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An Update: Some New Projects I’m Working On

I have thoroughly enjoyed setting up this blog, sharing ideas and resources and interacting with you all. I’m not sure why I hadn’t really thought about writing a blog like…

I have thoroughly enjoyed setting up this blog, sharing ideas and resources and interacting with you all. I’m not sure why I hadn’t really thought about writing a blog like this earlier, but I suppose like they say, it’s never too late.

I thought I would also share with you some of the other little projects that I have on the go. Before I jump in to describing these projects, let me give you a little bit of background first….

About 6 months ago I had this ‘epiphany’ that I wasn’t really doing what I was supposed to be doing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not unhappy with my ‘lot’ in life, but I felt I could be doing something more….

I began reading all I could on finding your passion, and there is definitely ample on the internet on this topic. This all lead me to start a blog (yes a different one to this) to document my journey. It is called Mel’s Crossroad and if you’d like to check it out, here’s the link.

Oh dear, I just looked at my other blog and realised I haven’t posted anything for a month now. I have gotten a bit carried away with Top Notch Teaching and these other projects. I better add to my ‘to do’ list and update over there.

It was very therapeutic starting Mel’s Crossroad, it kind of felt like it helped guide me and give me a purpose again. Through writing this blog I came to realise how much I missed interacting with other teachers and discussing educational issues and lesson ideas. My ideas developed further, and thus Top Notch Teaching was created.

So here we are, back to my other projects. Towards the end of last year, I came across a website called Teachers Pay Teachers (TpT). This is an open marketplace where teachers can sell original teaching materials. If you have heard of Etsy (or even eBay), it’s very similar to that, but with teaching materials rather than crafts.

You need to join to be able to buy and sell. Once you have joined you can go ahead and set up a store. Mine is called Top Notch Teaching and you can find my store here. I would love for you to head over and have a little look. If you feel so inclined you can also ‘follow’ my store. So far I have 17 followers, which isn’t too bad considering I only just set up a week ago.

When you follow a store, if that store adds a new item you will be emailed the link to the new item (you can disable this if you like). This is great as you are constantly being supplied with various teaching resources, and quite often these new items will be Free (even better!!).

Some of the stores I’m following are:

Scipi – Teaching focus is mathematics and currently Scipi has over 100 products in her store. Scipi is really supportive of new sellers in the forums 🙂

Stacy Mickelson –  Stacy uses differentiated instruction and has approximately 80 products in her store.

Mark Aaron – Mark has over 200 products in his store and teaches elementary and middle school.

From the Pond – Melanie is a classroom teacher from Australia who has been creating digital resources since 2005. She also sells clipart and graphics you can use in your teaching resources.

Down Under Teacher – Another Australian teacher who provides resources for junior and middle primary. Has a number of cool free games.

Samantha DiVincenzo – Another newbie like me, but has uploaded 6 items for sale.

I couldn’t list all of the stores I’m following as there are too many, but I hope this provides you with a bit of a taste of what’s on offer.

The first item that you add to your store needs to be something free. This is so that buyers can get an idea as to the quality of your work. I have actually added 3 free items to my store so far. These are items that I have also posted on this blog.

I have updated the Flight Booklet at my store, so if you would like a coloured version of the booklet along with some of the lesson ideas I wrote about in the flight post , then head over to my store and you can download the updated version. You will need to create an account to be able to download any items from TpT.

This is a fantastic resource for teachers, not only are there many products for sale, but there are so many free items that are really top quality. When you become a ‘seller’ you also get access to the various forums to introduce yourself and discuss ideas. These forums are great and I’m learning so much and meeting some fabulous educators from across the world.

I’m in the process of developing some of my ideas into sellable products. When these are ready I will add them to my store, and hopefully the idea is that someone will also find value in these and purchase my products :-D.

The other project that I am investigating as well is setting up a Pinterest account. I don’t know too much about Pinterest, but many educators from America are talking about the value of this. From my limited understanding, Pinterest is like a huge pin up board. You can ‘pin’ interesting and ‘nice’ looking things you find on the web. You are then able to search what other people pin to get inspiration and ideas. Many people use Pinterest for things like: wedding planning, decorating your home, recipes you like, and the list can go on.

Teachers are using Pinterest to create different boards around teaching ideas. For example, some boards are created by subject level, year level, for behaviour management ideas, lesson ideas, free ideas. There are many boards around items available in TpT.

It sounds like a great resources that I think I will look a bit more into. I suppose my biggest factor at the moment is around time….so we’ll see how I go 🙂

That pretty much updates you as to what I have been up to. Does anyone else have any special projects, blogs, Pinterest accounts etc that you’d like to share? Please add these in the comments below. Also, as I don’t know too much about Pinterest I’d love to hear from you in the comments about any experience you have with this. How are you using it, what do you think about the copyright issues?

UPDATE: So this morning I was sitting down with my breakfast and a cup of tea catching up on emails I received over night. I noticed that I had an email from TpT letting me know that another person had rated one of my products. Cool, so I head on over to check it out. It was a rating and feedback for my Flight Booklet.

Hang on a minute….this can’t be right can it? Maybe it’s a mistake! Yesterday when I checked my Flight Booklet it had been downloaded about 50 times (not too bad in a week). But today it’s showing that it’s been downloaded over 700 times. Wow how did this happen? Then I noticed that this item has been ‘pinned’ 5 times on Pinterest. This is the only thing I can think of that would have made this difference. This has really shown me the power of Pinterest as a marketing tool.

1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th - Math, Writing, Classroom Management - TeachersPayTeachers.com

Photo Courtesy: Kimberly Rodriguez

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