3 Ways to Make Parent-Teacher Conferences More Productive

Parent-teacher conferences are a great time to learn about your child’s strengths and how you can build on his or her academic successes. You can also utilize conferences to understand whether or not your child may be struggling. Making the most of parent-teacher conferences is a great way to get involved with your child’s education!

Here are three ways to make parent-teacher conferences more productive:

  1. Prepare: Review your child’s homework assignments, graded quizzes or tests prior to going to the conference. Where do you see a need to improve? Also, ask your child what he or she likes or dislikes about school. Take notes and bring them to the conference to discuss your questions or concerns with the teacher.
  2. Listen: Pay attention to what the teacher has to say about your child. Ask to see examples if the teacher references something positive or negative about your child’s school work. This will help you understand what the teacher is suggesting. Make sure the teacher explains ways that you can also encourage and help your child with his or her studies at home.
  3. Review: After the conference is over, be sure to speak with your child. Explain what happened at the conference and discuss what you learned. Set goals together and lay out a plan to reach those goals. Make it a positive experience for you both.



Simple Solutions COMMON CORE UNWRAPPED are mathematics resources for teachers and parents. Each page focuses on a single standard, “unwrapping” it for ease of understanding. Simple Solutions COMMON CORE UNWRAPPED are incredibly easy to use!



Socks that Grow!


If you follow us on social media (and if you don’t already, you should) you may have seen that the Simple Solutions team has got socks on the brain!

twitter facebook instagram pinterest

Throughout the month of October Simple Solutions has been participating in Socktober. This event is a worldwide drive to help those in need by collecting and donating socks. This simple idea will help those less fortunate keep their toes warm as the wind starts to blow colder.

For all of you out there who are participating in Socktober with us or those of you who will be conducting clothing drives in the coming months, we have created a sock themed activity to get your students thinking about socks. Don’t forget to share with us how you use these activities and our other great products in your classroom.

Socks that Grow!

socksseeds-socks  growth-observation growth-table


To find out more about how you or your school can get involved in Socktober visit: http://happysocktober.com/



Welcome to the S2Mart website where you can create your own worksheets using our generator or purchase downloadable resources that focus on a single state standard.

Election Day

Election Day is right around the corner and with it comes some great learning opportunities! Even though your students are probably aware of the upcoming event, and they have almost certainly heard about this year’s presidential candidates, there may be some elements of the election that they do not understand. What better way to help them understand current events than hosting a mock election?

election day

We at Simple Solutions have got your class’s presidential election covered. Check out all of our resources to help make your day at the polls a breeze.



Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/www.Flickr.com/CC-BY-SA-2.0



Want to do more with Election Day? Check out these other ideas!

Understanding the Election

“If you could” essays





This month, Simple Solutions is participating in Socktober! AND Kiely is our official sock-collector!


Socktober is a way to help the homeless by donating socks. In the United States an estimated 600,000 people sleep on the streets each night. They need simple things, like socks, to help get them through the night. Socks are one of the things people need most, but not many new socks are donated to homeless shelters.

We’re partnering with the School of Innovation in Willoughby, Ohio. Together, we will donate all the socks collected to benefit those in need.


Are you interested in donating socks to help neighbors in your area? Check out the Socktober website at http://happysocktober.com/ for more information AND stay tuned to our Facebook page for more updates on this worthy cause!


Digital Quizzes

“I didn’t know there were Simple Solutions digital quizzes available!”


Oh, no! This is not what we at Simple Solutions want to hear!


The Simple Solutions digital quizzes are such a valuable resource. The tool can be found in the S2TaR Center and is easy to use. Online grading allows you to quickly find out what your students may be struggling with so that you can develop your daily lessons to meet their needs!

They are free to schools that have purchased Simple Solutions workbooks for the current school year, and are the same quizzes that are found in the corresponding print version of Simple Solutions. They can be used as a quiz or as a practice for an upcoming test. Sometimes teachers even give them so that their students get used to taking online assessments. Whatever way you decide to use the digital quizzes in your classroom, it will surely be a benefit.

