Globe:

  • Suggested for Ages: 3+
  • Item Dimensions: 13.5 x 10.9 x 9.4 inches
  • Item weight: 2.35 oz
  • Shipping weight: 3.77 pounds


4) Shifu Orboot: The Educational, Augmented Reality Based Globe:

Shifu Orboot: The Educational, Augmented Reality Based Globe. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon.
Shifu Orboot: The Educational, Augmented Reality Based Globe Review

The Shifu Orboot augmented reality globe is among the best kids globes for helping to spark imagination and creativity! The globe itself doesn’t require a power source. Rather it is run entirely from the app.

Categories in the app include maps, weather, cultures, monuments, inventions and animals for a wide range of countries around the world. All of these are in 3D and enhanced with music and voices!

Within the app are also a bunch of puzzles and activities. Children can solve mysteries, take interactive quizzes and collect rewards along the way.

Besides the app-based globe and companion app, this learning toy comes with a helpful guide and a fun travel kit. Included are a passport, stamp, and country flag stickers that your kids should love.

This interactive kids globe is one definitely worth checking out!

Specifications of the Shifu Orboot: The Educational, Augmented Reality Based Globe:

  • Suggested for Ages: 6+
  • Item Dimensions: 9.8 x 9.8 x 13 inches
  • Item weight: 2.65 pounds
  • Shipping weight: 2.9 pounds


5) Educational Insights GeoSafari Talking Globe:

Educational Insights GeoSafari Talking Globe. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon.
Best Kids Globes - Educational Insights GeoSafari Talking Globe Review

Our final product in our list of the best kids learning globes is the multiple award-winning Educational Insights GeoSafari Talking Globe, which includes more than 10,000 geography questions!

Up to 4 players can play the quiz game and can select various quiz categories, including the U.S.A, Canada, the World or ALL categories. Features include automatic scoring, question repeat, a help button, jacks for headphones or an AC Adapter (sold separately) and adjustable volume.

One small complaint about this talking globe is that the volume is on the softer side. Also, this is one of the pricier options.

This globe has won dozens of toy and education awards including from Teachers’ Choice, Parents’ Choice, Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Best Award and others. If you are looking to instill an appreciation for the countries, people and cultures of the world, this might be a great choice for you!

Specifications of the Educational Insights GeoSafari Talking Globe:

  • Suggested for Ages: 8+
  • Item Dimensions: 14.1 x 14.1 x 19 inches
  • Item weight: 6 pounds
  • Shipping weight: 6.05 pounds
  • Powered by 4xC Batteries (Not Included)


Kids Learning Globes – What’s Your Favorite?

We hope you have found our list of the best kids globes useful towards your quest to find a perfect globe for the special children in your life! If you have your own favorite learning globe for children, please share it in the comments below.

Here are links to the 5 learning globes we feature here as well as some others on Amazon. If you are interested in using games for teaching, please be sure to also check out our list of the best money board games for kids.


Kids Learning Globes Pinterest

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Best Classroom Projectors

The 8 Best Classroom Projectors of 2019

Projectors are one of the most-used and most-versatile tools in the classroom. From showing movies and PowerPoint slides to using interactive software, there are endless possibilities for all grade levels. If you’re looking for the right projector for you classroom, look no further than our list of eight of the best classroom projectors. These projectors span all price points, for even the thriftiest of teachers!

[Please note that we might share a small portion of the sales from the links on this page. We only share products that we truly love and recommend. Thank you for your kind support of The Moneywise Teacher! Now onto our review of the best projectors for classroom use. Header Image © WavebreakmediaMicro /Adobe Stock]

What is the Best Classroom Projector?

Here are our picks for the eight best classroom projectors in 2019:

    1. Casio XJ-F210WN WXGA
    2. Epson POWERLITE 1940W WXGA 3LCD V11H474020 Projector
    3. Optoma WU336 WUXGA 3400 Lumens Business & Education Projector
    4. Epson VS340 XGA 3LCD Projector 2800
    5. ViewSonic PJD5255 3300 Lumens XGA HDMI Projector
    6. SOLOVE HDMI Projector
    7. Vankyo Leisure 3 Mini Projector
    8. Nebula Capsule

1) Casio XJ-F210WN WXGA Classroom Projector

Casio XJ-F210WN WXGA. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon.
Casio XJ-F210WN WXGA Classroom Projector Review

We start our list with the Casio XJ-F210WN WXGA, the only projector on the list to combine laser and LED hybrid technology. The Casio XJ-F210WN WXGA, Ultra Video Projector is a sleek, modern-looking projector with laser and LED hybrid technology. If you’re not a science teacher, that might sound like a bunch of technology jargon to you. Basically, that means you get better color quality and you’ll never have to replace a light bulb ever again. The light source in this model is designed to last the lifespan of the unit itself, 20,000 hours! It’s better for the environment, doesn’t overheat, and starts up almost instantly, saving you valuable time.

Teachers call this projector “a good value for the money.” They cite the ease of use, image quality, and lack of noise as its strengths. At about 8.5 pounds, it’s a little heavy for mobile teachers, but makes an excellent ceiling-mounted unit.

Specifications of the Casio XJ-F210WN WXGA, Ultra Video Projector:

  • Connectivity Technology: HDMI, VGA
  • Display Technology: Laser and LED Hybrid Technology
  • Image Brightness: 3,500 AL
  • Contrast Ratio:
  • Item Dimensions: 11.8 x 23.5 x 11.8 inches
  • Item weight: 8.4 lbs
  • Resolution:


2) Epson POWERLITE 1940W WXGA 3LCD V11H474020 Projector

Epson POWERLITE 1940W WXGA 3LCD V11H474020 Projector. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon.
Epson POWERLITE 1940W WXGA 3LCD V11H474020 Projector Review

The Epson POWERLITE 1940W WXGA 3LCD V11H474020 Projector has 4200 lumens of color brightness and 4200 lumens of white brightness, giving it one of the most brilliant picture qualities on this list. An additional built-in feature means you can attach multiple sources and display their content on a split screen.

One educator notes that her set up is never the same from week to week, but this unit features horizontal and vertical keystone correction that enables her to easily set up each time.

At almost 12 pounds, it’s not the most portable projector on our list, but the picture quality is outstanding.

Specifications of the Epson POWERLITE 1940W WXGA 3LCD V11H474020 Projector:

Connectivity Technology: HDMI, USB video
Display Technology: LCD
Image Brightness: 4200 lumens
Contrast Ratio: 3000:1
Item Dimensions: 20.5 x 7.5 x 14 inches
Item weight: 11.8 pounds
Resolution: Widescreen WXGA


3) Optoma WU336 WUXGA 3400 Lumens Business & Education Projector

Optoma WU336 WUXGA 3400 Lumens Business & Education Projector. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon.
Optoma WU336 WUXGA 3400 Lumens Business & Education Projector Review

The Optoma WU336 WUXGA 3400 Lumens Business & Education Projector is optimized for small to medium rooms, making it a good choice for your classroom. This projector is well worth the price for 3,400 lumens of brightness, a 15,000-hour lamp life, and a 10-watt speaker. That’s right! You won’t have to order a new light bulb until you’ve run it for 15,000 hours. That’s a money saver right there!

