Knowledge Mobile



Showing posts with label TPT Tips. Show all posts
Showing posts with label TPT Tips. Show all posts



I have been so busy this summer between my summer job, the TPT conference, and the wedding planning. I had to take a break from blogging. I literally did not have the time or energy to keep up with my posting schedule. The funny thing is, when I went to Vegas, one of my followers noticed I hadn't written anything in a while and I was really floored by that. I know the purpose of this blog is to help teachers by keeping knowledge mobile so their lives will be easier. It was really affirming to know that people read my blog and the information I want to share.

So exactly a week ago, I was in Las Vegas for the first time in my life with my honey. It was his first trip too. We left Papaya in Atlanta with grandmommy and left Wednesday night. The crazy thing about that day was that I had a full day of work beforehand. I had observations, a session to present, and a final debrief of my performance over the summer. I then had to go home, finish packing, and leave before 5:30 to get to the airport on time. Needless to say, it was a whirlwind. 

Day 1:

I was nervous that I was going to the conference by myself. Honey was there, but he was wandering up and down the strip while I was in sessions. I knew a few people from the Nashville Blogger Meet Up but I wasn't sure who was going to be there.

Well, deep breath! I went and picked up my badge and loved how they included my store log on the badge. 

At the registration desk, we got lovely TPT swag. 
I loved the mug even though I don't (gasp) drink coffee. I think it will make a nice pencil/pen holder for my new office. I really loved the journal. I have lots of ideas and master plans to place inside of that journal :)

There was also this giant board of different information and activities that we could do. 
After the registration desk, there were several meetups and man, they were LOUD! It really was overwhelming

Below is the table of business cards that everyone brought to exchange. Mine we super simple. but I took a couple of cute and eye-catching ones to see if it wouldn't help my design for next year. 

The Welcome Session

Everything kicked off with a speech from Adam Freed, the CEO of TPT, and he shared the key points of the conference and had us set personal goals for the conference. 

My Personal Goals
  • Learn strategies to improve
    • My store
    • My blog
    • My creations
    • My content
The whole purpose of going was to stretch myself and my skills. Adam brought up so many good points on the importance of data and surveys and how to think about the needs of teachers. It really made me think about how I would support teachers this coming year and what would be the result of those relationships. I am planning to create a survey sheet for their needs, how they want to be supported, and their personal goals for the year. I truly love helping teachers and this was a clear way to do so. 

One of the fun elements of the opening is that we (the audience) got to choose the title for Amy. 

She is know the Director of Seller Happiness, and I couldn't agree more. I love going on the forums and learning, and she is always there to regulate and share pertinent knowledge with all of us. I couldn't think of a better title :)

Session 1: Master the Inner Game of TPT - Laura Candler

I was so glad that I had started with this session. This session was rooted in mindset and the power of the Law of Attraction. I have read about the Law of Attraction before and have applied some of the principles to my life, but it was so wonderful to start the conference off on this note. I was able to focus on what I needed and the steps I would have to take to get there. Laura Candler shared many of the books and resources she applies in her own life. 

During the session, she shared how important the thoughts we have in the outcomes we are working towards. We talked about the definition of success, how to avoid the comparison trap (a very real issue for me), limiting beliefs, and how to ask questions that will drive your business forward. I really appreciated her insight and perspective of the thinking that make you successful.

Session 2: Collaboration Panel

I really enjoyed the collaboration panel for all the tips about working with others. TPT'ing can be very isolating and lonely so I am always looking for opportunities to work with other people.
Below are some of the tips:

  • ask buyers to share photos
  • set time frames for collaboration and set an out for yourself
  • pin two months before the holiday
  • pin on Sunday mornings
This session was super practical and encouraged sellers to work together and the idea of coopetition, which means cooperate and competition. Instead of just worrying about yourself, how are you working with others to help more teachers and provide more solutions. It really embodied the conference's theme of come together, go further. 
Cards for all that future collaboration!
Session 3: Advanced Marketing

All hail the pin and it's ability to change people's lives. lol. I learned a lot about how to structure and market for sellers usage. I even got up the courage to ask a question about watermarking. I have been adding my own watermarks by hand so I wanted to know if there was a real way to place the image on the pictures without me doing each one on my computer. I learned that the IWatermark app is know for android so I went ahead for the download :). It cost 1.99 but it was well worth it. 

