Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Boosting Your Facebook Post

Have you ever wondered if you would get your money's worth out of boosting a Facebook post?  So did I!  

I've been dabbling with Facebook Boosts and feel like I've finally got a handle on it.  What I've discovered is that boosting an engaging post can help me find new followers and a targeted audience for my content with minimal investment.  

First, it is very important to choose the right content to boost.  It must spur action from the reader.  It could be a post you've written about a hot topic that most of your target audience would want to read. Or you might want to promote a new product.  Recently, I successfully boosted a post that offered a free product from my TPT store.  If it's not interesting, no amount of boosting will motivate the reader to engage. 

The next part is critical.  How will you choose the right audience for your content?  You have three choices. Below are a few graphics to help guide you through this process. 

Choice #1

Choice #2 

Choice #3

You can probably tell which choice I think is best.  Choosing my target audience is where I've had the most success.  Earlier this week, I boosted a post for two days at a cost of $15.  My goal was to boost my "likes" and TPT traffic prior to a sale.  Here are the results.

This is what I call a "bang for my buck"!  I have spend many dollars participating in giveaways, linkies, raffles, etc.  None of them is as fruitful as the Facebook boost has been for me.

Your situation may be totally different.  But I hope I've given you a little insight on a tool that many don't know much about.  


Here are the numbers from my latest FB "Boost"(6/11/15).  So far, I've spent $17.64. 

That's 505 visits to my blog and 38 new TPT likes!

If you think your friends might like to see this post, please pin it for share it on your FB page.  As always, I'd LOVE to hear your 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Story Behind My Logo

I am hooking up with Art with Jenny K. to share the story of how my logo came to be.

   My first blog design was hideous.  Seriously, hideous.  I created it myself and it did not reflect who I am as a person or a teacher.  It had to go.  As I sketched out my vision for a new blog design, I knew I needed a logo.  My goals in creating a logo were simple.  It had to be unique, reflective of who I am, and timeless.  

   At first, I thought about using a picture of me for my logo.  What could be more unique that?  But, appearances change over time, and I wanted something constant like Target's bullseye or Starbuck's label.   It occurred to me that I could have a caricature done…you know, like the kind you get at Disney World?  No…..that would be too creepy.  When I first started blogging, very few teachers (if any) used a caricature as part of their blog designs. So, I felt like I was on to something. 

   What I needed was a graphic depiction of me, but I didn't know where to get it done. I searched and searched until I discovered Jessica Weible Illustrations.  At the time, Jessica offered a semi-customization that allowed me to pick out different features.  I chose a bright smile, interested eyes, warm colors, and friendly body language to reflect that I am a warm, caring, and passionate  person.  I prayed that it would look okay. Without ever seeing a picture of me, Jessica created a perfect graphic of me.  Ok, so I'm not that skinny (I was at one time…does that count?).   My hope is that it will stand the test of time as styles come and fads go, or if I decide to change my blog design.  Jessica stopped doing this type of work shortly after my character was created.  I bought the license for it and it became mine!  Her name is Moxie and she is my alter-ego!  

I've truly fallen in love with my brand logo.  It can be found on  Pinterest, Facebook, and my TPT store.   Currently, there are many artists who create characters and many teacher blogs that use caricatures as their logos.  What is it they say….."imitation is the sincerest form of flattery"?   I'll take it!

Monday, December 29, 2014

New Year's Freebie

This is repeat of a freebie I created last year to go with an awesome freebie I found in A Cupcake for the Teacher's TPT Store.   It's a writing and craft activity for your students' New Year's Goals.  

First, grab this freebie from my TPT store.  I have my students record three goals:  one for becoming a better student, one for contributing to their home or family, and one for improving something about their personal behavior or responsibility. 

Next, grab this freebie from A Cupcake for the Teacher's TPT Store.  It's a creativity which pairs perfectly with the students' goal sheet.  Attach the goal sheet to the bottom of the hat and Wah Lah! You have an awesome display of the New Year's Goals!

I hope you have found something you can use today!  I am very grateful for all of you and wish you a very Happy New Year!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Holiday Elf Editing Activity

I have been hard at work creating my latest product, just in time for the holiday season.  It's the second in my series holiday editing stories.  It is a 4 day editing story called "The Diary of Jingles the Elf".  