For a step-by-step guide to using them, please see the following link:


Simple Solutions digital quizzes are available for Common Core Math levels 1-8 and Common Core English Grammar & Mechanics levels 4-8.




Be sure to check out the the S2Mart website where you can create your own worksheets using our generator or purchase downloadable resources that focus on a single state standard. Click on an area below to begin.

Digital Teacher Editions

Simple Solutions Digital Teacher Editions

The Teacher’s Editions are accessible to you anywhere you have an internet connection. This means on a tablet, cell phone, laptop, or desktop computer.

When you are successfully logged in, you will see the S²TaR Center home page. Select the Teacher Edition tab to view the teacher editions your school has purchased.

Important: When you select your subject and grade level, the TE itself will open in a new tab on your device or computer.

teacher editions

To navigate through the Teacher Edition, page by page, use the arrow tabs on the left and right of the screen. The tab at the bottom of the screen allows you to scroll through the book using thumbnails of the pages. Another option is to use the magnifying glass on the toolbar and type in a specific lesson or keyword.


Below is an enlarged image of the toolbar. From left to right:


  • The first icon accesses the Table of Contents.
  • The second icon allows you to print a single page or multiple pages.
  • The third icon is a magnifying glass; use this to do a keyword search.
  • The fourth icon allows you to manage your settings, such as the zoom and how many pages you can view at once.
  • The question mark is a help button that brings up a menu overlay with descriptions of other features.
  • The four-arrow icon takes you to a full screen viewing.
  • The four-square icon allows you to view thumbnails for a faster search method.


To access the Table of Contents, click on the button that has 3 dots and 3 lines (circled below). The Table of Contents will pop up. You can choose a lesson, quiz, or the Help Pages and quickly go there.


To print any page of the teacher’s edition, select the Print icon on the toolbar. Take note of the page number.

When the print screen appears, a checkmark will indicate the page you are on. You can then select multiple pages to print.


Another useful feature is the Help tab on the S²TaR Center landing page. This tab contains PDF documents with step-by-step directions for using various sections of the S²TaR Center, as well as information about Digital Quizzes for CC Math and CC English.




Worksheet Generator

Worksheet Generator

worksheet generator

Hi there, Simple Solutions math teachers! Have you checked out the Simple Solutions Worksheet Generator yet? If not, it is definitely worth your time to take a look. Plus, it is included with the purchase of your Simple Solutions math books!

The Worksheet Generator can create customized worksheets for review of those troublesome math problems your students struggle with, or maybe some of your students just need some extra practice. Some teachers even use the worksheets for assessment.


The worksheets are a helpful tool. You can customize each worksheet to meet the specific needs of your students. An answer key is always included, to make it easier for you. The worksheets are downloaded as a PDF file, which makes printing easy too.

Right now, it is available for Common Core Math levels 2-8 and Original Math levels 2-Algebra 1. If your school has not purchased Simple Solutions yet – no worries! You can simply see the S²Mart (Simple Solutions Mart) for a pricing guide.

Are you ready to start downloading worksheets?  Just log in to the S2TaR Center and go to the Worksheet Generator tab. It is that simple!


Pumpkin Recipe Math

Pumpkin Math


It’s September 22 and that means fall has officially arrived. The leaves are starting to change, the air is getting crisper, and Friday nights have become high school football nights once again. With all of the great things that we associate with the fall, it is nearly impossible to imagine it without one thing: PUMPKINS! This year, why not incorporate some festive fall fun into your math or science lesson with a little pumpkin treat? Below you will find a recipe activity to teach your students about measurement and bring a little bit of fall flavor into your classroom.

teacher-instructions-pic recipe-pic letter-about-fall how-to-picture how-much-ws-pic fraction-ws-pic


Looking for some more fall fun? Consider some of these other activities and ideas!

