Monday, June 22, 2015

Customize Your TpT Store Quote Box

I'm posting this blog link to share these wonderful instructions for customizing your TpT Store Quote Box, and so I can refer back to it when I want to change things up!  This is awesome!

You can also check out my store page to see my custom quote box by clicking here! :)

TpT Seller Challenge Week 2: Dare to Dream

Just about everything we do has some sort of motivating factor behind it.  When I listed my very first product on TpT, my thought was that I could possibly make a little extra money on the side selling stuff I was making anyway for my own class.  Never could I have imagined that my store would grow the way it did, and even more so, I never would have imagined that I would grow the way I have.  TpT has almost become a new form of professional development for me.  I'm researching new strategies and activities to use in the classroom and make products for.  I'm working on building my social network knowledge, and have learned so much just over the past few weeks in reading blogs of other incredible teachers out there.

This week's TpT Seller Challenge was Dare to Dream.  What are my dreams for my Teachers Pay Teachers store?  I'm a dreamer, so this definitely was not hard for me.  So, here they are!

1. IVF- Payoff:  While growing up, I went through an assortment of things that I was going to be when I grew up.  It was an ever-changing list of doctor, fashion designer, teacher, etc.  One thing that always stayed constant though was my desire to be a mom.  I have always known that I wanted to have children and be a mommy.  I have PCOS though, and that dream was not an easy thing to make a reality.  It took us 3 years to have our first sweet baby girl.  It only took us about a year to have our 2nd baby girl, but it was a tougher journey.  To have baby #2 we had to undergo IVF.  This was one of the most spiritually and emotionally challenging times of our lives.  We were very blessed that this treatment worked though and now have a very spirited 2nd baby girl.  With that, we also had about $20,000 of debt for all my treatments that I'd like to get paid off sooner rather than later.

Here are my two baby girls!  Tenley just turned 5 last week, and Miss Beckett is almost 17 months!  They are my heart!!!

Aren't they precious?!  You can read more about my journey
with IVF on my personal blog: Choosing to Count.  I need to start blogging there again soon! :)

2. Student Loans/Debt Free: Like almost every other post college graduate, I have oodles of student loans.  I have my Bachelor's, Master's, and Specialist's and have loans for them all....I would LOVE to not be retired and still paying student loans! :)  We also have some other debt from moving, and extra expenses from when things got tight (money wise) through IVF and moving.  I'd love to have all debt other than our house and car loan paid off! :)

3. Networking: Another dream I have with doing the whole TpT thing is continued networking.  Unfortunately, I have not been able to attend the TpT conference(s) (including the upcoming one in July). I hope to next year.  I learn more and better myself so much more by working along phenomenal teachers than I could by any class or book.

4. Travel: If there is one thing I'm very passionate about, it's traveling.  I rarely get to travel due to lack of funds, but I desperately want to be a world traveler.  I believe that God made a big, beautiful world, and I want to see it all!  A few travel wishes on the top of my list include: an African Safari, Italy, Greece (I want to see where all my ancestors are from), London, Paris, and Australia!  I'm hoping and dreaming that'll all happen one day! :)

5. Bless Others as I have been blessed: Last, but certainly not least, I want to be able to bless others as I have been richly blessed.  I don't know what all God has in store for my family, but I want us to always be faithful and willing to do whatever He brings our way, including giving back.

Those are a few of my many TpT dreams!


Thursday, June 18, 2015

TpT Seller Challenge Week One: Makeover Madness!!!

One of my goals this summer included putting some major work into my TpT store and my blog.  I gave myself some down time for the first week or two of summer break, and then decided it was time to get some work done!  A few fellow TpT Sellers started something called the TpT Seller Challenge, which turned out to be just the motivation I needed to get started.  This challenge will last four weeks, with each week containing a different challenge for sellers.  The Week 1 Challenge is "Makeover Madness."  The goal is to make over something in your old product, a product cover, etc. There are several products I'd like to overhaul, but I spent a lot of my time instead revamping my store "button," my store banner, working on my Facebook page, and revamping my blog.  I think in the fall I am going to bite the bullet and hire a blog designer, but I wanted to make my blog look as decent as possible until then.  I even updated the few pages that I put at the end of each of my products with thank yous/links, credits, etc.

Here are some of my befores and afters! :)

Store Button: 

Facebook Banner: 

End of My Pack Pages:
I'm off to a pretty good start!  Now, I'm trying to go back through my 200+ products to change these back pages!  Yay! :) #tptsellerchallenge

Sunday, June 14, 2015


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Thursday, June 11, 2015

The "Polluted" Classroom

I have a wonderful team that is overflowing with amazing teaching ideas!  One that I did, but cannot take credit for coming up with, is polluting my classroom to help introduce pollution.  After dropping my kids off at lunch, I came back and began to trash my room....if you know me at all, you will know that I am not a neat freak by any means, but in my work space, I can't handle a mess for the sake of a mess, so this was hard....I could feel my chest tightening up as I was spreading trash around my room and knocking over chairs (not really...but I like the dramatics of it).

After the trashing, I had just about enough time to heat my lunch up and take all of 1 bite of it before picking my kiddos up.  I didn't really care though because I was so excited to see their reactions.  We came back to the room, they expressed their surprise, and then expressed their displeasure when I told them they now had to clean it up. :)

It took them 15 minutes to get everything spic and span and back in place!  They didn't think that was too bad.  I explained that it only took me, 1 person, 10 minutes to make the big mess, and it took them 15 minutes X 20 people, which equated to 300 minutes, or 5 hours to clean it all up.  I asked them to think about that in terms of our environment and all the people that pollute it.  

After that we watched a 3 minute clip that showed some of the devastating effects of pollution.  I had them discuss at their tables the following questions: 

1. What is pollution?
2. Why is it bad?
3. What are different types of pollution?
4. What can we do to help?

We talked about what they discussed and then read and completed a Pollution and Conservation Mini-book. 

To get this mini-book visit my TpT store by clicking here.

This lesson was definitely one of my favorites from this year!  Students were immediately hooked (for all you Pirates out there! :) )and excited to learn more! #tlap

Diving In!!!

For the past couple years I have dabbled in the blogging world.  I know how to type a blog post, but would not consider myself a true blogger! I haven't been consistent, I don't know all the blog terms, I don't know how to link up with other bloggers....basically, I just know the very very basics.  One of my goals this summer has been to change that!  I have been watching videos, collaborating with other bloggers, and reading articles to learn more about the blogging world and hopefully get better at this!