Teachers love how much time this projector saves them. It is easy to set up right out of the box. The 10-watt speaker means you won’t have to worry about wasting time attaching external speakers, and you will probably never have to replace the light bulb!

Specifications of the Optoma WU336 WUXGA 3400 Lumens Business & Education Projector:

Connectivity Technology: USB, HDMI
Display Technology:
Image Brightness:
Contrast Ratio: 20000:1
Item Dimensions: 4.27 x 12.44 x 9.2 in
Item weight: 6.75 lbs
Resolution: 1920×1200 (WUXGA)


4) Epson VS340 XGA 3LCD Projector 2800

Epson VS340 XGA 3LCD Projector 2800. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon.
Best Classroom Projectors 2019 - Epson VS340 XGA 3LCD Projector 2800

The Epson VS340 XGA 3LCD Projector 2800 can be used just about anywhere, at any time of day, thanks to its XGA resolution (1023×760), 2800 lumens of color brightness, and 2800 lumens of white brightness! Users rave about its ability to project clear, sharp images in a lit room. No need to waste time pulling down the blinds or putting paper over the windows. Plus, your students won’t be struggling to take notes in the dark!

Teachers of all kinds have used this projector in a variety of educational settings, from seminary school classrooms to Toastmasters groups. Teachers agree that the sharp images mean students can better see details such as numbers on charts and graphs

This projector also supports HDMI, so you can hook up your laptop or media player with ease. At just over 5 pounds, it is still portable and adaptable enough for the busy teacher’s lifestyle.

Specifications of the Epson VS340 XGA 3LCD Projector 2800:

Connectivity Technology: HDMI
Display Technology: LCD
Image Brightness: 2800 Lumens
Contrast Ratio: 15000:1
Item Dimensions: 14.5 x 13.8 x 6.2 in
Item weight: 5.29 lbs
Resolution: 1024×768 (XGA)


5) ViewSonic PJD5255 3300 Lumens XGA HDMI Projector

ViewSonic PJD5255 3300 Lumens XGA HDMI Projector. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon.
ViewSonic PJD5255 3300 Lumens XGA HDMI Best Classroom Projectors Review

Next on our list of the best classroom projectors is The ViewSonic PJD5255 3300 Lumens XGA HDMI Projector.

This one has amazing reviews from users of all walks of life. They love how a variety of media players can be attached using the HDMI, USB, and VGA ports.

Whether your have a Mac, PC, or ipad in your classroom, you should be able to use this projector. Users also point out that it’s easy to hook up Apple TV or a Firestick for movie projection.

The aspect ratio of 10:16 (wide-screen format) may be great for movies, but isn’t ideal for PowerPoint presentations, which are usually presented in a more “square” format.  Still, for the mid-level price, this is a good unit for everyday use.

 

Specifications of the ViewSonic PJD5255 3300 Lumens XGA HDMI Projector:

Connectivity Technology: HDMI, Mini USB, VGA
Display Technology: DLP
Image Brightness: 3300 lumens
Contrast Ratio: 22000:1
Item Dimensions: 8.98 x 12.44 x 4.08 in
Item weight: 4.63 lbs
Resolution: XGA


6) SOLOVE HDMI Projector

SOLOVE HDMI Projector. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon.
SOLOVE HDMI Projector for Classroom Review

The SOLOVE HDMI Projector is another economical choice, coming in at under $200.

This projector allows the user to customize the screen size and can even be hooked up to your smartphone or TV, making it adaptable for teachers who don’t have regular access to a laptop.

One small criticism of this projector is that the fan is slightly noisy, but users say that it can be easily ignored when watching movies at a normal volume.

Users like that the built-in speakers provide adequate volume for an average sized room. External speakers can also be hooked up to the projector. This projector is a good choice for playing movies or instructional videos in your classroom.

Specifications of the SOLOVE HDMI Projector:

  • Connectivity Technology: HDMI, wireless
  • Display Technology: LCD
  • Image Brightness:
  • Contrast Ratio: 3000:1
  • Item Dimensions: 12.6 x 10.2 x 4.7 in
  • Item weight: 7.52 lbs
  • Resolution: 1920×1080


7) Vankyo Leisure 3 Mini Projector

Vankyo Leisure 3 Mini Projector. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon.
Vankyo Leisure 3 Mini Projector Review for Schools

The Vankyo Leisure 3 Mini Projector is a small, lightweight choice for classroom use, without compromising picture quality. At 2.1 pounds, it is easy to carry from classroom to classroom, for teachers who share equipment or who travel throughout the day.

Users love how easy it is to set up, the included carrying case, and the quiet fan. The Vankyo Leisure 3 Mini Projector is marketed for playing games, watching movies, and viewing TV shows on a “big screen” and is not recommended for PowerPoint or other presentation software.

Still, at under $100, it is a good choice for movie day in your classroom.

 

Specifications of the Vankyo Leisure 3 Mini Projector:

  • Connectivity Technology: HDMI,VGA,USB, AV, TF Card, TV BOX, 1080P Supported
  • Display Technology: LCD
  • Image Brightness:
  • Contrast Ratio: 2000:1
  • Item Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.9 x 3.1 in
  • Item weight: 2.1 lbs
  • Resolution: 1920×1080


8) Nebula Capsule

Nebula Capsule. Click the photo to see the price on Amazon.
Best Classroom Projectors Review - Nebula Capsule

Last but not least on our list of the best classroom projectors is the Nebula Capsule by Anker. It is by far the smallest, lightest, most portable projector on our list.

This cool little gadget is about the size of a soda can, sits on any flat surface, and runs on one rechargeable lithium ion battery. This projector will fit inside your teacher bag, alongside your books and folders! Perfect for adjunct professors who travel from campus to campus or who have unreliable technology in their classrooms.

Teachers love the power of the built in speaker and its capability to run apps like Netflix as well as media from a USB flash drive, using the provided micro USB cable. It might not be big and fancy, but for the price it’s a fairly affordable alternative for teachers on a budget.

Specifications of the Nebula Capsule:

  • Connectivity Technology: Wireless, HDMI, USB, Bluetooth
  • Display Technology: DLP
  • Image Brightness: 100ANSI lumen
  • Contrast Ratio: 400:1
  • Item Dimensions: 2.68 x 2.68 x 4.72 in
  • Item weight: 1.04 lbs
  • Resolution: 854×480


What’s Your Favorite Projector for Classroom Use?

