Saturday, August 20, 2011

Featured Teacher-Author: Karla Banks

1. How long have you been on Teachers Pay Teachers?  What made you decide to be a part of it?
I have only been on TpT for about 4 months.  Another teacher told me about TpT after I shared one of my smartboard lesson with her.  She told me that TpT is a great place to find and share resources and she was right! TpT is the best place for teachers to get together to help each other and to share materials.
2. When did you know that you wanted to be in education?
I always said I would never be a teacher.  I hate public speaking!  I entered college thinking I would earn a degree in psychology.  By the end of my first year, I was taking education classes.  By the end of my second year, I was only taking classes for special educators.  I found I love to work with young children and help them learn. 
3. How are you currently involved in education?
I am currently a special education teacher in a Title I school.  I taught a pull-out resource class for 5 years.  I have been teaching a self-contained class for children with various disabilities for the last 7 years.  I have students in K-5 in one class, like the old one room school house.  I am also very fortunate that the school I work in is an arts integrated school.  Teaching through the arts has helped my students learn when so many other strategies hasn't worked.  In the 5 years that I have been teaching through the art, I have been able to move 4 students out of my class and back into the general classroom with only resource support.
4. What would be your advice to people who are considering joining Teachers Pay Teachers?
Jump in!  TpT is a great community for teachers.  It's a place where teachers can communicate with teachers all over the world.  They offer advice and help on every topic imaginable for teachers.  It's a place where you can find thousands of free resources that are kid tested and ready to use in your classroom.  After you have checked out the free products, start posting your own excellent materials.  The other teachers here will help you make them even better and ready to sell.  
5. What has been a highlight, thus far, about being on Teachers Pay Teachers?
I have absolutely love chatting with teachers from all across the country and around the world.  It's amazing how much education varies from place to place.  TpT has helped me to stay on top of current teaching practices and how education is changing.
6. What is something fun about you that other teachers don’t know?
I love to quilt!  I have made several quilts for my girls.  I especially love to make quilts for new babies.  I love to use bright colors and different textures in my quilts.  I just finished a UT quilt for a little boy and I am working on a Sunbonnet Sue quilt for a lady at church.  Quilting is a great way for me to relax.
7. Do you participate in education outside of the classroom?  In what type of role?
My husband and I teach the 3rd-4th grade Sunday School class at church.  We have been doing this for 7 years now.  We also work in our church's Bible School.  This is the first year I haven't taught a class in Bible School in several years.  This year, the church asked me to be the VBS director.  It has been a challenge, but I've learned every minute of it.  I still have so much to learn for next year.  
8. What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
When I was a child I always wanted to be an astronaut.  I love the mystery that space holds for us.  I was in the 4th grade when remember clearly when the Challenger mission exploded with the first teacher, Christa McAuliffe, aboard.  I am still fascinated with space and love to teach about it.  Most children love the  wonders that space holds and want to learn everything they can about it too. 
9. What profession would you not like to do?
I would be absolutely miserable with a job that required me to work out in the weather all day!  I freeze all of the time!  In the summer, I'm a big baby, I  hate to be in the hot, humid weather for long periods of time.  Recess is the perfect amount of outside time for me!
10. Who is your favorite author?  Favorite educational author?  And why?
I love to read and will read almost anything that someone gives me.  With two young daughters, I don't have much time to read anymore.  Recently I have been reading Torey Hayden's books.  They are amazing, mostly because they are nonfiction.  Torey is a special education teacher who writes about her class.  If you want an idea of what it's like to teach a self-contained special education class for children with severe emotional and behavior disabilities, grab one of her books.  It will give you insight of what many special educators face day in and day out.  
by Karla Banks

 Karla's TPT Store

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This is a smartboard arts integrated lesson. Students learn how to identify the words being said before moving on to adding correct punctuation to sentences and finally creating their own sentences using correct punctuation for quotes. Student also learn about the artwork of Dr. Seuss and a few tips on how to become a cartoonist. The lesson ends with students creating their own cartoon character (step by step instructions-fool proof) and writing a quote using correct punctuation.

This is an arts integrated lesson that teaches the concepts compare and contrast. It begins with basic objects and moves the students to use higher order thinking to compare and contrast both the lives and then the art work of Rousseau and O'Keeffe. This lesson also teaches students to use a venn diagram to organize their information. Everything you need to teach this lesson is included. (Lesson plan and all background knowledge of the artists are included in the file.) 

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