Monday, November 26, 2012

CyberMonday and Tuesday is About Sharing

It's finally here--CyberMonday and Tuesday! As educators, we've anticipated and waited all year for one of Teachers Pay Teachers biggest sales (up to 28% off!). 
Cyber Monday
However, currently, there are many fellow teachers who are in need of help and support. A huge "Thank You!" to those who have started projects to help out less-fortunate friends and neighbors across the world. If you have such a site, please post it in the Comments section to receive more donations. For example, Teachers Help Teachers, by Laurah Jurca of The ESOL Odyssey; she set up a site for donations of school products to Hurricane Sandy educators. After all, that is what CyberMonday and Tuesday are about--thankfulness for a place to share great products that help educators!

The upcoming weeks are the perfect time to encourage students to help others in need. Motivating students to volunteer during the holidays is simple. Find projects students can create and give. Everything from cut-outs of holiday themed items to impersonal letters to thank you cards can bring smiles of joy to faces. Donate the hand-made products to adult living centers, hospitals, and nursing homes. Also, students can volunteer to perform charitable work, such as reading to elderly patients or performing a play at a nursing home. Homeless shelters need extra hands and so do food kitchens. Frequently, students need to look no further than their own neighborhoods to volunteer their time. They might try babysitting for busy parents, putting up Christmas decoration, or raking leaves. A school toy drive or community project, such as collecting books, is a excellent way to promote volunteerism.  

Show students the holiday season is about giving rather than receiving. 

Related Teachers Pay Teachers Products:

Winter Holidays Tips and Freebies FREE!
Elf Hunt Game   FREE! 
ESL December Holiday Flashcard Packet  FREE!
Santa Christmas Holiday Coordinate Graphing/Ordered Pairs  FREE!
Christmas Fun Booklet  $1.49
Santa's Silly Sayings: Figurative Language   $2.00
Christmas Holiday Cause and Effect Hands-on Practice  $2.00
Vocab Four Square  $2.30
Christmas Math   $3.00
Weather and Climate Unit Study  $3.18
Christmas Tales to Write and Publish  $5.00
Kinder Christmas Activity Packet  $5.00
5 Es Unit Plan Electricity Its Elementary      $5.96
Christmas Fun Pack--Math, Literacy, & Fun  $8.50

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Featured Teacher: Emma Farrell

What is your most memorable field trip experience?
I'm from Australia, and I would have to say the Australian Museum. At the time, I taught grade one in a low socio-economic, high NESB area of Sydney. The students and their families mainly stayed in their suburb and couldn't always afford to go on outings. I just loved seeing my students' faces light up as they moved through the city and the museum. I will never forget it. They would all be finishing high school now!

         2. What is something you have learned from your time on Teachers Pay Teachers?
I have learned that teachers require high quality resources. Teachers alike are busy and need to save time, getting easy to use, high quality resources.  I also know that I love the ease of finding and purchasing great resources on TpT.

         3. What book inspired you as a student?
“The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle.

4. What is something you would like to see in the future, for education?

Two full-time teachers in every classroom! One trained classroom teacher and one trainee or untrained teacher. It would address so many issues and make everything easier for all stakeholders.

         5. What is something fun about you that teachers don't know about you?
I am a crazy amateur photographer and take my camera with me where ever I go.

         6. What is an achievement, in education or otherwise, that you have accomplished?
I was lucky enough to finish university in the top 5% for my year. This meant that I was a targeted graduate and was lucky enough to walk into a full-time, on-class teaching position with Kindergarten.

         7. What was your first 'Free' item that you posted up on Teachers Pay Teachers?  What made you choose that?
FREE Dolch Track my Reading Games. I thought it was a new twist on assessing reading words. It is my featured item and my most popular freebie to date.

8. What was your first 'Paid' item that you posted up on Teachers Pay Teachers? What made you choose that?        
Oh wow, I can't remember, let me have a look! Oh, I remember now..... it was my 6 x 100 Most Used Words Snakes & Ladders Games. I posted it first because it was one of my top sellers in my Ebay store.

