Monday, June 27, 2011

Become Teacher 2.0 With These Tools!

Web 2.0 Tools for Teachers
By: Anna Colley
Visit Anna's Store on Teachers Pay Teachers

I remember well the first time that I accessed the World Wide Web in 1995. I got busy doing something else in my dorm room while I waited for the pictures from the NASA site to download, then gave up after the first two had come through. The Internet has changed a lot since the old days of my 1200 baud modem and my first excruciating page downloads. You may have heard the term Web 2.0 lately. What is Web 2.0, and how can you leverage it in your classroom?

The advent of the term Web 2.0 marked a shift in the purpose of the Web. Instead of pages that were focused on passively viewing information provided by others, Web 2.0 is about collaborating, interacting, and creating your own content. Instead of just looking at pictures or reading a website, you can now interact with the site itself and other users to create something new. Think about Facebook, Twitter, blogs, wikis, Flikr, YouTube, Skype, and any other site or web service where you add to content or connect with others. Web 2.0 isn't a shift in technology so much as a shift in how technology is being used.

What does this mean for education? Since Web 2.0 sites allow users to connect with one another and to create their own content, they provide a great means for students to connect with educators, peers, and content-area experts. They're also a medium for students to report on what they have learned, or to create a product to show a solution to a complex problem. What's more, since Web 2.0 sites are designed to be user-friendly, they're easy to start using right away, with very little learning curve.

Okay, so let's get to the fun part! Here is a list of Web 2.0 tools you may find useful, and an idea or two about how to use each one in your classroom. Visit the sites, play around, and enjoy these toys for yourself first. Then, see what bright ideas surface for using them in your classroom. If you are using any of these sites already, or if your brain is alive with possibilities, I'd love to hear your ideas, success stories, and pointers in the comments!

Voice Thread allows you to upload a series of images, and then accept voice and text comments about the images. You can also “mark up” the image as you comment, pointing out notable details. As a teacher you can limit the responses to just your students, or open it up to the world and have an option to moderate all responses before they appear. Imagine asking your students to upload drawings or photos and narrate a story; record responses or observations about a political cartoon you have added; upload photos that show examples of geometric figures and allow classmates to comment, marking up the photos to show the figures. Browse the site for some great examples of ways that students and teachers are already using it. You can try a free account, or get a paid account for more functionality. Free accounts require an email for sign up; the paid account allows you to set up student accounts without emails.

You may be familiar with Tagxedo's predecessor, Wordle. Wordle is a great tool and has many creative applications in the classroom, but Tagxedo takes the word cloud to a whole new level! Enter in some text, tweak the (many) options, and out comes a customized word cloud with words sized by number of occurrences. Like Wordle you can get a quick snapshot of the important words in a document, or collect opinions and characteristics about a topic. Unlike Wordle, Tagxedo allows you to shape your word cloud into shapes like hearts, arrows, and stars, or even to a shape you upload yourself--like a photo! Check out this one I made from a photo of myself using the text from our family blog.

Have students create a Tagxedo using the text from their writing to find overused words. Enter the text of a historical document to focus on main ideas and key vocabulary. Ask students to create a Tagxedo portrait of a famous historical figure or a fictional character. Use Tagxedo as a tool for creating shaped (concrete) poetry or keywords about an animal. Have fun with it!

Portraits can be difficult to do, so check out the custom shape and portrait tutorials for help. To see lots of examples of what you can do, visit the gallery. If you're having trouble making out the shape, try viewing from a distance or blurring your vision. You do not have to sign up for an account to use Tagxedo.

Glogster EDU
Glogster describes itself as a site for making multimedia posters. Students can import photos, videos, and sound files, as well as adding text and graphic elements like arrows and clip art. More importantly to students, Glogster's "posters," dubbed glogs, are cool. Glogster is great for all ages, from high school seniors to preschoolers. Students can use Glogster to showcase research, campaign for a cause (with persuasive writing, of course), show off their work for parents, or express themselves. Try a glog to introduce yourself to students during the first day of school, and then have your students create their own glogs to introduce themselves to each other! You can even save a glog to use on a web page or use it as a cool way to provide a list of links. How cool would your class blog or web page look with a glog on the front page? Check out the Glogpedia for the very best examples and a treasure trove of ideas.

