Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Looking back and looking ahead...

It is such a joy connecting to all of you! This morning I felt led to share a word of encouragement, though, from personal experience! As 2015 approaches, let's try not to let too much technology and self-imposed pressure (we're teachers--we can't help it!) rob us of the joy of life, of connecting to everyday, real moments, and of spending time with our families and loved ones! 

Trust me, I have been guilty!!! I would race in the door from teaching, grab my lap top, and burn the midnight oil into the wee hours of the morning. Time with my personal children was sometimes actually spent surfing on my phone. 

Lots of lessons learned in 2014, so pressing on with improved focus, gusto, and time-management in 2015! Here's to finding healthy balance in 2015, meeting personal and professional goals and surpassing them, and giving thanks for the special people placed in our lives for each treasured season!!! Blessings, all, and HAPPY NEW YEAR! Shannon 

PS--Looking for some great reads to help with managing life's many demands?  These are 2 of my favorites...

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from our family to yours!

I hope you are enjoying your Christmas break and spending some much needed time off with friends and family!  I treasure these days at home with my 3 children!!!  

We've decided to leave the Christmas decorations up for a few more days and take time to savor the waning days of 2014.  I just LOVE having the Christmas lights on at night!!!  How about you...decorations still up or already down?  My sweet, motivated sister prefers to clean up and get organized once Christmas Day passes...not me;  I tend to drag my heels a little bit more! ;-)

One more quick note...EVERYTHING is currently 20% off in my online teacher stores until the end of December, so stop by and save lots!



Love to you from the Bryant's Brain Train family!!!  Shannon :-)

Friday, November 28, 2014

Magi on the Move...Huge Savings for a Limited Time!!!

I am so excited to tell you about a brand new project created by my sister and me!  Developed as a new Christmas devotion/journey for our own children, "Magi on the Move" is a children's picture book written about 4 loveable characters Pete, Wes, Lou, and Cal.  
These friends find themselves in many "silly situations" along the way as they follow the star to find Jesus, the Son of God. 
This electronic book and devotion resource also comes with pages and pages of printables and family fun ideas...76 pages in all!!!! It also comes with templates and instructions for making your own Magi on the Move character set!
Many families have traditions already in place...Advent, looking at lights, carolling, etc.  But how about incorporating a new favorite?  One that has Christ at its center and is a ton of fun for you and your little ones!  We would love for you to make "Magi on the Move" a new journey for your families, students, or children's ministry.  Enjoy fun hide and seek with the Magi on the Move from night to night as they follow the star throughout the book and throughout your house looking for the "treasure" of the Christ child!
This is the perfect resource for Christmas or for Epiphany!  Please follow one of these links to see more.


Not a member of Teachers Notebook or Teachers Pay Teachers?  Not a teacher--not a problem!  Just sign up for a FREE account and you will have access to easy checkout and browsing.   As a limited-time special, the book and family resource guide will be available for just $5.00.

You can also follow our journey on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MagiontheMove.  

Blessings and Merry Christmas!!!! :-)  Shannon and Dana


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving....definitely one of my favorite holidays!  I hope that you and yours had a wonderful day full of turkey, dressing, and blessings!
One of my favorite parts of this holiday has to be when our extended family gathers in a large circle to list all of the things for which each of us are thankful.  Everyone--from my grandmother to the littlest great grandson--stops to share reflections and blessings over the last year.  So precious!!!

Another favorite part of this holiday...after Thanksgiving day sales!  The aunties and nieces all meet at the crack of dawn to hunt down bargains, have breakfast, and try on every pair of boots the town has to offer! LOL
In the spirit of shopping, I wanted to let you know that both of my teacher stores will have week-long sales, starting tomorrow.  Everything will be on sale for 20% off, including some Christmas goodies you will love for both your students and your personal children!  Enjoy!

Happy Turkey Day, Happy Shopping, and Happy Thanksgiving Blessings to You All!  Shannon :-)   

Sunday, November 2, 2014

A New Fabulous Fall Bundle to Share!

Hi, friends!  Hope your weekend was restful and refreshing!  We had a great time trick or treating with family, FREEZING at Friday night football, and then recovering from an ugly UGA loss to Florida...oh, our Dawgs, what is the deal???...LOL!  

Just wanted to share a brand new fall bundle with you in case you are looking for some new goodies to supplement and enrich your November instruction.  These activities are also each offered separately in my teacher stores.


Have a great week, bundle up, and stay warm!  My friends in TN and NC reported that they even got a bit of snow this weekend!  Blessings, Shannon :-)

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Here and Now v/s the Then and There!

