Enter to Win a $200 Free Spirit Gift Certificate!

Enter to Win a $200 Free Spirit Gift Certificate!Thank you for another wonderful year! For our final giveaway of 2019 (and final giveaway of the decade!), one lucky reader will win a $200 gift certificate to use at freespirit.com.

To Enter: Leave a comment below telling us about your favorite learning moment with children from the past ten years.

For additional entries, leave a separate comment below for each of the following tasks that you complete:

Each comment counts as a separate entry—that’s four additional chances to win! Entries must be received by midnight, December 20, 2019.

The winner will be contacted via email after January 1, 2020, and will need to respond within one week to claim the prize or another winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way affiliated with, administered, or endorsed by Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. Winner must be a US resident, 18 years of age or older.

We welcome your comments and suggestions. Share your comments, stories, and ideas below, or contact us. All comments will be approved before posting, and are subject to our comment and privacy policies.

FSP Springybook Signature(c)© 2019 by Free Spirit Publishing. All rights reserved.

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118 Responses to Enter to Win a $200 Free Spirit Gift Certificate!

  1. Tami Peterson says:

    My favorite learning moment is everyday. I’m 50 and in my 3rd year of teaching. My first year full time in a grade level classroom. I’m learning and growing constantly and it’s overwhelming but so rewarding.

  2. Jen Nagorski says:

    I love using your materials about feelings with my 2.5 year old — she is learning how to identify her emotions and it’s awesome!

  3. rachel says:

    My magical learning moment of the year is embedded in a story of teaching a 3rd grader the fable of the blind man and the elephant. As an elementary school counselor, I am summoned when children struggle to manage relationship conflicts. When I scooped my student up for a chat, she told me she had “nothing that needed to grow, but it was the other person who had a lot of growing to do!”. Introducing her to the elephant, the blindfolded men who try to figure out what it is, and its important lesson on points of view, her eyes lit up with understanding. Now, when I go to scoop her up to talk, she tells me about how is trying to “look at the elephant from her friend’s perspective.”

  4. Maria says:

    The day this little boy got his ear tubes before he came to school and exclaimed “wow, is this how my class sounded like all this time?” His face!

  5. Keelie Taylor says:

    I have used your publications with students and teachers I am coaching. Great information and easy to relay!

  6. I Liked and followed on Facebook

  7. Suzanne says:

    The moment was when I realized that my class is always and consistently having perfect attendance! They love coming to school even when the weather is bad outside, they might be sick, the parents want them to stay home: my kids show up every day! There is a big initiative for student absenteeism at my school but my students are consistently present every day. 💗

  8. Sandi Barrett says:

    A recent favorite learning moment was when our Second Grade class was talking about the responsibilities of citizens. We had read a paragraph that was emphasizing how part of our responsibility as citizens was to take care of the people, places, and things around us. We followed this up by giving examples. Before anyone else could volunteer, one hand shot up. I called on that student who exuberantly summarized the paragraph with the words, “So what they are saying is we should take care of the nouns around us!”
    I was so glad that the grammar lessons I had been laboring to share had not been lost on at least one student!

  9. Nancy Goodnight says:

    I am an AIG Coordinator and we are using two of your books to provide PD for pre- and in-service AIG teachers. I love when teachers share how they are using the strategies outlined the book in their own classrooms and knowing it is making an impact on our gifted learners.

  10. Donna Fisher says:

    I love using books to help students make changes. It’s awesome when they are able to see themselves in the character in the book and talk about their own struggles and how to problem solve.

  11. Evita Mendez says:

    The great imagination of children always impresses me. When developing coping strategies, you plant an idea and the children will run off with their own personalized version of the coping strategy, like counting the stars when they are scared or like counting butterflies when they are anxious. But children always have a down to earth approach that is contagious!

  12. Shauntrell Leaks says:

    Following on Twitter (@ShauntrellLeaks)

  13. Shauntrell Leaks says:

    My favorite learning moment was last year when a struggling student finally got the concept that letters make sounds. We were both 😁.