We hope you’ve enjoyed our list of the best classroom projectors on the market. With so many projectors out there, you’re sure to find something that fits your budget and usage needs!

Do you already use any of these projectors in your classroom? Your thoughts and recommendations would be appreciated in the comments below!


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teacher loan forgiveness programs

6 Teaching Loan Forgiveness Programs Reviewed

If you are still struggling with student debt, have you looked into teaching loan forgiveness programs?

Here I outline 6 student loan forgiveness programs for teachers.  Please check them out, you may qualify to get some or all of your student loans forgiven!

1) Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

First on our list of teaching loan forgiviness programs is the Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. This program was initialized in 2007 with the aim of encouraging more people to work in public service, including at schools.  PSLF forgives William D. Ford Direct Loans (including direct PLUS loans, direct consolidation loans, direct subsidized loans, and direct unsubsidized loans).

Please see the PSLF eligibility requirements here. To summarize the conditions for qualifying for this program, you must:

  • Make 120 consecutive (10 years!), of on-time, full payments, starting no earlier than 10/1/2007
  • Work full-time in the Peace Corps, Americorps, or a public service organization (schools qualify!) for the entire time the payments were made

This is definitely a difficult program to qualify for, but if you meet the above conditions, than this program is well worth looking into. See the PSLF certification form here.

2) Federal Teacher Loan Forgiveness

The goal of the Federal Teacher Loan Forgiveness program is to encourage people to become (and remain) teachers. It is a generous program that allows for up to $17,500 in teacher loan forgiveness.

Here is a summary of the eligibility requirements for this program:

  • Eligible loan types include unsubsidized student loans and direct subsidized loans
  • The loans must have been established after 10/1/98, and at least one of the teaching years must be after the 1997-1998 school year.
  • You cannot be in default
  • You must work for five consecutive, full years as a teacher, at least one of the years at a qualifying school:
  • The qualifying school must be in a Title I qualified district
  • The qualifying school must have more than 30% of students qualified for Title I services
  • The qualifying school must be listed in the government’s directory of qualifying schools.
  • Teachers at a qualifying educational service agency are also eligible

In most cases, teachers are eligible to get $5,000 of their loans forgiven. “Highly qualified” math, science, and special education teachers may be eligible to receive up to the full $17,500 in teacher loan forgiveness.

Download the application for this program here.

3) Federal Perkins Loan Cancellation

With the Federal Perkins Loan Cancellation program you can get up to 100% of your Perkins loans forgiven, including any interest you have accrued! Teachers only have to teach full time for a year to receive benefits:

  • You will get 15% of your loan cancelled after years one and two.
  • For years three and four, you will get 20% more of the loan cancelled each year
  • In the fifth year, you will get the final 30% of your Federal Perkins loan cancelled.

Here’s what qualifies for the Perkins loan cancellation program. You can:

  • Teach in a school that serves students from low-income families (see if your school qualifies as “low-income” here) or;
  • Be a special education teacher (including for infants and toddlers) or;
  • Teach in a field that your state has defined as having a teacher shortage in, such as science, bilingual education, math, foreign language, etc. or;
  • Teach at a private school that is a nonprofit or;
  • Teach part-time at multiple schools, as long as you meet the other requirements or;
  • Teach preschool or pre-K, only if your state classifies them as part of elementary education

To get the application form for this program, contact the office where you went to college that administers the Federal Perkins Loan program.

4) Stafford Loan Forgiveness

The popular Stafford Loan Forgiveness program provides qualified individuals up to $17,500 in teacher loan forgiveness.

However, it is a very difficult program to qualify for. You must:

  • Work full-time for 5 consecutive years at a Title I qualified elementary or secondary school, with 30% of students who qualify for Title I services or at a school listed in the Annual Directory of Designated Low-Income Schools
  • Not be in loan default
  • Not have taken out any direct loans or FEEL Program Loans before 10/1/98.

One big plus of this program is that teachers can take advantage one of the Federal Student Loan Forbearance programs during those five years. If you are having difficulties making payments, this is a great option and could really help your short-term finances.

See the Stafford Loan Forgiveness Application form here.

5) Federal TEACH Grants

The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant program provides up to $4,000 per year to qualifying college students who will become teachers.

TEACH Grants are unique in that they are the only type of teacher loan forgiveness provided before debt is accumulated. Other loan forgiveness programs, of course, provide forgiveness after you have taken on student debt.

These grants will provide as much as $4,000 per year to college students who:

  • Intend to teach at a school that serves primarily students from low-income families
  • Are enrolled in a teaching credential providing program
  • Plan to teach full-time for at least 4 years
  • Plan to teach in a “high-need” field

6)  State and City Sponsored Teacher Loan Forgiveness Programs

Fortunately, there are also many state and city teacher loan forgiveness programs. Rather than list them here, I will share with you an excellent resource.

The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) has put together a searchable database of state and city loan forgiveness programs, classroom donation programs, as well as various awards and grants.

In addition, your district school board should be able to point you in the direction of any city or county funded loan forgiveness programs.

Save Money on Your Student Loans and Get $100!

If you cannot get all of your loans forgiven with teaching loan forgiveness programs, please also consider student loan refinancing. We recommend checking out Sofi. Fixed rates start at 3.50% and variable rates start as low as 2.13% APR (with AutoPay). Sofi members save an average of $14,000! Apply here and you will receive a $100 bonus when you refinance.

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Teacher Home Loans in California

A Guide To California Teacher Home Loans

If you are a teacher in California looking to buy a home, you are in luck!  California educators have access to some of the best teacher home loan programs in the country.  Teacher home loans in California are available from a variety of sources.

For your convenience, we have compiled a list of your options for teacher home loans in California. Read on for our guide of the best teacher mortgage options in California!

Here are 4 California Teacher Home Mortgage Options Worth Considering:

  1. LendingTree
  2. CalHFA School Teacher and Employee Assistance Program
  3. CalHero Teacher Home Loans
  4. MyCommunity California Teacher Mortgages

1)LendingTree California Teacher Home Loans


Our #1 recommended provider of teacher home loans in California is LendingTree. With LendingTree, you can easily compare up to five educator-friendly teacher home loan in California offers!

Whether you are purchasing a home, refinancing, looking for a home equity line of credit or seeking a reverse mortgage, we highly recommend LendingTree.

If looking at any of the other California teacher home loan options that follow, we recommended you take a look at LendingTree first! This will give you the most options. Furthermore, it can help you make an informed decision on which California home loan for teachers is best for you. Highly recommended!

Compare offers from up to 5 educator-friendly California Teacher Home Loan Providers on LendingTree HERE

2)CalHFA School Teacher and Employee Assistance Program

CALHfa Teacher Loans

Second on our list is CalHFA’s School Teacher and Employee Assistance Program (STEAP). This program provides down payment assistance to first time homebuyers who qualify.