Happy Monday!  I just wanted to drop by and share a blog posting from Momastery which is definitely worth a read!  Find it by clicking on the link below:

Reading this article today reminded me of how much time I spend looking for what's next or what's bigger and better...but what if the BEST is already right where I am, what I'm doing, who I'm with???  CONTENTMENT was what I chose to work on for 2014...my word for the year, if you will.  This post today helped me remember why this is such a big deal in my own life.  Hope it encourages you the way it did me!!!

Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. Phil. 4:11

Secondly, I wanted to share with you a BRAND NEW RESOURCE just posted today--204 pages of Weather and Climate interdisciplinary learning fun!  Check it out and enjoy!  

Hope your week is absolutely wonderful!  Shannon :-)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Living and Loving Well...

Hope you have had a great weekend!!! 

My husband and I had the opportunity to attend a marriage conference with Dr Gary Chapman (author of 5 Love Languages) on Saturday. If you have the chance to attend one of his seminars in the future, I would highly recommend it--we learned so much from his teaching! 
The 5 Love Languages of Children
We also made a few book purchases...I am super excited to read 5 Love Languages for Kids, 5 Love Languages for Teens, and Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen Driven World.  Have any of you read any of these books? Would love for you to share any tips or words of wisdom...

Also, if you are interested in viewing this conference via DVD, it is available as both a large group and a small group study.  See below to check out the links...

Ready or not, Monday's coming...let's make the most of it!  Blessings, Shannon :-) 

1 Peter 4:8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins

Monday, October 13, 2014

Back from the Brink...

Well, it happened!  Last week I opened my lap top to find that only my backlight would come on--nothing else.  No windows screen, no start up attempt!  

So I did what we all do when we have a problem...I googled the symptoms!  WRONG DECISION!  I found post after post about the "black screen of death."  Nothing encouraging...only doom and gloom! I must have tried turning my lap top on and off 1,000 times, but nothing worked.  

As you can potentially imagine, I wanted to shed huge crocodile tears over all the work on my lap top...some of it not backed up on a jump drive or an external hard drive...terrible, I know!

So I put the lap top away.  My usual habit is to pull it out after the kids are in bed every night to do some work on curriculum, my teacher stores, blogging, FB.  But not last week!  I did absolutely nothing techy-related.  I read a book, went to 4 football games and the fair with my parents, hosted my sister's family from out of town, unplugged...and prayed.

Sure enough, I got my lap top out of the case this weekend and asked my husband to take a look at it.  What do you know?  It fired right up, and here I sit typing on it.  Guess it was divinely appointed for me to unplug from working overtime and to intentionally plug into my life this week.  

Lessons to me...back up my files and plug into my life more often!!!  Hope you have a great week!  

Also, sales news found below!  Who doesn't love saving???  Enjoy your week!  Shannon :-)

Monday, September 22, 2014

A Fall FREEBIE for You!!!

Happy 1st day of fall!  I was going to wait until the end of the week to add pumpkins to my bulletin board at school, but today I could not resist!  It was overcast and drizzling, and the weather outside seemed just right for decorating the hall with a construction paper pumpkin patch, falling leaves, and fall-themed creative writing!  I even tried to drink a cup of coffee tonight...those of you that know me know that coffee is NOT my fav, but it just seemed like the thing to to with such a chill in the nighttime air!

I also wanted to let you know about a completely FREE resource you can access in my TpT store:
Fun Fall Ideas to Help Your Family "Fall" in Love with Jesus
 These fall ideas are well-loved by my personal children and are a great way to help your own littles "Fall" more in love with Jesus this season!  Hope you enjoy, that you share this devotion resource with a friend, and that your family is blessed through these activities!!!  I would love for you to comment and let me know how you and your little ones enjoy!  I am so thankful for over 2,900 downloads of this resource pack!!!  WOWSERS!

Happy Fall, y'all!!!  Shannon 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A Tuesday Tidbit...

Saw this bit of truth in my FB newsfeed today...just wanted to share.  

when going after a God-sized dream, you need a SANCTIFIED STUBBORN STREAK that won’t take no for an answer.

I love words of truth that speak to my soul!  Hope this encourages you today and that your week is off to a great--even if busy--start!  Shannon :-)

Saturday, September 6, 2014

September, Saturdays, and the Scientific Method!

Hope you are having a great September Saturday!!! Our 6th grader just got home from his first ever middle school church retreat this afternoon...middle school sniff, sniff...where in the world does time go?  As much as it saddens me to see him grow up, I loved his answer when I asked him how it was.  He said, "The only problem with the retreat was that it was just too short!"  I think this means he is going to LOVE being a part of the middle school youth group!

