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#StopTeacherGuilt: How to Relax While You’re on Break

If you’re like me you’re always thinking of the next thing to do and never slow down (even on breaks). I often think of breaks as a perfect time to get more done and once break is over I don’t feel as rested as I should. Three inspirational teachers, Kelsey, Shana, and Jenna  have started a movement called #stopteacherguilt. This movement is about teachers making time for things that are important in their lives and not feeling guilty if they’re not constantly planning or working on things for the classroom. With winter break around the corner, I’ve created a list of how to relax while you’re on break and to #stopteacherguilt when you’re resting and recharging.

#StopTeacherGuilt: How to Rest and Recharge during Break

Photo by Michał Grosicki on Unsplash

1. Make a List

Create a list of things you don’t have time for during the regular school year. Some of the things on my list are:

  • Move into/settle into my new house
  • Play with and train my new puppy
  • Read a book
  • Learn hand lettering
  • Bake Christmas goodies with my family
  • Watch Christmas Hallmark movies

Other Ideas:

  • Binge watch a show
  • Try a new recipe
  • Complete a DIY project

2. Make a Promise to Yourself

Make a promise to do one of the things on your list each day (even if it’s just to rest!) Here’s the important thing about this promise: don’t think of any teaching responsibilities, #stopteacherguilt!

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

3. Put Your Computer Down

I know, I know that’s not always possible and if creating a new product or starting a teacher blog is on your List of Things You Don’t Have Time For During School Time then allow yourself to use it, but only if it’s making your heart happy! Try, try, try not to check your school email. Parents’ needs can wait while you’re enjoying your well deserved time off. I have my school email on my phone (I know, total mistake right?) but I try not to check my messages until the day before we go back from break.

4. Leave Your Planner at School

Now, this might not be realistic and I will admit that I do take time to plan over breaks but if you can, leave it at school. If you can’t, only dedicate one day to planning and then put it away for the rest of your break. I like to enjoy the first part of my break, mostly because I am usually so burnt out and ready for a recharge that I can’t even think about planning until after I’ve given myself a break. This year, I’m going to try my hardest to plan before so I don’t have to work at all!

5. Make Time for You and Enjoy Your Break!

 

Are you a teacher who thinks about your job 24/7? Do you feel guilty when you're not working because there's so much to do? #StopTeacherGuilt, read here!

 

Join this wonderful #StopTeacherGuilt movement! What will you do to make sure you rest and recharge over break? Comment below!

Why You Should Have a Teacher Instagram

Instagram is my favorite social media platform to showcase my teaching life. Beautiful pictures on a page makes my heart happy! I’ve always loved Instagram for my personal life but recently found out that there is a whole teaching community on Instagram as well, so I created a business account for my One Kreative Kindergarten brand. Since then, I’ve steadily made new friends, gained followers and displayed my products for the teaching world to see.

Why You Should Have a Teacher Instagram

 

 

1. Showcase Your Products

Instagram is all about posting pictures right? This is the perfect way to show your TpT products in action! I like to post my students using my resources and then through my Link in Profile I can link to the TpT product in my store (resulting in more buyers!) Many teachers also use their stories and Instagram lives to show their products in action.

2. A Chance for More Exposure

When you join the Instagram teaching community, you make awesome friends! These people or other teachers who you inspire might repost your picture and then tag you resulting in more exposure. I love when I get tagged in a photo where my resource is being used in a classroom in another part of the world!

3. Instagram Pods

An Instagram Pod is a group of people in one group message on Instagram. Whenever somebody posts, they notify the group and all the group members like and comment on the post resulting in higher popularity of the post so that it can be seen by more teachers. I’m in a couple pods and I’ve noticed a much higher engagement in my posts.

 

Do you want to share your teaching life and TpT products with an awesome community? Create a teacher Instagram! Read all the reasons why you should here.

4. Unlimited Inspiration

One of my favorite things about Instagram for teachers is the endless inspiration. I’m constantly saving posts and learning new things and finding tips that I can use in my classroom. There are so many talented teachers out there who share their classroom with this community and I am so glad I am apart of it.

Tips

1. Post Pretty Photos

The prettier the photo, the more it’ll be noticed and liked and commented on by others. Think about lighting when you take the photo or use one of the filters Instagram has. My favorite filters are “Clarendon”, “Juno” and “Rise”.

2. Create a Business Account

By having a business account, you can get insights about your posts, stories and followers. You can also promote pictures to reach a wider range of people. Having a business account takes your brand to the next level. If you already have a teacher’s account, you can easily switch to a business account through account settings.