Regular Glogster has all manner of content, including some that is inappropriate. Glogster EDU is controlled by the teacher. You can sign up for a free account and get 50 student accounts for no charge. With a subscription to the premium version, you can add additional students and also have access to advanced features. The free version is plenty to keep you and your students occupied for a semester or more. If you love it, or if you teach a large number of students, you may consider looking at the premium features. Students do not need an email to get an account; the teacher account allows you to set up accounts for your students.

I'm very excited about this tool for my preschoolers, but students of any age will enjoy this site! On Blabberize, students can upload an image, such as a photo of an armadillo or a portrait of Abe Lincoln, mark the location of the mouth on the image, and then add a sound recording. Blabberize makes the images talk! Imagine young students creating animal research reports where the animal itself tells you all about its habits. Older students' history reports will come alive (almost literally!) with historical figures giving a firstperson account. You can even have a funny character give review information for a test to keep students engaged. Not only does Blabberize give your students an alternate way of presenting, but you have opportunities for writing as well, as students prepare first-person scripts.

You must sign up for an account to create or comment on blabbers, and sign up requires an email address. Watch out for the comments section. I have seen inappropriate comments on some blabbers. Though there's an option to report inappropriate blabbers, there's no option to do so for comments. Users can delete comments that have been posted on their own blabbers, however.

My Fake Wall
I had actually seen a few examples of what My Fake Wall does before My Fake Wall actually came about, but this site makes it easy. Think of a famous historical figure or a fictional character. Now imagine that person had a Facebook page. Who would his friends be? What photos would she post? What status messages would come across? Where would the person "check in"? You can do this type of activity with students the hard way, where you meticulously recreate a Facebook page in an application like Publisher or on paper, or you can get students on Facebook where who-knows-what may happen (your students may or may not even be old enough), or you can do it the super-easy way with My Fake Wall. Just follow the prompts to create a fake wall for anyone! The best part is that My Fake Wall is focused on learning, so it's student- (and teacher-) friendly. You must sign up for an account to create a wall, and account sign up requires an email address.

There are many, many more Web 2.0 tools that you can use for learning. Maybe I will write a follow-up article at some point with another batch of favorites! In the meantime, I’d love for you to post a comment about sites you are using, or your ideas for using those listed here. Which one is your favorite?

Related Products from Teachers Pay Teachers:
5 Projects to Integrate Web 2.0 Into the Classroom, $5.00
55 Technology Projects for the Digital Classroom Vol. 1, $15.97
Follow the Iditarod Sled Dog Race with Web 2.0 Tools, FREE
All About Me Glogster Poster and Rubric, FREE
Glogster Teacher Guide and Student Handout, $1.00
Wordle, Glogster, Strip Generator, & More! Technology Template Bundle, $7.99
VoiceThread Handout, $1.00
Blabberize Template and Handout Bundle, FREE
Romeo and Juliet Facebook Reading Comprehension Activity, $3.00
Get to Know You Facebook Page Worksheet, $1.50
Facebook Character Sketch for Any Novel, $3.25
Using Wordle in the Classroom, FREE
Civil Rights Wordle Activity, $2.00
Twitter Worksheets Part 1, $3.95
Tweet a Summary Twitter Worksheet and Rubric, $1.49
Poetry Twitter-Style: Poetweet and Twaiku, FREE

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Featured Seller: Meghan Mathis

1.   How long have you been on Teachers Pay Teachers?  What made you decide to be a part of it?
I was fortunate enough to have a friend who had discovered Teachers Pay Teachers and told me all about it.  I say “fortunate,” because not only did this friend tell me all about TpT…but she bugged me and harassed me until I finally signed up for an account and started posting items.  I owe her BIG time!

