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First one done!

I am so excited!  I finally have my first “real” product done, and on my TPT store!  For about two years now I’ve been purchasing wonderful products thinking all the while “I could totally do this”, and I vowed to try my hand at it once graduate school was done. I say “real” because I have a few items already on there- classroom decor and stuff- that I may be using in my new classroom this year (I have no idea what I’m doing in there yet!).  Mainly I’ve just been getting a feel and learning about the whole process.  The TPT Sellers Challenge has given me a huge nudge to get moving, and I have learned a TON from all the sellers involved!  I feel like a sponge just soaking it all up!  I am just in awe of all the other educators out there and your awesomeness.

So besides grad school sucking the life out of me and any spare time that I had between kids, husband, work and house, I have been waiting for our new curriculum adoptions to be official before going creation crazy.  I have been fortunate enough to participate in both the language arts and math pilots in my district, and wanted to wait until I knew what we were going to be using for the next decade!  This year was our first year of implementation in language arts and our pilot year for math.  I’ll be honest and say that I’m still learning the ropes of first grade LA, I am definitely more comfortable with the math instruction!  We piloted three (yes…. 3…. ) different math programs last year and I am just thrilled with the one that we decided to purchase.  It is the same company as the LA program that we have and they have just been phenomenal to work with… aside from creating a great product!

This past week we had a half day training for the new math program and we received our teacher manuals (I had to turn mine in this time at the end of the pilot 🙁  ).  I quickly went to work checking out the themes/ units and began creating my first set of math center activities!  Like most of you out there I enjoy a good theme, so I created this first package to go along with our first chapter.  I plan to use these as guided math activities (I usually do Math Daily 3, or some version of it), or for some of my small group instruction.  It depends on the kids that I have next year.  Here is a sneak peak!

The packet is 45 pages long, and includes 9 different activities.  Most of the activities have a corresponding recording sheet!

This is one of my favorite activities!  I can’t wait to do it.  I’m thinking of using mini marshmallows as a fun manipulative 😉

I tried number story mats last year for the first time.  My students loved them!  I plan to use them more this year and even incorporate technology with them.

Well, there ya go!  Like I said, I’m pretty excited for this to be official, and can’t wait to get started on the next one!  You can find it here on my TPT store- make sure you follow me to see all the products that will be coming!

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TPT Challenge Week 2

       If you’ve been following the Teachers Pay Teachers challenge, then you know that this weeks task is to “dream big”.  What would be our pie in the sky goals for our TPT stores?  Seems like a simple enough question, but for me to answer it took a lot of thought. 
       I never really thought about “why” I wanted to become a seller on TPT… it kinda just seemed like the thing to do!  When I moved down to first grade a few years ago I was coming from having taught 5th grade for many years, we were in between curriculums, and all the stuff that was left behind for me was fairly outdated.  I started scouring the internet for inspirations and came across several blogs. Girls like Cara Carroll over at The First Grade Parade and Reagan Tunstall over at Tunstalls Teaching Tidbits felt like my long lost colleagues.  I saw a lot of myself in them from their teaching style to the products they provided, and they were a great source of inspiration that first year of 1st grade.  That being said, they were also kind of the “gateway drug of the blogging world” lol.  I discovered so many more wonderful blogs and sellers on TPT this year that it can be inspirationally overwhelming! I’ve encountered so many wonderful educators that I really connect with that I decided when grad school was over I would stop “warming the bench” and attempt to join their ranks.  
        While I am no where near that level of digital awesomeness yet, I love the creative outlet that blogging and selling on TPT provides.  I am having so much fun this summer hanging out at home spewing creativity, I just can’t wait to see where it takes me!

Obviously earning some extra income for my family would be great, but I’m not in it for that.  Like the majority of you out there we could always use a few extra bucks for something!

I would love for someone to get the feeling I’ve gotten many times on TPT: “perfect! Thats just what I need!”  I really enjoy the creative outlet that TPT provides and I hope to inspire other educators out there!

In order to do the above as a seller you need to bring your “A- game”.  Especially with how much larger the marketplace has gotten.  I love the challenge of staying current and relevant in this profession.

Another goal of mine that I did not include in my graphic is to attend the SDE conference in Vegas.  Watching all of the excitement unfold on social media has the jealousy juices flowing just a teensy bit 😉  It seems like such an amazing teacher meet up!  Coincidentally, my husband has been talking a lot about going to Vegas for our first big “away from the kids” vacation… sounds like SDE Vegas 2016 to me haha!

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Challenge: Week 1

I got so excited about this TPT challenge in general, that I almost forgot to do the weekly challenge!
Week 1 wast to makeover an existing product.  This was a bit of a challenge for me since I’m essentially starting from scratch.  While scanning through my documents however, I stumbled upon my first ever creation… the beginnings of a word work bundle.  It was laughable!  I had attempted to make it from some pieced together free materials that I had downloaded, on technology that I was unfamiliar with (my new Mac), and boy did it show!  While my new version of the cover is still not as spectacular as I would like, I think that we can all agree it is a significant improvement!
Like I said, I’ve been busy creating my first few items on my TPT store.  Perhaps because its the beginning of summer, or because I’m stressing about how to decorate my new bright blue room, but I have mainly been focusing on creating classroom decor.  I am obsessed with some of the digital paper choices out there!!  I need to invest in some more clip art though- apparently I’m pretty picky.  Please feel free to check out my store here!

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TPT Seller Challenge

Well, I’ve decided to jump on the bandwagon and participate the the TPT Seller Challenge that is going on right now!  I’ve been promising myself that I would try my hand at creating some products this summer, now that grad school is over.  This challenge seemed like the perfect nudge in that direction!  I have to say that I am truly amazed by how big the challenge has gotten… Even Teachers Pay Teachers caught wind and got on board.  At last count there were close to 300 participants!!! It’s pretty cool to check it out and see a lot of other teacher-preneurs who are either revamping their old products or just starting out like me.  I’m definitely looking forward to the next four weeks and making some great new connections.  

A huge hats off to Third in Hollywood, Sparkling in Second, Peppy, Zesty Teacherista, and Teach, Create, Motivate for putting this on!  You can visit any one of their blogs for information and to join.  Stay tuned for a posting of this weeks challenge!