Monday, August 8, 2016

Jawsome Deals and a Huge Giveaway!

Click the image to see all the details on our NEW BLOG.  Click HERE to follow us on Bloglovin'

Friday, July 22, 2016

Deals for Teachers All Summer!

Enjoy this awesome giveaway that we are participating in with some other great teachers.  Click the image above for more info!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Awesome Summer Deals!

We hope everyone is enjoying their much deserved breaks! 
This is just a short post to let y'all know about these deals! 
We are thrilled to be joining some awesome teachers to bring y'all some fun summer deals!
We will be offering our popular Brain Bounce game and our Monkey Money Scoot. Your kiddos will love the candy theme and monkey cards as they play these games!
"Thank you, my students really enjoyed this - who knew that practicing math could be so fun?! " "My kids loved this game!" are only a couple of comments about this fun math game!
Just click on the picture to see more.

This is one of our best selling scoot games: Just click on the picture to see all the comments about it.

We are offering our Community Helpers Unit for 50% off today! It was in the TPT newsletter:)

Here are the cute 9 community helper puppets that the kiddos love to color and use to sing our original Community Helper song that is also included!

These are sheets that show the background to match the community helpers to. My kiddos decided to tape the sheets to a box to make a puppet show. We also have these sheets in a smaller black and white version for the students.

I had to also show y'all how creative my kiddos were with these puppets! This student made her own puppet theater. I love their creativity!

My kiddos also like to use the puppets as they read their community helper books. These are great books for their book baskets.

Books, games, songs,puppets, and so much more! Just click on picture below to see more:
We are also offering our Word of the Day Books that have fun songs to sing the words to. These books also go in the book baskets for my students to read. There is a color version for you to read, and a black and white copy for the students to highlight words in. There is a teacher guide with more ideas.
There is also a lyric page that the students can keep in their poetry folders.

Today-Thursday is Bundle Day so we are offering our Economics Bundle for 50% off!
Each individual bundle includes an original song, books, games, activities, and more!

Click on link below to see all the Thursday Deals:
Check back each day to see what the new deal for the day is, and remember to come enter on Friday for the Giveaway! We will be giving these gift cards away:)

Lots of GREAT Stuff!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Very Last Assignment You'll Have to Grade This Year: Week 4

Good Tuesday to you friend!

I missed you greatly on Monday and hope you had a relaxing day off. If you spent your time yesterday remembering a loved one, I again want to thank you for your sacrifice. So, are you as excited for Week 4 as I am? Great! If you are reading this thinking, what the heck, Brittany?  I have no idea what you’re talking about, then you should catch up.  This is the perfect year-end project when testing is over and you’re not sure what else to do. Use this time to have some fun, teach your students a lot of real-world skills, and be truly amazed at how awesome your students are!  WE HAVE MOVED to a brand new Wordpress site, and we are STOKED!  Click HERE to read the rest. 

Monday, May 30, 2016

A Tearful Goodbye...We Are Leaving

Well we are leaving in a manner of speaking.  We are very excited to announce a COMPLETE REBUILD of our website!  This means all our blog posts will be coming from there, in addition to links to our online resources.  We're going to have even more digital products and get some online course stuff up for ya.  All of our videos will be on the site.  Everything you need will be all in one place!!  If you can't tell, I'm super excited.  BUT, enough about my excitement, click below to check out our new location.

S.O.L. Train Learning's New Blog

Summer Plans

Since you are winding down for the year, and will likely be sunning in the Virgin Islands, or just your backyard, you might not be spending as much time with me and my little blog.  *sniff, sniff* And...I've...accepted...that.  In FACT, I'm embracing it.  You will still see blogs from us throughout the summer.  They will just be fewer and further between.  We're going to do one summer fun post and one school prep post each month as soon as our Real-Life Learning Project has come to a close.  Side note: if you are looking for Week 4, do not worry.  I'll be posting it tomorrow on our BRAND NEW SITE.  As of now, FUN FRIDAY is closing for the summer.  We will reopen it again in the fall.


We have some big news for you that is not quite ready to share.  If you are on our email list you will be the very first to hear it.  If not...

Click the image above to get firsthand updates, deals,
FREEBIES, and lots of great teaching tips.  In fact,
just for signing up,  you will get a PDF of our How to Be
an Educational Superhero Series!

See you tomorrow.  Have a nice Memorial Day!

$2 May DEALS!

 Happy Memorial Day Y'all! This is just a quick post letting you know about these great $2 Deals!

We are offering our popular Candy Brain Bounce Math Game that would be a great review and a fun activity for the end of your year or use it any time! Your kiddos will love it! Read some of the comments made about this fun game!

"My kids loved this game!"  "Awesome!!!!!!!!"   "Love this game"    "A fun way to practice this skill!"   "Thanks!! Collaborative and gets them away from just pencil and paper." 
The cards can also be used in a math center or as a Scoot game! Click on the picture to see more!
Check out more GREAT  $2 Deals Here:

Remember May 30th and 31st!