9.  Your favorite teaching quote is...   
I have so many, this quote is the one that appeals best to my philosophy!
If a child can't learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn. By Ignacio Estrada.

10. What is your 'Go To' time filler?          
Playing with our 6 year-old, yellow Labrador, photography and walking.                                                                

 by Emma Farrell

 Owl Themed Blank Classroom Labels - 48 pages
 Spelling Strategy Posters - 20 pages
 Spelling Rules Posters (35) and Award - 17 pages

Monday, November 19, 2012

A TpT Thanksgiving

There are many reasons to be thankful during Thanksgiving. Currently, however, there are many teachers who are in need of help during the holiday season. Economic hardships and natural disasters, such as Hurricane Sandy, have left some teachers struggling to return to classrooms and their profession. How can you be of help? Laurah Jurca of ESOL Odyssey blog has come up with a solution for Hurricane Sandy victims that involves teachers helping teachers:

How can I help?
If you are a teacher or have a store on TpT or TN, then please consider donating some of your products or materials to a teacher in need! If you are interested, please click the "teachers helping teachers" button below and fill out the requested information.Teachers of all grade levels are welcome and encouraged to participate! I will send out an e-mail when it is time to send in your donated product, and I will handle separating the products into grade-level bundles for distribution and distributing to schools and teachers in need.

Join in!

  1. Click the "Teachers help Teachers" button below and fill your information into the form.
  2. If you have a blog, blog about this and add the button below to your post, and link it to this blogpost. (this can be done by copying the image and inserting it into your post, then copying the link location and linking the picture). If you don't have a blog but still wish to donate and share, then pintrest, Facebook and Twitter about it!
  3. Join the linky party below and link to your blog post (if you have a blog) or your TpT store if you do not have a blog.

Helping teachers affected by Hurricane Sandy!

Happy Thanksgiving!

From the Tchr2tchr Administrative Staff 

Related Teachers Pay Teachers Products:  

Main Idea and Norman Rockwell  FREE!
Thanksgiving Analogies Worksheet  FREE!
Thanksgiving Writing Prompts  FREE! 
Thanksgiving Fun Booklet  $1.49
Every Holiday and Season Bingo Boards  $3.00
ELL/ESL/ELD 5 Days of Grammar Lesson Plans  $3.50
Super Science Set  $15.00

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Featured Teacher: Anna Colley

What is your most memorable field trip experience?

You know, I always loved field trips, and a lot of my colleagues hated them. Yes, it took more energy than a regular school day, but I guess I'm like a kid in that I loved breaking the routine and seeing something new and interesting. I never had a horrible field trip experience that would burn it on my memory, so all of the field trips kind of stand out in my mind. I really enjoyed visiting Stone Mountain Park and taking kids to the Antebellum Plantation and Barnyard. I also remember going to the Weinman Mineral Museum. I really thought that part of that particular trip was going to be a waste of time; rocks and minerals weren't even part of our science curriculum. It turned out to be the best part of the trip. We got to see a moon rock, pan for gems, and explore fossils. That was over 10 years ago and those students tell me they still remember it.
         2. What is something you have learned from your time on Teachers Pay Teachers?

I've learned to improve my teaching resources so that they're better for someone else to use by including full directions, tips for use, and other supplementary materials.

         3. What book inspired you as a student?

I loved the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. I really wanted to be a writer when I was a kid.

4. What is something you would like to see in the future, for education?

I would love for government to scale back its love affair with testing and look at more authentic ways to evaluate student and teacher success. It's not as easy to standardize across the nation, but if done correctly, it will give a more accurate picture. I would love to see the current climate of pressure on teachers change. Teachers are some of the hardest working professionals I know, but it has felt for the last few years like there is a stranglehold on us. We are looked at with suspicion and there is so much talk about "bad teachers" and what needs to be done with them. In the meantime we are given less and less to work with--more furlough days, less money, and some districts are even giving up instructional days. I really feel for new teachers who have never known the profession any other way.