  14. Meg Bell says:

    Free Spirit has great resources to use with students I am working with for social skill interventions. The biblio therapy titles are outstanding and relevant for kiddos today.
    Thank you Free Spirit!

  15. O. Cee says:

    Hi, i’ve shared your great giveaway on my specialized contests website, if you’ll launch any other giveaways in the future let me know so i can approve it and share it with my community.
    Wish you the best luck!

  16. Lisa A Reupke says:

    As an elementary School Counselor my favorite moments are the ones where you know you have made a connection with a student or class and they are able to process and apply whatever strategy or skill I am talking to them about. I guess it could be called the “A-Ha” moment. Being able to be a part of that kind of learning and growing is so valuable and I would not trade it for anything.

  17. Michelle says:

    My favorite (and most rewarding) moment for me as a home schooling mom was at the end of my daughter’s 9th grade school year. Although home schooling is gaining wider acceptance now, I was widely criticized by family, friends, and educators when I offered her an alternative to public schooling. She had just earned awards for having the highest GPA in Math and Science in the entire 4th grade.I battled with the attendance policy all year because they insisted that missing a certain number of days would cause her to grades to decline. What they refused to acknowledge was that even though she had been placed in the “gifted program”, a few hours of enrichment activity given on two days each week was not enough. I knew “Perfect Attendance” meant nothing if it created boredom from the slow pace of learning.

    We home schooled from 5th through 8th grade, the dreaded “Middle School Years”, and I gave her the freedom to explore her interests, at her own pace. She made the decision to return to public school for 9th grade, the first year of high school in our district. There were a few social-emotional issues re-adjusting to a more structured environment at first, but kids go through that anyway when making the change to high school.

    Words can’t describe how proud I was at the end of the year when we received her final report card. I sent copies out to every critic of my decision, the doubters who insisted she would suffer academically by missing the formal education provided by public school. They no longer question that I made the right choice for my child after seeing that she was ranked academically #1 out of all 127 9th graders at the high school.

    If you are considering home school, but everyone is against you, have faith in your ability to recognize your child’s needs – nobody knows your child better than you!

  18. Charlotte N. Sparks says:

    The “light bulb” moment for me is when I can get a parent/grandparent to connect with me and “see” how our work {even though they think we are only playing} is in correlation with prewriting skills, making friends, social-emotional strengths, developing fine motor.gross motor skills that he will need in Kindergarten.

  19. Albaelena Maria Diaz Tamayo says:

    Shared this on my Facebook Post – Favorite Learning Moments- I was leading a discussion with Preschool Children on Preparedness (Fire Drills) and asked the children what to do in case of a “Fire Drill” IF they heard the ” alarm” and one exuberant child stood up and shouted ” Stop, Rock and Roll.” LOL Out of the mouth of Babes.

  20. Albaelena Maria Diaz Tamayo says:


  21. Albaelena Maria Diaz Tamayo says:


  22. Albaelena Maria Diaz Tamayo says:

    I created a Twitter Account and liked on Twitter! TWEET TWEET!

  23. Albaelena Maria Diaz Tamayo says:

    I Liked and followed on Facebook- We are now BFF’s!

  24. Amanda says:

    Follow on Twitter

  25. Amanda says:

    Moments where there is authentic relationship building with my students is currently my favorite part of teaching.

  26. Danielle says:

    As a school counselor, my favorite moments are when students use calm down strategies independently after I teach them. I love when they tell me about how they recognized a stressful situation and made a healthy choice to themselves calm down.

  27. Michelle says:

    I live bv all of the funny stories i hsvd accumulated and the kiddos from years past who stop by to say hi!

  28. Dawn Schechtman says:

    Following on Instagram

  29. Dawn Schechtman says:

    Following on Pinterest

  30. Dawn Schechtman says:

    Liked on Facebook

  31. Dawn Schechtman says:

    I love when I see students truly engaged and understanding a concept. The lightbulb moment but also when they are completely engrossed and learning.

  32. Artika Tyner says:

    My favorite learning moment is during my author visits. I ask the students: “How can you make a difference in the world?” It is exciting to hear their answers from stopping bullying to feeding the hungry. I leave each visit filled with hope for the future.