Two of the teachers I work with introduced me to this idea by sharing a Halloween editing story that we use every year. The students LOVE it!  In fact, they loved it so much they begged me to create another one for Thanksgiving, which I did!  Guess what they asked for next?  That's right! One for the December holidays!

The best part is that each story ends with a surprise for the class (which is optional), but it really creates a "buy-in" for the activity.  The kiddos are having so much fun, they hardly notice that they are learning!  

Happy Shopping!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Sunday, November 16, 2014

First Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt

What do you do when you need a plan for Tech Lab on Monday?  Create a web quest!  I was so happy with the way it turned out, I decided to include it in my TPT store.  

The First Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt web quest utilizes the website The First Thanksgiving by Scholastic. There are 42 questions that will lead students through each part of the website.  The web quest sends students on a scavenger hunt to discover and collect all the nuggets of knowledge it imparts. The web quest is divided in three parts:  The Mayflower, Daily Life, and The Feast. It is a fun way to review a Pilgrim Unit or assign an extra credit project over the Thanksgiving holiday.  

The two people to leave a comment will get a free copy!  Enjoy!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Dress Up Your Teacher for Halloween!

This time last year, I saw an adorable Halloween writing activity.  I couldn't wait to use it this year.  The problem is, I can't find it!  I thought I pinned it, but it's not where I thought I would put it.  This is my attempt to recreate it.  I can't wait to try it with my class!

Prepare for the activity by following the directions below.  You don't have to crop your head onto the file.  But it makes the activity more fun!

When you introduce the lesson, tell your kiddos that you are invited to a Halloween party and you don't know what costume you should wear.  There is no doubt that each of them will have a suggestion.  Now is the time to give them their assignment! 

The students should use rich vocabulary and specific details to describe the costume.  If possible, have the students work privately and independently.  Once everyone is finished, have them take turns presenting their ideas.   Did you notice that I chose a witch for my example?  This character will be off-limits!  But there are many other options! 

Below is a slide show of my students' work.  I love seeing their imaginations at work! If you would like to try this with your class for Halloween, you can this product in my TPT store.  Enjoy!

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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Will You Be the Winner???

As of this minute, there are only 34 entries in my giveaway for a FREE set of Scratch-Off Stickers with your choice of Rewards from my TPT store.  Click here and scroll down to the end of the post for the Rafflecopter. 

Will you be the winner?  

Monday, August 4, 2014

New! Scratch-Off Sticker Rewards….Will You Win a Set?

If you are like me, you are always looking for new and innovative ways to motivate your students.  This is why I am SO excited to offer a new product in my TPT store….Scratch-Off Stickers.

When I introduced Scratch-Off Sticker Rewards to my kiddos, I could not have predicted the level of excitement it would create in my classroom.  I had always wanted to have them, but did not want to go to the trouble buying ingredients, mixing a concoction, and painting it on tape.  When I discovered the stickers, I new I had to share them you!  

The following shows the SIMPLE steps to create these rewards.

1.  Order and download one of my Scratch-Off Ticket Rewards 
     templates.  The templates in my store fit the Scratch-Off 
     Stickers perfectly!  Click here for to get your first set "Owl-
     Theme" set for FREE.

2.  Write in the rewards of your choice in the gray rectangle.

3.  Place the Scratch-Off Stickers on top of the written reward.

4.  Use a coin (it works best) to scratch-off the sticker and reveal the reward.

That's it!  SIMPLE!

Scratch-Off Rewards are an excellent tool to help children reach positive goals in academics, behavior, organization, or any other out needed in school, at home, within groups, etc.  The possibilities are endless.  

Each order includes 30 individual stickers.  

Check out the other Reward Templates in my TPT Store:

Includes Welcome to Kinder, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th Grade

I am so excited about these products that I am going to giveaway a set of 30 Scratch-Off Stickers and your choice of a Scratch-Off Reward product.  OR, visit my TPT Store which is part of the Back to School Rally Sale!  Hurry, as it ends on August 6th!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Two Stars and a Wish! BLOG HOP

 I excited to participate in the "Two Stars and a Wish" Bog Hop!  The mission of the hop is for each participant to present two "star" ideas to help you get ready to go back to school.  The "wish" is an area that we want to work on or improve.  