The panelists were funny and approachable. They talked about starting email lists, finding your tribe and your group of buyers, and the importance of joining a mastermind group, which is a SMALL committed group who come together to support each other in their journeys. I am planning to start my own local mastermind group later in August, so I am excited for that!

Day 2:

Session 1: Fix Your Brand and Take Your Store to the Next Level

This panel was so funny! The Science Penguin, Teaching with a Mountain View, and Blair Turner were hilarious and so real. One of the most insightful things I learned was to think about those who enjoy my creations and what else they might enjoy. Blair outlined her customer and found that it was her. She started thinking about what other things/projects they might like to take on as well and it was super insightful.

Session 2: Did I Really Just Sell THAT? Improving our products with a critical eye. 

The highlight of the day was meeting Deanna Jump. 
She is so tiny! She was so warm and funny too!

My mother first told me about TPT back in 2012 when I was still in the classroom. I opened a store and listed my first products in 2013, but didn't fully start selling until August 2014, after the birth of my daughter. I was on maternity leave, going a bit stir crazy, and had a huge project to finish at work before the school year started. I listed my first Fry Words activities and haven't look back. Just like everyone else, I just wish I had started sooner, or rather, took the courage and made the leap. Deanna's story for me, like so many others, was the first step.

I loved her session with Deedee Willis. It made me think of some of my first creations and updates that would be needed to best support teachers.

Session 3: Love the Customer: Community, Products, and Brand with Created for Learning

This session really focused on the consumer and ensuring they have an experience with you. It was about being super responsive to them and their needs through your replies, interactions, and reactions to negative feedback. They too focused on the need for tribes. I felt it was the first session I had attended that truly focused on the customer, rather than the products or marketing. They gave very specific tips for interacting with customers and answering their questions.

Session 4: From Teacher to Teacherpreneur with Erin Cobb from Lovin' Lit

Amazing session! I really appreciated everything she had to say about managing your time and the approaches you have to take to be successful. I loved her method for organizing and scheduling her work time, the importance of a proper desk, and not letting distractions stop you from creating. While other sessions talked about the importance of marketing, her session really reinforced the importance of creating with specific goals and deadlines for yourself.

The best part was this lovely planner and resources she has for helping us to get organized and focused. It is really helping to keep TPT separate and for me to create more of a balance of TPT. Instead of procrastinating for 5 hours every night, trying to get something done, I block of times to work. I have been going to the local library and just working for 3 hours. That way, when I get home, I can just focus on my family and not feel the tension of when am I going to create. 

This was such a great session to end with! From starting with mindset and the Law of Attraction from Laura Candler to having this concrete resource from Erin Cobb, I truly felt and continue to feel blessed by all of this opportunity. I can feel big things in motion my life propelling me towards my purpose.

Food recommendations:

1. Fiamma inside of MGM

I loved the lasagna bolgonese and my honey loved his chicken and mushrooms. I knew this place was super swank because the drink menu was an actual iPad. That was my first time seeing that so I was super impressed. The regular menu was also so luxurious, it almost looked and felt like a purse I have in the closet. It was super packed because of the UFC fight that night. It was cool to see the fighters and the crowd, so it was a great night.

2. I Heart Burgers

Best burger I ever had (and it wasn't even mine!).

The burgers are a bit pricey ($20) each. I ordered sliders with quail eggs and my honey ordered the BBQ burger.

OMGoodness!!! That BBQ burger is one of the best things I ever ate. It was so good!

3. The Chandelier in the Cosmopolitan 

So pretty! I had my first Cosmo there and it was delicious. I really loved the ambiance and feel of the venue. Would definitely go back.

4. Daiquiri Shop by the Paris Hotel

Loved it and the $6 refills if you kept the cup. You may feel stupid carrying an empty cup all over Vegas, but the Coral Crush was worth it :).

Overall Reflection:

I really loved the conference. Even though I haven't been on TPT long, I really love this community and the opportunity it represents in the world. I met so many people that I had interacted with online and it was so nice to get to know them in person.

