## Should You Sell Products on Teachers Pay Teachers?

I have noticed a lot of people read a very old post I had done on this topic, so I thought I would re-post about the growth I have seen in my endeavor. I joined TPT in September of 2008. I put a few items up which were only one page that I charged $1 for. Every now in a blue moon one of them would sell , and so I wasn’t very motivated to work hard at this. Last spring (2011) I started seeing the emails from TPT about Deanna Jump who had made more than her teaching salary. I thought, “What am I missing here?” From that point on, I got very serious about selling my items on TPT. I got software to turn my items into PDF files. All summer of 2011, I worked many, many hours to put materials up on the TPT site. I think I sold one item all last summer. Then August came and I made $11.58. Mind you previous to this for all the 3 years I had products up, I had only made about $11. Then September came, and I made $16.74. It was at this point that I decided to upgrade my account and pay the $60 a year. Previously I had the basic account where TPT takes a pretty large percentage of your sales however you pay no annual fee. When you decide to become a premium seller, they only take 15% of your sales–which is totally worth it if you are selling $15 a month or so. My sales only grew from there and steadily increased each month of the school year until I was making more than $100 a month. Each time I got an email saying that I had sold an item, it just made my day. I find it so gratifying that someone actually values the work that I do, and uses it to teach their own students. I readily share the items with my colleagues at work, but somehow it is different when someone searches out what you did and finds it useful.

I won’t sugar coat the amount of work that went into what I did. Selling on TPT takes work and patience. I spent nearly every night sitting on the couch with my laptop after school working on my blog or on my products, and most of the summer that way as well. I definitely would have made a lot more money with a part time job or doing after school tutoring. However, the work that I do on making my products as perfect as possible helps me during the day with my ‘real’ job because I use those things with the students I work with. I just make them as pristine as possible to sell at home. Selling an item on TPT is gratifying because the extra hours I spend working on something are actually rewarded. I have learned SO much from this venture through blogging, through selling, through the comments on my blog, and on TPT. I would dare say selling on TPT has given me an edge because I am learning through a world wide community which I hadn’t known was out there previous to this venture. I am very thankful for this and for friends who encouraged me to pursue this further when I had only a small measure of success. If you have the time to work outside of school and want to learn a lot from a community of talented teachers, then I would recommend you join the ranks of successful teacherpreneurs, too.

## Do Your Students Mix Up Area and Perimeter? Try This…

Seeing the same problem, students continuing to mix up area and perimeter questions, reoccur with our 4th and 5th grade students on their unit tests, we decided to try something new to help them differentiate between the two. With the questions already cut out, we took all of the released area and perimeter questions from our previous state tests and had students do a sort with them. Pairs of students sorted the questions underneath an area or perimeter heading. To add a little challenge to the activity, we added some volume, capacity, weight, multiplication, and division questions without telling them that these questions weren’t area or perimeter. As teachers, we learned during the students’ sort that students were thinking of area as the space inside of anything so that they were confusing volume and capacity with area. This led to students gaining a deeper understanding of the meaning of area. The students also learned from one another as Bloom’s higher order thinking on the evaluation level was in place. Students had to discuss each question and agree or disagree with one another about the decision to place it underneath a heading. See below for a look at our activity.

## You Will Want to Bookmark This Freebie!

The librarian at school forwarded me this fabulous site with ready made smart board lessons! Great for K-5 students. There are many fun and interactive lessons for math, geography, history, science, phonics, literacy. Take the time to browse.

## Where Can You Find Model Common Core Lesson Videos?

Today I was at a professional meeting in which we were working on building a pacing guide for the 3rd-5th common core standards. The presenter for our meeting showed us this fabulous website which has cutting edge materials pertinent to the common core standards. There are a few sample tasks for each grade level with rubrics. Not only are there tasks, but there are videos of teachers, coaches, and principals discussing student thinking before and after a video taped lesson as well as teachers teaching lessons. If you just want to view a part of the video sessions, they are broken up into parts: before the lesson, the different sections of the lesson, and the debriefing after the lesson. I really enjoyed hearing the teachers discuss why and how they were planning because I had a sense of the fact that I am not alone in the problems I am having with children’s mathematical thinking. These problems are found across our country–the one aspect about the second grade video that grabbed my attention is that this second grade teacher was discussing how her students see a word problem and want to immediately add the two numbers within the problem even though the problem may not be an addition problem. All in all this website is a fabulous find especially if you are responsible for doing any professional learning meetings at your school–or even if you just want to learn yourself. (FYI: As of the time of this post, there are a lot more upper grade videos than elementary, but the site is worth a visit no matter what grade you teach.)

## Using Wiki Spaces to Further Math Instruction…

I found this wiki space that has student math movies on it. Students explain what they have learned about a math concept on a video. The wiki definitely gave me some ideas. There are many math topics listed. My favorite is the spoof of the Brady Bunch theme song and opening video, but instead “The Avery Bunch” explaining fractions. Of course, Mr. Avery is their teacher. I really like the idea of the students demonstrating their learning in video form because they have to be knowledgeable enough to explain their learning in detail. We all know that increases learning–teaching others–according to Glasser’s theory of learning!

## Project Based Learning–Where Do You Start?

With the common core standards making their grand entrance this year, *project based learning* is quickly becoming a new buzz word. I myself understand the *concept* of project based learning, but have seen very few examples of students real-world projects. Seeing few examples makes project based learning seem vague, and so I was very excited to stumble upon this fascinating website http://pbl-online.org/ about project based learning. When you visit the site, you will find information about what project based learning is, a collaborative community of teachers developing and sharing projects (you will have to create an account for this), and videos of students and teachers working through and planning projects etc.

## 8 Free Math Websites for Your Classroom

1. www.math playground.com –free worksheets, math games, and interactive manipulatives

2. www.classzone.com–math games, interactive lessons, games, and math vocabulary cards

3. www.mathtv.org–interactive problem solving videos

4. www.hotmath.com–math games and learning activities

5. www.softschools.com–free worksheets and interactive games

6. www.coolmath.com–math lessons, interactive games, interactive math and art

7. www.math-play.com–free interactive games

8. www.nlvm.usu.edu–national library of virtual manipulatives

## Wow! Free Math Smart Board Lessons, Power Points, and Printables

To save time on making a number line with math fonts, which is a bit tedious, I decided to search online. I stumbled over this WONDERFUL website full of fabulous math freebies. There are math power points, smart board lessons, printables, flashcards and the like for primary students. Just to name a few: one to one correspondence smart board lessons, number lines 0-100 printable, and counting by grouping objects power point. All of the many downloads on this site are especially good for the common core standards, which focus so heavily on number sense and counting for primary students.

## Free Math Worksheets

I just found a great place to get lots of math freebie worksheets and I wanted to share… http://www.helpingwithmath.com/resources/worksheets.htm. There are lots of basic skills worksheets such as rounding, counting, telling time, temperature, addition, subtraction, multiplication…etc.

## Need Supplies But Don’t Have the Money

Did you run out of pencils? Do you need a piano for your music class? A website–donorschoose.org of which you may have not heard is granting wishes to worthy public school classrooms across the U.S.who are lacking in supplies. Teachers do not have to write grants! All teachers have to do is request the materials needed, send thank you notes, and photographs of the project taking place. Ordinary citizens can donate as little or as much as they want. This website allows many people to donate to one need until that need is filled. Visit the site to see some of the amazing projects that have been fulfilled.