  33. Brenda Green says:

    I love when my kindergarten students can write an independent sentence that can be read by their classmates.

  34. Christel Clark says:

    My favorite learning moment with students from this past ten years is when I was teaching a first grade class to use a Rubric to grade their writing. The small group of four girls used the Rubric to grade their own work and a partner’s. The principal came into the class with a visitor to do a Walk-through and never once came to where we worked:(, yet the girls were using Accountable Talk and really enjoying the process with great comments/feedback for each other. It was one of my favorite learning moments because I saw that the students were capable of grading each other’s work even though they were so young. This experience taught me that anything is possible in educating young ones with the right support.

  35. Ana says:

    When I put together the Pre-K graduation slideshow, I tear up a bit because as the weeks, months and seasons pass you forget about how much they grow — physically, cognitively and socially. It is a wonderful showcase for my parents and a physical representation of the idea of not taking each moment of their four-year-old world for granted. Celebrate together, high-five, offer encouragement on those down days and offer lifts on those frustrating days. But take time to savor your kids. Go for walks together, give them a smile and squeeze whenever possible.

    Thank you for your teaching materials and books! I use them all the time!

  36. Yolanda Richey says:

    I Love watching children move from disequilibrium to equilibrium! Their little minds are always figuring things out & when they truly ” get it” , the way they brighten up is so heart warming!💓😊💓

  37. Elizabeth says:

    Field trips with parent involvement to natural areas.

  38. Karen says:

    I love watching my littles grow. Each discovery however small to an adult brings them such joy.

  39. Debbie Dunn says:

    liked on facebook

  40. Debbie Dunn says:

    followed on instagram

  41. Debbie Dunn says:

    followed on Pinterest

  42. Silvia R. says:

    Mirroring childrens’ feelings has been such an eyeopener. Thanks for the chance!

  43. Debbie Dunn says:

    Everyday is a new learning experience with my students. Their love of school, the school staff and their classmates is so very inspiring to me!

  44. Dawn says:

    I work as an ECE with infants. My enjoyment comes when they grab a book and try to climb in my lap while I read. They always have their favourites and I have to read them again and again. They learn so many different things from books, empathy, sharing, etc as well as just the enjoyment of reading.
    I’m also following on instagram, twitter, pinterest and facebook.

  45. Angie Swartz says:

    One of my favorite learning moments happened years ago when I taught a recycling study. One of my preschoolers was so invested that he wouldn’t let his mom throw any items away. He would bring them into class and started painting smiley faces on all of them to become pencil holders, toy organizers, “sock holders”, etc. He would come up with creative ideas for re-purposing anything he brought in and frequently gifted them to his classmates. I still have a dented upside down coconut milk can with a painted red smiley face as a pencil holder in my cubicle!

  46. Deb Weiner says:

    support for social emotional development like no other!

  47. KIm Parker says:

    Growing into my role as my sun’s first teacher and how to productively work with his school.

  48. KIm Parker says:

    Liked on Twitter

  49. Monica says:

    In the past 10 years my best learning moment was when a student on an augmentative device, asked for a break and needed time before starting the next task. Typically, she would hide or crawl under tables and desks. The talker was vital in her expressing her need for a few more minutes. such a simple request that others take for granted.

  50. Mr. C says:

    SEL works!

  51. Shannon Fallis says:

    Watching children learn through discovery

  52. Shannon Fallis says:

    And twitter

  53. Shannon Fallis says:

    Pinterest too

  54. Shannon Fallis says:

    Liked on insta

  55. Shannon Fallis says:

    Liked on fb

  56. Christine Knapp says:

    I have been a Family Engagement Specialist for five years. Mt first year the teachers struggled with a parent who refused to give permission for her son to have speech lessons.(Free and transportation provided.) Although she agreed, this little boy struggles with anger issues. After Christmas he turned a corner!! It was so exciting!

    He could be understood now by the other children. At the store center, he refused to give the other children any play money. I sat down beside him, and I explained to him that if he did not give the girls any money, they could not buy anything. He gave them the money from the cash register.
    He turned such a corner! I was so excited. I don’t think I will forget that moment ever.