While it totally wiped out my earnings, it was essential to my development and my creation process. I learned a lot about myself, business, networking, and innovation. I loved it and can't wait to go back!


You Oughta Know May!


You Oughta Know About Rotating TPT Banners!!!

Happy Saturday! This week, I am featuring rotating banners from Shelley Tomish from Pitch Clips! I hadn;t seen them before I viewed her store and I thought they were great and I hope you do too!

Two weeks ago, I came across a seller promoting her store Pitch Clips on the facebook group TPT Connections (click the link to join if you haven't already). I went over to check out her site and lo and behold! She had rotating banners. (Go ahead and look and come right back! I'll wait :) )It was the first time that I had come across that feature on a TPT store. As someone who JUST figured out how to place an image in my TPT banner, I was literally blown away.

 I reached back out to Shelley, the wonderful owner of Pitch Clips, telling her how great her rotating banners were. A few days later, she shared in the same post a tutorial for how to create your own rotating banners! It was so nice that she would share and add to the TPT community of knowledge.

Click below to follow her tutorial below and then come back to join the blog hop for even more tips for you!

Her tutorial is so clear and concise! I can't wait to start planning to create my own next week!

Now, Hop on over to these other great blogs for things You Oughta Know!


Thursday Tips for Teachers: Share about others

Hi all! Happy Thursday! Time for another Thursday Tips for Teachers!

This week I am focusing on how to grow yourself by sharing/featuring others. When you are a tiny, itty bitty baby blog it is easy to feel intimidated by the other blogs out there. You might feel that no one will read your blog or care about what you have to say.

First things first, don't let your fear get in the way of sharing your gift with the world. This desire to create was placed in your heart and you should follow it. I wasted A LOT of time hemming and hawing about whether I could or should start, and frankly, missed so many opportunities.

The second second tip is to be realistic about your page views and audience. In blogging and TPTing you are joining a huge community of teachers who are sharing what they know and sharing/selling items they believe in to help classrooms around the country. Some of the blog networks I belong to are all about the next viral blog you write for the Top 10 this or 5 can't live without that. As I have been blogging, I have found the posts that have gone the most viral or get the most shares, are when I feature other teachers. They really love and appreciate being featured and being recognized in some small way. I know I did when I had my first feature. I shared it with my mom, my dad, my cousins, my friends, my teachers, etc, etc. It was a major achievement in my development as a blogger and as a creator/member of this larger community. Now, when I work with the other bloggers, I find that they do the same thing :)

Quotable of the Day: 
If you are looking to increase you impact, start first by sharing the impact of others. 

Below are the two main blog posts I do every week to feature the work of other teachers on my blog.

Teacher Feature Tuesday:

Every Tuesday, I have been featuring a teacher blogger on my blog. They answer 3 questions, give any additional advice they have, and send me a picture to feature on the blog. I then go to their store and select an eye catching item that I think others would love too. Here is my most recent feature with Kovescence of the Mind.

They have all really said how much they appreciate the feature. I just love being able to brighten some one else's day by showing their great work. Teaching is hard. Teaching, blogging, and creating is even harder, so it is nice to be able to recognize others.

Product Swap Saturdays:

This is my newest sharing feature. I joined a swap group where you can trade materials and post about them. I first learn of the group after my recent Stop, Swap, and Roll by Jungle Learners where I was paired with any other teacher and showed the product in use. After that experience, I joined a TPT group called  "TPT Swap and Post", where other teachers routinely swap goods. I love this process. Not only do I get to collaborate and feature another teacher author's great work, I also get to use these amazing products for FREE to help my students. You can view the first feature with Cheryl Irick from KinderIrick here.

There are so many benefits to this process. I get to build my network, my community, and my friendships with other bloggers. I also get to review really great products that are actually helping the kids in my program. In also have seen my blog audience and sales grow as a direct result of interacting and sharing with others.