2.   When did you know that you wanted to be in education?
I was planning on studying Deaf Education in graduate school.  I switched to Elementary and Special Education because my fiancĂ©e was in the Air Force and I thought I would have a better chance and finding work if I wasn’t so specialized.  It wasn’t until I started teaching middle school students that I knew I had chosen the right career for me.  I love the energy and humor they bring to class everyday.

3.   How are you currently involved in education?
Currently, I am teaching 6th grade.  I teach Language Arts to students with Learning Disabilities and then co-teach math, science, and social studies to classes of regular education and special education students.

4.   What would be your advice to people who are considering joining Teachers Pay Teachers?
Do it!  Jump in and get started.  It can feel a bit intimidating at first, but start with just one product, you’re favorite one.  After you see how easy it is to place materials on the site you will want to put up more. 

5.   What has been a highlight, thus far, about being on Teachers Pay Teachers?
I would be lying if I didn’t say that earning money by selling classroom materials that I have already made isn’t totally incredible.  But truthfully, one of the best aspects of being on Teachers Pay Teachers for me is how it has inspired me to improve my lessons and make my materials better.  While before I might have been willing to slap a quiz together quickly without thinking about it, now I find myself wanting to make all of my materials as great as they can be.  Teachers Pay Teachers is making me a better educator.

6.   What is something fun about you that other teachers don’t know?
I’m a very outgoing person, but I absolutely loathe the ice-breaker activities we have to do at every in-service or training.  I love talking and meeting new people, but when I hear the presenter says, “Now stand up and share three things you’ve learned with people you don’t know,” I cringe!

7.   Do you participate in education outside of the classroom?  In what type of role?
I have been trying to become more active writing articles for several education blogs.  I tutor and work with students in after-school programs.  Lately, my most important education role has been as a mother to my 2 year  old son.  I am determined that he will love books as much as I do!
8.   What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
Besides teaching middle school, I have two “dream jobs” that I would love to explore someday.  I would love to be a writer.  I currently have a novel started, I just can’t seem to find the time to finish it!  I would also love to be a chef.  Cooking is a huge hobby of mine and I enjoy making food that people love it eat.  I’m one of those terrible teachers who is always bringing in baked goods so that all the other teachers will eat them and I won’t.  Good food makes people happy, and I think I would love to have a job that makes people happy every day.

9.   What profession would you not like to do?
I don’t think I would like any job that requires doing the same things every day.  One thing that teaching middle school students is not is monotonous.  Students are always finding new and creative ways of keeping us on our toes, so I can’t imagine a job with no surprises or excitement!

10.                Who is your favorite author?  Favorite educational author?  And why?
My favorite author is William Faulkner, I find myself getting completely lost in the worlds he creates and the characters he brings to life every time I read him. 

My favorite educational author is probably Cris Tovani.  She has written books like, “I Read It, But I Don’t Get It,” and “Do I Have to Teach Reading?”.  Her books really helped me understand what goes into reading, what successful readers do, and how to teach those strategies to struggling, unmotivated, young adults.  Her books are full of teaching ideas that I could implement immediately – I love that!
by Meghan Mathis
Meghan's TPT store

Meghan's Products
-        Uglies Literature Unit:  I work with regular education and learning support students.  This complete unit is a great way for a teacher to use an exciting novel to teach those essential reading comprehension skills to students of all ability levels in the same class.

-       Math Games for Middle School:  A group of 12 instantly useable math games that cover a variety of essential topics for math classes in grades 5-9.  I love that it provides teachers with “one product” that can be used in 12 different ways.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Congratulations to the WINNERS of the T2T MEGA CONTEST!

Drumroll please...

Our first Teacher 2 Teacher MEGA CONTEST was a smashing success! We had thousands of entries. Thanks to all of the TPT teacher-sellers who donated their products for this contest, and thanks to the teachers who spent oodles of time following teacher-seller's TPT stores, blogs, Facebook pages, and on twitter. All of the entries were entered into a list form at

And the winners are...