3. Hashtags

By using popular teaching hashtags like #teachersfollowteachers, your picture comes up when people search the hashtag. This is a great way for your account to be seen by other people and for you to gain followers!

Do you have a teacher Instagram? Why did you join?

You may be interested in…

Tips to Get Your Product Noticed on TpT

 

5 Key Benefits of Using Write the Room in Your Classroom

Don’t you love finding activities that get your students up and moving? I do too! That’s why I absolutely love Write the Room activities. This simple idea of putting words up around the classroom and having students write them on a recording sheet is so engaging and can be a great learning tool. I use Write the Room during all sorts of subjects – math, writing, language arts and more! I’ve found that there are many advantages to using this activity. Here are the 5 key benefits of using Write the Room in your classroom.

Don't you love finding hands on activities for your students? I do too! Read about the 5 key benefits of using Write the Room activities in your classroom.

Write the Room Benefits

 

1. Not just another worksheet

Although in reality this activity requires a worksheet (recording sheet), this is not just another typical, paper and pencil, do at your seat worksheet. Students have to move their bodies all around the room to search for the words they need to record. I use this activity during the holidays to get students excited for the upcoming season or as a review of something we’ve learned recently.

2. Handwriting Practice

This activity gets students to practice their writing and handwriting. My kindergarteners benefit from constantly observing the right way to write, tracing words and letters, and practicing writing on their own in order for them to be able to communicate through writing. We focus on handwriting a few times a week and the proper way to write the letters and numbers. Write the Room is an awesome way for them to practice their handwriting without making them trace and write the same letter for a whole page.

Don't you love finding hands on activities for your students? I do too! Read about the 5 key benefits of using Write the Room activities in your classroom.

3. Beginning Letter Recognition

In kindergarten, it’s important for students to learn their letter sounds as it makes reading and sounding out easier. Write the Room helps students focus on beginning letters and sounds. Along with all the themed words in a certain Write the Room resource, there is a picture that matches. When students find a word, they must look on their recording sheet for the beginning letter. As they write the word, they are thinking of the picture and are able to practice sounding out the word.

4. Builds Vocabulary

Write the Room is a good way to build your students vocabulary. You could use this activity to begin your science or social studies unit using key vocabulary as the Write the Room words. Sign up for my newsletter and receive a Community Helpers Write the Room FREEBIE! I also use Write the Room to build vocabulary around the holidays. Students match the picture to the word during this activity and then notice the word in our seasonal books. Students feel so proud when they know how to read a fancy word!

Community Helper Freebie!

Subscribe to my newsletter to get your Community Helper Write the Room Freebie!

Your information is safe with me. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

5. Review Activity or Assessment

This activity can be utilized as a review activity or assessment. After I teach nouns for a few weeks, students show me what they know by completing a write the room (nouns edition). In kindergarten, we learn what a noun is and students practice distinguishing between the different kinds of nouns. During this Write the Room, students find a noun card and have to decide if it is a person, place, thing or animal. Through this activity, we review what they’ve learned and I can decide if I need to continue to work on nouns or if we can move on to something else.

Don't you love finding hands on activities for your students? I do too! Read about the 5 key benefits of using Write the Room activities in your classroom.

Have you used Write the Room in your classroom? How does it benefit your students? Leave a comment below!

Resources

Check out the different Write the Room resources I have in my TpT store. *Save a TON by purchasing my Seasonal Write the Room Growing Bundle!*

Seasonal Write the Room Growing Bundle

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The Benefits of Morning Work

The Benefits of Having a Class Travel Buddy

 

 

How to Use Tailwind to Market TpT Products

If you browse Pinterest, listen to blogging podcasts or have taken a blog marketing course, you have probably heard about Tailwind! Tailwind is a Pinterest (and Instagram) scheduling tool so you can stay active on Pinterest without having to constantly, physically pin content. Since joining Tailwind, I’ve saved a TON of time which gives me more time to create products for TpT, complete DIY projects and write blog posts to help you!

Tailwind for Marketing TpT Products

What is Tailwind?

Like I mentioned above, Tailwind is a scheduling tool for Pinterest and Instagram. In this post, I’ll be focusing purely on Pinterest. When you sign up for Tailwind, you download a button that will show up on your internet browser. Then, when you’re on Pinterest browsing for pins you want to save to your boards, instead of pinning it right then and there, you click the Tailwind button to schedule your pin to go out at a different time (when your followers will more likely see it). Through the Tailwind website, you create a schedule of how many pins you want to go out each day, create drafts of pins to share, view your profile and weekly outreach and so much more.

Tailwind Features

There are many treasures Tailwind has to offer!