  57. Christine Knapp says:

    Liked on FB.

  58. I was working with a student who’s father had died suddenly in one of those virus outbreaks. We actually used several books, like Trevor Romain’ s What On Earth Do You Do When Someone You Love Dies? In one of our last group meetings, the student said, “I never thought it would feel so good to talk about everything.”

  59. my favorite moment is watching my twins make connections from learning activities at school or elsewhere to real life experiences!

  60. My favorite memories involve the experience of watching emerging readers gain self-confidence as they build their reading skills.

  61. Elizabeth Price says:

    Following on Instagram

  62. Elizabeth Price says:

    My favorite moment recently is when I got to witness a student excited because of what their ADHD diagnosis means for his behaviors. To see children understand the implications but view it in a positive light is truly refreshing!

  63. Addie says:

    At the last Lead Pre K position where I was employed, I was very fortunate to have a fluent Spanish speaking Para along with several ESL children. I had taken 3 years of Spanish in high school & all of them helped refresh my Spanish vocabulary. However, during outdoor play one day, one of my little girls got aggravated at me about something (can’t even remember what it was) & she called me a “Punta”. I didn’t know what that word met so I hollered across the playground to my Para asking, “_____ said I was a Punta. What does that mean?” My Para was laughing hysterically trying to get me to shh, because evidently Punta means Bi***! in Spanish & I was yelling it across the playground! Oh my! LOLOLOL

  64. Diana Zelezny says:

    My favorite learning moment was during a community building circle in a classroom that was experiencing a bullying issue. Students responded to the prompt “What does respect mean to you?” then shared out what they were taking away from that day’s circle. Listening to the deep reflection shared by student whose behavior spurred the topic and watching the faces of his peers as they witnessed his growing empathy and awareness was moving and inspiring.

  65. jane bartosz says:

    It is difficult to come up with just one favorite learning moment with children from the past ten years. I think some of the best are the same, so can count as one. I teach an environmental science class to 6th graders. As part of it, they have to come up with a project to do in their community. It is great to watch students get involved in a topic and project and to see them learn that THEY can make an impact in their community and for the environment.

  66. Bethany Zier says:

    Followed on Pinterest.

  67. Bethany Zier says:

    Followed on Twitter.

  68. Bethany Zier says:

    followed on facebook

  69. Bethany Zier says:

    One of my favorite learning moments was seeing a student draw the kite from Zach Gets Frustrated on the playground with sidewalk chalk to show another student how to calm down. We had used that book during my lesson weeks before!

  70. Patsy Burenheide says:

    Followed on Facebook

  71. Amy Hynson Acree says:

    Following on Instagram!

  72. Patsy Burenheide says:

    Followed on Pinterest at kbtchrmom

  73. Patsy Burenheide says:

    I have many favorite moments throughout my career! The most recent was a young student who is a tough cookie to reach, got up from the table during an editing session, moved to sit right beside me, and lit up as he added details to his writing telling me “I get this, I really get this!” Then went on to write another half a page and sharing with me! It was worth pushing back two other conferences for the next day, just to see his eyes!

  74. Following on Instagram

  75. Robin Vander Groef says:

    Over the past 30 years of working with children in the same non-profit organization, I have witnessed many changes especially in the population that we serve. Many of the children are dual language learners. I find it most rewarding when a child enters our program not speaking or understanding English and leaves us two years later bilingual. With parent involvement, there are astounding results with children acquiring English yet remaining fluent in their home language. How fortunate they are to know and be able to use both. Their ability to do this at such a young age never ceases to amaze me.

  76. Following on Pinterest

  77. Jessi Peterson says:

    Liked on Facebook!

  78. Following on Twitter.

  79. Jessi Peterson says:

    Following on Pinterest!

  80. Liked on Facebook

  81. Jessi Peterson says:

    I was reading a story where the main character is having a tough time with self-regulation and one of our kids piped up and shared his strategy for keeping things together.