K-2 Winner: Crystal Radke
3-6 Winner: Connie Suntken

Middle School / High School Winners -

English: Mark Welch
Math: Monica Krzak
Social Studies: Kelly Eiseman
Fine Arts: Laurie Fronhofer

Unfortunately, we did not have any entries for the science category. Maybe next time...
If you are a winner, I sent you an email from Effective Teaching Solutions. Lisa

The American War on Dads

Happy Fathers’ Day!  I’m so appreciative of the many great fathers out there, and especially the great father figures in our education system. I have a four year old son, and my wife and I found out recently she is expecting!!  

Fathers are under attack in our country today. Some of this is warranted because of the amount of dead-beat dads and fathers who give up their responsibility, but not all dads fit this description.  Our culture seems to be fueling this idea. If you are not sure what I am talking about, check out some of the family sitcoms on TV today.  Modern Family, Three and a Half Men (Thank goodness that is gone for now), Rugrats, and practically every Disney Channel show has the same character:  the goofy dad who acts like an idiot, is a pushover, and gives the kids everything they want.  This character completely leaves it up to the mom to be responsible, handle all the discipline, and clean up all of the dad’s mistakes.  I grew up watching Married with Children, Home Improvement, and Everybody Loves Raymond.  Don't forget the classic example of Homer Simpson! I don’t think anyone would argue that this pattern holds true for these shows as well. 

Unfortunately this is slowly leaking into Young Adult and Children’s books, and the movies that are associated with them.  Consider a recent entry in the Knuffle Bunny series (Hyperion), by Mo Willems, which revolves around the obsessive relationship between Trixie, a Brooklyn girl, and her plush bunny. Trixie, beginning school in Park Slope, discovers that another girl owns the same toy. They accidentally switch bunnies. That night, Trixie wakes up and realizes that her comfort object is an alien impostor. She flips out—she wants Knuffle Bunny, now! Her dad sheepishly requests a reprieve: “Trixie’s daddy tried to explain what ‘2:30 A.M.’ means. He asked, ‘Can we deal with this in the morning?'” Trixie’s fixed stare makes clear that the answer is no. Salvation comes in the form of a ringing phone: the other girl’s father, equally cowed, has called to propose a handoff in Prospect Park. There’s an element of satire here, but the idea that children have complete authority is now so normal that many readers, old and young, are likely to consider a moonlit stuffed-animal exchange an ordinary turn of events.  

The other day in my classroom I turned off the newest movie version of “How to Eat Fried Worms” because of its portrayal of parents and teachers.  I then went on to explain to my students that not all parents and teachers act like the adults in the movie, and we had a nice conversation about it. 

You may be asking, “What does this have to do with me?” I would like to ask that in your influential role as an educator, you make a point of picking some books that portray fathers as heros, or books that show a father as a firm, but fun-loving dad who is not an idiot, and doesn’t skirt all of his duties.  Do you teach Pre-K to 2nd?  You may want to consider Kevin Henkes, a Wisconsin author, who uses some of his Midwestern good sense to make the parents firm and consistent.   How about 3rd – 7th?  One of my favorite series to read aloud is the Adirondack Kids series. These kids know how to be respectful to their dads. As educators, let’s help change this stereotype, and celebrate dad as a hero!  

Happy Father’s Day!
Jason Elliott
AKA PowerPoint Maniac

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Featured Seller: Anna Colley

1.   How long have you been on Teachers Pay Teachers?  What made you decide to be a part of it?
I’m not sure exactly when I joined TpT, but I think it has been about 3 years. I saw the potential to provide some quality resources to other teachers so that they didn’t have to recreate the wheel, and to make a little extra pocket money at the same time. I absolutely love it now. What I didn’t anticipate was how much I would enjoy polishing my resources for sale. Taking the extra time to think about design and add additional elements gave me a chance to be creative, and brought my resources to a new level. I wasn’t spending as much time creating the resources before I started selling.