  • Scheduler: Customize your schedule or use the Smart Schedule
  • Profile Performance: Track your followers, pins and repins
  • Board Insights: Track each boards’ followers, pins, virality score and engagement
  • Pin Inspector: Track each pin you post
  • Tribes: Find quality posts and post your own content for others to post

Tailwind for Marketing TpT Products

Why You Need It

It’s beneficial to use Tailwind to market your TpT products because you can get your content out during the prime time, you can pin your product to multiple boards and set them to go out at different times, and you can join tribes to have others pin your content to their boards.

Join Tailwind (affiliate link) to gain back time and make your life easier!

Tailwind Tribes

Tailwind Tribes are a new feature of Tailwind. Basically, it’s a group of people who post their content to the tribe and then other members of the tribe can decide if they want to repin the post. You can join up to 10 tribes which gives you a higher chance of someone on the tribe reposting your content! When you join tribes, make sure you read the rules because each tribe is a little different.

Join My Tribe by searching Kindergarten Everything.

Do you have a TpT product you want to share? Tailwind can help you get out your content, save you time and collaborate with other teachers. Read how here.

Have you tried Tailwind? How do you use Tailwind to market your TpT products?

You may be interested in…

Tips to Get Your Products Noticed on TpT

Starting a TpT Store: Step by Step Directions

Community Helpers Unit: Tips and Resources

Each year, I look forward to teaching my Community Helpers Unit in social studies. Students learn so much about important people in the community and even get to visit a certain community helper through my end of unit project.

Community Helpers Unit: Tips and Resources

The Hook

I love introducing units with a video clip or a hands on activity. This gets students interested from the beginning and it helps create anticipation for the subject.

Ideas to hook your students for your Community Helpers Unit:

 

Community Helpers

 

Community Helper Freebie!

Subscribe to my newsletter to get your Community Helper Write the Room Freebie!

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Community Helper Book

I teach community helpers through multiple books and online resources. Each lesson, I focus on a different community helper. We read a book about that helper or watch a YouTube to learn exactly what this person does in the community. Then, students discuss the most important part of this persons job and brainstorm two to three sentences that they’ll write in their own community helper book. By the end of the unit, students have written 11 pages about community helpers. I turn these pages into a book with my binding machine. (Affiliate Link)

Check out These Books to Teach Each Helper

(Affiliate Links)

Community Helper At Home Project

One of my favorite parts of this unit is the project that I send home. For this project, students get to choose one community helper that they want to learn more about. Many times, my students pick a job that they want to be when they grow up.

For the project, they research their helper, develop questions and go into the field to see their community helper in action. Then, once they’ve become an expert, students create a poster about their helper to share with the class. My students get so excited to tell their friends everything they learned!

What do you love teaching about community helpers?

Resources

Community Helper Student Book    Community Helper Project

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Projects: An Alternative to Homework

 

Tips to Get Your Product Noticed on TpT

Since I started selling on TpT, I’ve learned a TON about creating products, designing covers, writing descriptions and marketing. I’ve used YouTubes, Pinterest and other teacher blogs to figure out everything that goes into putting a resource up on TpT. Though the most valuable research I’ve done was looking at well known TpT author’s stores and seeing what they do. Why reinvent the wheel right? Here’s what I’ve learned throughout all my research about how to get your products noticed on TpT.

Tips to Get Your Product Noticed

Square Thumbnails

Many well known TpT authors use square thumbnails. A thumbnail is the little picture that comes up when you search for a product. The square design seems to be much more appealing to the eye. Check out Lucky Little Learners page to see some eye catching thumbnails.

Tip – To create square thumbnails, set your powerpoint slide up to be 12 in x 12 in. Also remember to use a large, bold font so it’s easily read when buyers are browsing their search.

Tips to Get Your Products Noticed on TpT

Detailed Description

Once your product is ready, all you want to do is put it up on TpT as soon as possible to start seeing the $$ roll in. Don’t forget to take the time to write a detailed description that explains exactly what is in the resource. Check out Tara West’s resource to see a good example of a detailed description.

Tip – Add a “Let’s Connect” section that is clickable to your social media to add a personable touch and let your buyers find you on other platforms.

You’ll find this at the bottom of every one of my product descriptions!

Tips to Get Your Products Noticed on TpT

Add a Preview

It’s important to add a preview so buyers can get a sneak peak of the product and feel more comfortable purchasing.

For big resources – convert your resource to images and in a separate powerpoint layer the images so parts of the pages can be seen. See Deanna Jump’s resource here for a good example of this!

For small resources – create a preview from your original resource by duplicating the file and delete some of the pages (so buyers aren’t seeing your entire product) and write “PREVIEW” over the pages so they are protected. Turn this document into a pdf and upload.

