Think Outside the Box

Think Outside the Box

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Teacher Planning

The LAST thing I want to do ALL DAY when I first return, is sit in the cafetorium (I know this sounds somewhat like an insane asylum where human flesh is consumed, but what else am I supposed to call this multipurpose food service, performance studio?) on the world's worst designed group seating.  I mean really, why didn't we opt for long tables with continuous benches?  Why did we go with round tops with tiny round seats? Who likes sitting on those?  Clearly you can't get have more than 5 friends, because the lack of seating will cause fights at the lunch table every. single. day.  This is high school after all, the drama seeps from the walls.

Anyways.  I digress.

I understand that these meetings are "important" and that there is documentation that needs to be reviewed, signed, and collected.  I just think this meeting would be better off later... or done by Google Classroom assignments.   I can't believe I sat for 8 hours and "participated", yet have no idea what I learned.  This is what students must feel like.  What a good reminder of what not to do in my classes...

Give me a checklist and a scavenger hunt like you do for end-of-the-year checkout.  I'll get it done.  You can sign off on it, it can be official documentation.

UPDATE:  One week later...

Here is a pretty picture of my door.  Our faculty theme this year is RISE.  (Because, well, we were a B school last year, so...)  Immediately I knew I wanted to use the phrase "Rise and Grind," but since this is high school and everything can be taken "the wrong way," I'm hoping this coffee theme will lessen that incorrect interpretation.  And maybe it will even get me a cup or two of Starbucks from brown-nosing, tardy students who want to win me over.  (No bribes.  They don't work.)

I don't have any other "AFTER" pictures to post yet.  I DID manage to turn in my emergency sub plans, lesson plans for chemistry & environmental science for two weeks, made copies (read printed a lot from my printer), arranged my supply boxes, spray painted my Expo marker holders for each desk, and hung part of my decorations.

I must admit, going in to year TEN (!!!), I am the least prepared that I've ever been.  And I'm kind of okay with it.  I have plans, I have a general semester outline, I'll gradually get it all down in ink (and on Google Classroom), I just didn't spend the summer obsessing.  And, it was really great!  As much last minute notice gives me hives, I really know that I'll be great once I get into the swing of things, and having a TRUE SUMMER OFF was bliss!

Ok, gotta pack lunches and set the timer on the coffee pot.  I've got to go in early tomorrow to hide the chaos and put on my first day smile.  

Happy first day to all of my teacher friends! #BestYearEver

Monday, July 31, 2017

Back to School 2017

Back to School SALE happening on Teachers pay Teachers!  Use the code BTS2017 to save up to 25% on tons of great resources for your upcoming school year.  

Check out my store HERE, and then grab some amazing deals from your other favorite sellers!



Tuesday, July 25, 2017

SOLAR ECLIPSE 2017 - The Great American Eclipse

Are you Ready?  THE Astronomical event of, dare I say, the CENTURY is upon us!  On August 21, 2017, North America will witness the first Total Solar Eclipse since 1918.  This. Is. Huge!

The Path of Totality, or greatest blockage of the Sun's light, will travel from Oregon to South Carolina, right down the middle of the continental United States.  It's *almost* perfectly timed for the school day too, which means no matter what subject you teach, or if you homeschool your kiddos, you will be able to squeeze this monumental event into your day.  The eclipse begins in Madras, Oregon around 9:00 local time (PDT) and they can expect Totality to occur at 10:19 am.  Moving East throughout the day, Nebraska and Missouri will witness the phases of the eclipse for a longer period of time, with the first signs of the eclipse, First Contact, around 11:35 am and Totality around 1:00 pm.  Southern Illinois gets the lucky spot with the Greatest Duration, meaning the eclipse will last the longest there.  First signs around 11:50 am and Totality at 1:20, lasting an estimated 2 minutes and 40 seconds.  And Kentucky has the pleasure of the Greatest Eclipse, where the most sunlight will be blocked at Totality.  The final lucky viewers, in Columbia, South Carolina, can expect the eclipse to begin just after 1:10pm and Totality to occur at 2:40pm.

Aw, bummer!  I don't live on the Path of Totality!  Not to worry.  As I said before, all of the continental United States will get to witness at least a Partial Solar Eclipse, meaning that *most* of the Sun will be blocked, just not the perfect halo of alignment like those lucky viewers along the Path of Totality.



I know it seems like it should be *fine*, but burn retinas aren't cool.  So, make an eclipse viewer with your kiddos.  It's easy.  It's fast.  It doesn't require anything you don't already have in the closet.  And, you will save your precious eye sight, which seems like a really good idea!

This info, plus a couple more great pages of DOODLE NOTES and a CLOSE READING ARTICLE with COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS, are available in my store.  Click the PIN to check it out!


Sunday, July 16, 2017

6 Tips to Avoid Update Overload

It's summer.  Time to relax, unwind, breathe, ... and stress about ALL the THINGS that need to be done to my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

I want to learn about Pinterest.  I want to redo all of my covers.  I want to start over on some of my old products that haven't ever sold.  I want to create my tracking documents in excel.  I want to update all of my product descriptions to include links to more similar products (I took the easy way out, and just linked them all to my biggest bundle).

I'm no expert, that is true, but I've given myself 6 Tips to AVOID Update Overload.

1. Focus on SMALL products that can be created quickly (but with high quality)

Think items that use the same template, or pieces of a bundle.
Example: Cornell Notes Template & 3 different Biology units using that template

2. Learn something new and apply it (from this point forward)

Don't try to go back and fix everything you've created so far.  There will be times you don't have time to create new products, and you can update the old ones with your new knowledge
Example: Watched a video about Pinterest Pins -- changed my COLORING covers (and created a new cover template to use going forward)

3. Don't Reinvent the Wheel

Stick to your productive best sellers.  How can you grow those ideas?

4. Be ready for BACK TO SCHOOL

Try to market my existing products as Back to School items.  Create Pins & Facebook posts that shows my followers how to use as a first day/week/unit item.
Example: Big Kid Coloring as Binder Covers, Cornell Notes Template, General Classroom Bundle for setting up rules and procedures.

5. Find the source of traffic & build on it.  

I noticed that I'm gaining organic Instagram followers and that I'm getting traffic to TpT from my blog.  So, here I am updating my blog.  (I also want to change this at some point, but if it's driving traffic, I'll take what I have for now).


My TpT birthday is in July.  I'm excited about the success of my first year.  I know that I will continue to grow as long as I continue to create quality products that I can use in my classroom.  I will slowly learn the marketing side, and I will become more efficient.

How do YOU avoid Update Overload?  Give me your tips in the comments below.