2.   When did you know that you wanted to be in education?
I always dreamed of teaching from the time I was a little girl! I remember playing school with my brother when he was 2 years old and I was 10. I provided my mom with a report card showing his progress! J

3.   How are you currently involved in education?
I was a 4th grade teacher for 10 years before moving into technology. I am now a school technology coordinator at a public, special needs school that serves 3 and 4 year olds and young adults aged 18-21. I have really found my niche with this new job, and I anticipate creating some additional resources for early childhood, young adults, and special education for my store. I’ll also continue to create new resources for upper elementary.

4.   What would be your advice to people who are considering joining Teachers Pay Teachers?
Do it! It’s a small amount of work to polish your existing creations for a consumer audience, but it will continue to pay off passively for a long time to come. It’s nice to know that when things get crazy busy and I can’t dedicate the time to my store, it’s still earning me money! That keeps me coming back to create more quality educational materials when I do have the time. If you have a friend who is already a seller, use his or her referral link. I have had a few friends join without listing me as a referral, and that was kind of a bummer. It’s no different for your profits either way, and it builds up your friend’s profits.

5.   What has been a highlight, thus far, about being on Teachers Pay Teachers?
I have had quite a bit of extra cash, and have been able to treat myself to some toys that I really wanted—like my iPhone 4! It has also been creatively satisfying to polish my teaching resources up and make them more attractive for buyers. I’ve done my best work, curriculum design-wise, since starting to sell on Teachers Pay Teachers. I think I have found a latent interest in graphic design, and I’ve had a lot of fun putting that to use.

6.   What is something fun about you that other teachers don’t know?
I worked my way through college in the movie theater business. That’s where I met my husband! He started out as an usher when I was a concession girl, though we both worked our way up into management before giving it up for work with more regular hours.

7.   Do you participate in education outside of the classroom?  In what type of role?
I am a Girl Scout leader, which is a lot like teaching! I also facilitate Disciple Bible Study for adults in my church. Disciple is an in-depth, 32-34 week study. The first study covers 80% of the Bible in about 8 months. I absolutely love it.

8.   What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
I’d love to try graphic design! Thanks to my Teachers Pay Teachers endeavors, I’ve had the chance to dabble in that field, and it has been fun and satisfying for me.

9.   What profession would you not like to do?
I don’t think I’d like to do any kind of work that involves being outside most of the time. I just don’t like to be too cold or too hot.

10.                Who is your favorite author?  Favorite educational author?  And why?
It’s always hard to answer questions about favorite authors. How can I truly narrow it down to one?! I can give you a sampling of some of my favorites. For “grownup” books I like Lorna Landvik, Stephen King, Patricia Cornwell, Robin Jones Gunn, Neta Jackson, Greg Koukl, Jodi Picoult, Michael Crichton, Richard Preston, Madeleine L’Engle, C.S. Lewis, and Stephenie Meyer. For children’s books I really like Maurice Sendak, Gary Paulsen, Andrew Clements, Beverly Cleary, Judy Blume, Eric Carle, Mo Willems, E.L. Konigsburg, Judy Schachner, Dr. Seuss, Judith Viorst, Madeleine L’Engle (again), C. S. Lewis (again), Suzanne Collins, Lois Lowry, and Roald Dahl.
For adult books, I really enjoy books that immerse you in another world (fantasy or sci-fi) and books that are really true to life, examining the intricacies of relationships over years. I also have an interest in Christian apologetics, so I read some nonfiction as well. For children’s books, I like silly, funny books like Skippyjon Jones, as well as books that really examine serious themes like The Giver or The Hunger Games, or books that deal with character development or relationships, like Hatchet or A Wrinkle in Time. When I think of all of my favorite children’s books, I would read them even if I had no children to share them with. Great children’s books are good no matter what age you are.

by Anna Colley

-Author’s Purpose File Folder Game “Author’s Porpoise”
When I saw that there was a demand for author’s purpose materials on TpT, I created this file folder game which can be used as a center or even sent home for parents and children to play together. The download includes everything you need to create a beautiful, full-color themed file folder game: cover, game board, 36 self-checking question cards, and complete directions for both teacher and students.