To sum up, this program is available to all teachers, school district employees, support staff and administrators. To be eligible you must be working at a K-12 California public or charter school. If you are an employee of a county or continuation schools or district offices you should be eligible as well.

3)CalHERO Teacher Home Loans

CalHERO Teacher home loans

Next on our list is the CalHERO teacher home loan program. Benefits of this program include no income limits, reduced fees from lenders and discounted interest rates. In addition, down payments can be as low as 3.5%. To qualify, your credit score can be as little as 600.

Don’t worry if you have purchased before. This California home loan program is not only for first time home buyers! Moreover, it can also be combined or layered with other assistance programs.

Learn more about the CalHERO Program HERE

4)MyCommunity California Teacher Mortgages

We conclude our list of California home loan options with the MyCommunity Teacher Mortgage (MCTM) program. The MCTM offers California educators access to a low down payment mortgage option.  Additionally, borrowers with this program can benefit from discounted Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) and more flexible down payment options.

This program is also not limited to first time home buyers. but does have a household income limit.  The current limit for borrowers is 140% of the county Area Median Income.

National Teacher Home Mortgage Programs

Of course, there are some national programs that you should consider as well.  Be sure to check out our list of the top 4 top teacher home mortgage programs for more home loan options for educators.

Explore Your California Teacher Home Loan Options Today!


In conclusion, when searching for teacher home loans in California do not forget to compare rates and other benefits. Again, our highest recommendation is to start your comparison shopping on LendingTree today HERE.

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Top 5 Tax Programs for Teachers

The 5 Best Tax Software Programs for Teachers in 2019

One question we get every year around tax time is: what is the best  tax software for teachers?  With this article we try to cover 5 of our top recommended options for educators’ unique tax needs.

These online tax software options range in price and functionality but should have you covered and save you some money too.  Even the priciest options should be cheaper than hiring a professional to prepare your return.  In fact, some of them are truly free, at least for educators with simple returns!

Read on for our review of what we believe are currently the 5 best tax software programs for teachers in 2019.

[Please note that we might share a small portion of the sales from the links on this page. We only share products that we truly love and recommend. Thank you for your kind support of The Moneywise Teacher! Now on to our list of awesome tax software for teachers.]

Our Top 5 Recommended Programs for Educators:

1) TurboTax

2) H&R Block

3) Tax Slayer

4) Liberty Tax

5) FreeTaxUsa


 

1) TurboTax for Teachers


TurboTax - Best Tax Software for Teachers

Possibly the biggest name in Tax software, most educators cannot go wrong by choosing TurboTax. It is currently our #1 recommended tax software for teachers.

This year’s version will search more than 400 tax credits and deductions (including the Educator Expense Deduction) to see which you qualify for.

TurboTax guarantees teachers their maximum refund and 100% accuracy.  Learn more about the TurboTax teacher discount and see if you qualify for the free version of TurboTax here.


 

2) H&R Block for Teachers


H&R Block is #2 on our list of best tax software for teachers and also has our highest recommendation.

Benefits of using H&R Block include no hidden fees and unlimited help via chat.

One feature that sets H&R Block apart is the ability to get your all or part of your refund as an Amazon gift card.  What’s more, if choosing this option, you’ll get an additional 5% added to your refund!

Like TurboTax, H&R Block also offers a free version for filers with simple returns.  If you have  more complicated taxes, definitely take advantage of your 25% H&R Block teacher discount here.


 

3) TaxSlayer for Teachers

TaxSlayer is a great choice for educators who want a simple data entry option.  This program’s “quick file” option is a blessing for those who want a simplified filing process.  This program has the distinction of being the highest rated tax software for ease of use.

As with the other recommended tax filing software recommendations for teachers, TaxSlayer has a free option.  The paid options are very reasonable as well.


 

4) Liberty Tax for Teachers


Liberty Tax for Teachers

Liberty Tax is a great option for educators who are savvy and experienced with filing their own taxes. The program allows you to choose what aspects of your return you want to work on and when. It even offers up helpful recommendations along the way, warning you if you enter information that might trigger an audit. Audit protection is even included in the price!

Liberty Tax is not as user-friendly as our top 3 options, but is very affordable and will definitely get the job done for you.

 


 

5) FreeTaxUSA for Teachers

Last but not least on our list of best tax software for teachers is FreeTaxUSA.  FreeTaxUSA is unique in that Federal Tax Filing is 100% free for both simple and complicated returns. Furthermore, state returns only cost $12.95!

One useful feature is that if you filed with TurboTax or H&R Block last year, you can conveniently upload your return from last year.

All in all, this no frills option is perfect for educators who like to save money and who are OK with less bells and whistles.


 

We hope you found this list of our top tax software programs for teachers helpful. We truly believe any of these 5 options will be great for you.  Please let us know what you think of our list in the comments below. If you have a personal favorite tax program for teachers we have missed, please let us know that in the comments as well!

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Grammarly Review 2018

Grammarly Review 2019: Should You Go Premium?

There are different grammar checkers online available online in 2019, free and paid, and Grammarly is one of the best-known ones. The platform offers a free and premium version. The premium version will run you $29.95 a month currently unless you bundle months together to get a discounted rate. Read on for our Grammarly review of both the free and premium versions of this excellent software.

Grammarly Review - Subscription Plans

Subscription Plans from Grammarly

After putting the premium version to the test, here are a few insights on whether it is worth going premium with Grammarly.

Grammarly Review – Pros for Teachers

One tool that could cut teacher’s time in half when grading papers is the plagiarism tool. Grammarly claims that the cloud-based software scans over 8 billion websites to look for plagiarized content. With this powerful tool, I can see this being a much-needed shortcut for teachers when grading student’s papers.

Teachers can use this extra time to focus on helping improve their students overall writing and style.


Also, when using the program in Microsoft Word, you can change the type or genre of the article you’re either writing or proofreading. You do have to add Grammarly to Word by following the prompts from your profile on the Grammarly website.

With genres like essay and research papers to choose from in the academic section, you can move through papers using the grammatical styles associated with each kind of writing. Adding the Grammarly tool to Word and the plagiarism tool are both only available through the premium membership.

2019 Grammarly Review for TeachersGrammarly Review – Helpful Tools for Writing

Another perk of going premium is being able to look at advanced issues in your writing. When using the free version, Grammarly lets you know there are “X” amount of advanced issues that you can see IF you upgrade to premium.

If you tend to write more than the average person and are interested in improving your writing skills and grammar, being able to look at the advanced issues is one of the best tools the software provides.

Personally, I tend to write in the passive voice more than I want in my writing. The premium version of the grammar checker has helped me work towards breaking this habit. Also, it breaks the habit of using any repetitive words and even suggests synonyms that may fit better with your wording.

Also, the ease of use of the software is great. Adding extensions to your browser and Word are simple and using the grammar checker is self-explanatory.