Pumpkin Seed Activities

  • Explore adjectives by having your students describe the inside of a pumpkin.
  • Learn about estimation by guessing how many seeds will be inside a pumpkin; how many seeds a student could hold in his/her hand; or how many seeds would someone need to put in a line to measure a distance, such as “how many seeds across is the desk?” Then, find the exact results.
  • Use pumpkin seeds to practice math skills by counting, grouping items into tens, twenties, or even hundreds, and completing basic addition and subtraction problems.
  • Roast pumpkin seeds and discuss how seeds and other fall foods, such as apples are healthy snacks.

Awesome Autumn Essay Prompts

  • Have students write a “how-to” essay about their favorite fall activities. Suggest ideas like: picking apples, carving pumpkins, or making the perfect leaf pile to jump into.
  • Have students write an essay in the style of a letter describing fall to someone. Students should assume the reader is someone who does not experience the fall season in the same way they do. Their essays should have detailed descriptions. Sentences may address topics such as the weather, the foods harvested, or the how their area, city, or region does or does not change during this season.



Apple Investigation

Apple Investigation

Apple Exploration

Apple season is here! But apples aren’t just for the lunch room anymore! The classroom activities are endless. Whether you are looking for an engaging writing project, an interactive science lesson, or a cross-curricular unit, Simple Solutions has got you covered.  Below are some possibilities to help you “harvest” the most from your class this fall.

Using a variation of the Scientific Method, have students explore the differences in apple variation. Use our Teacher Instructions and helpful handouts (below) to get started.

Take exploration a step further!

  • Have students write an opinion or a comparison essay using their experiment notes.
  • Discuss adjectives, particularly how students used adjectives in their apple tasting notes.
  • Poll students about their opinions and conclusions in order to generate different types of graphs and charts using the data.
  • Discuss the how apples grow from a flower into a fruit.
  • Learn about the food groups and the importance of eating fruit and other healthy foods.
  • Consider discussing why apples begin to turn brown when exposed to air, and that they are still safe to eat.

Looking to modify this activity for younger students? Here are some options to try:

  • Use apples to explore the five senses.
  • Use adjectives generated by sampling the apples to create spelling or vocabulary lessons.
  • Do some hands-on fraction fun with the help of apple slices.


teacher-instructions-pictureProjector display pictureSample student note picture  student note picturesfavorite type picture compare picture essayFive senses picture

Simple Solutions Resource Center

teacher resource

Welcome to the Simple Solutions Teacher Editions and Resource Center!

The Simple Solutions S2TaR Center is more than just the convenience of digital teacher editions.  It is the other half of the Simple Solutions approach to help raise test scores, build student confidence, and improve long-term retention while saving valuable class time.   Access to the S2TaR Center is provided free of charge to schools that have purchased Simple Solutions workbooks for the current school year.

What you will find in the S2TaR center:

TeacTeacher Editionsher Editions:

  • View your Teacher Editions from home or school, all titles in one location.
  • Access quizzes and answer keys.
  • Display lesson answers from a computer directly to SMART board.
  • Conveniently print; never lose pages!
 Resouces imageResources:

  • Common Core Standards have been extensively “unwrapped” and presented in an easy-to-read format.
  • Memory games, word cards, decodable books, printable Phonics pages, etc. are included.
  • Reading games, Tier II and III word lists, writing activities, resource packets, and graphic organizers for English, Science, and Social Studies are available to use immediately in the classroom.


Worksheet Generator iconWorksheet Generator:

  • Create customized worksheets for review, practice, and/or assessment.
  • Tailor each 12-item worksheet to meet the specific needs of your students (answer key(s) included).
  • Available for Common Core Math levels 2 – 8, and Original Math levels 2 – Algebra I.
Digital quizes iconDigital Quizzes:

  • Use for extra practice, review, or assessment.
  • Receive instant graded feedback.
  • Get quiz reports on standards students have mastered or ones students need additional practice with.
  • Available for Common Core Math levels 1 – 8, and Common Core English levels 4 – 8.

You don’t have to be “techie” to use the S2TaR Center because our user-friendly display makes it easy to click your way around.  Feel free to email us at tech@simplesoltuions.com or call 877-382-7537 if you should ever have any questions. We want you and your students to get the most out of all the S2TaR Center has to offer!

Good Grid