Friday, October 30, 2015

Freaky Friday,November Activities $1 deal and our Fall SALE!


Well this is the last Friday in October and that means it is the last Freaky Friday! We hope y'all enjoyed these fun Fridays and that you got some great stuff! 

Today we are offering our brand new November Activities.  The cut and paste sentence order is based on our November Calendar Word of the Day words, and we have worked very hard to also include sight words. We added a typed list of the 25 sight words that are included.
Here are a few photos of our October Activities: I like how the students can manipulate the pieces so they can read the sentence to see if it is correct before they glue it. This little guy had it wrong and was able to correct it before he glued it.
Now he has it right!:) 

After they glue the sentence, they copy and illustrate it.
 Then I had the students highlight the words from the October Word of the Day Calendar.
 Last, they answered the bonus question on the back of their papers.



Here is our November Word of the Day Calendar, which is on sale!

Or y'all might want to check on our Growing November Bundle, which is also on SALE and includes all of this, as well as games and November books that are also songs! This bundle will continue to grow:)  We have all our Fall Activities on SALE!



We hope you enjoy Freaky Friday and have a fun, safe, and Happy Halloween!


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Quentin's Quality Pumpkin and Freaky Friday Tomorrow!

I was so excited about the connections that my kiddos made with this book! We sing the Quality Student song that is a free download at our store, and my students started to sing the part about"taking turns to be kind" when I read that part in this book. I was so happy that they made that connection-Yay! We have also included this coloring book which would be a great activity to do tomorrow!
              

              
We have included the books in our Literacy Bundle of over 100 pages which is also on sale!
                       
Or get our brand new Mega Fun Fall Bundle with math as well on sale!

As many of you know, FREAKY FRIDAY is tomorrow.  Don't forget all the awesome products you can get for just $1 each.  We will be putting a November product on sale!


This is a closed promotion. We are not accepting new collaborators at this time. If you have any questions, please contact me at soltrain.learning@gmail.com

This year there are 5 Fridays in October, so you will be treated to 'spook'-tacular deals for 5 weeks!
The deals started on October 2nd and will run each Friday through October 30th!

Here is how it works:
Each Friday the participating sellers will select one product from their store to mark down to just $1 for the day!

How will you find these products?
There are 2 ways:


2. Click the links to the participating stores in the linky at the end of this post and it will take you directly to that store's $1 deal for the day!  
You can also click the first link- it will bring you to all the $1 deals of the day!

So what will you find from me this week?

We are offering our BRAND NEW Word of the Day November Activities.  So cute and the kiddos love to manipulate the words in the sentence.  Check back Friday for more details!


Ready To Find All the $1 Deals for Week 5 of Freaky Friday?




Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Teacher Feature: Lovin' Lit



Click to visit Lovin' Lit's Blog

We discovered this lovely lady when we first started with TPT, and ran across her Seller's Toolkit Bundle.  We absolutely love it and think it is beyond worth the money.  The frames are universal and can be used in any product, and the fonts are simple and useful in numerous contexts.  It's an awesome fundamentals bundle that you will pull from time and again.  She is a "household name" so-to-speak in our S.O.L. Train Learning store and we think she's awesome!  For this reason, we reached out to her to get to know her a little better:

Who are you and how did you become a teacherpreneur?
I’m a middle school reading and ELA teacher from southwest Louisiana. I started blogging in early 2013 when my husband started working shift work and I had a little bit of spare time. Things just grew from there - and fast!

What is your greatest passion in the classroom?
Teaching literature is definitely my greatest passion in the classroom! I love reading and I love sharing that passion with my students. I do so much to facilitate, encourage, and reward independent reading, and sharing novels with my students is my absolute favorite thing to do in the classroom.

What was your latest milestone?

What is your favorite part of being a teacherpreneur?
I became a teacher because I wanted to make a difference. Being a teacherpreneur allows me to extend my reach far beyond my own classroom and touch so many lives! I love to make lessons that both students and teachers enjoy.

What are three helpful hints you can provide to budding teacherpreneurs?
1) Quality, quality, quality. Always quality over quantity.
2) Make products that are original and unique to your teaching and your style. You won’t get ahead without bringing something new to the table.
3) Play fair with other TpT sellers, or you won’t be asked to participate in the Reindeer Games!

What is a fun fact about you?
I have a twin sister!

What product are you most excited to share?
My new interactive vocabulary notebook and supplemental activities:
Click for more info

Click for more info

These look really awesome and I'm sure come in handy for those pesky SAT's.  Thank you so much for your time and hard work.  Your products are really great and we wish you continued success!