I feel like everyone wants the same thing I want, a little recognition and some sign that this (TPT/blogging) is all worth it. As chief Kool-aid drinker, I firmly believe my effectiveness as a coach, curriculum developer, and as a human, have increased as a result of this journey. I am so grateful for this community and for everyone that has helped me along the way. I hope this little tip was helpful to you and that you will begin the wonderful process of creating, caring, and sharing with others!


Thursday Tips for Teachers: Using Websites to Shorten Your Creation Time!

Happy Thursday! Just wanted to share a quick creation tip that has saved me MOUNDS of time.

Secret Codes

When I first made secret codes for my Middle School Vocabulary Unit, I did them all by hand. This website was fundamental to speeding up my creation time. I was able to create codes of my choice (a simple subsitution) and the website just spit out the code. Many, many, many brain cells saved. :)

Fill In for Word Searches

While I know there are websites and applications to create word searches, I like to hide my words multiple times to increase the challenge for students. I still haven't found the app for that. Instead, I hide all of the words myself and then use a random word generator to fill in the additional words. When I just type random letters, I got a lot of x, y, and t's so the words would stick out. Having the lists of random words, allows me to power down my brain as I type in the random words to fill in the puzzle.

Scrambled Letters

When I worked on my Journey's Third Grade Spelling Unit, it literally took me a month to make all of the activities. All of the words scrambles drain so much of my brain energy as I had to scramble the words randomly, and then they were truly random. I discovered when working on my Middle School Vocabulary Unit and My Fry Word Units, that I could use a website to scramble the words for me. it was so much faster and efficient. The best part is that the letters are truly scrambled to the point where I have to think hard about what word it is. All I had to do was fill in the template that I talked about in earlier post, and I was able to scramble all 20 sets of words in less than an hour. Talk about a time saver.

I hope this helps you as you begin creating your own units and thinking about the different activities!


Thursday Tips for Teachers: Concept to Creation

Happy Thursday! Time for part two of  tips for TPT creation. As I said last week, my first unit took weeks upon weeks to creation. This is also due in part to my perfectionist tendencies and the amount of work I put into my units. I just truly believe whatever I create be something I would love to have and buy in a heartbeat. :)

1. Start with an idea :)

I'm currently working on a middle school vocabulary unit. We serve 3 different middle school sites and the site coordinators requested more middle school vocabulary activities.  

2. Research, Research, and more Research

I began to research academic articles on vocabulary acquisition and middle schoolers. A number of articles cited the need for games, context clues, and text features. After taking those things into account, I created a rough draft on cards.

2. Cover Creation and Inspiration: 

I first start with a graphic image I like and build the color scheme around it. For the last few units, I have used a four color that I simply googled. I then play around with the colors to determine what colors become the title and the background. I usually make 8 covers before I find the one that makes my heart happy. Personally, I can't create the unit until the cover is done. I get so excited about the unit that I can't wait to create it :).
Below you can see the creation of the cover based on those colors. The cover is mostly blank because I intend to place product images on the front. I started with this graphic from Jessica Weible and used the dress as a basis for the color.

 4. Use shapes

For the majority of my sheets, I use the shapes in Powerpoint. By simply changing the fill and line color, you can create any of the frames you would like. I love the edit shape button so I can change the shapes to the way I want them.

5. Make a template

In the beginning, I would make a sheet and duplicate all of them, before I started filling them in. That sounds great but I would have to format all the pages again and again to make them uniform. Now I only make the first set of sheets before I begin and perfect the measurements, fonts, coloring, and position of the text.

6. Ask for feedback!

As I worked on the sheet, I gave it to several of my work colleagues for their feedback. This lead to my adding a picture section and sample sentences on the front page, as well as my reorganization of pages. All these changes hurt a lot less when I only had to change 4 pages instead of 100. In exchange, I give them all a set of the completed packet (along with a business card to pass on to their colleagues) :)

 7. Copy and fill in :)

After finalizing the format of the unit, I then duplicate the sets of pages and organize them by set. Then ensues, the 10 hours of work completing the units, much better than the original 40. I save so much time by having a strong plan and feedback cycle. Read here about how I save time with printing and filling out the unit. Next week, I will share some websites that have helped speed up specific unit creation :).

Speaking of work, that's all for this Thursday! Hope it was helpful!
Now I'm off to finish my units :)

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