I teach math and absolutely dislike Math Logs that busy parents sign, whether their children have practiced their math facts or not.  Then, I discovered Xtra Math.  I LOVE this program.  If you are looking for a way to add accountability to your students' math fact practice, you have to check it out.  To read more about how I use it in my classroom, click HERE.  The best part is it's free!

Do you need curtains for your classroom, but don't know how to sew?  Check this out!  I made these curtains in about 5 minutes.  I kid you not!  

Here is how I did it. 

You will need:   

  • Bath towels in a cute pattern that will match your classroom.  (I got mine at Target for $5.99 each.)  Towels are washable and the edges are already finished so no additional sewing is necessary.

  • Liquid Stitch (available at any craft store like Michael's, Jo-Ann Fabrics, etc.)

  • Tension rods to fit the space where you plan to hang the curtains.  


Predetermine how large the rod pocket will be by folding long edge of the towel over the rod.  I made my rod pocket about 2 inches.  Squeeze a line of Liquid Stitch along the outside edge of the towel, then fold and press together to make the pocket.  

After allowing it to dry according to the Liquid Stitch instructions, you are ready to hang them up! I have had mine for 3 years and they wash beautifully! 

This is my second year teaching a self-contained classroom and they language arts routine was very new to me last year.   This summer, I have been searching for ways to help me be a better teacher without spending an enormous amount of time creating.  

One of the areas I needed help with was Mentor Sentences.  Lucky for me, I found an awesome source for Mentor Sentences at Ideas by Jivey's TPT Store.  Not only has she created Mentor Sentences units for every week of the school year, she has also paired each lesson with a supporting grammar lesson for an Interactive Language Arts Notebook.  Heaven!!!  

Below is a free example of Jivey's "If You Find a Rock" Unit.  I hope it helps make your life easier, too!

For more Star ideas from more than 40 different bloggers, please browse through the link-up below and choose a topic that interests you. 

Thank you for visiting!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Common Core vs. Non-Common Core TPT Products

Common Core in the United States

Hi everyone!  I am a TPT customer (and seller) from a non-Common Core state.  Since most of the country teaches according to Common Core Standards, it is getting harder to find products on TPT that are geared toward Non-Common Core States.  Naturally, TPT Sellers want to market their products to the biggest segment of the market.  In fact, I have bought lots of things and adapted them myself.  But most of the time, this takes as much effort as creating something myself.  What I'm hoping for is to encourage sellers to create a version of their products where standards are editable (when they are used within the product).  Is this realistic?  If you create Common Core products, is this something you would be willing to do?  I just feel like I am missing out on so many AWESOME products!  Thank you for your feedback.

NOTE:  In Nov. 2013, Texas passed legislation (HB462) which prohibits school districts from using CCSS to meet the requirements to provide instruction in the Texas standards (TEKS).  You can find the link to read more about it HERE.

Treasure Map for Teachers - #3

My inspiration for this edition of Treasure Map for Teachers is this  little goodie I got in the mail.

It's the Oriental Trading "Teacher's Back-to-School Guide"!  I've seen sections of Oriental Trading devoted to school supplies, but never a whole catalog!  Let me share some of my favorites with you!  The item numbers are included below the pictures

This is an "All About Me" poster shaped like an owl!  So cute!  This is a great project for the first week.  I like to decorate the hallway with them in time for parent orientation.  They are so affordable at $8.25 for 30 posters. 

 These little clothespins are perfect for finding the owners of papers without a name.  My kids know that if they don't find a home by the end of the day, they will be recycled!  I couldn't make them at $5.00 for 24 clothespins!

These labels are a must have!  They come in all different types of themes....Superheroes, Bees, Space, Stars, Animals Prints, etc.  I use them for name tags and anything else that needs a label.  The best part is the price....$4.99 for a roll of 100 labels.  


 This is a scratch-off reward that you can create for your students!  Just write in the reward of your choice, then cover it with a sticker that can be scratched off!  Genius!  Who knew there was such a thing as scratch off stickers?  I can't wait to try these!  They are $5.25 for 30 rewards.  

A few other bargains to mention...
  • Hundreds of pencil designs available - $4.25 for 2 dozen
  • Dry erase sleeves - $12.99 for a dozen
  • Alphabet tiles (like Scrabble or Bananagrams) - $10.00 for 80
  • Highlight reading strips - $4.00 for 24
Now is the time to shop as quantities are limited as we get closer to the fall!  

Please leave feedback if you are enjoying this series!

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