I also wanted to let you know that I just posted my new Scientific Method unit in both of my teacher stores!  I have been compiling these lessons and activities for years, so I hope they benefit your little learners the way that they have mine!  At an introductory price of just $10, it's a great value for 158 pages of science learning fun!  

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!  Blessings, Shannon 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

A Post to Share and Labor Day News!

Hi!  I shared on my FB page today a link about creative ways to ask your children about their school day.  As my children get older, it can sometimes be easy to receive static answers to static questions.  How was your day? Fine.  What did you have for lunch?  Pizza.  Do you have much homework?  Not really.  

This post by Simple Simon and Company is definitely worth the read if you are some new and different ways to get the conversation ball rolling.  Check it out by following this link:  http://www.simplesimonandco.com/2014/08/25-ways-ask-kids-school-today-without-asking-school-today.html  This one might be one of my favorites..."If an alien spaceship came to your class and beamed up someone who would you want them to take?" LOL

I also wanted to let you know that in honor of my birthday--which was Friday--and in celebration of our favorite September day off--Labor Day--I will be hosting a weekend SALE in both of my online stores.  Stop by for some end of summer savings! 

So thankful for Monday off and for another year of life and health!!!  39 and feeling fine...reminds me I have a lot to be grateful for!

Enjoy your weekend!  Love and Blessings, Shannon :-)

Saturday, August 23, 2014

A Busy Life Is Never Boring!

Haven't blogged a bit since August 16th...yep, school must be back in session LOL!  

It is true that we are BUSY in the Bryant house, but it is true that our busy life is never boring!  

The older my children get, the more they are blessed to be involved with.  So off we go to football games and practices, cheerleading clinics, lego meetings, youth group, Awana, lacrosse playoffs, the list goes on and on.  Making happy memories...that's how I like to think of it!

I pinned a quote from Socrates on Pinterest this week, though, that has me doing a bit of reflection...  
I think I know what Socrates meant...see, at one point my life was just as busy as it is now, but it wasn't enjoyable...it was frantic and barren!  I was doing too many things, and sadly, none of them very well.  

Last year I read Primal by Mark Batterson. In it, he highlights the Scripture, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength"  Matthew 22:37.  I realized I wasn't loving God with my entire mind because it was literally too cluttered to allow Him in. 

Honestly, there was no secret recipe to getting my life back in order, but I will give you a few steps that I was able to do to declutter and find balance again:
1) Pray! 
(Pray and pray and pray some more!)
2) Purge! 
(The garage, the master bedroom closet, my classroom, my mind...the cobwebs had to be cleared from all of it!  And some areas required more deep cleaning than others!)
3) Make intentional time for quiet! 
(For me, it was taking 15-20 minutes to do a daily quiet time while my daughter played in the bathtub.  Seek out those little moments and take advantage.)
4) Stop resisting change so hard! 
(I had so many things so tightly gripped in my hands that I couldn't take hold of any of the good or even better things God held for me.  Letting go finally cleared my hands and heart to receive new and different!)
5) Be intentional!  
(Seasons of life come and go, but I still have to remind myself of what that frantic time in my life felt like and that I don't want to go back there.  So now I make better choices, and my husband and children and mother and sister LOL all help me to stay accountable.)
6) Lend a hand to others who are stuck in the spin cycle! 
(I discovered that God can use you to bless others when you are less wound up in your own knots!  Reach out!  There is a mom or friend or coworker nearby who could use some encouragement!)

I hope this post is a blessing to someone who is reading...Life is a balancing act, a blessing, a sacred trust...I am still daily learning how to thrive in my life, not just survive it!  Praying that for you as well!!!

Lots of love, Shannon :-) 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

"Let's Learn about Landforms!" It's Here...

My newest resource is here!  Perfect for use with both Science and Social Studies instruction!

"Let's Learn about Landforms" may be just what you've been looking for!  202 pages of interdisciplinary learning fun, higher order thinking, vocabulary development, and literature connections!!!!  Stop by my teacher stores listed above to check it out for yourself.  

Hope you are having a terrific weekend!!!  Shannon :-)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Butterflies and the BIG DAY!

Well, it's that time again...back to school for me tomorrow!  I am so excited to reconnect with my teacher friends and finalize details for my students who will be coming next week!  Butterflies of excitement and anticipation, for sure!!! 

In preparation for what this year has in store, I have started reading my copy of The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren again.  
In yesterday's reading was this poem by Russell Kelfer that I wanted to share with you:
"You are who you are for a reason.
You're part of an intricate plan.
You're a precious and perfect unique design, 
Called God's special woman or man.

You look like you for a reason.
Our God made no mistake.
He knit you together within the womb,
You're just what He wanted to make.