Friday, October 23, 2015

5 Fun Ways to Learn Sight Words and our $1 Freaky Friday Deal!




Today we are offering our fun monster sight word cards. 100 cards of fun!
Click on picture to see more or purchase:
My kiddos loved reading their sight words on these cute little monsters!

We were able to look for patterns in our word cards.


  Below are some fun ways to teach and reinforce sight words.  In parentheses we've added a Halloween twist:

(Spooky)Sight Word Recall

Give your student or students a stack of monster sight word flash cards.  Have him, her, or them select all the words they recognize and put the words aside.  Then, have them select the vocabulary words they recognize from another stack.  See how many sentences they can create from the words they recognize.  If you want to make it more of a competition, have each student race him or herself to see how many he or she can create in 5 min, 3 min, etc.

*Differentiate: Have them see how fast they can write the sentences as they create them.  Or, have them see how fast they can read the sentences as they create them.

Sight Word Flash(Sight Word Trick or Treat)
Done with a partner

See how many sight word cards/vocabulary cards they can recognize in a minute.  Each time they increase their word count they get a token(treats provided in the Monster Sight Words Pack).  They can earn a certain number of tokens to get a prize.

Go Fish Sort(Sight Word Pumpkin Patch)
Done with a partner

Take a sort and turn it into a Go Fish game.  (We have a pumpkin sort in our ELA Bundle.)  They have to collect words from the word families they have. The first to get all the words in their word family wins.  For example,  one student would have to get all -oat words.  Another student might have to get all -an words, etc.
*You could just duplicate the monster cards and play regular Go Fish as well.  You would call it Monster Match.

ABC War(Alphabet Monsters)
Done with a partner 

Played like the game "War," only the student with the highest word alphabetically wins.  For example, "are" would beat "it"

Monster Dance Off

Performed like the "Hokey Pokey."  Give each student a sight word card, or to be brief, you can choose a group of students.  Go around the room and make sure each student knows the word on his or her card.  For practice, you could go around the circle in order.  After a few rounds, try skipping around the circle.  The easiest way to do this is to take the word list from our Sight Words pack and cut it to fit your needs.  This way you have a master list in front of you and don't have to keep looking at each child's word as you go around the circle.




Another fun monster activity that Pam did with her kiddos this week was create silly monsters. It is so fun to watch what kids will do when you give them craft items and let them go:)
I did a lesson on adjectives, and then had my students create their monsters and use adjectives to describe them. They had a lot of fun doing this activity!




Here are our final products:)

We also have bundled all our sight words with 3 I Have, Who Has Games if you would like to check it out. If y'all choose to purchase the bundle, remember you get all the sight words in it so don't purchase the sight words separately.



Just click on the picture to see more or purchase:


Please leave us feedback on how these ideas are working in your classroom.  If you have ideas of your own, we'd love to hear them!  Have a very freaky Friday!!

Thanks!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Freaky Friday TOMORROW...Only 2 Left!

This is a closed promotion. We are not accepting new collaborators at this time. If you have any questions, please contact me at soltrain.learning@gmail.com

This year there are 5 Fridays in October, so you will be treated to 'spook'-tacular deals for 5 weeks!
The deals started on October 2nd and will run each Friday through October 30th!

Here is how it works:
Each Friday the participating sellers will select one product from their store to mark down to just $1 for the day!

How will you find these products?
There are 2 ways:


2. Click the links to the participating stores in the linky at the end of this post and it will take you directly to that store's $1 deal for the day!  
You can also click the first link- it will bring you to all the $1 deals of the day!

So what will you find from me this week?

We are offering our BRAND NEW Missing Numbers Pumpkin Scoot 0-10.  So cute and the kiddos loved it.  Check back Friday for more details!





Ready To Find All the $1 Deals for Week 1 of Freaky Friday?








Be sure to check back next week to find out what Week 3's deal will be!


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

3000 Follower Giveaway!

The HappyEdugator is having a BIG GIVEAWAY to celebrate 3000 followers on TPT!  We are helping her celebrate by bringing you TWO Rafflecopters! Yes, you heard that right! We are giving away two gift certificates in the amount of $50.00 each for teacherspayteachers.com.



The giveaway will begin on Monday, Oct. 19th and run through Sunday, Oct. 25th. The winners will be announced Monday, October 26th!



So share with your friends! Two lucky teachers will win a $50 TPT gift certificate!





Enter here:


a Rafflecopter giveaway





a Rafflecopter giveaway





Here is a clickable list of all the participating stores!


An InLinkz Link-up






Monday, October 19, 2015

5 Secrets to Test Success


When you ask a teacher what is generally the bane of his or her existence each year, many will say...TESTING.  Their entire year culminates in this one series of exams that will either make or break not only their students, but them as  well.  This stress radiates from the teachers to the students and hangs a big black cloud over the school year.  Here are some tips to keeping the stress down and still acing those pesky standardized tests!