-Simple Machines Resource Pack
I found it difficult to find materials to support our curriculum for simple machines in 4th grade, so I ended up making many resources myself. This pack includes 7 different resources for teaching your unit on simple machines: questions for the Bill Nye video, crossword puzzle with picture clues (great for ELL), flashcards, vocabulary Power Point, scavenger hunt activity, unit study guide, and unit test.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Teacher 2 Teacher MEGA CONTEST!

Attention! Attention! You don't want to miss out on this awesome opportunity. THIRTY-THREE teacher-sellers at Teachers Pay Teachers donated top notch classroom products for our T2T MEGA CONTEST! There are 3 major contest categories: K-2, 3-6 (1 winner each), and Middle School / High School (5 winners -1 per subject area: English, math, science, social studies / history, and fine arts).

Contest Dates: Starts Thursday, 6/16/11. Ends Sunday, 6/19/11 at 12:00 p.m. Midnight / Central time.

How to Enter: 
  • You receive TWO entries for each contributing seller you follow at Teachers Pay Teachers!
  • You receive ONE entry for each contributing seller's Facebook page that you LIKE.
  • You receive ONE entry for each contributing seller you follow on Twitter.
  • You receive ONE entry for each contributing seller's blog you read and leave a comment on.
  • You receive ONE entry for leaving a comment on this blog post telling us which category you entered and who you followed.
  • You receive TWO entries as a BONUS for every TEN entries you make.
In order to be officially entered in the contest, you must fill out the contest entry form for the appropriate category. 
K-2 Entry Form 

3-6 Entry Form
MS/HS Entry Form

Contributing Teachers Pay Teachers Sellers

Lisa Frase (K-2, 3-6, Fine Arts)

Shelley Gray (K-2, 3-6)

Sunny Days (K-2, 3-6)

Scipi (K-2, 3-6, MS/HS Math)

Lesson Plan Diva (K-2)

Mrs. Magee (K-2)

Dijobaker (K-2)

Anna Brantley (K-2)

The Teaching Bank (K-2, 3-6, MS/HS English)

Hilary Lewis (K-2, 3-6)

From the Pond (K-2)

Amanda Myers (K-2)

Lisa Rombach (K-2)
Heidi Raki (K-2, 3-6)

Victoria Leon (3-6)

Karla Banks (3-6)

Runde's Room (3-6, MS/HS English)

Beverly Teacher (3-6)
Nyla's Crafty Teaching (3-6)

Mary J. Bauer (3-6)

Vintage Teacher (3-6)

Ashleigh (3-6)

Michele Luck (MS/HS English, Social Studies / History)

Addie Williams (MS/HS English, Social Studies / History)
Tracee Orman (MS/HS English)

Melissa Soeltz (MS/HS English)
The Enlightened Elephant (MS/HS Math. Fine Arts-Spanish)

Science Etc. (MS/HS Science)

Science Stuff (MS/HS Science)

Aussie Music Teacher (Fine Arts)
Spanish Plans (Fine Arts-Spanish)

Teacher Tam (K-2)

Rosshalde Pak (K-2)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Parting is such sweet sorrow, that I shall say goodnight till it be morrow!

Ahhh! The end of the school year.  How bittersweet!  Don’t get me wrong, I love summer vacation, but for me, saying goodbye to students is extra hard because I loop with them.  You can get pretty attached to a class after two years.  I developed a set of rules for the students for when it was time for them to leave my class.  Usually they groan a little and think, “More rules!?!”  but they don’t seem to mind these.  I talk about this list the last day of school and I also drop a copy in their report cards to save for later. Consider developing your own rules.  What are some of the important things you want your students to always remember?

My rules for leaving class

1.  Never forget me!
Something happens around 14 years old when you’re too cool to acknowledge your old teachers! Please always come up to me and say hello.  In 20 years I may not remember your name, but I will still love to talk to you and find out about your life!

2.  Manners Matter!
We spent a lot of time on common courtesies. Don’t forget that. Hold the door for people that follow you, and when someone holds the door for you, say “Thank You”. If a person drops something, pick it up for them, even if they are closer to the item. Always congratulate people when they win or do well.