  82. Stephanie Quinn says:

    We had a new student to our fourth grade who demonstrated some severe behavior issues when she gets upset and especially when she does not get her own way. When I am called to the classroom to be of assistance, I am amazed at how calm her classmates are and how they provide space and continue on. Even better is the acceptance displayed when she is ready to go back into class!

  83. I love helping students learn to read. The pride they have when they can read a book all by themselves is priceless.

  84. melissa olearchick says:

    Be willing to laugh along with kids and show your sensitive, human qualities.

  85. Amy Hynson Acree says:

    Following on Pinterest!

  86. Amy Hynson Acree says:

    Liked on Facebook for some time now!

  87. Amy Hynson Acree says:

    My favorite teaching moments as a mom and a home schooler are always the ones that challenge and shed light on truths in history and science. It is an honor to give my kids correct and thorough information behind the biggest historical and scientific struggles and trauma that have deeply shaped and impacted everyday people like themselves and in turn, the world– such as the Holocaust, the coexistence of science and religion, definitive and proven climate and biological and medical facts about DNA, the different forms of slavery in America, the varied civil rights movements and tragedies, the battles and injustices faced by the indigenous people in this nation and elsewhere, the stories and facts about the colonization of the Americas, and so much more that there is to teach about what details often get omitted or misrepresented in traditional teachings. Watching them display thoughtfulness and kindness and tolerance and understanding as a result of their learning is a priceless treasure.

  88. Chelsea Gould says:

    One of my favorite moments was having a former student hunt me down and come into my classroom and tell my class that I had made all the difference in his world. I gave him the confidence in himself to keep trying.
    Brought tears to my eyes and gave my new kiddos a fresh perspective on how much teachers do care.

  89. Yolande says:

    My favourite moment was always after Christmas, when those who were just about to get something, like a sound or a word, or some math concept. They went from being a bit discouraged to just “getting it” and it showed on their faces.

  90. dalia says:

    my favorite moment was when my most difficult student one day said please sit beside me when we were on a school trip

  91. I have a rhythmical game I love to play with children. I have a cat shape cut out of cardboard and sheets of colored construction paper behind it. I explain that it is Scat the Cat and he’s so tricky that he can change colors. They should shout out the name of the color when they see him change. Then I say, “Scat-the-Cat, Scat-the-Cat, He changed color – Just. Like. That!!” At that moment, I remove the construction paper behind the cardboard cutout and he is a new color (the construction paper sheet behind it). The kiddos love it and so do I – we’re ALL having fun. As much as I can I sing to the class, too. At one Center I worked at, the nicknamed me Mary Poppins. But it is such a great gift to pull a preschool song classic out of your hat and patch a transition or pep up the day-to-day routine. Music never gets old.

  92. Followed you on Twitter @duff.the.coach

  93. Maria Frosch says:

    In a discussion about turning your “baditude” to gratitude, students went in an unexpected direction and started sharing the different adversities that they have experienced. While I wanted to cry and hug all of their hardships away, it gave me a direction to go in our morning meetings and SEL instruction. It also gave me a new perpective on some of the “baditudes” in the class.

  94. Elizabeth Morse says:

    After 21 years with preschoolers, how can you pick just one favorite learning moment!! And, over the years, I’ve done almost as much learning as the children I’ve worked with. One year the teacher assistant in my classroom passed away during Christmas break; interestingly I think of that class as the best class I’ve ever had. I think it’s because we did so much bonding and connecting and grieving together, even with their families. Those children graduated high school this past June and I still have amazing bonds with them! Learning takes many shapes, forms and pathways!

  95. Carolyn Cook says:

    The moment when I first was able to establish eye contact with an autistic student in my mother/baby program will always be a wonderful memory. Free Spirit materials help all the children I work with, though.

  96. Mary Shive says:

    My favorite moment is when my students show grit and determination through learning experiences. When they know it is getting harder, instead of giving up, they use their skills and mindset to power through with positivity. This is especially awesome for my diverse group of ESOL students.

  97. Jennifer Gates says:

    Over the past ten years, I have had positions in early childhood special education, Kindergarten and now I am an early literacy coach as I am in a district that encourages growth and learning. In each one of these positions, I have explored books from Free Spirit Publishing as they offer research based information that is always so current! I also love the partnership with edWeb so when I am stuck in a rut, there is typically a webinar that I can reference to increase my knowledge and skill at no cost!