Grammarly checks over 250 types of grammatical issues, spelling mistakes, and enhances the vocabulary of the user in the premium version. What I found using the tool is that they do deliver well on all of these categories.

The Drawbacks

Grammarly does have a few drawbacks.

It’s grammar suggestions may not always make sense regarding what you’re trying to write and get across to the reader. At this point, you have to use your best judgment in going with the suggestion or sticking with your original writing.

An example of this is when the passive voice is necessary, and it wouldn’t make sense to use the active voice in the context of your writing. Grammarly tends to do this in different style tips and suggestions. Just check the context and decide on what sounds better to you.

Also, when using the browser extension, Grammarly hasn’t picked up on how writing may differ on your personal social media. Sometimes when you add new statuses on different platforms, it’ll pick up multiple errors on abbreviations and social lexicon.

Just clicking through these and being able to post can be time-consuming as well as irritating.

Grammarly Review 2019 – The Verdict

Grammarly has a lot to offer to anyone who takes their writing seriously or grades any papers in an educational setting.

With only a few drawbacks, the pros greatly outweigh the cons. The writing enhancing tool, whether in the free or premium version, does help writers create better content and helps break any old writing habits.

If cost isn’t a factor for you and you enjoy improving your writing skills, the premium version may be a tool you’ll find useful.

Overall, if you plan on writing more than the average person or you’re an educator who does need to proofread constantly, I would recommend the premium tool. If you don’t grade papers often or need to write much, trying the free version out would probably cut it for you.  Start with the free version of Grammarly here.

We hope you have found this grammarly review helpful. Have you tried Grammarly’s premium version? What did you think of the grammar checker’s tools?

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Best Chemistry Set for Your Child

The Best Chemistry Set for Your Child Review

Are you looking for an awesome chemistry set for your child? Here we share 8 of the best children’s chemistry sets currently available!

[Please note that we might share a small portion of the sales from the links on this page. We only share products that we truly love and recommend. Thank you for your kind support of The Moneywise Teacher! Now onto our review of the best chemistry sets for children. Header Image © Andrey Kiselev /Adobe Stock]

1) Crayola Color Chemistry Set for Kids

Crayola Color Chemistry Set for Child

Is this the best beginning chemistry set for kids? Many kids and parents think so! We start our list with a kit that has a ton of positive reviews, the Crayola Color Chemistry Set for Kids. This very affordably priced children’s chemistry set comes with a whopping 50 science experiments.

Along with 16 out-of-the-box experiments, there are 34 additional STEM-learning inspired science activities. The kit comes with very easy-to-follow instructions for kids, but as you’ll see from the review below, kids tend to have a blast exercising their creativity without the instructions! Highly recommended.

Crayola Color Chemistry Set for Child – Sample Amazon Review

“I am revising the star rating from 4 to 5. The main reason is that the kids are still just in love playing “science”. The directions have been thrown out and they just go to town and are completely entertained. Both the 4 and 8 year old are in love. Complete imagination takes over and it’s lovely.”

Suggested for Ages 7+. Learn More About The Crayola Color Chemistry Set for Kids on Amazon HERE

2) Evviva Sciences Crystal Growing Kit

The Evviva Sciences Crystal Growing Kit is the top rated crystal growing chemistry set on Amazon and allows kids to easily make their own crystals.

The manufacturer even has a “Make your Own Crystals or Your Money Back” guarantee. If instructions are followed, kids will end up with 5 beautiful crystal rocks after working with this science kit!

Evviva Sciences Crystal Growing Kit – Sample Amazon Review

“We have bought countless crystal growing kits-we follow the instructions to a T on every one of them. THIS kit is the only kit that actually grew crystals. BIG crystals!!! We started seeing the crystals come up out of the solution and were seriously excited we had finally found a kit that worked. My 7 year old is really into the science kits-he loved this, but, then again, so did my 3 year old. Okay, and mom and dad had fun, too!!!”

Suggested for Ages 7+ Learn More About The Evviva Sciences Crystal Growing Kit on Amazon HERE

3) Playz Explosive Kitchen Lab


Next on our list of best chemistry kits for children is the Playz Explosive Kitchen Lab.

This exciting, easy-to-use children’s chemistry set is loaded with value and comes with more than 26 experiments, 41 tools, ingredients and a 36 page activity/lab guide.

Playz Explosive Kitchen Lab – Sample Amazon Review

“SO AWESOME! The quality of the supplies in this kit are top notch and the book is very easy to follow along with. My 7 year old absolutely loves this kit and will be purchasing from this vendor again very soon. We homeschool and have been looking for a quality SCIENCE kit.. We found it!”

Suggested for Ages 8-13 Learn More About Playz Explosive Kitchen Lab on Amazon HERE

4) Barbie Fundamental Chemistry Kit

The Barbie Fundamental Chemistry Kit from Thames & Cosmos allows kids to make slime, fizz, crystals and more! One commonly cited drawback to this set is that the experiments can only be used once. Other than that, it comes highly recommended!

Barbie Fundamental Chemistry Kit – Sample Amazon Review

“Purchased for my daughter for Christmas and she’s loving it! We are taking our time completing the different experiments, but she has really enjoyed the couple we have done so far. Recommend for kids who love to learn and love Barbie!”

Suggested for Ages 4-8. Learn More About Barbie Fundamental Chemistry Kit on Amazon HERE

5) Click-a-Brick Creative Chemistry: Crystals & Slime Science Kit

Continuing our review of top chemistry sets for kids is the Click-a-Brick Creative Chemistry: Crystals & Slime Science Kit, which includes many items that will help turn your little one into a true chemist!

This chemistry kit also comes with two robust study guides where kids can track the results of each experiment and compare.

Click-a-Brick Creative Chemistry – Sample Amazon Review

“What a great science kit! It has everything you need to conduct some really cool experiments; and a few things from home obviously. The guides are colorful and easy to follow – and they even have a section for notes so that you can document results! Great purchase!”

Suggested for Ages 6+ Learn More About The Click-a-Brick Creative Chemistry on Amazon HERE

6) Happy Atoms Magnetic Molecular Modeling Set

This set stands out among the many molecular chemistry sets on the market. The Happy Atoms Molecular Magnetic Modeling Set allows your child to build, scan and identify molecules.

Included are both a digital and physical chemistry set, as well as a free “Happy Atoms” app (free download), a scanning mat and more!

Happy Atoms Molecular Magnetic Modeling Set – Sample Amazon Review

“This is a fantastic tool for kinesthetic and visual learners! Out of the box my 8 year old played with this for almost two hours. The magnets are just the right strength, the “atoms” are well made, and they feel good in your hands as you assemble molecules. The set itself is a five-star gem. GET IT. Your kids will learn SO much and have an amazing time doing it! “

Suggested for Ages 10-17 Learn More About The Happy Atoms Molecular Magnetic Modeling Set on Amazon HERE

7) Kids First Chemistry Set

Kids First Chemistry Set Review Another great chemistry set for kids is the appropriately named Kids First Chemistry Set, which gives kids the chance to identify different chemicals through conducting the 25 provided experiments. Your young chemists can safely explore simple chemistry with common household substances and the provided lab equipment such as beakers, test tubes and more.