The parents you had were the ones He chose,
And no matter how you may feel, 
They were custom-designed with God's plan in mind,
And they bear the Master's seal.

No, that trauma you faced was not easy.
And God wept that it hurt you so; 
But it was allowed to shape your heart
So that into His likeness you'd grow.

You are who you are for a reason,
You've been formed by the Master's rod.
You are who you are, beloved,
Because there is a God!"

I know how busy the school year is, but I am committed to maintain my daily quiet time this year.  Feel free to hold me accountable on this!  It is so easy to make time to read, pray, and reflect over the summer when days are lazy and down time is plentiful.  It is definitely more challenging during the school year!  In the coming weeks, I will be sharing some more of my favorite books with you, in case you too are hoping to stay more grounded and connected this year or if you are just interested in hearing about some inspirational lit!  Lots of love, Shannon :-)     

Sunday, August 3, 2014

To Decorate or Not to Decorate?

No peeking behind this door yet!!!  LOL As you can see, I am still busy working on my classroom for this coming school year, but have you seen these adorable ideas???!!! 

I love #13-the burlap bunting and #27-the ribbon hula hoop!!! 

A happy, organized classroom makes me feel so much better and productive as a teacher, and I hope it feels homey and welcoming to my little learners and their families as well!!!  Every year, I feel like my classroom is a new work in progress, but I love the chance to start fresh!!!  19 years in to teaching and still new notebooks, sharpened pencils, and scrubbed cubbies bring me a little bit of back to school nervousness and excitement!!!  

Blessings on this Sunday, Shannon :-) 

Isaiah 43:19--Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Back to School SALE News!!!

Click the image above to visit my TpT store for tons of back to school savings!!!  I have my shopping list ready to take advantage of these great deals!!!  Lots of goodies from tons of teacher sellers to make your teaching year run a little more smoothly!!!  Hope you are having a great weekend!  Shannon :-)

Friday, August 1, 2014

Where in the World Is...

If you grew up in the 80's/90's like me, you might want to answer the title of today's blog post with the response...CARMEN SAN DIEGO!   
LOL that show brings back such great memories!  Geography wasn't just important back in the day...it is still critical for students to develop global understandings and cultural literacy today.  

I am excited to share that I just posted a brand new geography resource to my online teacher stores.  

With 138 pages of learning activities, I hope this interdisciplinary unit will be a great supplement to your Social Studies instruction!!!  

Happy Friday!  Shannon :-)

Monday, July 28, 2014

Book Talk Linky...Road Trip, Round Trip!

I am busy finishing up my Making Sense of Maps and Globes unit which I hope will be available in just a few days in my TpT store!  In the spirit of this upcoming, new goodie, I wanted to share with you one of my favorite travel books...Round Trip by Ann Jonas.  
While the story certainly keeps students engaged, it is not the story that I love the most...it's the illustrations.  The illustrations--done completely in black and white--completely transform when the book is turned upside down...when the reader takes a "round trip!"  

This book is a favorite to supplement studies of art, geography, transportation, antonyms, etc.  I love the resulting artwork that it always inspires my students to create, the critical and creative thinking it encourages, and the surprised gasps I get as I turn the story from top to bottom...amazing!  Happy reading!  Shannon :-)

PS--See even more great books by viewing the entire linky at http://mrsjumpsclass.blogspot.com/2014/07/the-very-ugly-bug-book-talk-tuesday.html.  

Open House Ideas and More...

As the school year approaches for me, I have been making a list of things to do prior to open house...ideas like reworking my brochure/welcome packet for my parents to outline the year, learning goals, behavior plan and expectations, etc...stringing tissue paper pom poms above of my table groups...
painting a chalkboard and bulletin board for use with our Science and Social Studies units (more pics to come in a later post)...reworking some curriculum ideas and word wall words...lots to do to keep my brain busy as the summer winds down and make my classroom a warm and inviting place for students, parents, and ME!  I am sure you are busy with your own "to do" list for back to school as well!!!  

In addition to the tissue paper pom pom tutorial I shared above, I also wanted to share a pic with you that I pinned on Pinterest and came from a fellow teacher's blog.  Definitely want to make these adorable "selfies" with my 4th graders to display for open house!  Don't you just LOVE?!  
Yesterday at church our middle school pastor shared about living a life of significance...choosing things that matter over things that are superficial or fleeting.  That is my prayer every year as another teaching year approaches.  It reminds me of the quote by Henry Brooks Adams, "A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops."  Praying for you all, dear friends, as you rush to work in your rooms now and impact your learners forever!  Peace, love, and teaching, Shannon :-)