  98. Lisa says:

    One of my favorite moments is after doing classroom lessons and having the teacher report back how the students in the classes are working to utilize things we discussed in our lesson and be better friends, manage feelings better, etc.

  99. I’m following you on Pinterest!

  100. I’m following you on Twitter!

  101. I like you on Facebook!

  102. My favorite learning moments are when children with challenging behaviors have breakthroughs while playing with other children. I love seeing them feel connected with their peers in a positive way.

  103. LENA HEID says:

    I feel so privileged to have worked with a wide range of students in the past ten years- headstart children and families, middle schoolers, and young adult learners! One of my favorite moments is when I’m working with a student or a family and all of a sudden, the concept clicks! Recently, I had this experience working one on one with a student struggling with behavior. When I explained to him that his power lies in his choices, he looked confused- but when I broke it down that he alone controls the choices he makes, and that no one can take that from him, it clicked for him that even in the midst of what feels like chaos in his life- he is still in control! He will still need reminders, but his entire demeanor shifted at that moment!

  104. Troy Harris says:

    One of my favorite moment oddly is helping students dealing with grief, especially during the holidays. We often use a particular clip from the Lion King and focus on the fact that our love ones will always live in our heart. Thanks for the opportunity.

  105. Karen Greenberg says:

    I follow on Twitter!

  106. Karen Greenberg says:

    I am a Facebook follower!

  107. Dayle Denney says:

    All of my favorite learning moments have been related to SEL! Seeing children develop the capacity for greater empathy and respect for others is everything I could ask for.

  108. Karen Greenberg says:

    In my 6th grade class, we were reading “The Yearling.” At one point, students asked if porcupine quills were poisonous. I wasn’t sure, either, so I invited a student to look up the answer. This was the first moment of a new classroom culture that lead to students and teacher learning together and being always curious.

  109. Beth VanBuren says:

    My best moments are when children have conveyed that I have been helpful to them and thanked me for my time!

  110. Terri Cross says:

    I am a Head Start Director now and last year I was riding one of our Head Start buses as an aide. The first little girl that we picked up lived quite a ways from the next child on the list. She and I were singing songs and doing fingerplays to pass the time. She looked at me and said, “Are you a teacher?” I answered, “I used to be a teacher, now I’m just a boss.” We sang a couple more songs and she looked at me with a smile and said, “No, you are still a teacher.” That was one of the best compliments I have ever received.

  111. Victoria DeOrnellis says:

    Liked on Facebook! <3

  112. Victoria DeOrnellis says:

    My favorite learning moment has been when I can get students with perfectionist tendencies to grasp the concept of mistakes as learning. It doesn’t fix the problem immediately but it helps shift their perspective and makes it easier for them to take risks over time. Thank you for the giveaway opportunity! I love working with gifted students and Free Spirit is a great resource to help me meet their unique affective needs!

  113. Crystal Famania says:

    Luckily, I am able to experience my favorite moments frequently in the classroom. Every-time a student becomes excited to learn something, or shows excitement when then master a new skill, it melts my heart.

  114. Dianne Dickens says:

    The best learning monent I’ve had with my students recently was using Simon Says to teach Kindergartners a verb lesson. We all took turns being Simon. They came up with the most creative verbs to play the game. We had so much fun and the boost to their scores was amazing.

  115. Georgia Hahn says:

    I love helping children learn to resolve their own problems and increasing their Independence.

  116. Megan Lopez says:

    I love it every time a student “gets it” in one of my lessons. As a school counselor, I want kids to be good humans, and seeing them understand and implement our lessons always warms my heart!

  117. Michael Bank says:

    Every year, I feel as though I learn as much from my students as they learn from me. I learn about their cultures, their home environments,…I see the world through their eyes. This is my 29th year as a counselor and every learning moment is mutual and valuable.

  118. Nini Engel says:

    I’ve used your publications with many students over the years. I love watching children using the relaxation breathing they’ve learned when faced with stressful situations.

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