Tips to Get Your Products Noticed on TpT

Market on Instagram

One way to show off your awesome resources is to post on Instagram. I created an Instagram account for only my teacher things. On there, I post my products in action and share sneak peaks of new products through my Instagram stories.

Tip – Use a program like Link in Profile to have a way for your buyers to click through to your product.

Tips to Get Your Products Noticed on TpT

Pin them on Pinterest

Another way to share your products are to post them on Pinterest. I created a business Pinterest account for my One Kreative Kindergarten brand to share only teaching things with followers. Pinterest is such a great tool and search engine for buyers to search for your key terms and find your products.

Tip – Make a separate photo using Canva pinterest dimensions for your pins.

Tip – Join group boards on Pinterest or Tribes on Tailwind and post in those groups to hopefully get your pin re-pinned.

Tips to Get Your Products Noticed on TpT

Post on Facebook

Now I have to admit, Facebook is the platform I know the least about because I’m just getting into it myself. However, I have joined many Facebook groups and liked different teacher pages, so I’ve noticed that many TpT authors promote on there too. I’ve seen Teach Create Motivate use Facebook lives to showcase her products. I also notice other authors posting links to their products to get the word out. Facebook can be a great marketing tool to share your resource to the teaching community.

Tips to Get Your Products Noticed on TpT

What do you do to get your perfect product noticed?

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Steps to Upload a Product on TpT

Using PowerPoint to Create Editable Resources

A Unique Way to Use Elf on the Shelf in the Classroom

Elf on the Shelf is typically known for getting into trouble and doing mischievous things. Not my Elf! My classroom elf promotes kindness throughout the holiday season in my kindergarten classroom.

Do you use Elf on the Shelf in your classroom? Instead of getting into mischief, my classroom elf promotes kindness during the holiday season. Read how here

The Inspiration

I am obsessed with everything the holidays have to bring! My favorite time of year is right before Thanksgiving and throughout the month of December. This is when we start to cozy up by the fire, set out decorations, light scented candles and spend quality time with our friends and families. It’s also a time of fun activities in our classrooms as well as reflection on what a great year it’s been.

The holidays in the classroom can be a tricky time. It’s hard to balance doing exciting activities to celebrate the holidays while still managing to teach the academics and not let your students spiral out of control.

Do you use Elf on the Shelf in your classroom? Instead of getting into mischief, my classroom elf promotes kindness during the holiday season. Read how here

The Classroom Elf

I’ve always loved Elf on a Shelf and the magic he inspires. (Not to mention students are always on their best behavior while the elf is watching.) And, I love using my creativity to make our elf get into trouble. However, I wanted to give our elf a bigger purpose. So last year, our classroom elf, Elfie, challenged us each day to complete an act of kindness.

Do you use Elf on the Shelf in your classroom? Instead of getting into mischief, my classroom elf promotes kindness during the holiday season. Read how here

The Letters

Each morning, my students find our classroom elf in a different spot of the room, up to some sort of silliness, next to a letter. The letter explains what the elf is doing and encourages the class to spread kindness or Christmas cheer through a specific action.

For example, I introduce my elf by having him sit in one of our buckets we use for bucket filling. Through this letter, he tells students to spread kindness through writing a bucket filler for someone they wouldn’t normally write one for.

Do you use Elf on the Shelf in your classroom? Instead of getting into mischief, my classroom elf promotes kindness during the holiday season. Read how here

These letters state many different ways students can share joy through the holiday. From giving a hug or smile, to donating old books or clothes, these letters give students as young as kindergarten concrete ideas of how to show love and spread kindness.

Check out my Classroom Elf: Promoting Kindness here.

Classroom Elf

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Creating Christmas Magic in the Classroom

 

Steps to Upload A Product on TpT

You’ve started a TpT store and you’ve spent tons of time perfecting your resource so teachers around the world can use it in their classroom. Now you’re finally ready to upload a product to share with the teaching community. Look no further, here are the steps you need to take to put your resource in your store.

Step by Step

  1. Click on “My Product Listings”. Upload A Product
  2. Then “Add Digital Product” and choose to upload a resource or a video.Upload A Product
  3. Upload the product and give it a title.
  4. Upload a preview (if you have one). It’s a good idea to create a preview so buyers can see your product closer than just the small thumbnail.Upload A Product
  5. Write out the description for your product. Make sure you are very detailed in what is included so buyers know exactly what to expect.
  6. Pick the “Type of Resource” and “Grade levels” it is meant for.
  7. Choose the subject area. I try to always choose three so it comes up in multiple categories.
  8. Add teaching duration, number of pages and answer key.
  9. Place the resource in a category. If you’re just starting a store, you won’t have categories yet. You can make categories by going to “My Product Listings” and “Manage Your Categories”. These categories show up on the side of your store so it’s easier for customers to browse the different resources you have.
  10. Choose free or paid. (If this is your first resource, TpT will make you share a free resource so buyers get to know your work.) Upload A Product
  11. Choose to upload to your own thumbnails. (These are the pictures you see when you first look at the product.) Choose up to 4 pictures. Many TpT authors use square thumbnails because they’re more appealing to the eye.
  12. Click submit! Congratulations, you’ve uploaded a product to your store!!