Kids First Chemistry Set – Sample Amazon Review

“We did some looking at a wide variety of options for a chemistry set before choosing this one. The options ranged between lower-priced (almost nothing useful inside the box and too expensive (some stuff inside the box, but apparently not that much). This one seemed to have good instructions and it provided some chemistry-like utensils and tools – but no chemicals; the girls are learning about chemistry from what’s available in the kitchen.”

Suggested for Ages 8+ Learn More About The Kids First Chemistry Set on Amazon HERE

8) Edible Candy! Food Science Chemistry Kit

Edible Candy! Food Science Chemistry Kit ReviewOur final product in our review of the chemistry sets for children is fun to experiment with (and eat!) Edible Candy! Food Science Chemistry Kit, which combines STEM concepts with hands-on science projects.

This edible chemistry set is loaded with value and comes with 40 experiments, 27 tools and ingredients and a 56 page lab guide! Well worth checking out!

Edible Candy! Food Science Chemistry Kit – Sample Amazon Review

“This is a neat little set that is full of educational activities for both boys and girls. Its always a plus when you can eat at the end of the process. I do think for what was included and the price you could do the same by researching online but that would take time and energy which is essentially what we are paying for in the set. The booklet and recipes are easy to understand for an adult, but may be a little confusing for a child. Adult supervision is needed with this. Also some off the recipes do call for other things that are not included in the set and some recipes call for optional items. This is perfect for our homeschool or just for a child who loves science or cooking.”

Suggested for Ages 8+ Learn More About The Edible Candy! Food Science Chemistry Kit on Amazon HERE

What’s Your Favorite Chemistry Set for Kids?

I hope you will try some of these wonderful chemistry sets with the special child in your life. If you have your own favorite chemistry set for kids, please share it in the comments below!

Here are links to the 8 kids chemistry sets we feature on Amazon. Be sure to also check out our list of games that teach money skills!

Chemistry Set for Kids

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Teacher Home Loans – 4 Top Programs in 2019

Are you a teacher looking to buy a home and need help with financing? Please consider some of the special mortgage programs that cater specifically to educators. In this article we are excited to share 4 of the top providers that currently offer teacher home loans!

Our 4 Top Home Loan Programs for Teachers

Our list of teacher home loan providers in 2019 include:

1) LendingTree for Teachers
2) Educator Mortgage Program
3) Teacher Home Advantage
4) NEA Home Financing Program

Why Should you Explore Teacher Home Loans?

First off, these programs were created with educators in mind. They may offer some perks and/or discounts that you may not get from traditional financing options. One of the perks includes discounted closing costs or lower interest rates. Some programs even can make a donation to your school. All this considered, teacher home loans might very well be what you are looking for when you wish to finance the purchase of a home.

Without further ado, here are the 4 best teacher mortgage programs available for professional educators:

1)LendingTree Teacher Home Loans


Our #1 recommended provider of teacher home loans is LendingTree, where you can easily compare up to five educator-friendly home loan offers!

Whether you are purchasing a home, refinancing, looking for a home equity line of credit or seeking a reverse mortgage, LendingTree has our highest recommendation.

If looking at any of the other options that follow, it is highly recommended you take a look at LendingTree first! This will give you the most options. Furthermore, it can help you make an informed decision on which home loan for teachers is best for you! Highly recommended!

Compare offers from up to 5 educator-friendly Teacher Home Loan Providers on LendingTree HERE

2)Educator Mortgage Program

Teacher Home LoansThis is a really interesting program from Supreme Lending that anyone in the education industry is eligible to apply for. The highlights of the Educator Mortgage Program include:

  • Discounted Closing Costs – Supreme Lending is offering up to $800 in reduced closing costs to educators.  If you qualify, you will receive a credit on your HUD-1 settlement statement for up to $800.
  • Discounted Real Estate Agent Fees – The Educator Mortgage Program looks to work with real estate agents who want to give back. As an educator, you will receive a credit on your HUD-1 settlement statement up to $800 from participating Real Estate Agents. These funds can be used for any fees, prepaids, seller fees, or new escrow account set up for your new loan.
  • Fast Loan Process – Supreme Lending emphasizes that educator clients are given highest priority. Educator loans are handled expeditiously so as to ensure “a smoother and more enjoyable experience.”
  • Donation to Your School– With the Educator Mortgage Program, a donation of to $200 will be made to the school program of your choice. If you work with a participating real estate agent, an additional $200 will be donated, for a total of $400, to the school program of your choice!

Visit the Educator Mortgage Program’s website for more info on their teacher home loans. They offer various home buyer mortgage programs including FHA loans, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, VA, USDA, Jumbo and more.

3) Teacher Home Advantage

American Pacific Mortgage Teacher Home Advantage LoansThe Teacher Home Advantage program by Pacific Home Mortgage offers various options for teacher home loans.   These range from:

  • FHA Loans – Federally backed loans with a low fixed rate, great for the educator who is a first time home buyer.
  • Conventional Loans – These are not backed by the government and usually require a larger down payment. However, one advantage of these loans for teachers is that monthly mortgage insurance is not generally required.
  • USDA Loans – 0% down loans that are insured by the government. These loans are only offered in “rural” areas. The fact that these loans require no down payment puts home ownership within the reach of many educators.
  • VA Loans – If you are a veteran, this could be a great option for you. Like the USDA loan, it does not require a down payment.
  • Home Path Program – This program is only available for the purchase of Fannie Mae owned homes. It offers educator borrowers low down payment options, flexible terms, no mortgage insurance and no appraisal fees.
  • “Making Home Affordable” Program – Teacher Home Advantage works directly with this program. Basically, it includes opportunities to help borrowers make their monthly payments more affordable. In other words, it allows homeowners the chance to decrease their current mortgage payments, even if they’re “upside down” in their home.
  • Teacher Next Door – This program (more specifically HUD’s Good Neighbor Next Door Sales Program) offers Pre-K through 12th grade teachers a wonderful opportunity. Make a contribution to community revitalization while receiving a substantial 50% discount on the list price of a home! The limitations of this program are that you must commit to live in the property for 3 years, and qualifying homes must be located in HUD-designated revitalization areas only.

Learn more about these different programs and what the Teacher Home Advantage offers educator clients here.

4) NEA Home Financing Program®

NEA Home Financing Teacher Home LoansOffered through Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, the NEA Home Financing Program® is offered as a benefit of the NEA Member Benefits program.