Have a great day and to those of you who are finished with school- Have a great summer!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Memorial Day Poem

Not much to share this week.  Just wanted to leave this here for you to have for your students.  Click the image above for a PDF that you can print out for students to decorate.  They can draw American symbols, or even write a thank-you letter to a soldier who is at war.  You can explain that these soldiers have probably lost friends in war and would love some encouragement.  

This website, A Million Thanks, offers more details on how you can go about supporting the troops.

If you have lost someone, we are very sorry for your loss and know that pain never really goes away.  If you are mourning this Memorial Day, our prayers are with you and we want to thank you completely and sincerely for your sacrifice.

Want to share this poem on Pinterest?

With Gratitude,

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Very Last Assignment You'll Have to Grade This Year Week 3

Happiest of Mondays to you dear teacher friend!

They are getting happier I'm sure as you near the finish line for the year.  If you have been following along, you know all about our little class flower shop.  If not, let me fill you in.  This is the perfect year-end project when testing is over and you're not sure what else to do.  Use this time to have some fun, teach your students a lot of real-world skills, and be truly amazed at how awesome your students are!  Read below to start from the beginning: 


Are you ready?  Sweet!  This week, your students have learned about Goods and Services, almost completed their business plan or plans, decided what specific types of flowers they will be selling, and how to obtain them.  Your students are now going to secure and or collect resources, and tackle a marketing strategy for their lovely flowers.

Week 3

PBL Standards:

  • Key Knowledge, Understanding, and Success Skills
  • Challenging Problem or Question
  • Sustained Inquiry
  • Authenticity
  • Student Voice & Choice
  • Reflection
  • Critique and Revision

Academic Objectives:

  • Constructing questions
  • Writing cohesively about a topic
  • Collect information from multiple resources
  • Reading charts and graphs
  • Creating charts and graphs
  • Understanding plant needs and how to provide them in an artificial environment
  • Speak audibly and express thoughts, feelings, and ideas clearly.
  • Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners
  • Participate in shared research and writing projects 
  • Collaboration with peers and other adults
  • Participate in elections

If you are a massive overachiever, or your students are, you have already devised a plan to obtain the flowers you need for your shop and drafted a letter to go home.  If you haven't no worries.  You can do that this week.  Gather your chickadees together in a large class group or smaller groups to work on a letter home in the form of a business proposal, or better yet, draft a simple letter explaining what you are doing in class and attach a copy of the business plan.  

Marketing Strategy

Okay, here's the final piece in the business plan puzzle if you haven't completed it already.  The key to any marketing strategy and business as a whole is a clear, solid mission statement.  Ours is:

Inspire students and teachers with cross-curricular, standards-based resources that create a lifetime of learning, discovery, and innovation.

In our statement we identify: 

What we sell: cross-curricular, standards-based resources

What our product offers: create a lifetime of learning, discovery, and innovation

The "what" of our product and "what" of what our product offers contain the details that make us unique.  We are part of a smaller batch of companies that base our resources on specific learning standards.  We also provide resources that combine multiple subjects, which makes us different from some of our competitors.  Take these factors into consideration and share them with your class as they come up with a knockout mission statement.

Don't have a business plan??

for our newsletter by clicking this image and get a FREE business plan specifically designed for this project.

What's Next?

Now your students have to think about their brand.  This is yet another way for them to stand out.  The simplest approach for this is for them to find a highly influential competitor, like Lowes, Home Depot, a local nursery, and study the brand.  Have your students answer the following questions:

What color or colors do they use most often?  Why might they use those colors?

Do they have a slogan?  Explain that a slogan is a consumer-friendly version of their mission statement.  It is a short sentence or phrase that shows a little more of who the company is.  What does the slogan say about the company?

What other things are consistent about this company that make them easy to recognize?

Once your students have identified 3-5 details that go into a solid brand, they will answer the following:

Who am I selling to specifically?  
If you are arranging a market type of event where parents come and buy, then parents would be their target market.  Take a poll of your classroom to see what other interests parents have besides flowers.  The more your students can tailor their brand to their target audience, the more successful they will be.  

What problems might they have that my flowers can solve?
Again you come back to the Opportunities section of your business plan.  Why would these parents buy flowers?  How can that play into my brand?

What types of advertising are they most interested in?
Does the target audience respond better to flyers or commercials on TV.  Maybe they like to surf the internet and read things they find on FB.  Have your students make a list of ads they see their parents respond to regularly.

Don't forget the journal

Remember, the best way for you to keep up with grading and for students to keep up with all this information is to write everything down in a journal.  Students should be reflecting on their experience each day by writing in their journals.  The best way to organize is probably to split the journal in half.  The front half is planning and the back half is reflection.  You can glue in a divider of some kind to keep the halves separate.