Upload A Product

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Using PowerPoint to Create Editable Resources

 

 

Using PowerPoint to Create Editable Resources

Buyers are always looking for editable resources or a chance to tweak certain aspects of your product to make it work best for their classroom. When you are able to market your resource as having an editable option, buyers are much happier and more willing to purchase. Creating editable resources is easier than you might think! Here’s how I use PowerPoint to create editable resources.

Using PowerPoint to Create Editable Resources

How to Create Editable Resources Using PowerPoint

Most clipart and font artists want you to secure their clipart and font so others don’t steal their work. So, you can’t just create a resource on PowerPoint, add text boxes and upload it to TpT. The way I secure the clipart and fonts is through saving each slide as a PNG and then uploading it as a background on a separate PowerPoint.

Step by Step Directions

  1. Create your resource on PowerPoint. Leave out any editable text boxes at this point (that will come later.) Using PowerPoint to Create Editable Resources
  2. Save the slides as PNG images. These will show up in a folder as individual slides.Using PowerPoint to Create Editable ResourcesUsing PowerPoint to Create Editable ResourcesUsing PowerPoint to Create Editable Resources
  3. Open up a NEW PowerPoint document. I label my new one as the title and editable. For example – Newsletters Editable. I do this so I know which one I’ll be uploading to TpT and there’s no confusion. Using PowerPoint to Create Editable Resources
  4. Add blank slides and add each PNG image as a background. Using PowerPoint to Create Editable ResourcesUsing PowerPoint to Create Editable Resources
  5. Insert text boxes that say edit here. Using PowerPoint to Create Editable Resources

 

Finally, upload your awesome editable resource to TpT and watch the $$ roll in! Leave a comment below if you try this out and let me know how it worked out. Happy creating!

Starting a TpT Store: Step by Step Directions

Have you been thinking about starting a TpT store? What’s stopping you? About two years ago, I registered as a basic seller on TpT and knew absolutely nothing about creating a store. For the first 6 months or so, I had two products up and couldn’t find the time to give my store any attention. My store sat for a while until summer break when I decided I would add a few more products. The first time I heard cha-ching through my TpT app notification, I knew I wanted to put more time and effort into creating my store that would help other teachers while earning a little extra $$ on the side!

 

Since then, I have researched, watched youtubes, tried and failed, tried and succeeded and learned so much about teacherspayteachers and creating a store. I want to inspire you to take that leap and open up your own TpT store! Don’t wait any longer, take the step and dive right in, even if you don’t have it all figured out (which you won’t, and I still don’t).

Steps to open a TpT store

  1. Become a member of TpT. I’m assuming if you’re reading this, you’re already a member but just incase.. you’ll need to register in order to become a seller. If you already have a TpT account, you use the same account as your buyer account. (If you have an account, skip to step 3.)

Starting a TpT Store

2. Fill out the information to create your account.

How to Start a TpT Store

3. Under the tab “My TpT” you’ll find “Become a Seller”. Press this and enter your information.

How to Start a TpT Store

4. Once you enter your information, a tour of your dashboard will pop up. Read through and get a feel for what you can find where.

How to Start a TpT Store

5. Create your first product and upload! TpT will have you upload your “Primary Free Download” first so you can introduce your work to the TpT community.

 

How to Start a TpT Store

6. To add a new resource click “My Product Listings” and then “Add Digital Product” in the lower left corner.

How to Start a TpT Store

 

TpT Tip

If you plan on really giving this a go and selling a handful or more products, upgrade to a Premium Seller Account right away. This is $59.95 a year, however, it is SO worth it because you get a higher payout. I waited to upgrade until I started selling more products but wish I became a premium seller earlier!

How to Start a TpT Store

Congratulations on opening your new TpT store! Teachers have such amazing gifts that can be shared to the community through this platform. It’s amazing to be apart of!

 

How to Start a TpT Store

 

Now that you have your store, what do you want to know more about? Leave a comment below so I can answer your questions in following blog posts. Also, let me know your TpT store name so I can check it out and leave you some love!