         5. What is something fun about you that teachers don't know about you?

Before beginning my teaching career, I worked as a movie projectionist, technical support operator, Chinese restaurant waitress, and dorm security rover. I'm 5'1" and utterly nonathletic, so the fact that I worked security always gives people a laugh.

         6. What is an achievement, in education or otherwise, that you have accomplished?

I am really proud of all of the work I have done in my current position as a school technology coordinator at a public special needs school. In two short years I have become somewhat versed in assistive technology and have presented introductory workshops to other educators, created a brand-new school website from scratch, taught a weekly computer lab special to about 300 three- and four-year-olds, set up, organized, implemented, and maintained a set of schoolwide OneNote notebooks, worked with vendors, managed a budget of about $20,000, and provided lots and lots of training to the staff. It was a huge transition moving from the fourth grade classroom into what I do now, but I've never been happier in my career.

         7. What was your first 'Free' item that you posted up on Teachers Pay Teachers?  What made you choose that?

My first freebie was the Yearlong, Semi-Quarterly Book Share Project ( I started this project my first year of teaching and grew it, tweaked it, and loved it for 8 years before I joined Teachers Pay Teachers. I knew it was a good example of my work because it was so extensive. Five years later it's been downloaded more than 43,000 times! I got lots of requests for a version that teachers could edit, so I eventually updated it, added more resources to it, and posted a customizable version for sale. (

8. What was your first 'Paid' item that you posted up on Teachers Pay Teachers? What made you choose that?        

My first paid item was a literature and writing graphic organizer package. I used a lot of graphic organizers during my reading centers, and I was really just trying to think of something I could make and post to see what would happen. I came up with some ideas that were a bit different than the ones I had used before and created them. I still sell some of these now and then, but as my first product, they aren't as polished as the newer resources.

9.  Your favorite teaching quote is...   

"Once you learn to read, you will be forever free." -Frederick Douglass

10. What is your 'Go To' time filler?          
I'm terribly addicted to TV. I have lots of favorite shows: Dexter, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Parenthood, Once Upon a Time, Walking Dead, Modern Family, Raising Hope. I also enjoy discovering cancelled shows that I missed the first time around thanks to streaming services: Veronica Mars, United States of Tara, Life on Mars. I know it's low-brow, but it's a fun escape. In my defense, I do read a lot too!


Anna Colley
Fall and Winter Ordered Pairs Pack, $10.00 (currently on sale for $8.00)
Graph the Constellations, $3.00
Down on the Farm Cause & Effect File Folder Game, $3.00

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Teachers Pay Teachers Linkup: Math and Science Centers

Monday, November 12, 2012

Tips and Ideas for Math and Science Small Groups

by Tabitha Carro

Teachers Pay Teachers Storefront: Flapjack Educational Resources
As a 4th grade math and science teacher, I'm a small group junkie. This year I was fortunate enough to have low class numbers, so on many occasions I taught science, especially experiment time, in small groups. Here are some tips and ideas gathered for small group teaching:  

For math, after teaching whole group lessons, have students work at various stations while others are being worked with individually or in small groups. When placing students in groups for math, it's important to have them grouped by abilities. However, when students are in independent stations, they can be grouped by mixed abilities, so "the blind are not leading the blind". However, on occasion, try "fun" partner stations where students wisely choose their own partners. When students are with peers they can connect with, learning becomes more enjoyable, and students perform better at station activities.
For science experiment days, mixed-abilities grouping is best. Students rotate through three independent stations and one teacher/experiment station. The teacher station is focused on behavior and what combination of students will keep center rotations flowing smoothly and effectively. After teaching an introductory mini-lesson or showing a short video clip to introduce the objective and experiment of the day, explain the activity in each station and the fun begins! Each station lasts about 10 minutes, depending on the experiment and the group, for a total of 40 minutes of class time. Doing the same experiment in a whole group setting might take almost 30 minutes. 

Center/Station Ideas
"Have fun and the learning will come" is a great motto to follow! Centers are great places to see fun and learning in action. Mix fun with student-led activities, and that's when real learning magic occurs!