1. Teach Beyond the Basics

Research states that more relevant concepts tend to be more easily remembered than less relevant concepts.  Teaching concepts in an endless stream to your students will increase their chances of forgetting more.  If you present the concepts in a way that is meaningful or relevant, you will have more success with your students retaining information.  My favorite example is math formulas.  I can't tell you how many times throughout my life a teacher has given me a formula and just told me to remember it.  What those teachers did was put the pressure on me.  "You need to learn this formula to succeed in this class."  Forget understanding the formula or being able to recreate it.  I was just supposed to memorize it.  Memorizing facts...sound at all like every standardized test in existence?  The teachers that took the time to explain the origin of the formulas better ensured my success in the future.  If I ever forgot a formula, it was always possible to conceptualize the problem in order to find the solution another way.  Obviously this doesn't work with everything, but the more explanation you give something, the more relevant and meaningful it becomes to your students.  Thus, the easier it is to remember.


2. Repeat, Repeat, Repeat

The same research shows that people who had repeated opportunities to learn information forgot up to 50% less than the people who only learned it once.  Find ways for repeated exposure and application of the material being learned.  The more they see it, the more they recognize it, and the more meaningful it becomes; taking us back to the assertions made in point 1.  Repetition isn't the only thing that matters, however.  Process matters as well.

3. Mix It Up

You will see this as a trend throughout our blog posts.  Music, drama, dance, games, all of these are incredibly underrated tools in the classroom.  You can read more about that here.  We also have an entire page of articles relating to fun in the classroom.  In a study done by the Department of Music at the University of Jyv√§skyl√§ in Finland, it was determined that music has a more successful impact on the brain because of the numerous areas of the brain that are targeted when music is played.  Children's motor, auditory, and limbic systems become engaged when they listen to music.  We have found success in Scoot and Brain Bounce games as a form of assessment.  This article from the DANA foundation gives great insight regarding all the arts and how they inform cognitive development.  This is what we are all about and dedicate ourselves tirelessly to achieving in our products.  Here is the foundational stream of logic: when a child is having fun, it accesses the limbic system in his or her brain, making him or her more open to the learning that is taking place.  Music, drama, and dance all target multiple modalities, further cementing the information in the mind of any learner.

4. Circumvent Syntax 
  

Ok, we've got the learning part down.  What do you do, though, when a student knows all he or she needs to know and still has trouble with the test?  I ran into this issue with my ELL's (english language learners) about 5 years ago as a long-term sub.  We were solving math problems from past standardized tests.  I began by writing the problem on the board.  When I asked for a volunteer to solve it, I heard crickets.  I then isolated the math equation from the context of the word problem.  Several hands immediately shot up.  No child should be doomed to fail a test because he or she doesn't understand the wording of the question.  The best way to combat this is obviously to practice with sample standardized tests.  Pull out small groups at a time to do this so that you can make sure students aren't falling through the cracks.  Have them take turns reading a question.  Have them highlight the words they understand.  Then, have them tell you what they think the question is asking.  If a student misunderstands, see if another student can help him or her out.  Here are some common terms students should know.  Here is a FREEBIE of common Language Arts and Math words.  

Specifically with Math problems, I would have students take turns writing out the proper equation in addition to highlighting important words.  You could even have the students organize their work with given information, information that needs to be determined, and "word clues" that point to the operation being used.
Here it is in visual form:
provided by: ohboy3rdgrade
  


Here are some keywords to start with:
provided by: youngteacherslove

5. Focus on the Positive
"Students often go into survival mode when they feel threatened by an overwhelming cognitive task or confusing text, or when they are called on and don't know the answer, or are confronted or teased by another student (or a teacher!) Can one even learn in such a setting?" Alber 2013  Testing has become a sink or swim, pass or fail, smart or stupid endeavor.  Students are subjected to so much stress that it creates a roadblock between the valuable information and their brains.  Conversely, "when we don't feel threatened at all, we have a willingness to be vulnerable, to be open to new ideas and guidance from others -- the ideal learning scenario!" Alber 2013.  I encourage you to read the article and subscribe to the site.  I have found countless treasures on it.  One of the most important ways to assure your students' success is to make sure they are ENJOYING learning.  Find whatever way suits your classroom best.  I again reiterate point 3.  There are numerous ways to get outside conventional learning and release those dopamine centers in your kiddos' brains.  And come test time, don't stress and they won't stress.  Here is a free stress activity you can do with your kids.  You are a good teacher, you have done everything in your power to get the information through.  Relax and watch them succeed!





Happy testing!
Brittany