Back to Branding

Once your students have made their many lists, it's time to reflect.  Have them break into their 3 to 4 groups, as you have done throughout this project, and create a branding board for your class business.  For your convenience, we've provided a link to that below.  Just click the image:

When branding boards are complete, get back together as a class and vote on final elements.  Each group will present their board and why they chose the elements they chose.  How do their elements connect to the target audience and the mission statement? 

Homework assignment

Your students are going to go home and brainstorm ways to incorporate your class' new brand elements into marketing.  Maybe your artsy friends will design flyers or ads.  Encourage students who want to try a logo to draw a sketch or design on the computer.  Maybe you have students who prefer writing.  Have them come up with dialogue for a commercial or a blurb for a web ad.  The sky is the limit.  They just need to go home and think about how they are going to use these elements to make their target audience want to buy flowers.

Well, as Porky Pig likes to say, "that's all folks!" for this week anyway.  Lots of stuff here for you to do, so I can't imagine you need any extra.  That being said, if your students are flying through this, here's a sneak peek at Week 4.  Students are going to start putting ad components and shop components together as the class finally begins division of labor.  Not everyone can work on everything.  Each student needs a different job.  

We're about halfway through and I'm dying to hear how it's going for you.  Share your ideas, experiences, and funny stories in the comments section below.

Like this post?

Have an awesome week!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Paper Plate Frog: A Kids Make-It-Your-Own Craft

Well hello there!

Spring is the time of year when we learn about plants and animals.  You may be in the process of learning about life cycles of animals.  For Fun Friday, we've decided to share this little gem with you.  This paper plate frog kid craft is just perfect as an addition to any unit on animal life cycles.  It has a writing component and provides lots of room for individual creativity.  There's even a FREE download in this post to use in your classroom!  We apologize for the limited number of pictures.  Pam got really excited doing this activity with her students and didn't take as many as usual.  Let's get started:


Paper plate frog printout
Green construction paper(optional)
Writing paper
Crayons, colored pencils, or other coloring medium
Dinner size paper plates

Step 1:

Talk about the frog life cycle.  You may even want to read your students our Life Cycles book to familiarize themselves with the various life stages of a frog.  This book is awesome because it includes a piggy back song to help students learn about butterfly and frog life cycles.  It is part of our May Daily Concept Builders™ Book Bundle.

The first thing Pam's students do is cut their black and white copies out after Pam has read and sung the words from her book that is in color. 

 Then they highlight the words from our May calendar each day that are about the life cycle of the butterfly and frog.
 They love to pull their books from their baskets and read and sing together.

Then Pam's students answer the questions that are in the back of their books.

Pam also wanted to share some of the great writing her students are doing using the words from our May Word of the Day calendar.

 The students also have a sight word each day to go along with their calendar word so that is why the students also highlighted "own."

Pam loves the way her kids think! She said that this little guy put a x on the butterfly because he doesn't own a butterfly. He owns a cat:)

Here is the calendar if y'all want to check it out.

Once you've discussed the life cycle of a frog, distribute the paper plates and printout to your students.  Have them color the paper plate, feet, and mouth the color they would like for their frogs.  Green or brown is acceptable.  Pam's class colored the pieces, but you can also create stencils out of cardstock and have students trace onto construction paper.

Step 2:

Allow your students to decorate the eyes and mouth however they please.  Some of Pam's girls decided to add eyelashes to their eyes.  Some colored the eyes.  Some mouths had lipstick.  Other students drew tongues.  This is a great opportunity for students to explore their individual style.

Step 3:

Pam copied the  "head" on green tagboard.  Y'all could also just have students color the head green,  and cut it out, or trace it.  Have them cut it out and glue to the top of the paper plate.

Step 4:

Have your students cut out the eyes and mouth and glue them to the head and body.  Diagram below:

The arrow is pointing to the head that was printed on green tagboard. 

Step 5:

Here again you have a choice.  Students can cut out the feet, then cut along the dotted lines to make toes, or choose not to cut the toes.  If you want to get really fancy, you can add tissue paper in between the toes to make webbing.  The sky is the limit!  Once they've cut out the feet, have them glue to either side of the paper plate.  Diagram below:

Step 6:

As always, the final step is writing about our frogs!  Some students chose to include the life cycle, while some wrote about their individual frogs.  Others even gave names to their frogs.  You can decide which is the best course for your kiddos based on skill level.  Pam's students illustrated their writing as well.  If you're studying habitat, have your students draw the frog's habitat.  Below we have the adorable final product!

We hope you enjoyed this really fun paper plate frog kid craft.  Pam's students had a blast and as you can see, each frog is still unique.  This is a great opportunity to reflect what you've been learning in your Science unit, or allow students to unleash their imaginations!  Comment below with your experiences.  Did your students enjoy this?  Would you like to see more of these printout writing activities?  How about questions or concerns?  We are wide open so feel free to share!

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