Some of the features of this program include:

  • Competitive interest rates and fees
  • Low down payment options
  • A wide variety of home financing choices
  • Conventional and jumbo loans, with both purchase and refinance programs available
  • As an NEA Member bonus, you’ll receive a $500 award card when you close a purchase or refinance

Learn more about the NEA Home Financing Program® here.

State Teacher Home Loan Options

Many states have teacher home loan programs that are unique to that particular state. For example, we have put together a guide to teacher home loans in California and will be adding info about other states soon!

Explore your Teacher Home Loan Options Today!

When searching for your teacher home loan do not forget to compare rates and other benefits. Again, our highest recommendation is to start your comparison shopping on LendingTree today HERE.

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Teacher Freebies 2018

13 Teacher Freebies For EVERY Educator in 2019!

We admit, the title of this post about teacher freebies is a bit misleading.  In truth, this list includes links to THOUSANDS of 2019 teacher freebies.

These 13 freebies are either individual freebies you can claim today, or links to online resources with hundreds (or thousands!) more freebies – worksheets, activities, lesson plans, you name it.

We tried to select a variety of teacher freebies that would suit most, if not all educators.  Besides some great stuff for your class, your students and/or your school, there are some freebies here for YOU too.  You deserve to be rewarded too, right?

That said, on to the free stuff!

1) Audible

Get a free 30 Day trial + Two free premium audiobooks. Great for professional development or entertainment purposes.

Choose from over 180,000 audiobook titles to help make your commute to and from school more bearable! Audible, an Amazon company, offers the world’s largest selection of digital audiobooks and spoken word content. “With Audible, customers can listen anytime and anywhere to professionally-narrated audiobooks across a wide range of genres.”


2) ClassCentral

Thousands of free online courses from top universities like Harvard, MIT and others. Great for your own professional development or for ideas/inspiration for your own classes!


3) Microsoft Office 365

Microsoft is offering all qualifying teachers (and students!) Microsoft Office 365 for free! You will also get 1TB of online storage. This one’s a no-brainer if you qualify.


4) Teachers Pay Teachers Freebies

Teachers Pay Teachers currently offers over 500,000 printable teacher freebies, including lesson plans, worksheets, activities and more! Spans pre-K to 12th grade.


5) TeacherVision Free Trial

TeacherVision offers thousands of classroom management tools, lessons plans, whiteboard-compatible books, games, worksheets and a whole lot more.  Currently, they are offering a free 7-day all-access pass.  After that, it’s only $7.95/month for complete access.


6) Switch DVD & More

The “Energy Film & Education Project.” Educators can get a free copy of the award-winning documentary on DVD plus access to a curriculum and study guide, as well as access to more online resources.


7) Free Book – Expert Secrets

Expert Secrets is a book that could change your life. The goal of the book is to teach you how to leverage your teaching expertise to create a side income by creating a mass movement of people who will pay you for your advice. If this sounds complicated or unbelievable, all we can say is watch this video, be inspired and grab your free copy of “Expert Secrets” today!


8) United for Human Rights Info Kit

Get a free DVD, The Story of Human Rights booklet, and a guide you can use to help bring about awareness and understanding of human rights and to start making a difference!


9) Kindle Unlimited

Kindle Unlimited allows you to access the best books and magazines currently available.  Whether you want to binge read the Harry Potter series again, need fresh lesson plan ideas or want to check out the newest version of your favorite magazine, Kindle Unlimited is simply a great product from Amazon.

Educators get a free month to try out this fantastic service.

Best of all, Kindle Unlimited works on any device!  You don’t need to own a kindle to enjoy Kindle Unlimited.  Free kindle apps allow you to access your kindle library anywhere!


10) Free Technology for Teachers

A regularly updated and massively popular blog that features hundreds if not thousands of the newest free
technologies
, apps, etc. that teachers can use in their classrooms.


11) Help Prevent Underage Drinking Kit

SAMHSA (The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) is offering a free underage drinking prevention kit that includes a teaching guide, poster, worksheets and a family guide.


12) IdentityForce

Identity thieves are everywhere. Last year over 12 million individuals were victims of this faceless crime. Get protected today with a free two week trial of this top identity protection service.


13) Grammarly

Great for educators and students alike. This free, must-have tool corrects more than 250 types of grammatical mistakes, while also catching contextual spelling errors and poor vocabulary usage.


You’ve Got 99 Problems and Teacher Freebies Ain’t One!

This is just a small sample of teacher freebies we were able to find, there are 99 more in our Ultimate list of 112 Teacher Freebies! You can download the full list via the “Get the Ultimate List” box below.

Save yourself and/or your school some money and grab that list today. There’s truly something (or a lot of things!) for everyone there.

13 Awesome Teacher Freebies for Every Educator in 2018

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best homeschool curriculum

Best Homeschool Curriculum – 13 Top Recommendations

Cathy Duffy is the know-all when it comes to homeschooling. She has reviewed hundreds of homeschool resources to help educators and parents shopping for. We reached out to her and asked: “So, what is the best homeschool curriculum?”

Here’s a handful of Cathy-approved homeschooling educational picks available on Amazon. We hope that these 13 recommended resources will save you from countless hours of shopping around for the best homeschool curriculum.

Best Homeschool Curriculum – Elementary Math & Science

Life of Fred Elementary Math

Best Homeschool Curriculum - Life of Fred Elementary Math

If you have yet to hear of Life of Fred, you are in for a treat. Developed by math teacher Dr. Stanley F Schmitt, this story-based math learning series has taken the homeschooling world by storm! In this series, learners follow Fred and his pals through life while learning math concepts along the way. Truly, kids often don’t even know they’re learning something until they are told!

Each Life of Fred book has a single topic, like Apples, Ice Cream, or Money. (Yes, our Moneywise Teacher readers will love that one!) Cathy recommends that you supplement your students’ math learning with social studies or science based around the same topic!

Check the price of Life of Fred Elementary Math HERE

Math Lessons for a Living Education

 

The premise of Math Lessons for a Living Education is that“content, story, and the ability to show math in real life” is what makes a stellar math curriculum! In real life, there are no barriers between “subjects.” As an example, when cooking or baking, we use reading, logical thinking, and measuring skills. This exceptional series is committed to teaching math in the same organic way!

Check the price of Math Lessons for a Living Education on Amazon HERE

Math Mammoth Light Blue Series

 

A favorite of homeschool parents, the Math Mammoth series constitutes a full elementary mathematics curriculum for 1st-7th grades. With this series, kids can learn on their own with the comprehensive student books.  The focus with these book is on conceptual learning.  They are visually engaging, and chapters are organized by topics and themes.

One very happy homeschool parent said about this series: “We have tried three different math curriculum programs but this one seems the best for the teacher and student.”

Check the price of Math Mammoth Light Blue Series on Amazon HERE

A+ Interactive Math (by A+ TutorSoft, Inc.)

