Saturday, March 26, 2011

Featured Seller: Mr. Blake

1.   How long have you been on Teachers Pay Teachers?  What made you decide to be a part of it?
I joined TPT in the summer of 2008. I had just finished my Ed.S. degree in Educational Technology and heard about TPT from one of my classmates. I have always enjoyed making my own materials for the classroom and TPT seemed like the best way to share those materials with other teachers.

2.   When did you know that you wanted to be in education?
While studying electrical engineering and architecture at LSU, I started working the afterschool and summer programs at the church/school I attended. I fell in love with teaching and decided that’s what I was meant to do.

3.   How are you currently involved in education?
I am currently teaching 2nd grade (my 17th year!) and I am one of the technology leaders at my school. My wife and I also teach Sunday School classes at our church with children of various ages.

4.   What would be your advice to people who are considering joining Teachers Pay Teachers?
To quote the Nike ad, “Just do it!” You’re a teacher, so being creative and thinking on your feet comes naturally. Those materials you created for your classroom may also be of great value to many other teachers. Start out with the Basic membership to get your feet wet and upgrade to the Premium membership once you’ve made enough to pay for it.

5.   What has been a highlight, thus far, about being on Teachers Pay Teachers?
Well, aside from making a little extra money, networking with a wonderful group of educators has inspired me to “kick it up a notch” in my creativity in the classroom.

6.   What is something fun about you that other teachers don’t know?
In 1996 I won 3rd place in Lakeshore Learning’s Great Ideas contest. The item I designed, the Writing Center Caddy, is still sold in their catalog today.

7.   Do you participate in education outside of the classroom?  In what type of role?
Yes, my wife and I teach the preschool and school-aged children in Sunday School at our church. I have also given many afterschool, weekend, and technology conference training sessions, most of them dealing with technology use in the elementary grades classroom. I am also the resident “computer tutor” at my school, always willing to help my fellow teachers with their tech problems and questions.

8.   What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
My next goal in life is to be a published author. I have several books in mind, but haven’t dedicated the time to start writing them. I’m hoping to set some time aside this summer and I hope to preview my new book(s) on TPT by the fall.

9.   What profession would you not like to do?
School Administration! No, thank you! More power to all of you administrators out there, but that’s not the job for me.

10.                Who is your favorite author?  Favorite educational author?  And why?
My favorite author is J.R.R. Tolkien. I love his Middle Earth writings and have read most of them several times. My favorite educational author is Debbie Diller. I love her practical writing style and how she gets to the “meat” of the issues that classroom teachers face.
Mr. Blake's Products

-Dolch Sight Word Assessment Kit
I developed this kit out necessity in my own classroom because I wanted an easy way to monitor my students’ progress with their sight words. I love being able to make individualized flashcards for each child with just a few clicks; the parents love it, too!

Literacy Work Stations
When it comes to schedules and routines in the classroom, I am definitely a “paperclip.” I created the Literacy Work Stations and Small Group Meeting Schedule to help organize my literacy block. Using the framework of Debbie Diller’s Literacy Work Stations I modified the plan to work in my classroom. This schedule allows my students to move fluidly from station to station and it provides me with a time to meet with all of my students throughout the week.

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