For math, try Multiplication Jenga by Rachel Lynette of Minds in Bloom :

Or, have fun with Math Facts Bottle Caps:

Also, Twister can be used in a variety of fun ways:

For science, students complete a variety of independent activities. Some are based on journal responses from interactive notebooks or from student computers with games from Science vocabulary is tough for many students, but especially for Spanish immersion kids, so provide different opportunities to practice speaking and vocabulary during independent stations. Some activities may include:
Bottle Cap Soccer/Hockey:

For small groups/stations to be successful, students need to be accountable for independant learning. Recording sheets are great for writing answers while in stations. Also, students can carry their interactive notebooks with them during group time to document answers as needed. Notebooks are checked at the end of each unit. At the end of groups, stage a wrap-up session. Choose students to share their journal responses or quiz students on vocabulary practiced during group times. As always, praise goes a long way. Bring attention to a particular group that was especially focused and on-task and commend them in front of the whole class.

What are some tips you have to make math and science small-group learning effective?

Teachers Pay Teacher Related Products:

Thanksgiving Would You Rather Questions  FREE!
Thanksgiving Activities Packet  $1.95
Family and Me Questionnaires for Our Family Tree  $2.50
Thanksgiving Turkey Mystery Graft  $3.00 
QR Code Measurement Fun  $3.00
My Thanksgiving Tale to Write and Publish  $4.00

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Featured Teacher: Aaron Toler

            1. What is your most memorable field trip experience?

My most memorable field trip was taking my students to the Science Museum in my city along with the Science teacher. The students were able to see the science they had been learning about and teach me about it. It was fun to be a student and allow the students to be the teacher!

         2. What is something you have learned from your time on Teachers Pay Teachers?

I have learned that teachers are some of the most creative people around. Teachers love to share what they make with each other. I have learned that teachers love to teach

         3. What book inspired you as a student?

"To Kill a Mockingbird." I still quote this book to my students. There are so many valuable life lessons in it.

4. What is something you would like to see in the future, for education?

I would like to see actual teachers more involved in the legislation of schools and curriculum rather than government officials who have not been in the classroom.

         5. What is something fun about you that teachers don't know about you?

I write songs about the material I am covering in class and make music videos for them to help them learn the topic a little better.

Here is one....

         6. What is an achievement, in education or otherwise, that you have accomplished?

This year I became a National Board Certified Teacher in Adolescent and Young Adult Social Studies and History. This was one of the most rigorous and rewarding processes I have ever been through. I spent hours studying and analyzing student work and preparing lessons that would challenge my students. The entire process of becoming certified took close to 3 years and nothing in my teaching career has challenged me as much as this process.

         7. What was your first 'Free' item that you posted up on Teachers Pay Teachers?  What made you choose that?

The first free item I posted was a Wordsearch I made over the French and Indian War. I was absent from school one day because of illness and needed a quick filler for the substitute so I used this. There isn't a whole lot to it but as I have figured out over the years sometimes the best classroom management is keeping students busy.

8. What was your first 'Paid' item that you posted up on Teachers Pay Teachers? What made you choose that?        

The first paid item I posted was "Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Review Game." I had just used it in my classroom for the first time and my students absolutely loved it! They loved the sound effects and were actively engaged in the lesson throughout the class. So I put it on TpT without a whole lot of expectations and it has become one of my best sellers! I still use it in my class and am thrilled that many other teachers are using it as well.

9.  Your favorite teaching quote is...   

"Speak little. Do much."

10. What is your 'Go To' time filler?          
In the classroom when I want to fill some time I have my students do "Focused Free Writes." They write for 3 minutes without stopping about whatever topic I choose. I then have students share their writing with others around them. They compare and talk about their writing and then write again for another minute. It is a great activity to make sure your students are understanding the material you are covering in class and it only takes about 5-10 minutes. You can spend as much time discussing their writing as you like. Anytime I need to fill time I have my students write and discuss because learning always takes place in these situations and it gives them an excuse to talk to each other and not get in trouble  which they love!


Aaron Toler

"3 Week Revolutionary War Unit:

Declaration of Independence Breakup Letter:

50 American History Lessons for $30
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