3.  It’s not a big deal!
That little mistake you made, that time I got upset at you, or when you got upset at me, it’s not a big deal. In the timeline of our entire lives, the little problems and setbacks you have are not really a big deal! “I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it.” -Charles Swindoll

4.  Think about it!
Think about the consequences of your actions before you do something. (How many times have you heard me say this?) As a young person it may be something simple like: Will I get into trouble if I do this? Or will I make someone happy if I do this? When you get older it may be something more life-changing like: I can’t afford this new car, should I buy it anyway?

Good luck, 

PowerPoint Maniac

Related Products from Teachers Pay Teachers:

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Featured Seller: Terry-Lynn McLeod

1.   How long have you been on Teachers Pay Teachers?  What made you decide to be a part of it?
I have been a part of TpT since December 2010, though I knew of the site for some months before that. I decided to become a part of TpT because I currently do not have a classroom but still wanted to be a part of education. Also, I thought the whole concept of TpT an interesting one.

2.   When did you know that you wanted to be in education?
I didn’t know that I wanted to be in education until the third year into my Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. My sister is in education so it is a natural progression for me. I thought that I would be able to use the knowledge from my psychology degree within education. Ironically, education is the last thing my Mother wanted for me because she has an extreme dislike for most teachers. (She has managed to experience every form of “bad teacher” within education which is the basis of her opinion.) However, Mum has mellowed in her opinion of teachers.

3.   How are you currently involved in education?
Though I currently do not have a classroom, I try to be involved in education. I am currently being trained in Balanced Literacy (Division II/III). Also, I write (albeit sporadically) for my education blog “The Canuck Teacher’s Ramblings”.

4.   What would be your advice to people who are considering joining Teachers Pay Teachers?
I would tell other people that it is worthwhile joining TpT so just do it. Establish realistic goals for oneself and don’t compare yourself to others.

5.   What has been a highlight, thus far, about being on Teachers Pay Teachers?
A highlight has been being in the newsletter. I receive the newsletter on Monday. So I didn’t know that I was in the newsletter, until my phone kept beeping to notify me of “product sold” emails. Though I didn’t break any records, it was still a very satisfying moment.

6.   What is something fun about you that other teachers don’t know?
Now don’t be totally weirded out - But I have the best sleepwear ever. It is a pair of girly pink Oscar the Grouch Pajamas. I NEVER wear pink so no one in my family can understand why I love them so much. I wear them because Oscar the Grouch is my favourite Sesame Street character. He made my childhood bearable. (I never liked Big Bird)

7.   Do you participate in education outside of the classroom?  In what type of role?
Right now I don't have a lot of extra time to reach out.  But once I do, I want to find creative ways to get involved in education.

8.   What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
I always wondered how it would be like to be a working actor or to be involved someway in drama professionally.

9.   What profession would you not like to do?
I would never want to be a retail salesperson. I worked in a clothing store once and it was pure Hell. And I was Satan!! The job definitely did not bring out the best in me.

10.                Who is your favorite author?  Favorite educational author?  And why?
I don’t have a favourite personal author because I tend to read anything (except romances). Right now, I’m reading The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. I just love the characters and the modern Scandinavian landscape. But I usually read historical mysteries from authors such as Ellis Peters and Charles Todd. And I also don’t have a favourite education author. I believe anything a student enjoys is worthy material to teach. And there are numerous children and adolescent authors which produce quality literary works to mention just one. But if I have to, I’ll steal from the previous featured seller and say Shakespeare.

Terry's Favourite Products

I am really proud of this resource because all aspects of balanced literacy are covered. There are 45 activities within the balanced literacy categories of vocabulary, summarizing, connecting, questioning, inferring and synthesizing. These activities are meant to develop students’ upper level critiquing and analyzing skills during a novel study. The graphic organizers can also be used in book clubs and independent reading.

         I like this lesson plan because it encourages students to engage in social action. Students brainstorm an issue relevant to them and develop a possible answer to that issue. Then they collect signatures and create a petition written in business letter format.

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