 

This interactive math curriculum can make the homeschool math journey easy.  A+ Interactive Math can do it all–teaching, grading, and tracking! This program allows you to personalize lesson plans in order to target exactly what your student needs. A bonus is that you can choose the best format for you  (and your students) – CD, eBooks or online!

Check the Price of A+ Interactive Math Products on Amazon HERE

 

Mathematical Reasoning Level A

This engaging book presents kids with a fun and colorful explanations, examples, and charts. These wonderful lessons are perfect for teaching your kindergartner mathematical foundations.

Check the price of Mathematical Reasoning Level A on Amazon HERE

enVision Math

Envision Math Homeschool curriculum review

This visually rich and fun curriculum focuses on one topic at a time, which should allow your child to master a concept before moving on to the next one.

Included with each enVision Math Homeschool Bundle are a Student Edition Worktext and a Teacher Edition CD-ROM.

Check the price of Envision Math Level 1 on Amazon HERE


Best Homeschool Curriculum – Elementary Reading & Writing

Grammaropolis

Grammaropolis can be a wonderful tool for K-3 learners as they seek to perfect their English grammar. This set comes with animated shorts, books, quizzes, and music videos. Lots of learning styles are covered here!

Check the price of Grammaropolis on Amazon HERE


Spelling Workout

best homeschool curriculum - spelling workout

 

Spelling Workout will help create a solid foundation of phonics principles. Included are puzzles, riddles, and activities that will keep your students engaged.

Included in each bundle are a Student Edition, Teacher Edition and Parent Guide.

Check the price of Spelling Workout on Amazon HERE


Best Homeschool Curriculum – Middle School Math

Life of Fred Beginning Algebra

Life of Fred Intro to Algebra for Homeschool

 

Back to Life of Fred! Algebra learners and beyond will love the stories and learn the concepts through holistic learning. It is recommended that if your advanced learner is new to Life of Fred that they start from the beginning. This re-learning of concepts will help them get up to speed and can set them up for success.

Check the price of Life of Fred Beginning Algebra on Amazon HERE


Life of Fred Financial Choices

Best Homeschool Curriculum - Life of Fred Financial Choices

Considering the theme of this website, we would be remiss to not include a recommendation on a homeschool curriculum that instills strong financial decision-making. The Life of Fred Financial Choices book is definitely a great intro and a great resource for helping you teach money skills.  Be sure to supplement this with these 5 Great Board Games that Teach Money Skills.

Check the price of Life of Fred Financial Choices on Amazon HERE


Best Homeschool Curriculum – Middle School Social Studies

myWorld Social Studies

Best Homeschool Curriculum - myWorld Social Studies

 

This sets a foundation for students to become engaged citizens by learning about US politics and history. Includes a teacher’s guide for every chapter, lesson plans, editable tests and even audio podcasts on each subject!

Check the price of myWorld Social Studies on Amazon HERE


Best Homeschool Curriculum – Science for the Family

Magic School Bus Nature Bundle

Magic School Bus Nature BUndle for Homeschool

This set comes with four science kits and covers topics like the weather, “going green” (recycling, composting, etc.), solar energy and “wonders of nature” (fun stuff like ant hill building, dissolving an egg shell and more!).

Check the price of Magic School Bus Nature Bundle on Amazon HERE


Science Detective A1

With this series, your science detective kids will engage in mind-building exercises! Science Detective prepares students for more advanced science courses and also gives them opportunities to build their reading comprehension and reasoning skills.

Check the price of Science Detective A1 on Amazon HERE


Best Homeschool Curriculum – Your Picks?

We hope this selection of 13 recommended homeschool curricula has helped you decide on your own personal best homeschool curriculum. Please let us know in the comments what you think, and also if you have any recommendations for any picks we might have missed!

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Teacher Bankruptcy

Teachers: The 5 Most Common Causes of Bankruptcy and How to Protect Yourself

As educator wages struggle to keep up with rising costs of living, teacher bankruptcy unfortunately is far too common.

Teacher Bankruptcy – What are the Causes?

While in the past bankruptcy was a means of evading creditors, today the pandemic has a more sinister basis. Ranging from poor money management skills to personal calamities such as divorce and medical emergencies, financial pressures today are pushing many Americans to file for bankruptcy. Here we look at the top 5 most common causes of bankruptcy. How can you avoid a teacher  bankruptcy and becoming a part of the bankruptcy statistics?

Medical Expenses

Teacher Bankruptcy - Medical Expenses

Medical expenses are the leading cause of bankruptcies in the United States today. Rising medical costs coupled with deteriorating health due to poor lifestyle choices combine to exert extraordinary pressure on individuals and families in the US today.

To avoid going down this road, try the following. Take care of your health. Fewer visits to the doctor mean fewer expenses. Find an insurance plan with low deductibles and other extra payments that fits your needs. Are you eligible for the deductions? Finding out could save you money.

Losing a Job

Teacher Bankruptcy - Losing a Job
Whether through downsizing, retirement or resignation, losing a job always comes with a financial shock. The regular paycheck may be gone, but bills keep coming in. If you cannot find a job fast enough, this pressure can exhaust your savings and leave you with few options.

If you are still employed, avoid this bankruptcy trap by building up your emergency fund. Put aside 6 months to a year of living expenses. If you do lose your job, you will be able to survive for this period without the need to touch any of your other investments or savings.

Poor Use of Credit

Teacher Bankruptcy - Credit Card Debt
Excessive use of credit is the third trap that leads many to bankruptcy court. Splurging on expensive things bought using credit is a poor financial choice. Yet many will do this without a second thought. The trap here is the fallacy that credit cards offer free money.

To avoid this, limit your use of credit cards and other forms of credit. In fact, go as far as only having one credit card, which you can easily track. You may also consider using a debit card instead of a credit card, so you know you are only spending what you have.

Separation/Divorce

Teacher Bankruptcy - Divorce / Separation
Divorces and separations come with serious financial ramifications that leave many a divorcee bankrupt. Legal fees coupled with other costs such as child support and alimony may leave one or both partners financially strained.

Considering in some cases the court can decree back payments, this is a common reason for bankruptcies in the US. To avoid this, maintain a good handle of all your assets and obligations so that if this does happen, you are prepared.

Unforeseen Expenses

Teacher Bankruptcy - Unforeseen Circumstances
These occur through loss of property from natural disasters, theft, fraud and a host of other reasons. When this happens, the affected party is usually unable to recoup the loss. If the loss was tied to some form of lien or income, they may find themselves financially overwhelmed. To protect yourself, maintain insurance on all properties that you deem crucial to your financial wellbeing.

While some of these reasons for teacher bankruptcy are unavoidable, in most cases sound planning, judicious fiscal discipline, and adequate preparation can mitigate, if not avert, these financially-ruinous events.

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